I recieved a "patient star' today… They give these out when the patients send in written compliments about the staff.
Then we get a little brass colored star to pin on our badge.
It's an interesting thing:
Oncology Nurses generally get a ton of these things. They have patients that stay a long time and they tend to get to know them. Emergency Department Nurses very very rarely see them. Either the patient is very annoyed, frightened, afraid, etc, or they just simply forget about their nurse. This is the same for ICU, ICU patients at large medical centers are more often than not unconcious. They don't give stars.
What I find amusing are the patients that I get stars from. Usually I don't recall them, which is always interesting to try to figure out who they were….
But today was sort of a more immediate star. And I think it's funny how this shows that the stars so do not reflect good care or going above and beyond the situation.
I took on a patient this morning who had an unusual complaint that really made no sense…. but whatever.
When I met his wife, I realized she really was just insane. I said "How are you doing?" and She suddenly started to gasp at me, "Oh it's just been trauma and drama, I tell you" She then launched into some sort of statement regarding vacation, family, her husbands situation, and such. She spoke only in phrases, not complete sentances, so it was a little difficult to catch the gist of what she was saying. I finally figured out she was not doing too well with her husband's illness. She and he seemed to be having an argument. She asked if she could go to the cafeteria and I said, Surely. (thinking "good…she may calm on down after a breakfast") about an hour later, she CALLED ME from the cafeteria to tell me she had forgotten her wallet. I'm standing there having 2 new patients who needed stuff thinking "Why is she calling me? I'm a NURSE, not a wallet finder" SO I calmly tell her to come back here and look in her other luggage. She asks me to go and ask the valet if he found it. I ask her to please do this herself and I am attending, among other people, her husband. Eventually she apparently was looking so lost and confused that someone in the main lobby gave her orange juice. She also some how found her wallet. I went to DC her husband, after some finagleing, she continued to sort of splutter these sorts of broken sentances that unfortunately didn't make sense…. And eventually I called the Social Worker to move them from the room. We really needed the room. I went in and explained nicely that we were going to have to move them to the family room (a non treatment room) since we needed that room. The Social Worker, D was more than happy to oblige. BUt this woman said, "Well, we will be just a moment dear" And I looked at her and said, well. unfortunatley we need the room now maam…."
On my way out the door today, I discovered that this woman had asked Patient Visitor Relations to give me a start today. I can't for the life of me figure out why. Other patients that I do go out of the way for (get them a newspaper on my dime, or make all sort of arrangements for DC) don't thank me, but the histrionic woman with a very not ill husband that I wasn't too terribly nice or helpful to, does.