Checking vitals

I cannot remember when my vitals were last taken. They used to be done once a month. But it seems to have been longer than that. 

Nurses do vitals here. Because of that I am reluctant to ask them to check them, when it is not scheduled. I have my own thermometer but I cannot use it myself. As a quadriplegic, I know it is important to keep track of my temp. Even a low-grade fever can be potentially dangerous, especially when the weather is hot.

After lunch the other day Phil (pseudonym) was wheeling behind his nurse asking to have his blood pressure taken. He seemed concerned and his voice was rising. Student nurses were here and Phil could not understand why their assignments would not include taking a resident’s blood pressures. 

Phil followed his nurse while she passed a med. Another nurse tried to quiet him. But Phil was clearly aggravated that his nurse moved away from him. 

Nurses at this behavior facility move away from loud, frustrated residents who are making requests. In that way they reinforce that residents should address them in a calm manner. 

So Phil went to the front office for an ear. There, a woman asked if he had given his nurse enough time to take his blood pressure. After hearing that statement, Phil quieted down. He admitted he just wanted it done. Later, Phil apologized to his nurse, and his blood pressure was probably taken when he calmed down.

I did not feel that because Phil wanted his blood pressure taken that he did not care about other residents. He just wanted his need met.

Many times, because of the busyness of the nurses, I put off asking questions and making requests. Then, hours later during another shift, I realize I forgot to go back to the nurse. 

I think a resident’s greatest concern is that their needs will be forgotten. Most residents realize other residents have important and frequent needs. Some residents have probably been forgotten and feel they must be emphatic to get what they need. 

Topics: Clinical