Jaded Nurses

I know I’m supposed to be doing my challenge of opening up more on my blog but, I had to take the time  to do a mini-rant regarding “some” of these nurses I keep encountering.

The other day,I was at an extended care facility.

There is a patient at the facility who has pancreatic cancer.

Needless to say, he’s in a lot of pain.

So much pain that, the man was literally moaning,groaning and calling for Jesus to take him.

He’s a hospice patient so, he has morphine that he can take for the pain.

I tell the nurse to give him his scheduled morphine.

She tells me, “oh,he’s always complaining and whining for that morphine”….

are you shittin’ kidding me?

COMPLAINING?!

The man has stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

He’s unable to walk because his testicles are the size of basketballs,

and his legs are so full of fluid that, if you touch them,

the indentation stays there for 30 seconds.

And  he’s….

COMPLAINING?!

Now, I gotta tell y’all a lil secret about me in the work field.

My personality isn’t a really rosey one.

In fact, people tell me that, I’m  like Miranda Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy…

or like LaDonna on Treme.

Tough personality, blunt attitude…I get that.

I’ll  take that charge because, I’m only like that when I need to be.

Like when a nurse stands in front of me and tells me that a patient with stage 4 pancreatic cancer is

complaining and whining for morphine.

I think nurses (and doctors too) sometimes forget that,

these are REAL people…

with REAL problems,

and REAL pain.

Becoming jaded in the healthcare profession is one of the worst things that can happen.

Because you lose empathy…

and compassion is next thing out the door.

Nurses don’t have to care about patients as if they’re family members,

but if the patient is in pain,

give the damned patient the meds.

It’s not your call whether or not the person is “whining for morphine.”

Your morals,values,feelings,etc. don’t come into play.

If the order is there…

follow the frigging order.

Cuz one day, it could be you or someone you love,

lying in the bed…

whining for morphine.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Jaded Nurses

  1. You had me at “testicles the size of basketballs”. At that point I spent two minutes just holding onto mine. Wow!!! That sounds like some painful shit.

    Tell me what you think about a patient’s right to die peacefully, whenever they’d like. Do you think that would be a good thing? To give the patient the option to take something that would kill them immediately?!? As a nurse and a person, tell me what you think about that?

    • Reg, I am in total support of physician assisted suicide…both as a nurse and a person. Maybe I’ve seen too much suffering but, I think it should be that person’s right as to how much suffering they’re willing to bear. I’ve seen people with cancer suffer so long that their flesh is literally eaten away from the inside out. I’ve seen people who could not breathe…still gasping for air even though they’re hooked up to oxygen. I’ve seen family members who know they should let their loved ones go, hook them up to machines to keep them here because 1)they can’t bear the thought of losing them (so they watch them deteriorate before their eyes which is always worse) or 2)because they can get a social security check as long as that person is alive (even if they have half a brain, like another patient at that facility I was talking about.) His wife actually told me…wait for it…”he told me that if something ever happened to him, NOT to hook him up but, he got BILLS to pay.” She gets a nice social security check while our tax dollars pays for all of his medical care.
      I’ve had debates with others in the healthcare profession who are not in support of it. Their main argument is always religion. To me, that’s a cop out because, everyone does not have the same religious beliefs. I am in support of it because, I think if a person is in agonizing pain and they don’t want to suffer anymore, it should be their right.
      But let me tell you this and I don’t know if you know this or not. In many states where physician assisted suicide is not legal, the medical profession can still get around it…and it’s totally legal. We know that when we see an order for Morphine 4mg to be given every 4 hours as needed and Morphine 2mg every two hours for breakthrough pain that the patient will probably go into respiratory depression (stop breathing)…one of the side effects of morphine. Even though they have studies saying that it only relieves the pain and doesn’t hasten death. I(and many others) call bullshit… here’s why. I have a patient who has is in extreme pain and has trouble breathing. He’s breathing 34 times a minute. I give him morphine and his breathing slows down to 20…for him, that’s great. But, I have another patient in extreme pain.He’s breathing 20 times a minute and I give him his scheduled morphine. If it slowed the first patient from 34 to 20, what do you think the second patient will be slowed down to? At 6 breaths a minute, his next dose of morphine will probably take him out. What do you do? Not give it because of that fact and let the patient suffer without his pain meds… OR…do you give it?

  2. We all need advocates. Because when (some) people sense that there is no one there for you they will treat you badly. You truly have a noble profession.

    Advocates are the best people in the world! I really, really mean that and from personal experience.

    • Val, we really do. You’re right, I’ve seen people on their game when they know family is involved with a patient’s care. When a patient doesn’t have anyone, they get treated any ole’ kind of way. The elderly get lost in the shuffle and get treated the worst. That’s why when my mom was in the hospital, I made sure each shift saw my face every.single.day.

  3. My mom had pancreatic cancer. During her last months we were diligent in making sure she had her meds like she was supposed to. We spent nights at the hospice and made sure that they knew that we were not going to allow them to let her wallow in pain. The family MUST be the advocates for the patient. Be in there face, call the board on them. Make sure your loved ones don’t suffer. There job is to make dying a peaceful process. I wish someone would have tried to withhold my mom’s meds. I woulda caught a case.

    • Newy, you were on the ball! That’s EXACTLY what you’re supposed to do. If you want a loved one to get the care that they’re supposed to get…stay on them. Because I’m in the profession, I usually lay low and keep watch. I don’t like anyone to know I’m a nurse unless they’re really screwing up. Like when my dad had a mini-stroke. For some reason, the ER was really crowded that day. I rode in the ambulance with my dad and the EMT’s so, I was in the back with them but, we had to wait a bit. After a few minutes, I said, “ok, we’re not waiting another minute, go find someone before it’s too late to do anything about this TIA” The EMT(didn’t know I was a nurse) says, “well, they’re busy but, they’ll be getting to us soon.”
      My response,
      “Looka here(you know ya mad when you say…looka…lol)
      I’m a nurse and I’ve been one for a damned long time. You can either go get somebody NOW OR….we’ll all end up in court and when I’m finished suing the hospital..I’m coming for YOU and everyone that’s assigned to him,starting with that triage nurse!”
      Needless to say, he was seen STAT and was given VIP treatment…lol

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