Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Two Tales of Bad Care wrote about bad care rendered to one of her patients by a new intern. I would like to share a story, too. Not to say, "Hey, nurses do it, too," but to say, "Here is another example."

When I was a medical student, my first clinical rotation during my third year was OB. I was on the high-risk service, on 4N. As I entered the ward, I saw a patient leave the first room on the left and begin to walk down the hall, trailing her IV pump. I asked her if she needed help. She replied that her IV pump was beeping and that she had been pressing the nurse call button for several minutes without an answer.

I escorted her back to her room and went looking for help. I mean, come on, I knew enough never to mess with an IV pump. I didn't want to risk the wrath of the nurses.

Anyway, when I got to the nursing station, there was no one there. No secretary, no nurses, no one.

I found the entire day crew in the lounge behind the nurses station eating fried chicken. When I asked if someone could go help the patient this was, nearly verbatim, the reply:

N: 401? (pronounced foh-oh-one)

Me: Yes.

N: Well, she ambulatory, ain't she?

Me: Yes.

N: Then she can just come down here.

Me: (incredulous) You mean if the patient can walk they have to come to the nursing station to get care?

N: Yeah. And, hey, don't you backtalk me. I got's my degree!

No kidding, true story.

Hat tip: GruntDoc