My accidental confession

My patient was an elderly woman with severe dementia. She had tried to punch my coworker the night before, and frequently refused letting anyone touch her.  I introduced myself as Katie, her nurse for the night. “Why I need a nurse?” she said, eyebrows furrowed.

“Because you are in the hospital, and I am here to take care of you.”

Her eyes got wide and she looked around the room.  “You think this is the hospital?  Girl, this is my home, what you talking about?”

I looked around the room and had a quick decision to make. I could argue with her and reorient her to her surroundings, which is the textbook correct thing to do, or I could make both of our lives easier.  “Oh, I’m so embarrassed.  I get confused sometimes. Yes, we are at your house. Your daughter asked me to come by to check on you. She must really love you!”

She nodded her head. “Yes, my mother does.”

“Well you have a good mother. Is it ok if I listen to you breathe?”

“Sure!”

I did a full assessment on the patient with her full cooperation.  As I finished, she asked, “How many blocks you cover?”

Blocks?  Hmm….  “Eight.”

“You cover eight blocks? Wow! You crazy!”

The next time I came into her room, the question was repeated.  My new answer was six blocks.  This was still too high.  The third time the question was asked, I said, “Four. How many do you cover?”

“Girl, I don’t get paid for that!”

But I do? What did I just tell my patient I do for a living?  I could feel myself blushing.

A few hours later, the question was repeated. “I don’t get paid for that!” I said.

“That’s good.”

While giving report to the day nurse, I made sure to tell her the correct answer to the blocks question was four.  😉

 

 

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23 thoughts on “My accidental confession

  1. Hi,
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    No personal details about you or the company you work for are asked for and all the information and data you give will be treated confidentially and will only be used for the purpose of this study.
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    Thank you in advance
    Sophie

  2. While I agree that you telling her she was at home made both your life and her life easier, nursing 101 is to orientate back to reality.

  3. Great post! I used to work in a psych ward and had a lot of experiences with confused patients. Love hearing other peoples stories about their nursing experiences. I just started blogging and was hoping you could look at my site http://www.nursingschoollife.com and give me some feedback. I only have my about me section and one post done, but I’ve been looking around your site and love what you’ve written about. Thought it would be a great opportunity to get some advice if you don’t mind! Thanks in advance.

  4. Hey! I just started reading your blog yesterday, beginning to end, and I’m in love! You’re not done writing, are you? I am still getting my prerequisites complete to apply for the nursing program, so reading your entries was really entertaining!!!
    Kelly

    • Thanks Kelly! I’ve actually been working on a novel I wrote about nursing school, I’m trying to find an agent now. Good luck with your prerequisites & nursing school in the future!

      Take care,
      Katie

  5. Hi! I just started reading your posts last week, and it’s given me a great idea of what nursing school is like. I’m a senior in high school, and I’m in a class called Health Science Technology 2. We’ve been doing clinical rotations at a local hospital 4 days a week for about an hour and a half at a time. One of the assignments for our class is to contact 10 people who are successful in whatever profession they are in and ask them if they have any advice for how to be successful. Because I’m leaning towards nursing right now, I would really appreciate any suggestions that you may have. Any reply (no matter how short) would be helpful! Thanks!
    ~Lauren

  6. This is the first post I’ve read on your blog. I’m hoping to be accepted into the nursing program fall 2012. I loved this post; it made me laugh. I hope to continue reading & to blog about nursing school on my blog soon.

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