The nurse from hell

#1

I have been in and out of the hospital for 2 years now with CP. I go to the same hosp. and they know me there. I really have no problem with any of the nurses there except one. This nurse was such a JERK he really thought he knew more than my doc. and he would second guess my docs orders, sometimes ignore them!!! so I finally had it with him and his supersillious soap box attitude and called the nurse mgr into my room. I told her everything of what that nurse did and did not do and said I do not want that nurse in my room ever again. I do not want him ever assigned to me again either. She the mgr was great and I never say him again at my bedside. I wonder if anyone else has problems with nurses that don’t believe the doc or think they know more than you or the doc. I would love to hear.

Laika

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#2

Hi Laika,

Welcome and I am so sorry that you have had the experiences you described in your posts…yes, through the years and many hospitalizations in several different hospitals I have encountered not only a few good nurses, a lot of compassionate people; but also have encountered many nurses and others that just do not care. You know, anyone can apply to be a nurse and because of the “shortage” people are choosing this as a career with no thought as to compassion or caring. It is sad, but true. I think you most certainly did the right thing by speaking with the nurse manager. Unfortunately, being a patient and complaining - or speaking the truth - can place you in an adversarial position…it can be very frightening.

One thing they do had to do is follow physician’s orders, follow policy and procedure and many states have monitoring agencies that are supposed to help improve quality for patient care. And, you as a patient have many rights including not having that nurse as your caregiver. It seems to me that most always there is the excuse of “not having enough help” is used frequently and the other excuse is that the degree of patient care is more critical, they have patients that are sicker. I always do everything I can to care for myself, even when I might need a little help, it is difficult to find and usually the aides are the people that help me the most. I also make every attempt to try to understand what they are dealing with and make sure that my care is 100% accurate.

We are all humans, not perfect by any means and all make mistakes - the great big deal here is - a mistake can and sometimes is fatal. I think you did exactly right and if you feel comfortable sharing this with your physician, it might be worthwhile to do so. Finally, before anyone gets on my case about putting down nurses - I will you know that before I became totally disabled I was a Registered Nurse Administrator. And, even though I have many years experience including working on the floor at the beginning of my nursing career, things have changed and being a patient has only increased my compassion for others. I wish you the best and do hope that your hospitalizations decrease and your quality of life increases. I cannot give you other words of encouragement from my personal experience because being chronically ill for several years and in pain; changes who you are and it changes the way one views life. Take care.

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#3

I to am a non-working nurse and have had and worked with nurses like the one you described.  You did the absolute right thing by contacting the charge or nurse manager.  I would work with nurses that quite honestly made me embaressed to be a nurse.  They were rude, unkind, and incompetent while "knowing it all".  I would inquire to the managers why these nurses could behave so poorly and still be employed.  Most of the time the manager would say that because no one says anything or makes a complaint about the nurse, it was "he said, she said".  No complaint had ever been formal so it was just the staff and patients grousing about this nurse with the managers hands being tied. 

So we should ALL make a formal complaint whenever we are poorly treated.  If you run in to a nurse manager or charge nurse who seems uninterested then ask to speak to someone from guest relations.  There are so many hospitals nowadays that they are in a "customer/guest relations" race.  So if a patient makes a complaint, they will usually listen. 

I had a nurse the last day of my last admission who not only was rude but decided to change the amount of pain med I was getting without discussing it with me.  I found this out because she came at me with an unmarked syringe after I had asked for something for pain and was not going to tell me what was in it!  I asked her what was in the syringe.  She literally huffed, said "It's your pain medicine" and then tried to give it.  I again said to her, "What is the name and dosage of the medication you are about to put in my body"?  She said that it was 2 mg of dilaudid and 4 mg of Zofran.  They day before my doc had upped my IV pain med from 2 to 3 to get better pain management but the order read 2-3mg.  Therefore she decided, without any input from me, to decrease my dosage.  When I asked her why she did this, she told me that i didn't "look" like I was in pain so I didn't need that extra mg of pain med.  What part of "PAIN MANAGEMENT" did she not understand!  I was infuriated.  I told her to get out of my room, to send in someone with the other mg of my med and bring the charge nurse to my room.  Here I am an RN, a patient, and I was being treated like this at the very same hospital I had worked at since i was 19 years old.  I was so upset.

