5 Common Nurse Practices that Annoy Patients
1. Disrupting sleep.
Most nurses believes that whatever they have to do is so crucial to the patient’s plan of care regardless if the patient is awake or not, it has to be done! This might be true, there may be times when you really may need to draw those bloods or take that blood pressure the exact moment your patient starts to snore. However, there has to be something said for how a lack of uninterrupted sleep can affect a person’s well-being, never-mind those patient satisfaction scores! Help your patients by trying to cluster as many nursing activities as you can whilst they are awake.
2. Not being adequately medicated.
Most patients don’t understand the concept of PRN (as needed medication). Patients expect their pain to be adequately managed, and sometimes they want us to manage it without them actually telling us that they are in pain or need pain medication. Furthermore, there are the times where we want to tell patients what their pain scale is! We’ve probably all wanted to say…”if you’re happily talking on your mobile phone, your pain scale is probably not that high“. Or, if the patient has to wake up to ask for pain meds, they probably weren’t in that much pain in the first place. It’s easy to forget that pain is all about a person’s perception. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we’re NOT going to make someone an addict in the few days they’re with us and there is actually a greater probability of us under medicating someone.
3. Delaying discharge.
I’m sure you’re not the one holding onto your patient so you don’t get another! Besides annoying the hell out of your patient, who just wants to get home so they can sleep in their own bed for more than 30 minutes at a time, it also angers all of your coworkers who are totally onto you. And then there’s the physician that tells the patient they’re being discharged, but takes 6 hours to write the order. Hunt…them…down…and get the order (and then your next patient)!
4. Not allowing family to remain with the patient.
Maybe visiting hours are to blame. Maybe it’s some unwritten policy that the nurse must first speak to the patient alone, to find out any secret information they may be unwilling to divulge in the presence of their partner. I’m sure someone out there will say “well, once I had a patient confess THIS, and they NEVER would have admitted that if their family would have been in the room.” All I know is, when I’m the patient and not the nurse, I want my family with me. It makes me feel better.
5. Never knowing when the doctor will come.
Sound familiar? This is something totally out of our nursing control, but let’s face it, it’s something that still annoys all of us, including our patients. “I’ll come by in the morning” can mean any time before 5pm.! Although we understand that emergencies come up, and providers are frequently presented with unexpected events, it’s still incredibly annoying for everyone involved.