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How to never get that nurse again, and do it without hurting her feelings? **UPDATE** had the talk

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

***UPDATE: So I listened to you all and today was the new infusion open house day, so I went just before they closed and there was one oncology nurse (known her since I've been going there) and the receptionist, so I asked the nurse how do I go about NOT getting a particular nurse again, she said to just tell her and they would quietly make sure I didn't get that nurse again, so I told her about the mis-poke into my port and the "pushing" of the steroid in myself and to the gentleman that was also in there that day, the nurse said, oh no, she isn't supposed to do that, we take the 20 minute "thingie" (I forgot what she called it)because you aren't supposed to get it fast, that it can make you feel bad doing it that way. She said they would make sure that she didn't do it anymore, apparently she comes in when they're busy and isn't a regular, so they'll let her know they don't push the steroids through and make sure I don't have her anymore. What a RELIEF!!! Thank you all for your suggestions and putting some backbone in my back!!!
Winter Marie

I know this seems trivial but I just hate being poked with needles and the onc nurse that did my infusion this past Friday was someone that caused more poking then necessary.
First she stuck the needle into the port and it hurt, like it was pinching, I said a quiet, "ow,ow", then said, "I think something isn't quite positioned right." The nurse looked and said, oh I've pinched your skin, let me fix that. And she did something or another, and it was still pinching, but I figured I was being a big baby and stayed quiet. Then she asked me to move arm etc., as she was trying to get return or blood or something, and then she said, well let me try this, to which I said "Ow, ow, ow, um, stop, please stop." So she stopped what she was doing (turned out she was pushing the saline in) and went and got Nurse Ron.
Apparently she didn't get the needle into the port (later I saw it was above the port, having missed the port completely after I went home and looked for the needle insertion spot)and so was inserting the saline just in under my skin (which explained why that whole area swelled up until the saline leaked back into my body).
Nurse Ron came took the needle out, reinserted it into the port and everything worked fine.
Another thing that she did to two of us that I didn't care for was the infusion of the steroids is usually done over 20 minutes in a timed drip by drip way, this nurse instead put a needle into the tubing and inserted it within two minutes to me, and to an older gentleman when he questioned her (I didn't and should have)she told him she was doing it in a different but prescribed way of inserting it directly into us over a slow 5 minutes (swear it was two minutes)now I don't know if this makes a difference or not, but for two and 1/2 year period, steroids injected along with chemo would be done timed in 20 minutes and the new nurse is doing it in 5 minutes or less, and I just don't feel comfortable with her and her methods.
How do you in a kind way never get that nurse again? It's a small cadre' of nurses and I don't want to look like a complainer (this would be my first complaint)and I don't want to hurt that nurse's feelings, but I don't want her putting needles in me anymore either.
Any suggestions???
Winter Marie

Posts: 35
Joined: Nov 2012

Oh, nononono. Don't worry about hurting feelings. Really.

It may be easier said than done, but just be honest. I can imagine your annoyance ... and thensome.

Doc_Hawk's picture
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

But, to hell with feelings! My first port became infected only a couple of months after I started chemo. when I went into the oncology center to end the infusion, I asked the nurse who removed the needle what I could have done the prevent the infection. She told me nothing, it was not my fault but who ever had stuck me. My surgeon removed it using local anesthesia which doesn't work very well on infected tissue. The pain was excruciating and after it was over I asked him the same question I'd asked the nurse. His answer was the same as the nurses.

When I next saw my onc, I'd had plenty of time to think it over; the infection could easily have gone directly into my heart and killed me in only ten minutes. I laid down some very stern ground rules: 1) That nurse was to never touch me again; 2) Prior to prepping for needle insertion, the nurse attending me was to us a pair of sterile gloves in my presence, not a pair out of an open box, and; 3) My skin was to be prepped with the best agent available. I was assured the the cleansing agent begin used was the best available and my other two conditions were met for the rest of the time I went to that center.

I knew -- and told the onc -- that I had very good grounds for a malpractice suit and he agreed, letting me know that my comfort and safety mattered a lot more to him than any amount of money. Winter, don't be afraid of hurting someone's feelings at the risk of your own comfort and safety. A good medical professional is going to have some pretty thick skin and if their ego suffers at the expense of your well being then they do not belong in medicine.


