I had been warned about my patient by the previous shift, who had butted heads with him and thrown up their hands. They offered me a sarcastic "Good luck!" as I prepared to collect his vital signs.
Tentatively, I knocked and walked in, introducing myself and telling my standard joke to break the ice. He was nothing but cooperative.
Later, he put his call light on to have me take his dinner tray out. I was stuck in another patient's room, so his nurse answered the light instead. When I finally made it out of the other room to see if she needed any help, she was walking out with his tray. I thanked her, then noticed his call light was still on. I walked in to turn it off myself, joking that the nurse was quick and had beat me to his room, and his reaction was strong and immediate. "I don't need anything from you! GET OUT! GO!!" as he pointed at the door with fury.
Near the end of my shift, I entered his room to empty his trash and change out the Intake/Output sheet on his door. He looked me up and down and asked if I'd been working on the menu yet for the lunch we'd be having together. I must have given him a puzzled look, because his next question was whether I was married. When I answered in the affirmative, he said he was barking up the wrong tree, and told me to call him if anything changed.
Who needs to go into psychiatric nursing? You can have plenty of exposure no matter where you work!
Updates and musings from one momma nurse
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