Saturday, September 26, 2009

What I Really Meant Was...

I really try my hardest to be a nice person. I try to be sympathetic and empathetic and understanding of what people are going through. I try to be pleasant even when I don't really feel like it. Today at work was more trying than most days. A man came into the ER in the middle of the night having a huge heart attack (MI). He was taken to the cath lab, stented, and placed on a balloon pump. He was placed in ICU where I have had the pleasure of his company in a 12X12 cell (or patient room) with him When I say all day long I really mean it, I mean 12 solid hours. I have tried to be nice, I really have. I have said nicely, at least 100 times, that he must keep his leg straight to avoid puncturing his femoral artery and bleeding to death. I have said nicely that he must keep his oxygen on because his heart really needs the extra oxygen. I have said nicely that unless his chest pain comes back he will not have surgery until tomorrow because his heart needs to rest. I have said nicely that I understand how much it sucks to be flat on your back but I have given you all of the morphine, darvocet, xanax, and valium you can have. I have said nicely that we are trying to save his life and that it isn't our goal to make him miserable. But he is an ass. A big one. So what I really meant when I said all of those things so nicely was...Hey moron, nobody made you smoke 2 packs a day. Nobody made you not go to the doctor for 20 years. You are 70 years old with a strong family history of cardiac disease, maybe you should have had yourself checked out. Keep your freaking leg straight, I do not want to clean a whole body's worth of blood up off of the floor and then explain to your wife (who is downstairs smoking) what happened to you. Quit asking me if something is tangled around your foot. It is a restraint...because you won't keep your leg straight. And your family...I think I saw them on They have caused me to rethink my decision to go to nursing school and work in the ICU because they clearly have much more knowledge than I do. That is why they asked me 800 times if you could sit up in bed after I told them 900 times why you couldn't. Dear sir, nobody asked you to come here for treatment. If you do not like our solutions to the problems you have created then please, go home, but quit taking your anger out on me.

I am not always this way, I promise. I am just really tired of people causing themselves harm and then being rude to me for trying to fix them. If you don't want treatment, by all means, stay home. We have plenty of people here who want to get better!!


  1. AMEN to that sister!!!! EWWW I can't STAND patients like that.. can they not see that we are trying to save THEIR lives... I mean really what do we get from making them lay flat other than hearing them bitch.. if it wouldn't kill ya trust me I'd let ya get up and go smoke so I didn't have to listen to ur grumpy ass!

    Just remember all the patients that DO apperciate what we do (save lives) and they are very very thankful.

    I hope tomorrow is better!

  2. This literally made me laugh out loud.

  3. I see some competency issues on the part of your patient and his family. No?