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Culture of Contempt/What is Wrong With Nurses These Days?

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posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 04:21 PM
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I have recently joined a Patient and Family Advocacy Committee at our local hospital. My husband is in a high ranking senior management position at this hospital. It is a small hospital/nursing home. It Is classified as a Critical Access Facility and services a rural area with a great deal of poverty.

He was on this committee and while the committee, ostensibly, was seeking community members to join who had a bad experience at the hospital, such as myself, they seemed, somehow... to just not be able to find anyone. Now, I found this incredible considering my own experiences at this hospital and considering the experiences relayed to me by several other community members. My husband felt that this lack of input was contributing to an echo chamber that was developing within the committee. As far as they are concerned, everything is great and only getting better. I have joined this committee, against my better judgement, after my husband asked me to, repeatedly, for months... But I digress.

I have gone to one meeting and everyone on this committee knows who I am and who my husband is. However, no one on this committee has a personal relationship with me, nor have they interacted with me outside of the hospital. I have only gone to one meeting, but what I observed was microcosm of the culture that has perpetuated the circumstance that caused my bad experiences.

The short, short version is that because of rumor, innuendo, internal politics and the fact that it says I am a recovering addict in my medical record, I have been assumed to be a drug seeker (I'm not, I can't even take opiates they make me violently ill, but they never even let me get that far), or, a malingerer (I'm not that either). This preconceived notion began over ten years ago with the opinion of one nurse (who is currently barely hanging onto her job) and a woman who worked for my husband in his department who despised me, and just kept its legs in the hot house social atmosphere that always exists in small communities. This ultimately resulted in a circumstance where I was simply not believed when I recounted my symptoms. This was a situation that progressed for over four years. As a result I ended up having to have surgery for a problem that was life threatening and said surgery had complications that led to a three day hospital stay, all because the situation was allowed to progress for so long. In fact, when I presented at the walk in clinic with acute pancreatitis, the provider didn't even bother to look at the lab results until the next day. Early that morning, I got a rather panicked phone call from her telling me she was sending me to a specialist and she should have admitted me. This is not the only circumstance, but it was by far the worst one.

When I had my surgery, which was at a different facility, I awoke to severe back pain. I knew something was wrong. It felt like pancreatitis. There was a nurse present, and I told her my back hurt. She said "Everyone hurts after surgery". I explained this was excessive and it felt like pancreatitis. I was again told, that everyone hurts after surgery but she could give me some motrin. She handed me the pills (which I took lying on my side as I couldn't get up because I was still groggy and my back hurt), before she even handed me the water, at which point, in a voice dripping with contempt she said "Wow! You sure are good at popping pills!"

I called her a bitch. She just smirked. She was pretty sure she had caught a drug seeker. Now, her response is fairly typical for what I get from nurses these days. But when you are groggy and recovering from surgery, and you KNOW something is going wrong with your body and you also KNOW no one is going to listen to you because they think that you are a drug seeker, there are few more helpless feelings in the world. Lucky for me, eventually the other nurses in the recovery room caught on that I wasn't just hamming for pain meds and bothered to talk to the surgeon and take some blood work. I was admitted after this. Although, it took over 8 hours for them to do so; presumably, for at least part of that they deliberated whether or not I was a drug seeker. It was pancreatitis and my liver was not doing well either.

Now, I know that nurses have a hard job. I know that. I have a lot of friends that are nurses. People that I like and respect, but even they will complain about a significant subset of the patients that they serve. It seems like there is a culture of contempt within nursing, where because they have a hard job they feel entitled to make moral judgements about people shame them and even, in extreme circumstances, actively withhold care from those that they deem to be drug seekers or malingering because their time is better spent elsewhere. I think they are woefully undertrained in actually spotting either of these circumstances and clearly have no idea how to address it properly even if they do identify it correctly, which again, in my experience they usually don't. They are also clearly lacking in training in professional ethics.

Because there is a nursing shortage, no one is allowed to criticize them. There is a big problem within the profession and it is only getting worse and no one will address it. It's like the elephant in the living room. I am fed up with what I see as a bunch of entitled snots who seem to think that they have a right to mistreat people that they don't like because their job is frustrating and difficult.

