.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Hi. I'm trying to think of another description to put here. Any ideas? I'll try again at 420.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

If life were fair...

...I would have been treated with the utmost of care while I was in the hospital. I've been giving loving care to my patients for more decades than I care to admit. As a teenager and a Nursing Assistant (Before they had CNA's), I was mature enough to realize that my patients were someones parents, children or siblings. Somebody loved them like I love my family and I treated them as I would want to be treated if I were the patient. Also, I enjoyed my work. I truly LIKED my patients, even when they were difficult...I love a challenge. It's the rare difficult patient that can't be calmed by a kind word and a gentle touch.

Last month the tables were turned and I was the patient. While most of the nursing staff performed somewhere between adequate and superb, there were a few of them who should have worked in the Operating Room with sleeping patients, never with awake, ill people.

As I said, I had another bleed and since I couldn't sleep, they gave me a hideous drug called Lunesta. You may have seen the butterflies in the Lunesta commercial...I think vultures would have been more appropriate. It made me loopy and agitated, (I asked a nurse for a print out of the drug and read those side effects. I couldn't hold still, I certainly couldn't stay in my small hospital room. I was claustrophobic and scared. I didn't know where to go but I knew I had to go somewhere beside the little hospital room. As a nurse, I would have taken such a patient and sat them right outside the nurses station so that they would feel less frightened and I could keep an eye on them.

I received no such patience the staff at Central DuPage Hospital on floor 5 Center on that Friday night.

First, as I was trying to walk around the unit in the middle of the night, a large, large man who didn't talk to me at all, he simply blocked my way wherever I went.He looked like he was going to chest bump me and he was so close to me a that I could see the hate in his eyes. He was a Patient Care Tech named Harold and I have a feeling he was racist, I doubt he would have had the same hate in his eyes for a black woman that he shot at me. His posture and the look on his face was ABSOLUTELY one that said, "You're confused, you can't tell anyone and if you did, no one would believe you anyway. I was more afraid of him than I was of the brain surgery I was about to undergo. If I met him a in dark alley, I would run like Forrest Gump.

Another staff member found me in the same state, claustrophobic and afraid. Instead of using kindness (or at least xanax) to calm me dow she too, blocked my way and wouldn't let me walk away from the room that was scaring me. When I told her that I was afraid of my room, she simply responded, "There's no place else for you to go." She wasn't saying it with kindess...something you come to expect from "Angels of Mercy". For years nurses have been sitting confused, agitated and frightened patients outside the nurses station yet neither one of these had the kindness in their heart to offer me that option. She could have even offered to help me walk around the unit, it was the middle of the night and not a whole lot was going on.

I know that doctors and nurses make the worst patients but there's a good reason for that...we see what the staff is doing wrong. I figured out that my behavior was due to the Lunesta, not one of those nit wits even considered it.

At the beginning of every shift, a nurse is supposed to do a full body assessment on each patient and then enter the results in a computer. It's not tough considering the COW (computer on wheels) is rolled right into the patients room. I was at that hospital for 3 weeks and maybe 4 nurses did the assessment on me. I know the tricks they use, they simply enter the same findings that the nurse before them had entered. When I was working, I would find an irregular heartbeat during my assessment that was never mentioned in ANY other nurses assessment. I knew enough to go and read the Doctors' notes where I would usually find out that the arrhythmia was normal for that patient. But shame on the nurses who didn't do their own assessments!!! How would they know if a sore or an infection began on their shift or the last shift? How would they even know there WAS a pressure sore on the patients backside?

I have a habit of writing things down and even in my agitated state, I continued to do so. I had forgotten about Harold's emotional abuse until I read my notes. Luckily, I came around after some blood transfusion and the surgery, but Harold and that skank who wouldn't let me out of my room must not have thought that I would. That makes me wonder what they do to people who are totally out of it. I've fired people for abusing patients, some of the abusers would be the last ones you would have ever expected, and I've done it with gusto. The idea of abusing patients is foreign to me and I would never have thought that I would fall victim to it myself, I don't know why I didn't, I guess I thought nurses would treat one of their own extra special nice.

But, a nurse who is a patient is no longer a nurse, she is a patient and as I've said a thousand times, "The squeaky wheel gets the oil." People seem to think that if they're kind to the nurses, the nurses will be kind to their loved ones. It doesn't work that way. If you want to ensure good care for your loved one, bitch, whine and complain like the family member from hell. Think about it, if you had 2 patients to care for and they both needed pain medicine, which one would you medicate first? The one whose family never shows up or never complains, or would you want to be sure you made the patient with the demanding family comfortable first?

More to come on this subject and on the emails from hell.


Post a Comment

<< Home