Bad Nurse

I had my operation on February 27th. This meant an overnight stay in the hospital, of course. The surgery went very well, no issues what so ever, but recovery is still going to be trying.

My surgery was at 1pm, and I got out of the OR at 3pm. I didn’t get into my room until 5pm, though. I had an incredibly hard time getting the pain under control and staying concious.


Matt left shortly after I got settled in my room. He left me in the hands of a very sweet nurse. She was patient and kind, and made sure to listen to me. But of course, then the shift change happened….and the nurse I got during the night was not very nice.

In fact, she was downright cruel. She didn’t have the patience or the empathy to be a nurse. Within five minutes of meeting her, I watched her lose patience with the sweet elderly lady because she rang the bell in the bathroom when she was right there. Then she lost her patience with me when I told her my heel was very painful and that I was worried it was swollen. During a trip to the bathroom, it was nearly purple.

“Well, you just had surgery! It’s not time for pain medication yet. And that’s the dye.”

Then I tried to ask for a pillow, to elevate my foot a little, but she was already walking away from me, midsentence.

I tried to tough it out, I did…but I just couldn’t sleep. So I had to page her again. She looked unimpressed to see me.

“Could I please get a pillow for my foot?” I asked, speaking in a clear tone.

“There’s not enough pillows for your foot in here, they’re all in use,” the nurse said. I gave her a look that said I’m clearly not buying it. “Let me check the cupboard,” she added. Low and behold! She found one. She put my foot on it and took off again.

At one point during the night, she came in to check my vitals and help me to the bathroom. Upon returning to my bed, I started to throw up. I paged her, thinking hey, I’m throwing up. This hurts. I want some anti-nausea medicine and maybe a fresh bucket. She came in and literally started to yell at me.

“I just left here! You don’t need to call me when you’re sick! Just put it on the table and I’ll deal with it when I get a chance!”

I started to legitmately cry then, because in my opinion, there is no reason to talk to a patient like that. Not ever. Not even if they’re “annoying” you. I felt like a burden and a waste. I felt like my needs as a patient were less. Any time I had a question or concern for her, she brushed me off or didn’t even bother to answer.

At one point, she even argued with me over ice chips. I asked her if she could kindly get me some ice chips. I wasn’t feeling well and most people know that’s the best way to handle nausea and cotton mouth.

“I just got you water with some ice in it! You don’t need ice!” By this time, I was legitmately getting pissed off. All night long, this woman made me feel terrible and annoying. All night long, this woman argued with me over everything and acted like I hadn’t had a clue.

It wasn’t like I was being an unbearable paitent. I apologized for taking up her time. I thanked her even when I was unsatisfied with her treatment. I was the same kind of patient that I always am and I usually do not encounter any problems.

I just don’t understand nurses like her. Why be a nurse if you aren’t going to treat your patients with basic respect and kindness?

Thankfully, I only had to spend one night with the bad nurse. I am so thankful to be home.

I guess it’s just disappointing. You spend more time with nurses than you do doctors in your hospital stay. Nurses make or break it. They can either help you transition, or make you feel even worse than you already do.

Have you ever encountered a super rude nurse? How did you handle it?


About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
This entry was posted in after, blogging, challenges, chronic pain, complaining, happenings, hard stuff, health/medical, honesty, hurt, living with chronic pain, pain, personal, scars, telling stories, updates, verbal diarrhea, words, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Bad Nurse

  1. What a bitch! Yes, I totally had a horrible nurse when I was hospitalized for the staph infection. She was rude and mean and made me feel horrible for asking for pain medicine. Also when I was in labor I had some terribly mean nurses. I don’t understand why mean people enter a helping profession!

    • Jess says:

      I know, there are so many other jobs they could do…

      I know some amazing nurses, too. Thankfully for every bad nurse I’ve had 5 good ones! Still, you should pass a personality test before you become a nurse. That’d weed out the bad ones for sure!

  2. Saul Hymes says:

    That is absolutely awful. You should without a doubt report that nurse–and even if you don’t remember the name they can find out because of the date and night shift schedule. What you should do is call the patient representative for the hospital–there is always one, or an office of one. Say you want to lodge an official complaint and mention her by name. And say you will also be writing a letter to the CEO of the hospital (email or contact info usually on the web) and that if something isn’t done to remedy the situation like sensitivity training, moving her to a different ward, or firing her you will use your position as a blogger to inform people of how little the hospital cares about its patients and how they may want to take their care elsewhere. Or at least, that’s what I would do. Nurses and other staff who act like that need to be nipped in the bud immediately. That sort of behavior can’t be allowed to stand by any hospital that takes itself even remotely seriously…

  3. Camilleta says:

    I’ve always had nice nurses, except one, who had some snotty remarks during my labor. Seriously? Not the time for a bad attitude.

    I’m so sorry you had this experience. Did you make a complaint about her? Sounds to me like she should really go into a field where she doesn’t have to deal with people as much…

  4. Zen A. says:

    Jeeeeez. I am so sorry you had to deal with someone like that. How can she even call herself a nurse? >_> I really, really think you should report her. You’re a patient and it is her own damn job to look after you instead of making it seem like she’s doing you some sort of favour. Even if you’re back home now, I would hate for others to be stuck with someone like her. 😦

    • Jess says:

      I did report her, here’s hoping they do something about it. Makes me sad to think about all the patients she’s made feel terrible and will continue to make feel terrible. 😦

  5. Wow. Makes me wonder what was going on in her life. I`ve had insensitive nurses, but never one that was so outright nasty. I`m glad you reported her.

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