For example, in my first meeting in that committee the Director of Nursing is there. She is part of the committee. Her words were professional, her tone and inflection was fine, for the most part; save the occasional Junior High girl, snotty grunt that I would ground my daughter for giving me. If you have teenage girls around you know the sound I mean; it's a little "ungh" from the chest, usually accompanied by an eye roll. It's just such a snotty, passive aggressive thing.

Her body language was horrific. I could have played a drinking game to her eye rolls. I watched her bully and demean her coworkers and watched them tip toe around her trying not to offend her ego. At one point, she popped her hand up in an aggravated manner in another coworkers face in a "shush I'm talking" gesture. Didn't even turn her head to look at her, just snapped her hand in her face. It was completely unwarranted and out of line. I was astonished. In short, she showed me exactly what I am seeing from nurses, a condescending, petty, nasty bully who likes pushing people around.

This is a medical professional. This is nursing leadership, who is supposed to model appropriate behavior. What the actual hell? How is this acceptable? No one even batted an eye when she popped her hand up in a PA's face like she was a child who was speaking out of turn, well except maybe the PA. My jaw hit the floor. Talk about a hostile work environment. I have worked in bars, truck stops and strip clubs, and even a strip club that was a truck stop (no kidding). I mean, rough places and I have never seen someone do that to a coworker. Maybe because it would have been a brawl, but still. Good lord. I have PTSD. If she did that crap to me there would be a pretty could chance I would react before I thought, slap her hand (if she was lucky), or pin it to the table and get arrested for assault.

Anyway, rant over.
edit on 1-8-2017 by redhorse because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 04:36 PM
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a reply to: redhorse

You need to speak to the Quality director, if they even give a damn about their HCAHPS score.



posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 04:43 PM
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a reply to: redhorse

Pay a few bucks and do your own background checks on some of these people and also their FB pages. I would think you might find some nice dirt on some of them. Print out a bunch of copies and drop them off in waiting rooms and the parking lot. (okay maybe not go that far, but you get the idea) They want to bring up past dirt on you, bring some up on them. Should be legal since it's public info right?
edit on 1-8-2017 by iTruthSeeker because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 04:49 PM
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originally posted by: iTruthSeeker
a reply to: redhorse

Pay a few bucks and do your own background checks on some of these people and also their FB pages. I would think you might find some nice dirt on some of them. Print out a bunch of copies and drop them off in waiting rooms and the parking lot. (okay maybe not go that far, but you get the idea) They want to bring up past dirt on you, bring some up on them. Should be legal since it's public info right?


I may hold this idea in reserve depending on how the next meeting goes...



posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 04:54 PM
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originally posted by: DBCowboy
a reply to: redhorse

You need to speak to the Quality director, if they even give a damn about their HCAHPS score.



The quality director is a nice lady but she has been out for months on medical leave. I think she just got back. I may be able to finagle her to be at the next meeting.

At the next meeting I am doing my little ah... presentation. I asked for 15 minutes (which got the Junior High grunt and eye roll from the Director of Nursing). Outlining what happened to me, some of the issues that I see and some suggestions to remedy the situation. I will also be presenting testimony from other community members who have had similar experiences. They are about to get hit with a sledge hammer.

The thing is, it's a small town, so if you are poor, addicted, mentally ill or just have a bad reputation they are afraid to complain because it could, and probably will a have additional social repercussions within the community at large. Also, they know they won't be heard anyway. The people that are targeted are often vulnerable in some way, and so have little recourse. They are so disengaged that they just don't complain, so it's an invisible problem as far as the paperwork is concerned. It's just really sick and broken.
edit on 1-8-2017 by redhorse because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 04:58 PM
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i've had similar experiences (thought not as extreme). coming into a new practice as a medicaid patient needing treatment for anxiety, i admitted to my primary care provider that i had smoked a recreational substance in the past, several years ago. he immediately didn't want to prescribe a medication i knew had worked for me in the past, because he thought i would abuse it. he instead prescribed something i'd never taken, and cautioned that if i came looking for more of it after a certain amount of time he'd know i was abusing it, etc etc.

it was all very condescending and disrespectful. i don't know what's wrong with medical professionals today, but acting like that isn't going to help anyone...



posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 04:59 PM
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Like the Police, you will find Nurses are dealing with a segment of society that is problematic. Police deal everyday and all day with crooks and criminals, so after awhile, they sometimes begin to see everyone they must deal with as likely crooks and criminals. Same situation with our Professionals in the health care industry, they deal a lot with those who are addicted and drug seeking. We are currently seeing an epidemic in this country of opiate abuse and people are dying because of it.