The good that came out of this story was that not only was that nurse get taken off my case, the head supervisor of the entire floor called me that evening at home to discuss the matter.  He apologized profusely and assured me that the nurse had been talked to and had a "write-up".  A week later, I received a call from a research company that asked me to give my  opinions and recount my experiences as a patient.  Just to make sure that the issue with the nurse had truly been handled, I was able to leave a recording in which I specifically named the RN that had behaved so poorly.  The company is obligated to submit this to the hospital.  My hope in doing this was that she would NEVER treat another patient like she did me. 

I forgot to mention the most ridiculous thing she tried to tell me.  When I tried to tell her that I had received 3 mg all night shift and had acheived adequate pain relief she told me that the night nurse had been giving me 2 mg all night long.  Just as i had done to EVERY nurse that came in to my room with an unmarked syringe, I had asked the night nurse what she was giving me.  She had told me that she had brought my pain medicine, 3 mg of dilaudid.  So in other words, either the day nurse was lying to me, the night nurse was lying to me or someone besides me was getting and extra mg of pain med.  How dumb do they think we are?

Unfortunately,  I have known RN's who have given patients (the nonverbal ones) saline while pocketing the narcs and taking them theirselves.  I will never forget about a nurse I worked with in the unit who had a tendency to disappear for stretches of time and then show up all of the sudden slurring her words and with her eyes  half open.  We (the other nurses on the unit) were really starting to worry about her when one night she literally stumbled out of the bathroom, passed out on the floor and was obviously OD'ing.  We were all seasoned ICU nurses but we all freaked out pretty hard to see one of our own convulsing and foaming at the mouth.  She recovered well, went into rehab and has been clean for 6 years now.  But she had gotten so bad that she was shooting anything she could get her hands on.  When she was unable to get her hands on meds (verbal patients or not working), she would shoot up Listerine!!!  Frightening!

I think another problem that we run in to while in the hospital is that we are treated with a certain built in level of suspension.  I believe this is due to the overwhelming amount of pain that we have.  Most of us are on pain meds at home (usually the big narcs) but are forced to go to the hospital to receive stronger IV pain meds along with fluid replenishment.  That will usually cause health care workers to throw up red flags.  So we start our hospital experience at a disadvantage.  I have cared for and met people who so come to the hospital/ER looking for narcs.  I am ashamed to say the I have an ex-sister-in-law who defines the meaning of doctor/ER hopping.  These type of people ruin it for those of us who are truly hurting and are reaching out for help.......sorry to be so wordy.  I just get so tired of being treated like some sort of criminal.  Even at the pharmacy they give you that sideways glance.  Maybe not.  Maybe I blow things out of proportion.  I have to admit that this issue is my soapbox or cause.  Please forgive!

Now that I have spilled my guts and probably sound like a raving maniac, but I was wondering if anyone else has had similar problems or situations regarding their pain meds.  Whether it be at the pharmacy, in the hospital of even at the docs office.  Thank you Laika for sharing your experience with us.  I am very sorry as a nurse and fellow CP'er that you had such an awful experience but I appreciate you sharing.  I hope this finds EVERYONE happy, healthy and pain managed!

Love and Hugs,

Angela

 

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#4

Angela,

I too have had similiar situations. A couple of weeks ago i had the nurse from hell… when i questioned what i was getting i instantly got an attitude; i was asking her medical opinion as to why someone w/ CP would be given morphine every 8hrs. that it is very short acting. She barked back at me that i was not in the hospital for CP i was only there for abdominal pain. Well to make a long story short i left the hospital at 12:30pm after they disconnected my fluids. Know i have a claim in because insurance will not pay if you leave AMA. Just what we need one more thing on our plate. another time in the ER after i said no to Morphine because the pain was managable w/ the meds i was on (i only needed fluids) they went on to tell me i have been in the ER alot and was i looking for drugs. Talk about feeling crazy.

Hope all have a great pain free day.
Lisa

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#5

Angela,

I am having a terrible time with pain managment right now. The PM Nurse refuses to give me more meds, I am prescribed 4 hydrocodone 10 mg a day. After 4 hours, it wears off and I am in agony till my next dose.

I have been going to this PM office for 2 years, and I have seen the actual Doctor TWICE, on my very first visit, and after my pseudocyst surgery. When I was released from the hospital, I was given a script for 20 pain pills, in case I didn’t have enough at home… Well, I had enough of my own, so I gave the script back to the office. I wanted soo bad to get off the meds after my surgery, but I’m still hurting and I get the feeling the Dr. thinks I shouldn’t be.

