bitch please

how ironic that this would follow an article on drug seekers.  this afternoon i saw a patient who came in for gross hemoptysis (coughing up blood in chunks).  I read over his records and he had been there two days prior for the same complaint (usually doesn’t bode well in terms of what the patient wants.)

however, i look at some of his stuff (and his complaint is legitimate) and find he has possible bone cancer, and the man is missing an arm.  bearing all of this in mind, i tell the doc about him, and the patient at multiple points had asked for pain medication (bone cancer or any cancer = pain, lots and lots of pain).  so, a new nurse comes on the shift, and because of his long wait, the patient is cranky.  he sort of takes it out on the nurse.  she comes up telling the doc that the patient wants pain medication.

“is he a drug seeker?”

“yes.”

my jaw just about dropped.  i wanted to slap this woman.  i’m sorry, but were you hit by a train, only to lose your arm?  do you have some GI cancer that has spread to your bones?  are you coughing up blood?!  then shut the hell up.. you don’t know why he’s here, you didn’t ask, don’t answer that question you cynical bitch.

this isn’t a common occurrence, but boy when it happens…if i were the attending in that case, i would have probably gone back and said something to the wench.  like, before you tell me a patient is a drug seeker based solely off your pride and cynicism, maybe talk to the damn patient.

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