Nursing Your Unrealistic Expectations

, , , , , , | Healthy | August 20, 2018

(I am an NCT — a nursing care tech — basically one rung down from a nurse. We check vitals, help transport patients for surgeries or procedures, track their progress and double-check their treatment plans, help patients shower or get to the bathroom, and generally make sure that nurses and patients have what they need, and that none of the patients are showing signs of any impending medical problems or complications. We are legally not allowed to give medicine, administer treatments, contact patient family members for any reason, or give medical advice. All of this information is told to the patients when they arrive, and is in the information packet all the patients are given, along with a flow chart about who to call for what problem. Additionally, in my hospital, all NCTs wear green scrubs, all nurses wear blue, and all doctors wear white. This patient, who has been here for about a week and a half, calls me in.)

Patient: “My back feels just awful. Could you go get my next dose of painkillers a little early?”

Me: “I’m not allowed to give you any medications, I’m afraid. I can go get your nurse, though, or you can call her with this number on the board. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Patient: “Well, can you adjust my IV at least?”

Me: “I can’t do that, either; I’ll have to grab your nurse.”

Patient: “What about my sister? Did you call her with the new care plan?”

Me: “That’s also the nurse; I can’t contact your family.”

Patient: “Well, what about my diagnosis? What do you think I should do?”

Me: “I’m not allowed to offer any medical advice, either. Let me call your nurse, okay? She’ll be able to help you with all of this.”

Patient: “But aren’t you going to help me?!”

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