Thursday, January 22, 2009

Head Nurse Head Case

My mom is in the hospital. She went in five days ago, on Saturday, with symptoms of pneumonia. It’s not been a stay without worries of complications. She’s uncomfortable, stressed out. She wants to go home.

So it came as a little bit of a shock to me when my mother told me what happened late the other night.

My mother, a sweet woman, who isn’t prone to chattering on about other people, got a visit by the head nurse, a tallish blond woman who clearly had an attitude.

“You must have respect for your fellow patients,” she admonished my mother, who was dumbstruck sitting in the bed against he window.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” my mother said.

“Your roommate said you were talking about her and her grandchildren,” said the head nurse, who clearly assumed my mother was in the wrong.

“I didn’t say anything about her or her grandchildren. I don’t know anything about this,” my mother replied.

As my mother told me this two days ago during our stroll through the halls with her IV pole, I was too shocked and even humored by the whole thing to be angry. I mean, what the hell?

“Was the woman in the room when the head nurse came in?” I asked.

“Yes,” my mom said. “But she’s gone now, they moved her in the middle of the night.”

I was dying to get to the bottom of this and kept my eye out for the head nurse as we made another swing past the nursing station.

“She didn’t believe me,” my mom said. “She was rather rude.”

My mother didn’t seem overly upset by this whole thing. Just somewhat stunned.

I figured one of three things.

The patient was paranoid.

The head nurse was delusional.

My mother had a hallucination.

Since I’m quite sure my mother did not hallucinate, and the head nurse is unlikely to be delusional, I put the blame on the patient.

What gets me is why the head nurse would automatically assume my mother was in the wrong and would chastise her like a unruly child.

As if it's not bad enough she’s been in the hospital for almost a week.

It's a good thing we have a sense of humor.


Julie said...

um...really!? REALLLY? i am sorry to hear about your mom being in the hospital, ellen. :( but i give her many props for not going off on that ridiculous nurse.

Cousin Bobbi said...

Ok Cousin Ellen! Are you sure we are not talking about my mom????
I am sorry to hear about Auntie too
and I can tell you if anyone is the trouble maker in this family it is my mom. Now my mom would have talked about the lady and her grand kids and then when the nurse came in she would have been sweet as pie with a gleam in her eye and denied the whole thing. Now not that we don't love my mom and your Aunt Harriet but you know what I say is true. Love the story about the kittens too funny for words I can see Uncle John's reactions when I read it. :) love ya Cousin Bobbi

Only the Half of It said...

Can you believe it!? I would have gone off too! Good thing we all can laugh.

Cindy L said...

Holy smoke. How bizarre -- and upsetting for your mother. Sounds to me like the patient was clearly paranoid. The nurse did not handle it properly, in any event. She should be reported to the administration. Hope your mom is better soon!

me said...

I think some nurses have a powertrip- thing and make stuff up just to get people. %.
Hope she feels better.
Oh - and your mom too! ;)

Love your crime scene approach!

Only the Half of It said...

Inger, is that you? Thanks for stopping by!
I wish I'd been there. I don't know if I would have laughed or yelled. Weird.