On the other side of the bed

Today has been a really rough day. It is not easy being on the other side of the hospital bed; as a patient, or as a family member of a patient. We are at the mercy of healthcare providers for pain medication, water, oxygen, blankets… basically everything. When you press the call bell for assistance, and nothing happens, it can be extremely frustrating. Especially when you see that staff are sitting at the desk on their phone, appearing to not notice the call bell, and when asked for assistance, we are told that “your nurse is with another patient, I will send her in when she is done”. I’m sorry…. are you physically incapable of helping me, or is playing Candy Crush more important than my father who is writhing in pain?!? Is it too much to ask for you to do your damn job? Please just act like you give a shit. It is very disappointing when I don’t trust the nursing staff and medical team to take care of my father, and I have to sit by his bedside all day and night to make sure that he is getting pain medication when needed (even though it took over an hour and a half to get a dose of morphine for a patient who is at end-of-life with stage IV bladder-lung-and bone cancer). Have some compassion people! I should have just brought his pain meds from home and administered them myself, but I knew that was not allowed. But I should have anyway. That old saying “if you want a job done right, do it yourself”, or something like that, is very true.  So if you are a nurse that is reading this, please do not ignore patient call bells. Please don’t roll your eyes when your patient’s daughter (or son) is a nurse, and please help a patient in need, even if he/she isn’t assigned to you. It is very hard being on the other side of the bed. One day you will know. Treat your patients the way you want your loved ones to be treated. callbell

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