Monday, September 17, 2007

Long Overdue Nursing Rant

Patient From Hell calls to go to the bathroom. You go in and start to help her out of bed. Her telephone rings. PFH grabs the receiver: "Hello?"

You think PFH is going to say, "Hold on, please, the nurse is here, blahblahblah, I'll call you right back..." or whatever.

But noooOOOOooooo!!!

PFH: "Oh, hiii, blab blab! Blahblah! Blah blah blah! Blah blah? Ohh, blah-blah-blahhhh....!"

You silently steam, and wait, and wait. Hoping the the expression on your face is one of calm compassion. Happy as hell she can't read your mind at the moment.

PFH: "Yeah! Yeah! Blah, blah, blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, blah, blah...and blab, blab, blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaab...." with obviously NO intention of hanging up.

And not a single word to YOU, the nurse, who's two feet away. She doesn't acknowledge the fact you're in the same room and ignores your not-so-subtle hand gestures. When it becomes evident she has no intention of hanging up, you walk out and attend to one of the zillion other things you could be doing. Like taking somebody ELSE to the john who reeeally has to go. Like yourself, who hasn't peed in six hours.

Then--! That same P from H, highly indignant, calls you back to her room: "Where WERE you? Snap! Snarl! Gnash teeth! I thought you were coming RIGHT--BACK!!"

Why would she think that? It was never discussed.

You: "You were on the phone, ma'am. I figured you'd call me when you got off." (Translation: WTF? I'm supposed to stand there for 10 minutes listening to you blab-blab-blab?)

PFH: "Well! I've been waiting for TEN MINUTES! I thought you were never coming back." (heh, I should be so lucky)

You (silently): Oh, so it's okay for ME to wait for YOU to finish your conversation when I have other people who actually have to PEE RIGHT NOW?

Annoying, annoying, annoying, and RUDE. These people think I am at their beck and call every second. They also labor under the absurd delusion that 1 patient = 1 nurse. Or if they do realize they aren't the only patient on the floor, of course their needs are fa-a-a-ar more important than anyone else's. I mean, how dare I NOT stop to make you a cup of tea with sugar and "fresh lemon, please, if you have it" (they must think they're at Cedars-Sinai) when all I'm doing is passing ten thousand pills and hanging blood and IVs and changing diapers and trying to throw my back out by picking some old dude up off the floor who just fell out of bed?

So when a nurse comes into your room--unless someone just died, or it's the Lotto commission informing you of your winnings--please hang up the damn phone or at least offer to summon me back. I hate being treated like a servant. After 30 years it's reeeeeallly getting old.

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