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Family Members from Hell

Photo by Tina Phillips

Syndicated from Madness: Tales of an emergency room nurse


DOORWAY GAWKER- stands in room doorway and stares at the staff, arms folded, from the doorway with an impatient, angry look on their face

THE VENTRILOQUIST - talks for the patient until you tell them to stop it

THE SHADOW- you have to pry this person away from the patients bedside in order to do your job. then they watch every move you make as you start an IV, give meds, etc.

APATHETIC ANN/ANDY - brings a book, laptop - has a sort of been here/done this attitude - seems uninterested in whats going on

THE SUCKER - accompanies a patient with some kind of bogus chronic problem and has bought into it hook, line and sinker

THE KLEPTOMANIAC - you might catch this person rummaging through the cupboards, drawers and perhaps pocketing a thing or two

THE ERRAND RUNNER - may come up to the desk requesting warm blankets, footies, water, food, more pain meds, etc etc etc

MAMAS BOY MAMA - accompanies their grown son or daughter to the ER and sits with concerned look at bedside

BABY DADDY - accompanies girlfriend to ER and is suspicious of any male that comes into the room. Wants to stay there when pelvic exam is being done.

THE DUMPER- drops off confused mom/dad/annoying sibling/girlfriend/boyfriend and leaves

SPACE INVADERS - crosses that line into the staff area or follows the doctor into their area - definitely a no no

CHRISTMAS GIFTERS - brings mom/dad/grandma who they haven't seen for months to ER because they "aren't doing that well/can't take care of themselves/need to go to a nursing home"

CHICKEN LITTLE - runs to triage desk requesting help for mom/dad/etc in the car who are dying (99% of the time they are fine). Comes up to the desk and tells you heart monitor is dinging - is that OK??!!!

SUSPICIOUS STAN/STELLA- takes notes - wants names of staff, name of medication, name of tests. Has special "medical notebook".

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