Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dear Patient

I have taken it upon myself to start a hospital etiquette course. After talking with several of my co-workers, they all agree it needs to be done. It will all be online and on this blog.

Dear Patient,

1. The call light- When you call it is a general rule of thumb that we have ten minutes to be there after you call, unless it is an emergency. An emergency includes things like severe chest pain, you are not going to make it to the bathroom until someone comes now, or you are throwing up, etc. An emergency is not that you need an ace wrap, you dropped your cup, or you can't find your dentures. Unfortunately, you are not our only patient.

2. We are pretty good at detecting lies, so tell us the truth- When your tox screen comes up positive for cocaine and/or marijuana don't tell us you are not sure how it got in there. No, it was not accidentally mixed up with someone else's blood.

3. Clump your needs- When we come in your room and ask if you need anything please try and remember all of the things you need. It is not all that fun going in and out of your room 5 times in a row because you remember something new each time we come back.

4. I am sorry that I do not know when the doctor is coming in- They don't let us know their daily schedule.

5. Do you need sleeping medication or pain medication, or not? - If we come in your room and you are asleep you may not need those medications. So, don't get mad at us in the morning if we didn't give them to you. Sorry, but it doesn't make sense to wake you up to give you sleeping medication.

6. When we ask you to be careful with your IV we mean it- When you pull out your IV and bleed all over the floor because you stepped on your IV or it was still plugged into the wall don't get mad at us. We don't like starting them any more than you like getting them.

7. Shower time- Do you take a shower at 3am at home? I am pretty sure you don't. So, you probably don't need one at the hospital either at that time.

I really hope that this will improve your hospital stay.


Ashley said...


Rob Morris said...

I especially agree with #5, because it keeps pharmacy off the case of the nurses and lowers medication waste.

Katie said...

AMEN! I'm sure I could think of a few to add to your list, one of them being: Don't expect us to give you 30 mg of oxycodone every HOUR and 80 mg of ms contin TID just because "it's what I take at home." C'mon. Do we look that stupid?? (And yes I really had a pt who requested that.)

Cottam Family said...

Meg, This is great! Yes I admitt that I got a good laugh out of it...but the sad reality is that you probably deal with these things on a daily basis!