Thursday, May 15, 2008

Overworked nurses?

I was reading some comments recently about how a patient's family had an unpleasant experience with lazy nurses. She said that every time she went by the nursing station, the nurses were sitting there, ignoring everything else that was going on around them.

I can't presume to guess what was going on in that particular situation, but I can offer some plausible explanations:

1- the nurses were trying to get their mountain of paperwork done before the end of their shift
2- they were having a mini-conference about a particular patient or situation
3- they were sitting for the first time all shift
4- they had arranged for someone else to cover for them with the patients so the nurses could get some desk work completed

There are more explanations but those are the first ones that pop up. Of course, it's entirely possible that it's not any of those, but I find it hard to believe that a whole ward's staff would be sitting at the nursing station, ignoring the needs of the patients around them.

I remember once hiding in an office, trying to get a bite to eat during a particularly busy shift. It was technically my break time, but I only had time to sit down for a few minutes. That shift, that break, a patient's husband tracked me down to the office I was in and demanded that I care for his wife, as she needed something. He didn't want to hear that I was on my break. He didn't care that I hadn't eaten yet, he didn't give a flying ****** (his words) that I needed to sit down for a few minutes. His wife needed me and that was all that counted.

Rather than argue any further, I did go, only to find out that whatever it was his wife "needed" was something that absolutely could have waited until I got back in 15 minutes or the nurse who was covering for me was ready to deal with it.

I'll be the first to say that there are situations where the nurses are wrong - but I do wish that people would realize what it was that nurses do do and that nurses are humans too.

Today at Help My Hurt:

Sex & chronic pain - the two can go together
More pain and depression stuff
Rolfing - what is it?
Medication to relieve pain from painful bunion surgery promising
Enthusiastic exercise = post exercise pain?
Press Release: Office initiative reduces headaches, neck & shoulder pain over 40%
Chronic pain study in CA looking for participants

News for Today:

Overworked, unsupported nurses more likely to report drug errors
Doctors told to check up on heart device patients
Five mistakes women make at the doctor's office
Too Much Water Raises Seizure Risk in Babies
Newborn Hearing Screening Important for Development


Anonymous said...

I guess you're quite right..some people wouldn't understand the things a nurse/ a group of nurses unless they're in our shoes.

Anonymous said...

That was a very touching comment on CrankyFitness about too critical parents. Yes, a child does remember, and wisdom is forgetting, perhaps.

I was doing my hospital work one night, and I could hear some patient yelling "nurse" too often! One of the nurses started walking along the hallway yelling "PATIENT!" Cracked me up!!

Dr. J

fortknox88 said...

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Marijke Vroomen-Durning said...

Hi fortknox - I don't know what advertising you are talking about - there is no advertising and I don't participate in any affiliate programs for this blog. There is no income from it whatsoever.