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Nurse denied my pain meds.Is that legal?
  1. #1
    itsme1972 is offline New Member
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    Unhappy Nurse denied my pain meds.Is that legal?

    Hi all.I would appreciate some opinions on an experience that I recently had.Let me begin by saying that I am a chronic pain patient and have a great relationship with my pain management Dr who I have been seeing for 4 years in April,with an excellent record.I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and had 4 months of chemo followed by 7 months of Herceptin infusions.I was 33 years old so I had bilateral mastectomies to hopefully keep the cancer at bay.I was left with a multitude of health problems from the chemo and surgery.I have post mastectomy pain syndrome,which feels like I have a basketball under my left arm where they removed 19 lymph nodes.My chest is completly numb from nerves that never regenerated as they should've yet the pain in my chest,ribs and upper back is near constant.I have neuropathy in most of my left side,especially my hand causing numbness,tingling and pain even to the touch.I also have moderate lymphedema in the left arm and trunk.I already had C5-C6 bulging discs in my neck,scoliosis and DDD prior to the cancer.I was left with congestive heart failure due to the chemo toxicity which in turn caused high blood pressure and severe fatigue so have to be on heart meds for the rest of my life.The dry mouth did such damage to my teeth that I had to have 13 pulled and get dentures.My cancer was fed by Estrogen so I am on tamoxifen from now on.The side effects make me have horrible joint pain especially in my feet,hands and knees.I have a hard time getting up from a sitting position,getting in and out of car,etc.Naturally I had a very hard time coping with all this and take antidepressants to help.Recently,I found myself very,very depressed to the point of staying in bed,not showering,not eating,etc.I checked in to a psychiatric hospital for a few days,mostly to adjust my Effexor dose.This is where my trouble began.I take Oxycontin 60 mg every 6 hrs and OxycodoneIR 30 mg 3 times daily as needed.The nurses on 1st and 2nd shift were very nice but 2 of the nurses on 3 shift gave me the problem.I have a very hard time sleeping and when I would tell them I needed one of my breakthough meds,they flat out refused.One of them lectured me on the amount that I am prescribed and the other said that it is not his job to control my pain while I was hospitalized.Needless to say,I spent 2 of the worse nights of my life.The pain got so bad and lasted so long that I was ready to ask for an ambulance to the ER.I have never abused drugs and they had my records as well as my meds.What should I have done?I want to do something so that no one else suffers at their hands.Any opinions greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    doc.rose is offline Senior Member
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    I am so sorry you had to endure that horrible nightmare! If I were you I would either call the hospital administrator or write an in depth letter explaining the details of what occurred. The hospital needs to know that this happened so they can fix problems of this nature. That way someone else won't have to suffer as you did. Make sure you put the dates of your hospital stay and if you have the nurses names include them as well. if you don't remember their names, just put the dates of the two nights that they denied you your meds and they can check the schedule to see who worked that nightshift.
    A lot of nurses steal patients meds sometimes. So they might have done something very unethical. Im not saying that's what happened, but I guess it is possible. I just read an article about nurses who do such things.
    My advice is definitely fight back! Defend yourself. Let me know how it goes. They were 100% in the wrong!!

  3. #3
    nancy52 is offline Junior Member
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    I am so sorry for all the problems you have. Is it possible that not giving you the meds during the night were on doctor's orders. After the first night, I would have spoken to the doctor and made sure he wrote on your chart that you were to be given your meds when needed. If you were ordered the night meds, I would then complain to the hospital. What happened to you certainly doesn't sound right. My first step would be check with the ordering physician. In any case, the nurse who said it was "not his job", etc. was rude and you should complain about that as well. IT IS HIS JOB.

  4. #4
    Psyched is offline Member
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    Itsme1972,
    The other two folks are absolutely right. You have ever right to complain about your treatment. I work at a hospital and I personally encourage people to be advocates for their own healthcare and treatment; however, folks like this make it hard for patients to want to speak up for themselves! At my hospital, pain is actually called "THE 5TH VITAL SIGN". I do hope you have your issue resolved and I also hope you won't judge all healthcare professionals based on these folks shoddy attempt at service; I'm sure there are lots of other equally good nurses at the same hospital but you got stuck with bad ones. Good luck and please let us know how everything works out!

  5. #5
    nancy52 is offline Junior Member
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    To Psyched,
    I've read other posts of yours, and I would have to say you are definitely one of the "good" health care workers. I was in hospital and received horrible care. I realize nurses are overworked, especially in big city teaching hospitals, but still, waiting for pain meds can seem endless. I don't know what you do in your hospital, but I will say, I found the nurses AIDES to be much more caring, kind and compassionate. Forget the doctors. If you got 5 minutes in a day, you were lucky.

  6. #6
    jksmom9908 is offline New Member
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    I work in a facility where we pass both scheduled meds and PRNs around the clock and bottom line is...they were wrong. If you are prescribed it and you are asking for it and it is in the window you can have it (which I am sure you were) they HAVE to give it to you. Unless the Dr stopped the order (which it does not sound like it) they have to give it to you regardless of their personal opinion. If that happened at the facility where I work they would have been fired. Seriously.

    Good luck to you!

  7. #7
    Psyched is offline Member
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    Nancy,
    You are TOO nice! It must just seem that I'm "good" because I'm an orderly and spend all of my shift with the patients... I have no desire to get a nursing license because I see how little contact my nurses actually have with the patients and I think THAT is the saddest thing about healthcare. So many rules, regulations, and reports that the healthcare professionals lose sight (and time) with the aspect that counts most!

  8. #8
    Robert_325 is offline Diamond Elite
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    Ken ..... I know that you do as good a job with your patients as you do with people on this forum. Just do what you know is the right thing to do next and things will work out right in the end. You've proven that for yourself numerous times. You have repeatedly done the right thing for the people here just like I'm sure you do in your facility.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-05-2010 at 12:53 AM.

  9. #9
    newyorkgal is offline Advanced Member
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    Psyched, you are truly a kind and compassionate person. To be an orderly, you very well could just go about your business, do your job, and not give a rat's behind about the patients. I've read alot of your posts to people here and I've read alot of what you've said about patients at your hospital. You're just a darned good person. Period. What goes around comes around and that applies to good as well as bad. When you help another person, it often helps you even more. You're a good guy.

  10. #10
    Psyched is offline Member
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    Thanks Guys! I really appreciate being appreciated! I do exactly that...I treat the patient NOT the illness. Bad thing about it that it sometimes gets me in trouble By the way, I get off of probation this Wednesday for arguing with a doctor about what harm it would do to let a patient have an egg-crate mattress (sure the patient is needy, but come on...one egg-crate mattress >>. the money we'll be out for giving him pain meds for his back??? (the poor guy's homeless so either way we're going to eat the bill) By the way...I did win my arguement because another doctor ordered him the egg-crate mattress to sleep! I think it's so funny how people can lose sight of what matters most in hospitals---the patients! My friend told me I remind him of Patch Adams because I'm always advocating for the patients when it's approriate. Oh well...guess there could be worse things to lose my job over. Hmm..."Reason for termination: Caring about the patients" LOL Besides, if things get too bad, I'll call the Sisters in for re-inforcements...or as I like to call them...God's NUN-jas : ) Thanks again folks!

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