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WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Are some nurses just flat out stupid?

Asked by WillWorkForChocolate (23137points) April 5th, 2012

My mom had her cardio cath done yesterday, where they go in with a little camera through the groin, and after the procedure some of the nurses were poking around and mashed on her groin. When she said, “Ow!” and swatted their hands away, they would say, “Oh is that tender?” Of course it’s tender, you idiots, she just had a tube rammed through there!

I’ve also had some horrible experiences with “dumb” nurses. One of them almost killed me.

What is up with these nurses, and why do they do such stupid things to patients?

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38 Answers

Keep_on_running's avatar

Stupidity doesn’t discriminate.

chyna's avatar

According to my best friend who is an RN, yes some nurses are flat out stupid and she is sick of working with them. Some of these nurses are so busy trying to get out of work, or just standing around talking to each other and ignoring their patients that those few bad nurses give all nurses a bad name.

janbb's avatar

In any profession, there are stupid people and competent people. In some professions, incompetence is more painful than in others.

Did you get results yet? I know you were worried.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

Not all are “stupid” .. but just like anyone else .. some are less skilled than others.

I find so many nurses are just so impersonal and testy. I wish they would look at each patient as an individual and not just like another “case”.

They see this stuff all day long and forget that for most of us, it’s all new and kind of scary. A little compassion would go a long way.

I hope .. everything did turn out OK for your Mom.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Yes, my mom is doing fine, and the results of the cath showed no problems. Yay!!! <sigh of relief>

tom_g's avatar

The impression I get is that there burnout happens pretty quickly. Some nurses get around this by transferring to a completely different environment (from hospital to home care, or from ER to maternity, etc).

I think it would take me about 1 day to be completely burned out as a nurse. And when someone is burned out at their job, often it manifests as complete stupidity or apathy.

janbb's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I’m glad to hear that.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Some nurses are in the wrong field. Not necessarily that nursing in general is the wrong field for them, just that bedside nursing is the wrong discipline of nursing for them.

Nursing is a combination of an art and a science. Some are great at the science aspect (the book smarts so to speak), but not the are aspect (the bedside manner/patient interaction stuff) while others are the opposite.

It’s sad when they don’t realize it’s time to move on. There are nurses I have worked with in the past that I would never allow to care for a friend or family member and others I would request in a heartbeat. In all professions, some are better than others. Whenever something like this happens (a nurse that just doesn’t work well with a particular patient), I try to encourage the patient to speak up and request another nurse.

marinelife's avatar

For the most part, I have had wonderful experiences with nurses. there are a few bad ones.

syz's avatar

Yes. As much as I lover her, I have a cousin who flunked out of every school she entered, and then managed to get a nursing degree and works in ICU now.

JLeslie's avatar


Glad to hear your mom is doing ok, and nothing dire was discovered. What next then?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Not sure. She’s only allowed to do moderate exercise for a while, and if she has any more chest pains, I guess they’ll try to figure out what else could be causing it.

filmfann's avatar

Based on teachers/principals/managers/coworkers I have had, I figure 20–40% of the workforce aren’t very good at their jobs. Lazy and stupid are more common than just plain evil.

Jude's avatar

I had one bad one with my Mom. Other than that, all good experiences.

We have 3 nurses in our family.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Sure, just like some lawyers are flat out stupid. or judges. Or plumbers. Or teachers. Or businessmen.

OK, you had a bad experience. There are good people and bad people in every profession. What else is new?

funkdaddy's avatar

Nurses are probably more intelligent and kinder than the population at large. Some get both qualities beat out of them over time. Some solve problems in ways that aren’t in the best interest of their patients, some get too frustrated and don’t know how to vent.

In your mom’s case the nurse was probably supposed to assess the area where the scope went in. I would imagine at some point she learned to ask how much pain your mom was having. That’s how it should be handled.

After having a few dozen people answer “42” or “17” when asked to rate their pain on a scale of 1 to 10, she probably just gets in there now to check it out. It’s a poor reason, but probably born of experience.

I’m not excusing the behavior, just trying to explain it from the other perspective. The only bad experiences I’ve had with nurses came in post op recovery, maybe at the same place. They just wanted out of there as quickly as possible and were rude. It’s not OK.

I hope your mom is great and continues to have no problems.

Blackberry's avatar

Today I learned: Apparently I should be cautious of medical “professionals”. This is scary.

john65pennington's avatar

WillworkforChocolate… wife is a nurse and said to pass this information on to you.

If your wife had a heart cath, the point of the entry at the groin requires pressure, at the groin entry, in order to prevent her from bleeding to death. The femoral artery is large and pressure is needed after this procedure.

I had the same procedure and a nurse hopped into bed with me applying pressure at the same entry point, as your mother.

No, all nurses are not stupied by any means.

What she did was correct.

ucme's avatar

A degree of stupidity can be found in all walks of life, but in my experience nurses, hairdressers & shop assistants can be rewarded for their services to idiocy.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@john65pennington I didn’t say all nurses are stupid, but trust me I’ve had some real idiots of my own… They weren’t in there to monitor her and “apply pressure”, it was several hours after the fact and they were in there putzing around in her room in general. Anyway… whether they did something right or wrong, it was still stupid to ask, “Oh, is that tender?” Well, DUH.