PS: After my surgery on Saturday, my back was in terrible pain, so I asked the head nurse on duty for a heating pad to relax the muscles. After a few hours, I asked for it again the next time I saw her. She said she'd forgot to order it. Several more hours later, my brother went to the nursing station to ask about it and it had been sitting there for some time. That's when they brought it in. Another incident that day occurred when at 2:00 in the afternoon, I asked another nurse for a drink. Every time someone came in the room, I'd ask and even called the station a few times. Finally at 4:00 I buzzed them again and said "May I please have the drink that I asked for two hours ago?" That's the main reason I came home that day when offered. This morning, I let my onc and the nurses at the cancer center know what had happened. The onc is going to file a formal complaint.

Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

I am sooo blunt that I wouldn't worry about her feelings. If she screws up something small then she will screw up something big. In that case I would feel like my life is in jeopardy. I would tell her supervisor and see if someone else could help me wothout any guilt. My sister had a baby and her heart rate was dropping. The stupid nurse came in and started asking my sister who was becoming unresponsive what was wrong and when did this happen. My mom told her "it happened when they gave her th pitosimum sp? Look at the fkn chart" the women was stupid and my sis could have died. No shame in my game!

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

I had a bad experience with a nurse. I just explained what happened and why I didn't want her to the scheduling nurse and I never had her again. Don't be shy. I doubt that the nurse will even know

RickMurtagh's picture
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2010

I also had a bad experience with a nurse, but in my defense I was on morphine. I apologized and since that time we have been good. I know that our experiences are not at all similar, except that they involved nurses. Still, I suggest a copious application of morphine. I don't know what I would have done if I did not have morphine as an excuse. Worse case, if that nurse ever treats you again and you happen to pop her in the mouth, you can always say it was the morphine.

abrub's picture
Posts: 2132
Joined: Mar 2010

Tell your onc that she is not to touch you again.

I had a nurse who nearly killed me by recording my temp (97.4) as my weight in kg (=215 lb.) I weigned 130 at the time). This was for my first chemo, and everything was based on my weight. When we realized what had happened (at my second chemo), all holy hell broke loose, and while she was not fired (tho I don't know why) it was written in large letters on my chart that she was to have absolutely no contact with me or my records again. I didn't care about her feelings.

Oxaliplatin going into you, missing the port could have been extremely serious. This nurse has no business accessing a port, and you need to tell them that she is not allowed to work on you again. Period. No excuses, no explanations.

You have to take care of yourself, and ensure that you are getting the proper care. If you are not happy with a nurse, dr, or whomever, then request someone different. Your comfort and care is much more important.

Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

I agree with the others but wonder if anyone goes with you to appts and treatments? I find it much easier to advocate for others....

Varmint5's picture
Posts: 384
Joined: Feb 2012

Winter Marie, forget about her feelings. She is dangerous, to you and others. If she had administered chemotherapy into your tissues (or anybody elses) the results could have been catastrophic. I am wondering how in the world she missed the port. Putting a needle into a port has a completely different "feel" than anything a nurse does - there is resistance, it's hard to describe. She sounds like she is incompetent to be practicing as a chemotherapy nurse. And it sounds like she gave your steroid "IV push." You need to call there and find out how to officially make a complaint and do so. And make it clear to them that she will not touch you again. And if you see her coming, just say NO!


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I guess Nancy Reagen was right after all..."Just Say No."

Posts: 158
Joined: Jan 2012

I used to be sweeter and kinder then I literally almost died twice while I was on chemo. I learned to make sure all safety precaustions were met because I understood the seriousness of side things happening while my body was weaker from the chemo. I don't hesitate to stop things I know that are being done incorrectly. I have refused treatment twice. Once was because the stand in radiation oncologist was just horribly rude. I was going through too much to put up with unkind people. I have to say she is no longer with my practice. Guess I was not the only that refused treatment from her. The second time was an experience like you mentioned. I had to have treatments at home and they brought in a home health care nurse. She was inexperienced with my port and when she replaced the needle it hurt and I commented that it had never hurt in the past. She said she got blood so it is fine. Well the next day when I was home alone I tried to input the saline to flush the port and it hurt. I stopped and called the home health care office and explained what was going on and they said they will send out my nurse. I said sorry but if you do not have a more experienced nurse then I will just go back to the hospital. They supposedly sent a more experienced nurse but after she got it set up I was not comfortable with home health coming back so I "fired" them and just made the trips into my center where my nurses were wonderful and experienced. At that point my port was my life line to treatment and I was not going to let them cause any issues.

