hospital patient

21 Tips for Patients on How to Be Good Patients: From Health Care Professionals

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Ok, it is time to be brutally honest to our patients.  As health care professionals, we want to take amazing care of them.  We want them to heal.  We want them to feel better.  But sometimes the greatest barrier to taking care of our patients, are in fact the patients themselves.

A few rotten apples have led so many medical providers to unfortunately become jaded. With these tips, we can hopefully stop the vicious cycle of jaded professionals and ultimately provide better health care.

hospital patient
“I see your point, saying I have 10/10 pain while texting was probably inappropriate”

Alas, here are 21 tips for patients when receiving medical care.  Let’s get the word out, save some lives, and make our days/nights better!

  • Do not check into the emergency department with fast food or a soda can in hand, especially if you have a intestinal complaint.
  • Refrain from cussing out your nurse, doctor, PA, NP, receptionist, or anyone else trying to help you.
  • Never state your pain is 10/10 while texting on your phone.
  • Check your panniculi (fat rolls) for food or foreign objects before coming to the hospital. Try to clean them out.  There is nothing more embarrassing than us finding a fried chicken leg in a deep fold.
  • Do not push the call light for help or for a turkey sandwich immediately after your nurse has left.
  • Do not think your nurse is your personal waiter or waitress at a restaurant or an employee at the Hilton.
  • Please keep your arm or wrist straight if your IV is positional, unless you enjoy listening to Michael Bolton.
  • Surprising as it may seem, remember that there are actually other, probably way sicker patients than you in a hospital.  Have some patience.
  • Stop saying “I have a really high pain tolerance.”  You are here in pain, so NO you likely don’t.
  • Don’t blame nurses or other staff for being too busy.  Blame hospital administrators for continuing to raise the patient to staff ratio.
  • Don’t cherry pick your Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) status.  Either make it DNR or a Full Code.
  • Please stop pretending to have a seizure in the emergency department.  WE ALL know when you are faking.
  • A simple “Thank you” or “I appreciate it” goes a long way when talking to your care givers.
  • Try to refrain from spitting or throwing feces at your health care providers.
  • Nausea or constipation symptoms are not allergic reactions.
  • “Heart races” is not an allergic reaction to epinephrine.
  • Spider bite to your AC?  Really.  Please stop using this excuse and come up with something better to hide your drug abuse.  Many hospitals are now just dispensing Dilaudid if you ask for it.
  • Never, ever, start a sentence with “Dr. Oz says.”
  • If you can’t remember what medications you take, write them down so we don’t have to rely on our extremely accurate (thick sarcasm) computer EHR systems to “just look them up.”
  • If you have a pacemaker or ICD, keep a goddamn card in your wallet or purse with the manufacturer info.  Seriously, you have a AARP card and a Cracker Barrel gift card in there, but nothing on your pacemaker?
  • If you don’t have real contraindications to vaccinations, VACCINATE!  Why are we even having this discussion in the year 2018?!

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  • Doktor Schnabel

    Plague doctor from 1622 who practices blood letting and medical satire. My beak has mint leaves and straw to protect myself from the plague...plus it looks good.

  • Show Comments

  • Avatar
    Ruben Molière

    Why are you even on this page if these things offend you so much?

  • Avatar
    Dave Fantelli

    Jare RN

  • Avatar
    Bryan

    “: 21 Tips on How to be Good Patients: From Health Care Professionals – http://t.co/CEOcTumFAS #foamed http://t.co/tURmyp8zIF

  • Avatar
    Stephanie Boulais

    Happy Birthday………

  • Avatar
    Belinda Hurst

    Hmmmm yep I’m hearing you lol

  • Avatar
    Jane Hall

    Belinda Hurst

  • Avatar
    Carie Williamson

    Holly Johnson. Love it!

  • Avatar
    Lorelei Armstrong

    Get better, get out, stay out.

  • Avatar
    Rick McFarland

    actually it’s crohns with severe anemia and left over pain from a broken c5. my point is your joke is now public record. it’s available to nurse recruiters and worse your patients.

  • Avatar
    Rachelle Modiano

    Good advice

  • Avatar
    Mel Ann

    Omg! Yes! Scheduling someone for an MRI is fun when they have no idea what kind of metal they have. Lol!

  • Avatar
    Mel Ann

    Omg! Yes! Scheduling someone for an MRI is fun when they have no idea what kind of metal they have. Lol!

  • Avatar
    Mel Ann

    Omg! Yes! Scheduling someone for an MRI is fun when they have no idea what kind of metal they have. Lol!

  • Avatar
    Lauren Boomer

    Oh how #20 is much needed!!

  • Avatar
    Lauren Boomer

    Oh how #20 is much needed!!

  • Avatar
    Lauren Boomer

    Oh how #20 is much needed!!

  • Avatar
    Terry Niska Watson

    Oh man! So perfect!

  • Avatar
    Terry Niska Watson

    Oh man! So perfect!

