Friday, July 27, 2012

Pain in the A$$ Patients

Rather recently I took care of a younger adult patient who was one of the biggest brats I have ever met, especially at their age (and considering they had no underlying mental issues...relatively speaking). It didn't help that the patient's mom would sit idly by and watch it happen too. This is how part of our conversation went with their mom present (and needless to say, when they rolled out of the unit I seriously considered screaming and jumping up and down):

Pt: I need to piss.
Me: Let me give you a urinal.
Pt: I'm not peeing in a damn urinal. I need to walk to the bathroom.
Me: You just had surgery...and enough drugs to take a horse down. You're not walking anywhere.
Pt: Then I'll piss in the bed.
Me: If you pee in the bed, I'm letting you sit in it.
Pt: No, if I piss in it, YOU have to come clean it up. Sucks to be you.
Me: Given the fact that you're fully oriented and lacking mental handicaps, if you purposely pee in that bed, I can and will let you sit in it.
Pt: Um, you're a f-ing nurse- your job is to clean up my piss. (evil psycho grin appears)
Me: (Now my evil psycho grin appears) I DARE you to take a piss in your bed. Do it and see what happens. You are XX years old- I seriously dare you to piss in your bed.

(Now there's a staring contest between myself and the little sh*t, and mom sits by blankly staring at her computer screen)

Pt: Fine.

You would think this ended well; it didn't. I got a urinal thrown at me. Luckily the patient had so many drugs in them that they missed by several feet. I considered picking it up and throwing it back at them but chose to just walk away. Talk about a hard decision, but at least I'm still employed.

On a different night I took care of a patient with a bowel resection. They had been vomiting green fluid for days and when they came out of the OR they had an NG tube in their nose (tube that goes down nose and into stomach, mainly used for sucking junk out of the stomach).

Pt: What the hell is this in my nose? (points at tube)
Me: It's an NG tube- it's draining the fluid left in your stomach.
Pt: That makes no sense. Why is it there?
Me: Because your stomach is full of green liquid.
Pt: Well where the hell did the green liquid come from?
Me: Your stomach. Haven't you been throwing up green stuff for days now?
Pt: Yes.
Me: Okay well that's where it's coming from.
Pt: I don't want it. Take it out.
Me: I'm not taking it out. The surgeon wants it in.
Pt: Why the hell not?
Me: Because if it comes out you may accidentally suck some down in to your lungs, get pneumonia, and die.
Pt: I don't care. Take this shit out.
Me: No.
Pt: Then I'm going to pull it out.
Me: Fine, pull it out. And when you're done surgery will come back and shove another one back in- and that's going to suck b/c those things are REALLY uncomfortable.

At this point the patient proceeds to cross arms and sulk. The surgeon comes in later, the patient bitches about the tube, and this entire conversation happens again- instead with a doctor. And if anyone thinks I'm kidding about the cursing, I'm not. We get some wannabe sailors in the hospital. Some people claim that anesthesia makes people behave like bastards, but most of those drugs wear off sooner rather than later. Moral of the story: many people are just bastards. Nursing is hard. It's why I drink.


  1. I think you should go to work one day with a hidden camera (maybe disguised as a ribbon pin?)

  2. I hope you never get me as a patient. Actually, I hope no one ever gets me as a patient. I would be really horrible I think - question Everyting and refuse needles! LOL! That's why I don't bother to go to doctors to begin with. :)
    I think you're probably a Most Excellent nurse - after all, you're Awesome!

  3. Didn't you have a really long catheter you could use on your teenager?

  4. I threatened a catheter at some point also. That, I would have loved. Especially since I had a nursing student with me at the time. :-)


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