She’s all green, black and purple today. My poor mommy.

Jude's avatar

When my Mom was sent for x-rays, a few months before she died, she wasn’t able to sit up all that well by herself. My Mom was dying of cancer and was awfully weak. The x-ray told my Mom to hurry and forcefully sat her up. Both my older bro and sister witnessed this. My bro was ready to throttle this tech. My sis, who is an RN at another hospital put in a complaint.

Jude's avatar

Dammit, I hate answering from this dinosaur of a cell phone. Forgot a few words there. Abby, thinking about your Mama and praying that she’ll be okay.

whitecarnations's avatar

Well to be frank, in the first example you have given seems as if she was just doing her job. Secondly nurses see so much in their time they are probably numb to these types of situations. So when a patient shouts or screams, it doesn’t phase them. Instead their mindset is move on to step two, acknowledging the pain. By asking whether it was tender she can classify whether or not the pain was sharp, dull, or just that “bruised” feeling. But yeah I wouldn’t call it stupid, because they are knowledgable. Do they have common sense? Perhaps. Did the situation you presented make it seem like they were over their job? Most definitely. Do any one thing just for the money for a prolonged matter of time, and become miserable, numb, or business minded. I’m sure at first this nurse was nervous in being firm with patients but has obviously since then settled in just fine. I feel she should have more common sense though, testing the waters like seems rather unfair. I also don’t believe RN’s have to fulfill the typical GED breadth requirements?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@whitecarnations “I also don’t believe RN’s have to fulfill the typical GED breadth requirements?” What do you mean by that exactly? I’m just curious.

Dutchess_III's avatar

To me, two things were missing.
1) If it was something she HAD to do, then she should have prepared your Mom, and explained what she was doing and why.
2) If it was an accident she should have apologized. The way it happened, to me it almost sounds like “Is that tender lol”

ccrow's avatar

I’ve had my share of those comments/questions, from doctors as well as nurses. “That hurts?” or “That shouldn’t hurt” with the implication that I’m being overdramatic. (I had an abscess in the area of an ovary, and it damn well DID hurt!!!) So it’s not just nurses.
I imagine this has probably been considered, but years ago I had episodes of scary chest pain that turned out to be esophageal spasms. Maybe something to look at? I hope your mom is doing better.

FutureMemory's avatar

Despite their training, I don’t think medical professionals are any more considerate/thoughtful than the average person. Sadly, I am not surprised at all by your mother’s experience.

My aunt is an RN, but I’ve never been under her care in anyway, so no clue how good she is.

FutureMemory's avatar

@Blackberry Today I learned: Apparently I should be cautious of medical “professionals”. This is scary.

Seriously, bro? Good thing you learn this now rather than when you’re elderly and all jacked up. :P

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Hahaha, yeah. I learned that hard lesson right after I delivered my first daughter, when the nurse did something so far beyond stupid that I seriously could have died.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Blackberry Yes. You should be cautious. It sucks, I know. But…trust your gut. None of them are any smarter than you, except they the training you haven’t had. Doesn’t make them naturally intuitive. You’ll know it when you find someone you trust.

@WillWorkForChocolate…what’s THAT story?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

WARNING: Do not read if you’re squeamish. @Dutchess_III The nurse put “traction” on my umbilical cord after Jade was born, which means she actually tugged on the damn cord. She was trying to make me deliver the afterbirth faster. What she really did, with that bonehead move, was tear my placenta. I couldn’t figure out why I was still bleeding so much two weeks later, then I actually began hemorrhaging and flooded our floor. I ended up having to get an emergency D&C. My doctors told me it was causing me to “go septic” and it would have killed me, had my body not reacted the way it did, trying to clean itself out. Stupid fucking nurse. I have other horror stories involving idiot nurses and doctors also. I’ve not had a lot of good luck with medical “professionals”.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I once had a doctor send me home with appendicitis. See why they scare me? :D

Dutchess_III's avatar

yah That’s why I’m telling you @Blackberry…trust your gut….[Edit]...wait

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

So here’s another horror story I can add to my list: my daughter was bitten on the face by a dog on Saturday. She had an open laceration, as in- I could put my thumbs on either side of it and gently spread, and her cheek would just open up in a big hole. The “doc” at Urgent Care swabbed it down and closed it up with Dermabond. I had a voice in the back of my head saying, “Doesn’t it need to stay open in case it needs to drain?” but I didn’t say anything, and just went with what the doc wanted to do. I also asked about her needing a shot but he said oral antibiotics would be fine.

You know what? If he had just given her the damn shot and left the wound open to drain, like he should have, her cheek wouldn’t have swelled up to the point where she couldn’t open her damn eye. And she wouldn’t have a rock-hard, pus filled lump going from the top of her nose down to her lip. Fuck the doctor for doing it wrong, and fuck me for not saying anything.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Aw @WillWorkForChocolate…. isn’t that the WORST feeling, when you didn’t say something and one of your kids…or family members…. suffers because of it? :(
She’ll be OK.

rojo's avatar

They have to put up with a lot of shit from patients. Can’t blame some of them for not being overly sympathetic.

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