  • Avatar
    Terry Niska Watson

    Oh man! So perfect!

  • Avatar
    Juliana Trescott

    I was upset when I read the title of this article… But the content itself is good. Still, I don’t like the idea of labeling patients as “good vs. bad” patients. Nursing and other healthcare professions require a certain level of inference and tolerance, plus lots of education. This would be an awesome article for me if it didn’t suggest we label our patients in this way.

  • Avatar
    Juliana Trescott

    I was upset when I read the title of this article… But the content itself is good. Still, I don’t like the idea of labeling patients as “good vs. bad” patients. Nursing and other healthcare professions require a certain level of inference and tolerance, plus lots of education. This would be an awesome article for me if it didn’t suggest we label our patients in this way.

  • Avatar
    Juliana Trescott

    I was upset when I read the title of this article… But the content itself is good. Still, I don’t like the idea of labeling patients as “good vs. bad” patients. Nursing and other healthcare professions require a certain level of inference and tolerance, plus lots of education. This would be an awesome article for me if it didn’t suggest we label our patients in this way.

  • Avatar
    Barbara Alcorn

    I’ve heard the old sandwich one too

  • Avatar
    Krystle Spayer Barnes

    Love #3

  • Avatar
    Liv Aannestad

    I think one of the best parts is the intro:

    “A few rotten apples have led so many medical providers to become jaded and to have given up on humanity. Through patient education, we can stop the vicious cycle of jaded professionals and ultimately provide better health care.”

    So true. Unfortunately, those bad apples are not the ones reading this, or if they do read it, they are the ones who get up in arms pissed off.

  • Avatar
    Nancy Dixon Horton

    You come to the ER because you just threw up the bean burrito you just bought from the taco truck on East 39th. Don’t you know that’s why God invented toilets? Vomiting ONE time is not an emergency!

  • Avatar
    Nancy Dixon Horton

    Give him a break, he’s got the fibro gene.

  • Avatar
    Tracy Christ-Clement

    I agree with you not to tick anyone off. However fibromyalgia is a hypersensitive senonero disorder, neuropathy would be a decreased one. Educate yourself on your health.

  • Avatar
    Barbara Robin

    Not only texting but eating, watching TV and laughing while on the phone!!!!

  • Avatar
    Barbara Robin

    Taped to the front of every nurses’ station!

  • Avatar
    Thomas Bohm

    I was always told tip your nurse generously,or was that your waitress.No wonder my foods always cold!!!

  • Avatar
    Kimberly Wainwright-Morrison

    After answering with “24” …
    I always reply , “So it’s a 10”

  • Avatar
    Kimberly Wainwright-Morrison

    Oh dear god take it from someone who knows…DO NOT PISS OFF THE FIBRO COMMUNITY. People whose chronic pain effects their whole bodies with the exception of their forearms, wrists and hands should not be messed with. They can smear your name faster than any community on earth.

  • Avatar
    Elise Ballard

    Kimberly Wainwright-Morrison. Just sayin

  • Avatar
    Gail Allen Poplin

    Sadly those that need to read this won’t…or they will be like the guy above and swear that their pain is 10/10 no matter what!

  • Avatar
    Christopher Michael Bourque

    So true!!!

  • Avatar
    Joanne Evans

    Or have 5 children..!!

  • Avatar
    Sandra Garmon

    Print and give to all pts

  • Avatar
    Angie Havier-Demalade

    What Tami said
    It’s just a different sensation

  • Avatar
    Jody Madden

    20 and 21 are my favorites. Dead on.

  • Avatar
    Malinda V Wilford

    Cigarette butts, money…

  • Avatar
    Malinda V Wilford

    No abusing the pain scale. You are not ’24 out of 10′ pain if you’re able to speak.

  • Avatar
    Brooks Walsh

    Does this not seem up to the usual standards of ? It’s a bit… mean.

  • Avatar
    Derrick Korb

    ^^^^^ hahaha!

  • Avatar
    Gale Strobl

    Classic! I love the pacemaker one. No one ever has info on their freaking implanted devices!

  • Avatar
    Cyndy Williams

    There’s some good stuff in here!

  • Avatar
    Deborah Humphrey

    Love these!

  • Avatar
    Diana Moore Flippin

    A candy bar and the electric bill. And the patient said, “So THAT’S why the power got shut off! I swore I paid that!”.

  • Avatar
    Dana Johnston

    I work in a clinic. The number of people that walk in (usually talking on their phone) with 10/10 pain is astounding.

  • Avatar
    Aoife O’Sullivan

    This made me laugh much harder than the actual article

  • Avatar
    Bridget Tobin

    I remember when I was a unit clerk people would do this dragging their drag their IV pole down the hall (when they were very intentionally put far away from the station given their frequent flier status) to complain about it

  • Avatar
    Robin Fahringer Mitchell Machajewski

    ***applause***

  • Avatar
    Samara Woolridge

    NUMBER 10….

