Problems with Nurses
AnonymousJuly 17, 2010 at 9:13 pm
I’m writing to see if anyone had problems with nurses while in the hospital. When I was in the ICU, my family had 2 nurses removed because of the way that they were treating me. I was unable to talk or do anything so the nurses in my opinion felt they could treat me however they wanted when my family wasnt around. For instance, for communication purposes, I had a letter board which when someone pointed to a letter, I could shake my head for yes or no and they would write the letters down to spell words. Well this nurse would never want to do that and would scream at me “I can’t understand you”. When I was moved out of the ICU into another unit called the MIU where I stayed for 6 weeks, the nurses there were terrible. Always late on my medications and the nurses aides were very rough. One time, I needed to be cleaned after having a bowel movement and I told the nurse not to flip my right leg over. What does she do, flips my leg over and causes unbearable pain where I was screaming and she kept holding it down. Well, after a minute of this, she had to stop because my heartrate dropped and the nurse had to come in to take care of me. Also, the nurses in the hospital were unable to provide any service during the hours of 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm because they were doing reports. REPORTS ON 3 PATIENTS DO NOT TAKE 2 HOURS!! Sorry for the long post but I had to talk about this. After being in the hospital for 3 months, I have lost respect for the nursing profession. And I thought that this was maybe only limited to the hospital that I was at but I’ve talked to others that were in different hospitals in NC and other states and they’ve had similiar experiences.
AnonymousJuly 18, 2010 at 8:18 am
hey im very sorry to here u got such crappy treatment from ur nurses… i was in the hospital for 4 months and had many experiences with GREAT and not so great nurses.. i think many people in that profession should find a new job… its one of the types that u need to LOVE WHAT UR DOING or get out. One way to look at it now, is your out of there and dont have to deal with them any more, it s unfortunate that u were taken advantage of when u were in ur most venerable position. i send u big hugs and just make sure to stay positive.
I hope everything goes well for u and were always here when u wanna vent
July 18, 2010 at 10:59 am
Short and simple, some nurses are wonderful and some suck.
Now for the long version.
My stay at the hospital in Newmarket, Ontario showed me both the best and worst in health care. When my GP sent me to emerg. on a Friday after suspecting GBS I thought that I was going to be treated. The bonehead that attended to me after an 8hour wait confirmed that I had GBS, and then sent me home. He told me that if my breathing worsened that i should come back. He also left me with a phone number for the medicine clinic to call for treatment. I called Mon.and Tues, left 15 messages and no one returned my calls. By this pont I was crawling and couldn’t walk.
Being back at home with a diagnosis was truly frightening. After googling GBS i discovered all the horror stories about being ‘locked in’ and wondered if this was what the emerg doc meant about my breathing. As well, family and friends also googled and began calling me with frightning concern (I wasn’t ready for things like being the topic of prayers, it was too much all at once).
My mother who is a retired nurse caught wind of all this and got involved ‘and hell came with her’. After verbally beating up anybody she could get on the phone, I was given an immediate appointment to the medicine clinic. The first doctor who saw me acted incredulous whenI told him that emerg sent me home. I was admitted right away and began all the tests and finally IVIG.
At first I was in an ICU ward in a room with men recovering from triple-bypass surgery. The care I received was mostly incredible as far as the nurses were concerned. They wee attentive and helped me get throuigh a lot of fear, especially as I had my MRI (I’m extremely claustrophobic), the spinal tap (and the accompanying headaches and nausea) AND OF COURSE, GBS!!
Then after IVIG i was moved to a stroke recovery room for in-patient physio. This is where the horror show began. my roomies included a man directly accross from me who I learned was there to die. and two other elderly stroke patients. Both of these poor men had dementia, but one was very afraid and was awake all night crying out, pullinng his IV and catheter out and more. Because he was nearly deaf, the nurses felt the need to yell to communicate with him. I don’t want to reisit the moment they decided to re-catheterize him-without any lube. His cries still haunt me.
On top of this, housekeeping ‘forgot’ to clean our bathroom for a day. This was distressing as the men in the room were all in diapers, which when soiled were disposed of in an open garbage bag on a stand. For over 18 hours the bag sat there over the top full with dirty diapers, soiled dookie-wipes, used catheter bags and more. The toilet had feces, urine and blood on it and the nurses would not clean it, claiming that it was not part of their duties and that it was too dangerous for them to tackle. I begged repeatedly to have the washroom cleaneed up. They told me that there was no one to clean it, but I was free to use the visitors washjroom in the hallway, about 150 meters from my bed. Though i could walk, I was stoned on a combination of gravol, painkillers and sleeping pills. I am grateful that I didn’t fall. I felt that I was in a third-world hopital.
The next morning after not sleeping, I called housekeeping myself and they cleaned up the washroom, repeatedly apologizing. I was given a weekend pass and went home after they told me that I would be in a different room (I have semi-private coverage, which is irrevalent whenthere are no beds available). When I returned I was in the same room with the same men and the garbage/toilet situation was started. The man with dementia was more frigtened than ever and the nightmare continued.
