Sunday, April 12, 2009

Idiots Are Everywhere

When I arrived at the hospital I found my patient to be critically ill. Not that all of them aren't especially since they're in the ICU, however this one was well known to me and I liked her. She had spunk and like a lot of my patients, current and former, thought I was crazy but she still liked me and laughed at my off beat sense of humor. However this morning I was appalled at how truly awful she looked. In completing my assessment of her I stood back and thought, she's going to crash on me. One of my friends and fellow coworkers stood in the room's doorway and put to words my thoughts. "She's going to crump", this nurse said. I nodded in silent agreement.

Four hours later she looked even worse, the numbers on the heart monitor slid downhill, her heartbeat erratic and I began to pester the docs even more than I already had. I demanded orders for this med or that treatment, I dragged the airway cart over and then the crash cart closer still. I hoped by simply having the carts nearby and at the ready I could ward off evil spirits. Again and again I bugged doctors, "what's the plan?" I asked. Finally, in frustration and fear for the patient I simply told them what they needed to do. In then end, she did crash and they listened.

We were able to stabilize her and make her more comfortable, her vital signs and appearance improved and we settled back into a routine. Until the husband showed up, that is. He took one look at me and told the doc he didn't want me taking care of his wife, wanted another nurse to take my place in her care. When questioned as to why he simply said "I don't like her". When the nurse in charge told him she did not have the staffing to accommodate his request and attempted to explain all I had done to help his wife he walked away from her mid sentence. He then threatened to call the hospital administrator, his senator and then his governor if I was not removed as his wife's nurse. He even went so far as to demand they send me to another unit.

With my coworkers, the charge nurse and the nursing supervisor all supporting me and voicing their displeasure I turned over my patient's care to another nurse. It simply was not worth the hassle to me. My nurse buddies were pissed, they kept asking if I was ok and to be honest, I think they were more upset and angry about the whole situation than I was. I really don't have much feeling other than disappointment. Disappointment in that my patient was no longer able to receive the care I could give her.

1 comment:

Don said...

What? How could anyone look at someone and discover anything about the kind of care they provide? Do you wear a sign that says "I'm a crappy nurse who's only in it for the money?" What a jerk.