  • Avatar
    Megan Rutsky Brooksbank

    I’ve found a sandwich, pill cutter, palm pilot (remember those?!)

  • Avatar
    Kelly Finley Brown

    All I can say is you grow up, it’s a joke!

  • Avatar
    Rick McFarland

    @ 1st glance I agree with you. but no, you’re a fool. I spent years with off and on 10 out of 10 pain, with a high pain tolerance (I can self-hypnotize and have proven so to neurologists), I texted my wife to give an ER status bc we both HAVE to work to pay bills. As a healthcare professional, educator, and patient…all I can say is GROW UP. patients are individuals. experience is based upon the individual.

  • Avatar
    Amy Arouni Peltz

    Found an old sandwich once.

  • Avatar
    Jackie Fiala

    I like #16 especially. I’ve heard that several times.

  • Avatar
    Elena Ferretta

    This isn’t funny. I am confused, I thought this was a satire site. All totally true.

  • Avatar
    Jason C Wood

    Interesting.

  • Avatar
    Lori Kavanaugh Lewarski

    hahahahahaha……I’ve heard this.

  • Avatar
    Lori Kavanaugh Lewarski

    Amen, hallelujah .

  • Avatar
    Lori Kavanaugh Lewarski

    How is the “needle” that different ? I don’t have tattoos….but stabbing is stabbing…..I figure. I’ve had shots, blood draws, injections…..doesn’t the tattoo needle stab ALOT, just shorter stabs and many of ’em ???? That, is why we’re confused……

  • Avatar
    Cindy Tormoehlen Abrams

    Too true!!!!

  • Avatar
    Polly Foreman

    3 and 11 hit close to home for me.

  • Avatar
    John DeCaro

    This was a rather sober gomerblog. I wish this were satire.

  • Avatar
    Justin Rich

    Liz Rich

  • Avatar
    Bobby Merwin

    AMEN!!!!!

  • Avatar
    Mici Gerkins

    That you cannot breathe, but come back with that SVN after you go outside to smoke. Again.

  • Avatar
    Jodi Faulkner

    Cell phones, tv remote contol, and $20….

  • Avatar
    Kathee Johnson

    Since this is Gomerblog, I thought these were all going to be jokes, but they were all totally real! Have heard almost all of these

  • Avatar
    Wes Lindsey

    Buck Rogers – this is something you could have written.

  • Avatar
    Michael Mooney

    Hannah Van Allen

  • Avatar
    Callie McCormack Hollenshead

    Ugh. #15 and #16

  • Avatar
    Kathryn Mccoy

    Really? Chicken bones were found in fat rolls???

  • Avatar
    Maryle Olivier

    Sad but true! All of them!

  • Avatar
    Sonya Addison

    Filling your emesis basin with white, foamy spittle does qualify as ‘uncontrolled vomiting’ and will not get you IV benadryl.

  • Avatar
    Tracy Christ-Clement

    In reference to #9. I heard she has a high pain tolerance, you know she has fibromyalgia. LOL

  • Avatar
    Crystal Ray Broussard

    Amber Ray-Droddy

  • Avatar
    Karen Townley

    and asking for IV ativan “cause you are anxious and want some lunch” is priceless crap

  • Avatar
    Dana Johnston

    #3 all day, everyday . If you say 10/10 you better be on fire.

  • Avatar
    Nora Pero

    Screaming loudly how You can’t breathe does not support your complaint.

  • Avatar
    Gina Taylor

    Please don’t flirt with me or insinuate that I want to “check out your fine ass” when I come in to give you an IM injection to treat your STD for the third time in 6 months!!!

  • Avatar
    Gina Taylor

    The worst is when trying to put an IV in a IV drug user with sleeve tattoos who cries and flinches away from the needle!

  • Avatar
    Tami Peacock

    I thought the same thing as I was reading it! Haha. ” this is all actually true”

  • Avatar
    Tami Peacock

    I agree with you Melissa. I’m covered in tattoos but I cry like a baby at the mere sight of a needle. I can’t help it. The feeling of a tattoo and a shot are two totally different feelings and sensations.

  • Avatar
    Melissa Bell

    I can say that I have tattoos and am terrified of needles. It is not the same no matter what people think/say.

  • Avatar
    Sara Keefer

    I thought this was a satire site, but this is all 100% accurate and reasonable advice

  • Avatar
    Katie Wojciechowski Mullins

    Can I get an amen?!?!

  • Avatar
    Bonnie Clifford

    And don’t tell us you are afraid of needles when you are covered in tats!!!

  • Avatar
    Kelly Lamb

    #10!!!!!!

  • Avatar
    Karin Cartwright

    :D

  • Avatar
    Lora Ann Cullipher

    Haha! You have a Cracker Barrel card but no AICD card!

  • Avatar
    Becky Lauderdale Nelson

    #10, #18. The end.

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