reply to post by Fromabove
I'm sorry you've had bad experiences from healthcare visits. The problem is a mixed pot of perspectives, and expectations. On the one hand there
are mean, impatient, uncaring healthcare workers. There are those that just do it for the pay check, and it shows. On the other end of the continuum
there are nurses who are almost psychotic in there endeavor to "care enough". Problems arise at both ends.
There is a concept called caregiver fatigue. You can only lift so much weight, you can only run so far, you can only stay awake so long etc... It
stands to reason you can only care so much. In a lot of cases it is not that the caregiver doesn't want to care any more, they can't. Their
givachiter broke. Their are more people who need care than there are caregivers. Because nurses are generally people who tend to have a larger more
robust givachiter. They pull double time for years to plug the holes. After a while no matter how large or robust the givachiter is, it must be taken
down for maintenance. Most nurses don't do this, and in some cases it breaks permanently, and if they can't change professions you get a nurse, or a
doctor with a really broken givachiter. Most people just can't imagine the stress, and emotional toll on some healthcare workers. Most people
internalize, and after so many years of build up the mainspring in the givachiter just goes "sproing" and that's it. Bad attitude, minimalist
performance, and general overt grumpiness ensue.
I forget the hospital exists while I'm off duty. I ride Harleys, build classic cars, invent wierd gizmos, and pursue a wide variety of other
interests. I take all the vacation time I am allotted in a year. I only work overtime when it is REALLY needed. For the most part my patients love me,
and it's reciprocal. Which brings me to the other continuum the patient continuum.
On the one end you have the guy who just lost his leg on a dull chainsaw, and stoically refuses to admit he is in pain, ask for anything, or say he
needs anything. On the opposite you have the guy who just had his tonsils out, under general anesthesia. Has had 10mg of Morphine, is snoring when you
enter the room, but upon waking begins to moan, and groan, and complain of utter, unbearable agony. The ice cream is too cold. The soda is flat. The
pillow is hard etc... ad nauseum. Both ends cause problems. The stoic guy is not going to get good care if he does not communicate, and be honest. The
Mr. Mcneedy is going to badger everyone until he is ignored. Open, honest, and polite communication is the key for both. There is no need to make a
drama scene if you are hurting, and stoicism makes it hard to treat you.
So there are the perspectives, and the expectations are a bit more complex. Your healthcare team is there to do a job, promote healing, and get you
back to normal. Some people's expectations of nurses either come from old assumptions, and tradition, or TV. Both are inaccurate. Nurses are not
gussied up waitresses, or waiters. We are not personal concierges. We may double into those roles to a limited degree to make you comfortable, and
make your stay pleasant, and it is part of the job, but only part. It is secondary, or tertiary when a primary care need overides all the other stuff.
Many people become dependent on a nurse for a lot of things during a long stay at the hospital, and think it is mean when we start weaning them off
the gravy train. We would be doing a disservice to send you home dependent on a nurse that isn't going home with you. As my favorite nursing saying
goes "I'm here to save your butt, not kiss it."
Most conflicts arise from an unmet expectation. Sometime the expectation is valid, and the nurse has a broken givachiter. Sometime the expectation is
unrealistic, and sometimes the expectation is realistic, but not a priority at the moment. I don't conflict with my patients very often, but I also
work in an environment where it's pretty much my way, no highway option because to come see me you are knocking on heaven's door usually, but as
they get better i do my best to make everyone comfortable, and happy. I try to just be human. No I am not going to be as emotionally invested in your
grandad's plight as you are. He is YOUR grandad. Mine died 8 years ago, and I can't go through that experience 3 times a week, every week for the
rest of my life. It doesn't mean I don't care, it means I have 2 or 3 more grandads I have to go care for too, and I can't spend it all in one
place. I love my patients, and I love my job, but I also have to detach, and get away. That is the only way to be a nurse, and stay sane.
For some specialists, and the hospital. It may be all about money, but for the GPs, internalists, hospitalists, and nurses it ain't just money
keeping us around. I don't make enough for money alone to justify what I do.