4. Difficult Patient
As a nurse, we had this god-awful patient who made all our lives a living hell. Needed pain meds on the dot, needed to smoke every half hour, sat on the call light all damn day. This person was possibly the rudest human being I’ve ever met. Treated us like slaves and was drug-seeking.
It finally came time for discharge, and this patient decided to come up with a whole bunch of new medical problems. ‘I have chest pain! I have nausea! One side of my body feels numb!’
So, being the very skilled and rational nurse I am, I asked the doctor for a whole new set of orders. First, I asked for lab draws every 3 hrs (meaning needles every three hours) to check cardiac markers. Then I asked that the patient be placed on NPO status (nothing by mouth) for the nausea.
This person couldn’t go an hour without eating something. For the numbness, I requested the patient be placed on strict bedrest for 24 hrs and then have a physical therapy evaluation ordered (which meant no more going downstairs to smoke).
I explained all this to the patient, and he says, ‘I just wanted to stay another night.’ I ain’t doing any of that! I feel fine, just give me my damn papers!’ Talked it over with the doctor on call, and he gave me the all-clear to discharge, and I had him out the door in an hour.