Funny thing about being a nurse who takes care of patients in the home environment, as opposed to a hospital, or other institutional setting. Everyone in the home thinks you’re there to take care of them, too.
I don’t know how many times I’ve gone to see a patient in their home and after taking care of him, and getting ready to leave – - the spouse/daughter/son/nephew, etc – asks me if I would mind taking their blood pressure, looking at their wart, checking out their baby’s latest poop and on and on. I hear everything about these people from the status of the hemorrhoids to their latest blood pressure readings.
What does this mean? Is this harmful? Would you recommend this? Is this ok? Should I go see a doctor?
Ok. People, people, people. I hate to be cold hearted and bitchy and all – - but we’re there because either the insurance company or Medicare is paying our company to take care of the patient – - not the health needs and advice for the entire extended family, neighbors and friends. It’s not that I don’t care – - but my day is already full of patients that I really am responsible for . . I lack the time to hear about and give recommendations on baby’s latest poo-poo. If I stopped to take care of everyone in the household – I’d never get out of there. My visits are an hour long, as it is.
Whew. Ok. I vented – I feel better.
Today took the cake, though. My patient’s 18 year old son approached me with a concern that his burps are very foul smelling – - should he worry about this? Is it a concern? What can he do to stop it because sometimes it smells up the entire room? Should he see a doctor?
I looked at him. “Your burps smell?”, I ask. “Yea”, he says, looking at me, expectantly – as if I have the cure.
“Lay off the gassy foods and see your doctor”, I reply.
“That’s all??”, he says.
What do I look like – the traveling Mayo Clinic?
“Yes, that’s all – good luck with those burps”, I reply – then leave.
His burps smell up the whole room.
Either that is very funny…or….I’m very burnt out and am finding humor in inappropriate places.