Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Angry Nurses

Okay, so I got screamed  at by an incoming nurse during report. I decided to write a little post about this, and maybe I can get some feedback.

First of all, you probably want to know what major offense caused this particular nurse to go ape-shit, banshee-screaming wild on me. In a nutshell, I forgot to put multi-podus boots (MPB) on someone. Normally, I agree that this is a big deal, however, as explained to her, due to the fact that this particular patient's skin issues were known to me, I repositioned this patient hourly, making sure heels were floated on the pillow each time. Skin issues were abundant. This patient had at least 5-6 pressure ulcers, poor nutrition, tube feeder, wound vac, foley, spongy heels... just the works.

As a sidebar, I don't feel this patient is appropriate for a rehabilitation hospital such as ours; our focus is being the bridge between hospital admissions and home. A prerequisite of our facility is that the patient must be able to physically endure three hours of physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy daily. A big focus is on recovering lost ability or learning to live with a disability. A newly appointed marketing team has been sending us incredibly inappropriate patients. One of last week's patient had dementia so bad she couldn't even finish a sentence because she couldn't recall what she was saying midway through.

Back to the issue at hand, in my defense, I simply didn't have a chance to run across the paperwork stating that MPB were ordered until late in the shift. I have 10-12 acutely ill patients nightly and reading every physician order since admission (it didn't appear on the kardex) is simply not feasible. I was the first one to even notice the order and reported it to her. So, I believe I acted to the best of my ability, and while MPB are great, repositioning hourly I feel would be more effective anyhow, especially since the heels were elevated.

Well, this nurse basically turned into a screaming banshee and laid in to me, called me lazy, and embarrassed me in front of a bunch of nurses in the large report room. The one thing I hate about this field is simply working with women sometimes... I feel like I'm cruising on a hormonal highway sometimes; this is something I'm definitely not used to. This particular nurse has had this incredible hulk issue before with others. I don't think it's so much what was said, it was how it was said. I think I had ex-wife post-divorce screaming match flashbacks. Horribly unprofessional, in any case. I did handle the situation well and remained composed... though in the back of my mind I wanted to ask her if perhaps her Paxil prescription ran out.

My point is this: can't we just assume in most cases that our colleagues aren't incompetent or lazy next time someone doesn't have a last bowel movement or other similarly important, yet not immediately crucial, piece of information?


bayoucreole said...

Wow, you're good. Ida rose up like The Kraken on her. I hate those type of nurses...the ones who feel as if they have to go off on their colleagues. They are usually the nurses who screw up the most anyway.

PapaHans said...

I feel for you. I'm a 58 year-old male nurse who has been working in health care, with a seven year lane change in law enforcement, since 1972. I've experienced the screaming banshee from hell experience a few times, although truthfully my worst experiences, though fewer in number, were with physicians, one of whom I threatened to send to the emergency room if he screamed at me again. But I would stay calm, wait until the spastic harpie is finished, then say, in as calm and professional a voice as you can muster, "Excuse me, but your verbal attack on me was without a doubt the single most unprofessional thing I've ever seen from a nurse. What, you think you're a male doctor? And don't ever, ever, ever do it again. You have a problem with me, talk to me privately. First and last warning."
Trust me, it works every time.

bettyn said...

Some people are just jackasses. Me, either I would of had my feelings hurt and felt like crying or (depending on what day of the month it was) I might of turned McNasty on the witch! She probably has issues and needs to spout off to make herself seem like she is a better nurse than she really is.

LouZissou said...

My boyfriend and I met in nursing school and it's definitely interesting to hear his side of things. It's totally unacceptable to lose it like that on anybody. It's so insulting. Nursing is totally evidence based and that research is changing constantly. Nurses should be discussing the best plan of care and explaining their rationale not yelling MINE IS BETTER YOU MORON. Shame on her.

Doc Squat said...

Not a nurse, but have been in the shift-change situation many times. In my case, it's usually been either the evening or night shift coming on, and they're expecting to come in with all the loose ends wrapped up and not much going on. Well guess what? There's a reason this operation is 24/7, and there's a reason it's split into shifts. It's YOUR TURN NOW. This mess wouldn't be here if it hadn't been busy, and it's still busy, and I'm tired so it's YOUR TURN NOW. No, I haven't said that to anyone, but I probably should have - perhaps in a more diplomatic way.

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