Long story short, I went insane. I tried to politely complain, but was answered with contempt and ridicule. It became a war. When a nurse came in to give me a heparin injection I fully snapped. This was administered to me as a prep for IVIG and I adn’t had this needle in the stomach for over ten days. I loudly and i admit rudely objected and she threatened to get a doctor (i said great, call your mother and big brother too!) and write me up as going AMA-against mediical advice. That never happened as she realized she messed up.
The wholw ordeal ended the next day when I orderded them to discharge me. Again I was told that I was AMA and I think my response was (regretablly) ‘go f*** yourselves, I’ll call myself a cab!’. The head nurse came in trying to calm me down, but sent me into a rage when she started to defend her staff’s actions. I brought her to the stinking bathoom and asked her if she wanted to use our toilet or brush her teeth over the filthy garbage can. She answered that these were typical hospital rooms. I thn suggested that the garbge be stored in the staff washroom or lunchroom She thought that was an unfair commet. Then she pleaded wth me to stay. i responded that I would throw myself off the roof before I stayed in her care any longer.
By 5PM I was properly discharged and went home. The thought of the men I left behind in the room angered me to an extreme (I factor into this my pain, fatigue and lack of sleep). i spent the next day harrassing as many higher ups as I could in the hospital. I threatened that I had photos of the washroom and contacts at the Globe and Mail. This was a huge bluff because I had neither, however when you are going insane I guess that you can lie about things.
The good news is that I was being closely listened to. As a result, the hospital has changed their policy and practice regarding toxic waste disposal and ordered training for all staff on this matter. I insisted that I see that in writing and was pleased when I got a lengthy letter indicating that the changes were in place.
I went to visit my roomies a couple days later. Sadly, I missed James, the terminally ill man who went to see his maker. The other man with the frightening dementa was also gone. Ron was still there and said that the room was much better since I was dischaged. He was so grateful to see me and I left him some clother and fresh fruit. The room looked cleaner than ever and I was pleased. Walking past the nurses station was fun as everybody stopped and glared watchig my shuffle by on my walker. This was a small victory but felt huge at the time.
AnonymousJuly 18, 2010 at 11:53 am
I was in three different hospitals in the same town in Ohio, first one was for open heart surgery and they were great, second one for GBS was four weeks of neglect in such ways that it brought me to tears just thinking about it for months afterward. The third hospital was five weeks of being treated the way a patient should be treated, most of the time I did not have to call for any staff they were always there for me, and the other patients.
Sorry you had to go through this and from my own experience I can say not all hospitals and staff are like that.
Try to go to a different hospital if you need to go.
Take care of yourself.
AnonymousJuly 20, 2010 at 12:43 am
I live in the US and 8 years ago went to the ER. The ER doctor refused to exam me and acted like he was simply bonkers-why we never will know. My friend who was with me called her husband who came to make sure I did indeed get examined. The ER doctor cursed at me, at my friend and at her husband. He said I’d be going home no matter what. Turned out after 8 hours of this crazy situation another doctor come on board and when I was examined it was found I was critically ill. I had to rushed the next day to a major hospital where I was told I would die that morning. Guess I didn’t but it was pure hell in the first hospital and then very odd stuff happened at the second place too. I’ll not elaborate on some of the other events as its too painful. I still have chills even now.
Why this happens over and over in ER’s and hospitals I don’t know.Some places are fantastic, some are nice and others are nightmares. We can complain to head nurse/doctors, talk to patient advocates and write letters but mostly its ignored till the newspaper gets wind of it or a VIP has it happen to them.Definitely have someone you trust accompany you to any hospital plus stay in your room if you’ve very ill/had surgery for safely reasons.
I am sorry both of you had to go through such terrible stuff when so ill. There is no excuse for any of that ever.
AnonymousJuly 20, 2010 at 10:01 am
Your post reminded me of the story of ‘Florence Nightingale”; she had quite a battle getting the doctors and staff to dispose of their filthy garbage too.
You made a difference, and that’s wonderful!
To the rest of you:
Isn’t it something that we who come to the medical staff and hospitals get treated like this when we are so desparately ill? And on top of it all, it is up to us to [B]fix the system[/B], even while we are trying to survive this illness? I’ve had similar experiences at my hospital here. Some of those nurses are no better than waitresses or housekeepers; so ignorant about medical facts and sick people. And sad to say, some of the doctors aren’t much better either. Ignorant, and won’t learn, even though there are patients who pay for their education with their suffering and death.
July 20, 2010 at 1:15 pm
Your post reminded me of the story of ‘Florence Nightingale”; she had quite a battle getting the doctors and staff to dispose of their filthy garbage too.
