FYI: It’s not Mountain Dew

A call light comes on. Of course there are no CNA’s around to answer it. It’s 2am, it’s her second double shift and her lower back is having spasms. She goes to the patient.

Nurse: Yes?
Patient: Can I get some pain medicine?
Nurse: Are you in pain?
Patient: Yeah.
Nurse: What kind of pain?
Patient: Yeah.
Nurse: (a little bit louder and a bit perturbed) Where do you hurt?
Patient: My back.
Nurse: How bad is the pain?
Patient: (has puzzled look on face)
Nurse: Does it hurt really really bad or does it just hurt?
Patient: It just hurts.
Nurse: OK, I will go see what I can give you.
She briskly walks several yards to check the chart. Tylenol is prescribed. She takes the two tablets back to the patient.
Nurse: You can have two Tylenol for your pain.
She hands the patient the tablets and raises the head of his bed. She picks up one of the two 16 ounce Styrofoam cups and hands it to the patient.
Patient: I can’t drink that. I need a straw and ice.
She thinks to herself, “Seriously?” She takes the two half full cups down the hall. Puts ice in them both. Puts lids on them. Puts straws into them. She walks briskly yet again to the room.
Nurse: Here. (she hands one of the cups to the patient)
Patient: I can’t drink that.
Nurse: Why can’t you drink it?
Patient: I peed in it?
At this point she had made three trips to this room. Internally, she was screaming every expletive.
Nurse: Why would you pee in your cup? You pee in a urinal, not a cup.
Patient: They wouldn’t give me a urinal.
Nurse: I will go get you a urinal.
Now she must get a urinal, two new cups, two new straws, two new lids, more ice, more water. She’s thinking her BSN stands for bullshit nursing. And of course, not a CNA in sight.
Nurse: Here’s your urinal. You pee in urinals. You don’t pee in white, Styrofoam cups. OK?
Patient: OK.
Nurse: Take your Tylenol.
Patient: I can’t use that cup?
Nurse: Why?!!
Patient: I peed in it.
Nurse: These are brand new cups! Look! (she storms to the bin and pulls out the discarded cups, re-soiling her hands) These are the old cups with your pee in it. Those (she points to the new cups) are your new cups! Drink that water or I will take those pills from you. He drinks the water with his pills. She leaves the room for the fourth time. Now there are two CNA’s in the hall. Son of a…


(fictionalized to protect pt privacy)