What really ticks me off… My daughter got married last month in Florida, a small ceremony with just close family…four days after our return I had an appt. with the nurse practioner and she commented on my tan, asking if I had been on vacation, I told her about the wedding and the trip to Florida.
When the conversation got around to how I was doing, I explained how if I could just take 1 more pill a day I’d be so much better. Her reply was " If you are well enough to take a trip to Florida, you don’t need anymore help!" I feel that her attitude is totally wrong. I had to go on this trip, It was my daughters wedding! Of course, I couldn’t tell her I had to take “extra” while down there, which put me way behind for the month.

I have tried many diffrent things to get releif, non-narcotic, she should know I am not abusing/drug seeking. I have tried TENS unit, Nuerontin, Lyrica, Amitriptaline, muscle relaxers, Cymbalta, etc…nothing works besides the hydrocodone. And I feel personally that Hydro isn’t that strong compared to what most people take for Pancreatitis.

Sorry to go on and on.

My GI dr is the one who sent me to this PM office and I am hesitant to find another. I don’t want to be accused of Dr. shopping. But this pain is wearing me down. I am grouchy to my family and don’t feel like doing anything.I hate the feeling that the Drs. hold the quality of YOUR life in THIER hands. Any suggestions, anybody, on how to get thru to them without begging?

Hope everyone is having a pain free day:-)
Cindy

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#6

Hi Everyone,

This is when I wish every doctor had a bout of pancreatitis for a week, just so they would know what it is like. Sounds cruel, I know but maybe, just maybe they would stop the looks and questions when you need the pain meds.

My daughter has this terrible disease and because she is a teenager all they seem concerned with is “watch out for drug seeking for her or friends” As if that’s all she thinks about-it would never be that she is always in so much pain she would give up her only source of relief for others to get “high” while she sits in pain. But that’s what they think-and they’re supposed to be the professionals.

Over the years, we have met so many different doctors,-many who won’t even comment because pancreatitis frightens them. Yet they all know, it is one of the most painful diseases out there. But because our wonderful government has the doctors so paranoid about distributing out narcotics and fearful of losing their licenses, that they just keep passing you to pain management groups. And then they don’t really know diseases, there speciality is pain and anesthesiology. So it’s a vicious cycle and the patients are the ones who always suffer.

I’m sure years of this disease has hardened me-my husband has this disease also-that I now refuse to accept anything but relief for her. I won’t let her sit in pain and I will not accept any doctor telling her anymore that you have to live with it. Everyone deserves to get through each day with a level of comfort. We don’t ask for this hell-but we accept it and overcome it. Please don’t let anyone treat you poorly because of pain meds-no one should ever suffer. When they can walk in your shoes and handle it better than that’s when we can step back.

Terri

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#7

Angela,

Thank you for speaking out and helping us to feel that we are not alone. I agree 100% about being in “suspension” as you said and then coming to the hospital for fluids and pain management. No nurse has the right to change orders or medication without contacting the physician. Sadly, I too have worked with a few who did that and I did not know at the time, but found out later. It is truly pathetic for another whether it be a nurse, friend, family member or any other individual to judge a person who is always in pain, much more than you thought you could ever endure and just praying for one moment, one second when you can breathe, just a little. I do not remember never being in pain even though I have a period in my life, before I became symptomatic, that I was not in severe pain - I just do not remember it now. Thank you.

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#8

Cindy,

I have been able to talk with my PM doctor whenever I have needed to. Now is the time to see the PM doctor and discuss how things are going and to discuss your CURRENT pain situation. I know that this never remains the same over 2 years and that change is inevitable. People either go up in pain or down. In my case, I have gone up in pain and I have received the pain medication needed to control it. I have only been able to do this by talking frankly with my PM doctor and NEVER
taking anything without consulting him or consulting with him shortly after getting it while I was in the hospital.

Be assertive and make an appointment with the PM doctor today!

You are in my thoughts.

Anyse Joslin
anyse1@mac.com

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#9

This is really to al of you!

I got my doctor’s notes last week for just this year. I am appalled and will be talking with my Kaiser Representative today!

