A Cereal Snacker

, , , | Healthy | November 6, 2017

(I’m a hospital nurse. In my experience, some patients tend to see the hospital as some sort of medical hotel, where they’re allowed to ask for whatever they like whenever they like just because they’re sick.)

Patient: *at two in the morning, at the other end of the unit* “HEY! HEY! SOMEBODY HELP ME OUT!”

Me: *coming in, resisting the urge to smack him for waking up the d*** unit instead of just using his call bell* “Yes, sir, how can I help you?”

Patient: “I want cereal.”

Me: *utter disbelief* “Sir, it’s two in the morning. We don’t have any cereal.”

Patient: “Then go to the kitchen and get me some cereal.”

Me: “The kitchen is closed and won’t open until morning. You’ll have to wait until breakfast.”

Patient: “But I’m hungry now!”

(Keep in mind that this patient has a history of uncontrolled diabetes and has even lost a foot. He usually keeps a stash of food in his room against our advice, and his blood sugar is always extremely high due to snacking and refusing medications. We always try to limit his snacks to better control his sugar.)

Me: “Sir, you already had your dinner and your snack for tonight. You need to wait until morning. We don’t have any more snacks for you.”

Patient: “This is the worst hospital ever. First you try to poison me with your whacked drugs and then you wanna starve me all night long? Why can’t you give me any cereal?”

Me: *already past my limit and trying to keep an even tone* “Because this is a hospital, not a hotel. I’m not your maid; I’m your nurse. I’m not here to enable your bad habits and give you whatever you want just because you want it. I’m here to help you maintain your health. But you’ve been uncooperative, rude, and downright disrespectful. You don’t like how things are here? You have the right to refuse. And you have the right to leave. But you can guarantee that you will be back. And you keep heading down this path, you can also bet that you’re gonna have more problems, too.”

Patient: “…”

Me: “…”

Patient: “…I’ll go to sleep and wait for breakfast, then.”

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