Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Handbook - Part III

Today, we have the final installment from The Handbook. We'll be discussing different types of patients - those that try your patience. In other words, "Patients That can Make You Lose Your Patience". I have heard they exist, but I have never had any of these, so this will be a learning experience for me. How about you?

First, we have The Slave Driver. They insist that you do just one thing to make them comfortable. I mean, it's your job, right? Just know that these patients won't be comfortable unless you are in there constantly making them that way.

The next type is The Spoiled Slave Driver. These are usually women with maids. Now, don't be mistaken. They can also be of the male persuasion. Anyway, these patients are similar to the slave driver in that they are satisfied while you are in their room doing something for them. They become dissatisfied when you leave, though. As a consequence, they will call you back repeatedly so that you can do everything for them all over again.

Then there's The Push Button Player. These are often children or curious adults. They can't get over the amazing fact that if they press the call button, you (or your designee) will magically show up. They seem to think this is magic. They also drive stewardesses crazy, and they will even pull emergency cords on trains and buses to see if they'll stop.

Let's move on to The Guilt Specialist. This very special type of patient is bold as can be. They will try to do your job for you ... then try to make you feel incompetent. They say things like, "Oh, I took my own temperature and gave myself a bath. I didn't want to bother you."

Next, there's The Yenta. This kind of patient wants to know you personally, dear. They ask about your health, age, social life, sex life, etc. This concern seems to be touching. Then you realize that they are either buttering you up for special treatment, or they are gathering information for future blackmail attempts. Man!

How could we forget The Wanderer? They like to roam around. They can't stay in one place too long - especially bed! They "float" from unit to unit, and it's your job to find them and bring them back. Hooray for bed exit alarms!

Let's examine The Eccentric now. They like to sing at odd hours, or let out the occasional primal scream. Sometimes they like to "watch" the test pattern on TV (at full volume), or tell jokes - mainly dirty ones - and at particularly inopportune times. Sometimes they even perform pranks like putting apple juice in their specimen cups, then drinking it in front of you.

Oh, my gosh! How about The Playboy? He's more often than not a middle-aged, balding married man who has seen The Sensuous Nurse. He has all the lines you don't really want to hear. You see, he is looking for "special", very personal care. He often mistakes medical care for stimulation. But then, he mistakes eating, sleeping, and everything else for stimulation, doesn't he? He usually seems more than eager for a bedbath, even though he is fully capable of going into the shower alone.

Last, but not least, we have The Doctor's Helper. This patient assumes that the doctor knows everything, and nurses know nothing. They constantly question your authority and actions. Like ... "Why are you emptying my bedpan? Didn't the doctor tell you to do that, or aren't you supposed to measure it?". They'd probably like to bombard the doctor with all of these questions, but since the nurse is the one there, you guessed it! S/he is the target!

All joking aside, patients can also be wonderful and very appreciative. They are not all pains in the ass - not by a long shot! You'll all have your fair share of both types, believe me! Try your hardest to find the best in them and to realize that their bad behavior is often the result of some type of pathological process. If (and sometimes that's a huge "if"!!) you can do that, it'll likely make your shift - and their stay - a bit easier.

Hang in there!


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