Saturday, March 28, 2009

I can't believe I'm having to go over this again.


You would think, after however many years I've been doing this, that I would cease to be surprised by people. Or at least that I would become inured to their behavior. Sadly, people continue both to surprise and irritate me. 

My patients, generally, surprise me but don't irritate me. My patients, generally, are quite unwell. Therefore, they do crazy-ass shit now and again, but it's rarely something they mean to do. Their families and visitors, on the other hand....

1. It's a hospital, not a drag-racing track.

If your darling children (all of whom seem old enough to know better) continue to play dodgem and drag-race in our wheelchairs, you and I will have words.

2. Smoking is not permitted. Really and truly.

If you go into the bathroom and turn on the shower, then open the window in the room, then attempt to smoke, I will know about it. And I will be unhappy.

3. Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not take out Mama's drains. Even if you are a physician.

Considering that Mama's surgery was on her neck, and that there's a lot of important stuff in the neck that doesn't do well when it's compressed by fluid accumulation, it would probably be wise to leave those drains in place for more than twelve hours.

Especially do not remove Mama's drains (even if you're a physician) by grabbing them and pulling. They're probably, you know, *stitched in*.

4. Likewise, please, for the love of all that's holy, do not remove Papa's trach tube.

He needs it to breathe. Yes, he's acting like it bothers him. It does bother him. Having a tracheostomy tube sucks rocks. However, it beats the alternative, which is not breathing.

5. Now is neither the time nor place to attempt to rebuild your stable of hookers.

You heard me, Big Pimpin'.

6. Nor is it the time or place to attempt to buy large quantities of illicit substances.

We allow pretty much anybody to come visit. I draw the line, though, at a steady parade of shady characters (unless they're residents) who are looking to exchange their fun pills for your money.

7. Come to think of it, why don't you just let me take those narcotics for you and lock 'em up?

I know Mama doesn't feel well. Mama had a grade 3 brain bleed and is lucky to be alive. The consequence of having had a chunk of your skull removed is a headache, but again, it sure beats the alternative. However, if you insist upon crushing Brother's Oxycontin and putting it under Mama's tongue, the alternative will be what you get.

8. No, I will not marry your son and give you grandbabies before it's too late.

Neither will any one of the more than dozen hospital employees to whom you've posed the same question.

9. You may not ride your Segway up and down the hall. 

I can't believe I had to point this out.

10. The hospital is not the best place to have a bench-clearing brawl over who gets what out of Grandma's attic. 

If you're going to brawl, at least do it where you have a little more space, and where all the members of the family can be present at once. That way, I won't have to waste time answering the phone when those family members who weren't invited to Inheritance Cage Fight MCLXVII: The Reckoning call up to know what the hell happened yesterday.

And they wonder why I do beer reviews.


Lisa G said...

People NEVER cease to amaze me!

Nasty Nurse said...

Drink actually came out of my nose through laughing!!

Gosh- I had one family yesterday who thought it was a brilliant idea to remove their dads oxygen as he has a 'cold'

Alpine, R.N. said...

i love did he get the segway INSIDE???

WardBunny said...

Removing drains and trachys?!?? Say what?!

shrimplate said...

What about booze? That's allowed, right?!

girl_in_greenwood said...

Also? "No smoking in the hospital" means you can't smoke pot in the bathroom either. I know, you're shocked, right?

Anonymous said...

Holy God! I thought I had it bad when one of my foreign patients put honey into a sacral wound, providing nourishment for a personalized science project. Sheesh! LOL!

seriously said...

Things I never thought I'd have to say - no, your dog-in-purse is not permitted in our ICU; no, your crazy bro-in-lo cannot pack heat in our ICU; yes, dear police man, I would like you to return our cardiac monitor that a patient took home with him (feel free to leave the patient); no, I will not provide more syringes for you to take home (LOL), and no, I do not want some of that. I love nursing!