Nurses are the front-line against these sort of actors and after awhile they see anyone in pain as faking just to get the next pill. There are Nurses out there who I am certain have worked at Doctors offices who contribute to the epidemic by writing a script for anyone and everyone, they feel like they have lost any professional ethics they had just to maintain their job and when they get away from it to a more legit environment, they bring the attitude with them that everyone is faking.

This epidemic is only going to increase and exponentially when we eventually move to a single payer health care system and I believe we will. Their will be people who have never been to a hospital lined up day and night to get the fix they need and it will be hurtful to those really in need. Hopefully, professional ethics will win but I am afraid that the insurance money will only encourage more pill mills and doctor shopping and addition and misery



posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 05:02 PM
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a reply to: redhorse

It may appear to be an invisible problem, but it is very real and speaks to a systematic dysfunction at the hospital.

Good luck!



posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: redhorse


She's a bitch,plain and simple.

I also have seen what nurses go through with seekers.

I've had 2 hospital stays major surgery in the past 3 years. My 1st roommate was a self proclaimed recovering heroin addict "she's been in recovery for 2 years now - they all say that".

She was a Nightmare. I wouldn't even use the bathroom we were suppose to share because she didn't flush the toilet, and quite frankly she was skeevy. So I wore shoes and would go down the hall instead, taking with me anything I valued (cell phone), was too afraid to brush my teeth cause thus skeever thought we should share food and such.

Anyways, from the moment she arrived in my room with her abcessed arm; she bossed those nurses around, threatened them with bad hospital reviews if they didn't get her Adavan stat. Then when they explained they needed Dr approval she yelled and cried about the pain until the Dr showed up and folded and gave her what she wanted. She then told the Dr. "You're nice, those nurses said you were mean, but you're not". What a bitch. The nurses said no such thing. Her 3 kids were being raised by her poor worn out mother, who brought the kids by, and the witch barely spoke to them. Yelled at them twice even.

I was prescribed morphine for pain, and I asked them to stop giving me that as it makes me sick. I literally threw up every hour. Wouldn't be surprised if she didn't lick the bedpan.

2nd roommate awful as well. My point is this, nurses go through hell with addicts. You are clearly not one of them, and for some reason, she's just sticking it to you. Get video! Document!



posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 07:42 PM
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I had to live with a major health problem for years because apparently the doctors knew my body better than me. It's always fun being told "Maybe it's psychological".

I remember one time I was waking up after a surgery in the recovery room and was in a lot of pain. I don't remember what I was saying or doing but this nurse walks over, glares at me and says "You know, there's other people here trying to sleep" and just walks away.
On another occasion, I was having a reaction to medication I'd been given after a surgery and was shaking really badly. I was trying to tell the nurse something was wrong, but she insisted that I was only shaking because I was cold. I was sitting there having visible muscle contractions and shakes, but she kept insisting I was fine and eventually sent me home. As soon as I got home I crashed and had to go right back by ambulance.

My mother used to be a nurse, and she has such a low level of intelligence that I honestly have no idea how she was allowed to. The thought alone of people like her being allowed to care for others makes me terrified of hospitals.

I don't trust hospitals, and I certainly don't trust medical "professionals"... Especially when they almost killed me by insisting I was fine while having a very visible reaction to medication.



posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 08:13 PM
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a reply to: trollz


Yikes! That is scary! Glad you're ok!



posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 08:46 PM
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Hospitals don`t care about curing you they just try to make sure that you are healthy enough to survive for a few days after being released so that they don't get sued, the American healthcare industry is just a big assembly line. They try to get as many people out the door as fast as they can so they can make more money by treating more people.
get em in, treat them just enough so that they don`t die too soon after being discharged and get them out the door so that they can fill that bed with another paying customer.

capitalist assembly line medicine at it`s finest,where increasing profits is the only thing that matters.



posted on Aug, 1 2017 @ 10:10 PM
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originally posted by: Tardacus
Hospitals don`t care about curing you they just try to make sure that you are healthy enough to survive for a few days after being released so that they don't get sued, the American healthcare industry is just a big assembly line. They try to get as many people out the door as fast as they can so they can make more money by treating more people.
get em in, treat them just enough so that they don`t die too soon after being discharged and get them out the door so that they can fill that bed with another paying customer.

capitalist assembly line medicine at it`s finest,where increasing profits is the only thing that matters.


