Where are you supposed to draw the line?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Onlyanurse Onlyanurse 7 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #73760 Reply


    Hello everyone,

    I’m a PICC nurse and I travel regionally to different facilities, (mostly nursing homes) to place PICCs on patients who need them. So they don’t have to go to the hospital to get them.

    Anyway, yesterday I had two really difficult cases with obese patients who were diabetics and I couldn’t find the vein. When I did finally found one, it wouldn’t thread.

    I then got called to do another PICC at a nursing home close to me. When I arrived at the facility there was a woman there at the front door who had a walker and she appeared to be in her late 70s, but I didn’t really pay much attention to her because I was focused on my work.

    Suddenly, right before I walked in the door she said, “Hey, can you give me a ride?”  Her voice was kind rough and she was a bit rude. But I felt sorry for her and asked her why she needed a ride. She said her husband had suffered a stroke and she had been with him at the facility since then. She told me that she rode the bus because they wouldn’t allow her in the ambulance.

    Feeling sorry for her, I agreed to give her a ride but told her that it might be a while. She said, “what’s a while?” I told her ” about a hour and a half, or so). Then she asked if she could sit in my car. I told her she couldn’t and when she asked why I told her that I didn’t know her, she was a stranger and that I didn’t trust her in my car.  I told her again that when I got out of the case I would drive her home.

    The case last about an hour and a half. When I walked out of the facility I was really hoping she’d be gone. But instead, she was standing there smoking a cigarette. She looked at me and said, “Thank God. It’s about time.”

    Well, that ticked me off and I told her, “Look, I’ve had a very difficult case and my patients are my priority so she should be thankful that I was going to help her.

    She got to the car and asked me to put her walker in the trunk. I told her I couldn’t because my trunk is full of supplies. She made a huffing sound then got in the car. As I looked over at her she wasn’t in her 70s at all. I asked her how old she was and she told me she was 53. She said she had Rheumatoid Arthritis and did  I F***ing know what that was.

    I told her I was a nurse, and yes I knew what it was. I told her that I was 60 and she was acting older than me. She said, “mind your f***ing business and drive me home.” I noticed too that she was slurring her words, although I never smelled alcohol. I asked her if she had been drinking. She said, “maybe, why?” I told her she was not pronouncing her words and had flight of ideas. She said “I drink because it numbs the pain of my arthritis.”

    I told her that was no excuse. I asked her where she lived and she said “Dixie Highway.” Dixie Highway  goes on for hundreds of miles. So I asked her the address. She said she couldn’t remember and that I was an “ass.”

    At that point, I’d had enough. I pulled into a gas station and told her to get out of my car.   She said, “you can’t be serious. why?” I said, “because you’re belligerent and nasty and I don’t want yo in my car. You wreak of cigarettes and I want you out.” I also said, “Let me give you a piece of advice. When someone is trying to help you don’t treat them like crap.”

    She refused to get out of my car so I told her that if she didn’t I was calling the cops. She begrudgingly got out and I drove off so mad, I was ready to choke her.

    As the saying goes, I suppose, “no good deed goes unpunished.” I couldn’t believe she acted that way and I vowed not to ever allow someone I don’t know in my car again.

    I know that if I’d of been wearing regular clothing and not scrubs, she probably wouldn’t have asked me and I probably wouldn’t have agreed to help her. I just wonder where nurses should draw the line sometimes. I felt sorry for her cause she looked much older. I feel like I have to help others when I’m in nurse mode at my job. I am just wondering would other nurses have made the same mistake. What would you have done?

    where are you supposed to draw the line?



  • #73762 Reply

    I can’t help but laugh about this. It’s rather funny. But, I wouldn’t have given her a ride. As soon as I saw her smoking a cigarette that would have been it. The audacity of people these days is ridiculous. I cant believe she wanted to sit in your car. That’s so funny.

  • #73763 Reply

    This is a pretty funny story. Although I realize that it wasn’t funny at the time. Your work time is one thing as far as professional, but when you’re in your own car you can do whatever you want. She had no right to treat you that way. That’s terrible! She deserved what she got and I would have done the same.



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