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6 Things Your Patients Won't Tell You

6 Things Your Patients Won't Tell You

Hamsa Ramesha | NursingLink

“Everybody lies” is the mantra of Dr. Gregory House, and it’s not just true on a fictional drama like House. Are your patients lying to you? As a nurse, you’ve come across your fair share of fibbing cases, and you know some patients will go to great lengths to cover up something they don’t want you to know.

Fortunately, nurses are seasoned pros in sniffing out the truth. You’re trained to phrase questions in a specific way and remain non-judgmental no matter how crazy a patient’s story may be. Patients who lie, cheat, and mislead their way around you are nothing new. The famous physician, Hippocrates, told his students that patients often lied when talking about their meds, and that was way back in 400 B.C.!

The only thing that varies is what they lie about. Check out our list of common things patients won’t tell you, no matter what.

Your patient won’t tell you…

…How Much it Hurts

Pain is one of our most acute sensations; it’s one of the first symptoms people recognize that something is wrong. Some patients will pull Oscar-worthy performances when it comes to pain just to get a dose of Vicodin, while others dismiss the sensation entirely. Of course, you know to be aware of drug-seeking behavior, and to think twice about hopping a patient up on morphine. No pain, no gain.

Next: How They Got Injured >>


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    emtb2rn

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    The "No Pain, No Gain" goes against what I have learned in 2 different semesters of nursing school, "Pain is what the pt says it is, when they say it is". To the "performance" part, I've seen pts perfectly fine while their family is with them, talking, having a good time, or reading a book, watching TV, etc but once that distractor is gone, BAM they are rating pain at a 7. I work as a CNA in a hospital and my "home floor" is where the majority of pts are hip and knee replacements, so I see a lot of people in pain. The same reason we see pts not having pain at first is because of the same non-pharm techniques we learn in nursing school.

  • Owl_max50

    WiseOldOwl

    over 3 years ago

    78 comments

    You are absolutely correct, bobfnp!
    For all of our medical technology, lab tests, etc. we still do NOT have any kind of tool other than WHAT THE PATIENT SAYS as our basis for treatment. This is a subject that is too often overlooked unless someone is lying there with a leg chopped off!
    As you know some people yell and scream with pain while others turn inward or simply go about trying to live with it, especially as the baby boomer generation ages and degenerative, painful diseases such as osteoarthritis rear their ugly heads.
    This is one area in which the American Medical climate is grossly ignorant.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    bobfnp

    almost 4 years ago

    14 comments

    No Pain , No gain? Who the heck is writing this...certainly not anyone skilled in treating pain patients! By saying this you are telling nurses to be detectives. I think we can give them credit for some assessment skills with " no pain no gain", that's an unprofessional comment R. Dillon, MS, APRN, pain specialist.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    lralkhatib

    almost 4 years ago

    2094 comments

    this is true.

  • Blue_20__20white_20chessmen_202_20_2__max50

    sreddicks2405

    almost 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I know in the ER in Louisiana, everyone is considered a drug seeker and to me it's the worst policy that we can have as Americans. Every single person expresses pain in a different way. We are the most judgemental of all living beings on the planet.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    jsilvoy

    almost 4 years ago

    12 comments

    Just an anecdote to go along with the article - this is true, SHMG. A man came to a physician to get treatment for his testicles which were severely swollen and oozing pus. The man would not give a plausible explanation as to how it might have gotten like that. After much interrogation and probing of the infected area, the man finally confessed that he would masturbate by holding his genitals against a vibrating machine at work while everyone else was at lunch. A few days before, while getting his jollies, his scrotum got caught by a moving part and tore it open. To avoid embarrassment, he stapled it back together and went on with his day!

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