I don't necessarily agree with you but I can definitely see why you feel that way. When Doctors and nurses are rushed and condescending, judgy jerks, then it can be hard to feel like anything but a piece of meat that they are trying to bleed for all they can get. I think there is more to it than that but I get where you are coming from.

I do think there are systemic issues that constrain health care providers that are beyond their control, but this weird oppositional, suspicious attitude towards patients... I think that can be addressed on a cultural level within an organization.

I kind of wish I could quote you at this meeting, because like I said, I can see why you would come to that conclusion, and honestly, I think plenty of people in this community echo the sentiment.



posted on Aug, 2 2017 @ 05:18 AM
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By contrast I was in hospital a few months ago getting an iron nail driven down inside my tibia to fix a badly broken leg, and the nurses were all terrific.

Brought me painkillers 4 times a day. Were constantly on call if I needed morphine. Actually badgered me about not taking enough painkillers actually, told me I didn't win any prizes for being in pain, just take the damned codeine.



posted on Aug, 2 2017 @ 07:07 AM
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a reply to: redhorse

Good on you for bringing it to their attention at your upcoming meeting. I've experienced similar, I believe, with my children's father at our local community hospital. Similar circumstances as yours with the rural location, poverty and a growing drug addiction problem/epidemic.
I rushed him to the ER last Dec when I determined he was having a stroke. I'm sure when I presented him in the ER as what on the outside appears to be a healthy young (45) man but, stating that he is or has had a stroke that it was a little unbelievable. The desk folks and the nurse that showed us to our room were not aware of my background and me strongly assuring them that it was/is in fact a stroke was unconvincing along with me telling of his heart history (very bad heart issues, BP, the whole shebang)
They casually went to retrieve the Doctor and he arrived in the room quite breathless and almost huffy/puffy. After the routine series of questions, they sent him off for his scans. Within what seemed like seconds him and the Doctor were back in the room and calling for an ambulance to rush him immediately 45 minutes away to the nearest joint commissioned stroke center. He is still recovering back to work mostly but, I believe there were precious minutes lost due to his age, tattoos and the general thoughts of the medical professionals who feel that most younger folks presenting at the ER or seeking a new physician are drug seekers.
I didn't see 'eye rolls' however I felt them right up until the scans came back.
On the other hand, my sister, her spouse and one of my best friends are RNs and have the most amazing bed side manner and comforting ways regardless of the person's issues that they are dealing with. I wish that I could clone them!
Good luck to you.



posted on Aug, 2 2017 @ 10:17 AM
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a reply to: redhorse

Haven't yet read the entire OP as I have to be out the door shortly.

I will post this for now.

I was a pharm tech for many years. Some of our contracts were with nursing homes. Long story short, for now, nurses are hypocrites. They steal patient meds like mad then call the pharmacy and tell us we left it out of the drawer.

There have been instances when one of our pharmacists had to get up in the middle of the night, drive to the pharmacy to grab replacement meds, and then drive to a nursing home, sometimes several counties away, to replace stolen meds.

More later.
edit on 8/2/2017 by Restricted because: NOTICED A BOOBOO.

edit on 8/2/2017 by Restricted because: NOTICED A BOOBOO.



posted on Aug, 24 2017 @ 02:15 PM
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I just wanted to update everyone on what happened when I gave my presentation to the committee.

All of the committee members were there. I was last on the agenda. I had asked for 20 minutes and was told that I could NOT go over that because the CEO of the hospital was scheduled to use the meeting room we were in after our meeting, (with some very VIP's) I guess.

I ran out of time. I was only about 2/3 of the way through and they told me to keep going. There was a good ten minutes of discussion afterward and the CEO and company waited over 20 minutes for the room. All agreed this was an issue and that it was important.

It was actually a very emotional thing, for me and for a few people at the meeting. My husband was present and he supported my assertions with some data on reviews people had given the hospital.

One of the nurses apologized, even though he wasn't even employed at the hospital at the time, and gave me his personal number in case I had trouble in the future. He even said that until this issue was addressed, the hospital would continue to struggle. I was astonished.

I am more hopeful that this will be seen as important.



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