Monday, January 25, 2010

Patient Type: The Bell-Ringer

Every now and then, though usually on your busiest of days, you have that this one patient type we'll call "the bell-ringer". 

Stereotype Characteristics:

- Patient rings his call bell at least four times an hour, often more.
- Three out of those four times, it's for bullshit like fluffing pillows or adjusting bed covers. 
- When you enter the room, he says "Oh! There you are." Like it's a coincidence that you just happened to show up, rather than the blaring bell ringing throughout the floor. 
- You are thanked profusely after everything, so you can't justify hating him.
- As you back the hell out of the room, you say, "Is there anything else I can do for you while I'm right here?". He says, "No, but if I think of anything, I'll ring!" A comment sits on the tip of your tongue, straining to escape your lips, but you don't let it, because it goes something like this, "Bitch, stop thinking! Just go to sleep or watch TV already!"
- Patient grows frustrated if you do not immediately drop everything you are doing to respond to his call bell.

Typical Results:
a. your response times to their bell grow progressively longer, and when questioned, you mention how, since you were just there, your other patients' bells have priority. 
b. you set up 'busy' tasks for the patient, not limited to but most definitely including: television, magazines, family (by phone or personal appearance), puzzle books, newspapers... 
c. you sit down and have a talk with the patient about how the call bell system works. Sometimes, this works, especially if you promise to stop in every thirty minutes guaranteed, as long as he refrains from ringing his bell more than once an hour. 
d. you bug the nurse for some Ativan, stat. 

Degree of Difficulty:

Like riding a bike- you may not get a bell-ringer for a while, but once he's back, muscle memory kicks in.

No comments:

Post a Comment