Sunday, March 15, 2009

more drama than trauma


One of my patients today - drunk off his heinie - evidently woke up feeling dramatic this morning, because everything he did was drama, drama, drama. I, unfortunately, woke up dreaming of a drama free zone, so the two of us were mismatched from the start. Add in that he's a frequent flier and that 90% of my patients today were intoxicated and belligerent, and it was just bad all around. This is not a story typical of my behavior, but I plead lack of oxygen to my brain based on the fact that I still can't breathe. If my patients can rationalize everything, then darn it, so can I.


I was on my way in to start his IV when he told me that he apologized in advance, but that he had been known to knock nurses into the wall when they stuck him, but that it was a completely involuntary thing and he couldn't help himself in the slightest, so if he hurt me when I hit the wall he was sorry.


Like I said, he and I were on opposite pages from the very start. This is not a good subject at the moment since one of our doctors was attacked this week right in front of several of us, triggering a terrifying take down, an all hospital code and many, many men in blue uniforms. This doc is young, tall and built like an ox. If it could happen to him...


I gave my patient the evil eye as soon as he finished his little speech, since I could practically see him choosing which wall to "accidentally" knock me into. And I told him that I apologized in advance, but that if any part of my body hit any part of a wall, I could guarantee him that his ass would hit a jail cell about fifteen minutes later. It's called assault, I continued, and being drunk and stupid doesn't let you off the hook, so you might want to concentrate real hard on those "involuntary" urges.


And lo and behold, he did. Sometimes the Nurse Ratched approach is the only one worth even trying. It makes me feel terrible to be that way. But not as terrible as hitting a wall.

13 comments:

Cheryl said...

You make me laugh! You handled this one with pure perfection.

On a more serious note, it is getting scary with clients/patients and the impulsive violent behaviors. Trust your gut. I hope the hosptial has a better crisis plan in place.
XXXXX

Altaglow said...

Thank god.

Frances said...

Hah! good on you girl! Sometimes the only thing that beats a bully is being unafraid.
His warning just shows how pre-meditated and warped these stupid attacks really are. Makes me furious. the same thing happens here, with ambulance staff, anyone working in a hospital, firemen turning up to save lives.. you name it, some idiot thinks it's okay to attack them.

lv4921391 said...

...simply amazing the idiots we have roaming the streets...he must have been to jail a few times...

Akelamalu said...

He got the message then!!! :)

Flutterby said...

Good comeback - especially since it worked. IMHO, bullies like to push the envelope until the envelope pushes back.

Maggie May said...

You have to be like a rottweiler to work where you work!

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Good for you, RC. There are problems here too with people bothering and assaulting medical personnel and police and fire fighters. Nobody is safe anymore. You sure handled that well, though. At least you didn't get 'accidentally' knocked into a wall.

Cath said...

No you did right! I have made that speech so many times when I have received apologies but it was the "voices" telling them...

Many CAN'T help acting out. Experience told me the difference between those who couldn't help it and those that chose to do it. You have the same experience. Act on your gut feeling. You will never be wrong.

Well done!

Miriam said...

Well done to you! mimi

Devon said...

Yet again, you are my hero!

Kila said...

Wow. So not the job for me. You're awesome.

Pamela said...

Good for you!!
P*ss*s me off that drunken louts use up the precious time of our emergency rooms -- and the rest of us having to pay the costs.