You made a difference, and that’s wonderful![/QUOTE]
Wow, D.U thank-you!
sometimes you gotta fight the power!:cool:
AnonymousJuly 20, 2010 at 7:54 pm
One of the big issue when dealing with ER’s is if patients already taking any pain medications. I am on some strong stuff for CIDP and of course upfront about it.The doctors go wild when someone like me comes in.They all think, “Here comes a drug seeker” even if I am legitimately in distress. So I am scared silly if I have to go to any ER in the future.
NO, no one should have to deal with this junk when really sick with a diagnosed illness. I have had exceptional nurses and doctors before. Doctors do bring their preconceptions with them but in the past won’t as open about it as they are now. It was a different era back then. Being in the medical field should be something you love not tolerate.
AnonymousDecember 17, 2010 at 6:37 pm
I was sorry to read of the misfortunes with medical personnel which many of you have had while combating this debilitating virus. Once I was admitted to the hospital and later as I recovered in a nursing facility, I can honestly say that all in all my care was quite good. Getting admitted however proved a little daunting.
After toughing it out at home for a several weeks I could stand the back pain no longer, even though I was on pain meds. I went to the ER. I didn’t get past seeing a physician’s assistant….saying that I probably had a muscular problem, and got a shot in the butt to relieve my symptoms. My symptoms only worsened, as I began falling. My brother and sister-in-law came to our door a week later saying we were going back to the ER and resolve my issues. My wife also called a running friend who happened to be an ER doctor where we were going and asked for his help. Although he wasn’t on duty, he alerted an associate of my dilemma. I was fortunate that because of his help and my relatives advocacy, I was admitted and diagnosed the next day.
GBS is such a different animal that many in the profession rarely, if ever see. (It is hard for us to accept their ignorance). But that does not excuse them from using established guidelines which includes providing compassion and preserving a patient’s dignity during their care. Certain basic minimums of care need to be met. And sometimes we have to take extraordinary measures to preserve our own health.
I hope that those of you who have been mistreated can replace those memories with newer better feelings that come with the passage of time. And while you may be well deserved in “holding on” to those bad moments, they will only serve to complicate your recovery.
Stay positive……wishing good things for all of you…..find a reason to smile today, I know you can do it!
AnonymousDecember 18, 2010 at 10:35 am
Wow!! I’m not sure how I missed this topic when it was first posted, but I’m appalled. At times, I had less than optimal care, especially with nursing assistants as I believe they are pretty low on the pay scale. As stated a few times in other posts, nursing or anything in the medical profession where interaction with patients is required should be something you love; it shouldn’t simply be a job.
I’m sure my treatment could have been worse, however, my eldest sister is an administrator at a local hospital and had me transferred from the one I wasted away in for almost a week. In addition, one of my best friend’s sister is a nurse and was on staff at the same hospital; these two things probably made a world of difference when I was in the hospital and the attached rehabilitation facility.
Like NorthernGuitarGuy, I became an advocate while in the rehab facility; I was the “voice” at a weekly meeting which included a social worker, psychologist, doctor, head nurse, etc. I was there for two months and thought many things needed to be addressed, not least of all, verifying the right medication for the correct patient (I had to refuse meds a few times because I knew everything I was taking, including the dosage and the way the pill looked). I was pretty vocal and I’m sure the nursing staff was happy when I was finally discharged. 😉
Funny little tidbit; I recently moved to an apt complex and one of the residents said “I know you from somewhere”. Yep, he was a patient on the same floor at the rehab facility over 19 years ago. Sadly, he’s a paraplegic, though he hasn’t given up hope that he’ll walk again (I’m not sure how he was injured as I was on a floor with a lot of people in my age group and to my knowledge, only two of us had GBS).
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!
AnonymousDecember 18, 2010 at 9:57 pm
I was without sleep for 4-5 days in pain and hurt. I had some angelic nurses that were there to help. There was one that had no good reason to be there other than to draw some money. The good ones made up for the bad ones. I soon learned to bribe many nurses to come and help me. I would use the belgium chocalate cookies that one of my friends gave me. I had aids comming from different locations to come and help me. Those chacolate cookies sure helped me out. I sure do appreciate the angel nurses that truely were there to help me.
December 20, 2010 at 12:00 pm
I had some real bad ones – but was too weak to go after them. And they know that! When I got stronger, the new abusers were decimated by me!
AnonymousDecember 20, 2010 at 9:24 pm
I had several experiences of good and not so good nurses. When I re-entered the hospital a couple weeks after back surgery last March for what I would find out later was GBS, after 5 or so days of agonizing pain, I had a nurse that stayed with me one night and she helped me emotionally with her kindness. I had given up and she brought me back with her faith in God. I am not much of a church goer but she moved me that night. As I entered in patient rehab, I was dependant on nurses to help me with even the most simple functions. I quickly learned the facilities have periods of understaffing and periods of “rush hours” during the day and evening. So I worked with the nurses and asked for assistance when I knew they were typically slower. Most appreciated that I thought about their challenges while trying to solve mine. A little respect and kindness goes a long way with most, but there are always a few that should have chosen a different profession. I still am a work in process but was able to return to work last June thanks to these professionals.
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