Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

Endless Types of Impairment

on September 28, 2019

This last week I had a patient to prepare for surgery who was blind in one eye and with significant vision loss in the other. He, and his wife, had come in a week earlier for his surgery interview.

It was there that the consents, surgical and anesthesia, were read to him before a large ‘X’ was placed a the signature line in order for him to navigate where to place his signature. At the bottom of the form the P.A.T nurse ( aka interview nurse) had written ‘ consents read to patient.’

Yesterday, the O.R. Nurse challenged this as being sufficient. Out of earshot, my simple response to her inquiry was ,” Hey, he’s alert and orientated, told me exactly what he is having done today. Actually a very articulate gentleman.”

She sought the input of her supervisor.

The supervisor came to our area and approached me. I stated that asking his wife to sign a durable power of attorney was diminishing to his intellect, awareness, and sensitivity as he was read every single risk to anesthesia – and there are fifteen listed at the top of our anesthesia consent forms. It’s a daunting read, whether you’re doing it yourself, or someone is reading the consent to you.

The supervisor took an alternate route and told me she wanted to first call Risk Management before he was allowed to go the O.R.

Risk management confirmed that what the P.A.T nurse did was appropriate.

I’ve never wanted this blog to be a place where I make habit of blasting leadership, the nursing profession, or my peers. In theory, calling Risk, not a bad thing, it’s a valuable department. But for this situation, it was, in my opinion, overkill.

And it pushed my buttons.

When you enter the hospital for treatment and sit first with someone in registration, I suspect that no one reads the whole financial statement form to you.

Just sign at the bottom.

After your insurance information is verified.

After it is know where to send all the bills.


There are worse impairments than visual impairment.

And often they belong to everyone but the patients.

12 responses to “Endless Types of Impairment

  1. DM says:

    I get it, and I get why it punched your buttons. Had a conversation several years ago with a friend who had a temp position filing paperwork @ some department of human services drove him bonkers…nobody had and common sense or inner fortitude to see that there were times when the “rules” made absolutely no sense and in fact made things even worse. DM

  2. Jim says:

    people who want to be bureaucrats versus human beings are simply the worst

  3. I agree with you, Susan. I think having this information read to you is much more than most of us get in the way of service.

  4. Beth says:

    This pushes my buttons too. I am 80, and I want to live as long as the Lord decides to keep me on this earth. If it is inconvenient for my caretakers, then so be it. Where was I when they landed on this planet? I was there to receive them and take CARE of them.

  5. Bonnie says:

    I am appalled. The RN who wrote read consent to patient should have been enough. The Md signed the consent and charting verified he’s mentation. Really !!!!!!

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