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Friday, May 28, 2010

All pateints deserve equal respect

She's a 66-year old end stage COPD patient and she's highly demanding. She doesn't mean to be annoying, she's just scared. So my advice is: Give her what she wants. Spoil her. Cater to her.

But, gosh darn it, stop getting irritated with her. If she wants those darn things over her ankles that vibrate the blood through her legs to prevent blood clots, dog gonnit put them on. If she wants a glass of water, go fetch it. If she wants to be tucked in, just do it. If she wants her oxygen on 3lpm instead of 2lpm, then dog gone it just do it.

She was so upset when I entered her room. I said, "What's wrong."

"I'm mad!" She said.

"At me?"

"No. At the nurse. I wanted those things on my legs and have asked four times and she refuses. She also refused to tuck me in better, because I was highly uncomfortable. Finally I told her just to get out of my room."

"Is there anything you want me to get for you. I'll do anything you want," I said.

"No. I'm feeling pretty comfortably now," she said, and she looked it.

I understand completely how the nurse feels, because this patient is highly demanding. Then again, this lady becomes dyspneic every time she even moves in her bed. She is scared. She is dying. It just irritates me that someone wouldn't take an extra step to cater to this woman. Give her whatever she wants. Let's make her happy. Let's comfort her.

Isn't that our job? Isn't that what we're here to do? Even if it's not, I see no reason why this sweet old lady can't get what she wants, annoying or not.

Her treatments are ordered QID and Q2 prn. I see absolutely no reason why she needs a breathing treatment every hour. But she asked for one and I shall giveth. Inconvenient -- yes. The right thing to do is giveth -- absolutely.

And I shall sit in her room and visit with her because I have a feeling she likes the company. She smiles when I'm in the room, and perhaps she provides me a sense of I'm-doing-a-good-deed on an evening where I otherwise probably don't even need to be here.

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