Sunday, March 2, 2008
So, you all know it is flu season. I've waxed poetic about the flu shot and the flu itself. How we (as an ER) can't really help, you just have to sweat it out, etc, etc. A patient came in today complaining of cough and fever. (Classic signs!) We encourage all our patients who have these symptoms to wear a face mask and we, as health care providers, also wear masks to keep from spreading the flu and starting an epidemic (or pandemic, god forbid). I was helping this particular patient, all the while wearing my mask. She refused to wear a mask, even after I asked her to. She asked me, "Is there something going on in the hospital that 'you all' don't want to get coughed on?" I replied, as pleasantly as I could, "Yes, influenza. It's contagious. And no-one likes to get 'coughed on', regardless." After I discharged her, her husband came to the nurses station and asked, "Are you the nurse that took care of my wife?" I answered yes. He asked for my first name and wanted to know if my supervisor would know who they were talking about when they filed their complaint. I answered yes. Are you kidding me? You want to complain because I am trying to protect myself and other patients? It pains me that we actually have a staff member that deals with complaints and this is what she has to deal with.