On practically every doctor’s notation for each hospitalization or ER visit, there is a detailed description that includes: “drug seeking behavior.” I was given tis designation 10 years ago by a doctor who said that I was “too complicated for her and that I will have to find another doctor.” I will tell you what I get from talking with the COO of Kaiser.

Anyse
anyse1@mac.com

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#10

EVERYONE!

Let me make this VERY clear. Angela gave me some INFORMATION that made me very upset. SHE did not make me upset at all. That previous mail was not worded too well (in writing that “you have made me very upset”) as I really was and am so upset even now.

I have a “drug seeking behavior flag” on my chart that has been there for, at the minimum, of 11 years. One doctor wrote in her report that “She may be having a drug seeking behavior. She is currently being followed by Dr. Lewis at the Campbell Dependent Rehab Program and apparently has a narcotic contract with him. . . . she does not have any right upper quadrant pain,” I told this doctor that I had upper LEFT quadrant pain. Then, he writes that I have no RIGHT upper quadrant pain as though I had no pain at all and that this is also further proof that I am there for drugs. Get this, this is only ONE of MANY written on me this year alone! Now, I have to get ALL of the doctor reports back to the day I was let out of the hospital in May,1995. Just from this, I believe that all of you will see why and how
upset I really am.

Anyse
anyse1@mac.com

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#11

Anyse,

I just read your post about what they labeled you in your hospital chart and I am appalled!!! How dare they!!! I know that you will certainly take care of this but I would like to make a few suggestions.

A hosptial chart/records are considered to be legal documents. If they have written “drug seeking behavio then see if they listed and objective definition along with that statement. For instance, if I were to put into the nurses notes or progress notes that a patient was febrile (has a fever) I have to objectively describe this. So it would say something like, “Patient febrile with an oral temp of 101.5, diaphoretic (sweaty) and complaing of chills.” Pretty much any “diagnosis” in a patients chart has to be objectively backed up on paper. So, if your chart merely says,” patient displays drug seeking behavior" this is considered slander/libel.

Another example is that I can’t tell another nurse in an elevator that Dr. Doe is a quack and I wouldn’t let him touch my dog. I have nothing to back it up with and that statement alone could get me sued. The same is doubley true if I were to put that in my nurses notes. Therefore, I would contact the highest person you can contact at Kaiser. Let them know that you have a copy of your medical records and what you read. Then tell them that if this is not removed from you medical records, the next time they will here from you will be from your attorney. Usually just the mention of an attorney will make most facilities sit up and take notice. I doube you would even have to get that far.

The information I am giving you is based on a patient who, like yourself, got a copy of her medical records and got quite an eye full. This particular patient had a doctor who was verbally abusive towards her in his dictation notes (also known as an H&P-history and physical). It was filled with things like, “she sits in her hospital bed shoving food into her grossly obese body while crying out for morphine narcotics.” How is that for brazen? The last I heard, this woman had a civil suit brought against this physician and his malpractice settled with her out of court.

No one wants to have to get in to a legal battle but enough is enough!!! It’s bad enough that we get treated “suspiciously” and without respect. It is completely unacceptable for a physician to express his opinions in a legal document. The worst part is that those medical records will follow you wherever you go.

Love,
Angela

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#12

Hi everyone. This forum topic is sure heartbreaking. Cindy Lou…I think it is only considered “Dr. Shopping” if a person is receiving narcotics from more than one Doctor at the same time (without knowledge of each other)…we have a right to seek any Doctors help…we just have to make sure only one Dr. is prescribing us pain meds. I know it is frustrating being treated like a drug seeker or addict. I’ve been there numerous times with my 12 year struggle with chronic pain. And it has taken me all of those 12 years to find the right Doctors (whose attitudes seem to be able to change like the seasons). Good Luck to all…Eric

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#13

Angela,

I am now working on this while not trying to make it a super big deal. I know where it started as there is only one doctor who ever mentioned it and did not say it was in my chart or medical records. I will get the medical records from during the time that I had that doctor and see what was actually written back then. I am sure that she actually put the flag in my record over 10 years ago. She actually dropped me as a patient saying that I was “too complicated” for her. This notion has been carried on now for all those years. You have made me even more angry now! I am NOW GETTING SO DARNED PISSED >

I am getting very upset right now . . .

Thank you so much for the guidance.

Anyse
anyse1@mac.com

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