All of this being said, these were the only two issues that I ever had through my 15 months of treatment and numerous hospital stays. The nurses and staff at the hosptial and my cancer center were wonderful and always went above and beyond to make my stays and office visits wonderful. They always did a great job of following safetly protocals. I always jokingly told them that I enjoyed my stay at the "Hilton" and my chemo days were days at the spa.

Don't be afraid to speak up! This journey is difficult enough and you should feel comfortable with all of your treatments.

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3348
Joined: Jan 2010

Don't consider it a matter of "hurting feelings" but consider it from a medical consequence perspective.

Missing the port and administering drugs in a manner which is not usual for your care are certainly medical issues which could be serious.

Definately relay your issues and concerns to whoever schedules the nurses. Make a definate request for her not to attend you again.

Her experience level and/or her concern for the patient are not what should be tolerated. After all, the reason you and others are there is to save you life, not add what could be serious complications.

As is often said, you must be your best advocate in this battle. Make that report.


Marie who loves kitties

z's picture
Posts: 1414
Joined: May 2009

I would ask to speak to the head nurse and discuss your experience with the nurse that performed her job inadequately. She could kill someone with her way of being an oncology nurse. Sorry you had this poor experience, this isn't what we need as we have enough to deal with as it is. Lori

wolfen's picture
Posts: 1326
Joined: Apr 2009

Whenever hubby needs a picc line put in, a picc nurse is required because of difficulty getting a good vein. One hospital stay, four diffferent nurses tried the procedure leaving his arm a bloody mess and him in a lot of pain. I had asked each one if they were a picc nurse to which they repied no. I finally stepped into the hall and screamed "Can I get a fuc**** pic nurse in here". One showed up right away and the problem was solved.

Luv Ya,


thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

I tell them, I need a more experienced Nurse, Tech, what ever. I have even told the Hospital Doctor that. If they argue, Maybe this is not in your training or experience.

I have seen them put my wife in distress, and neither of us will let that happen to the other again.

Do not have issues about hurting feelings. You will feel a lot worse, getting hurt.

Best Always, mike

z's picture
Posts: 1414
Joined: May 2009

Very Good, I wish we all could be that assertive. I have that scene in my mind, and it made me smile.

wolfen's picture
Posts: 1326
Joined: Apr 2009

I find that the older I get, the less tactful I become. I'm sure I have a lot less patience also, especially where the welfare of a loved one is concerned. I've seen way too many life altering medical mistakes made on my family members. No one is perfect, but stupidity is unforgivable.

Whoops, I better not get going here!



steveandnat's picture
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

If there is a nurse who is really good that you want then ask the onc to put an order in for treatment to be done by that certain nurse. Feelings will still be hurt but I think it could be a good learning experience for that nurse and others. Jeff

k44454445's picture
Posts: 494
Joined: Jul 2012

it is your body & you need to safe guard it any way you can. this is not a situation to be concerned about a nurses' feelings because she does not know what she is doing. she could have killed you. i would mention to the head nurse that you do not need the stress of wondering if you will get her again. i would not let her touch me again!

carrieh's picture
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2012

You have enough 'ouchies' to deal with..no offense to the nurse but if anyone 'miss pokes' on me they don't get another chance and I tell them that upfront. They have one shot and I sweetly tell them to get the best person for the job...cuz Ive been through enough. Crying helps if you aren't dehydrated. LOL

JayhawkDan's picture
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2012

...that's simply bull sh*t what you went through. That nurse needs to either learn how to do her job (I'm doubting that will happen) or move to something else. I agree with Carrie about dealing with enough "ouchies" as it is, to have to endure something like you did. And dangerous too! At least that's one thing I haven't had. I've got a great nurse that usually tends to me and I'm happy about that. Good luck with great care from now on! Dan

lepperl's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: Jul 2012

I am an RN who has accessed about 100 ports at least. I work in an ER so I don't see as many as an oncology nurse would. Do not worry about hurting her feelings. She needs more training before she really hurts someone. Accessing a port is a no brainer if you are trained properly. As far as the steroid is concerned. Decadron for chemotherapy needs to run over twenty minutes and should be diluted in a bag hung as a "piggy back". Steroids like solumedrol can go in over 2-5 minutes in cases of emergency when they are being used for patients with breathing issues like asthma.
If you want to be nice about it I would speak with the nurse or manager in charge and tell them what happened. For the sake of all other patients this nurse needs to be retrained.

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

and I wanted to say, I'm sure everyone else that gets her in the future if they only knew, they'd be thanking you too!!!
Winter Marie

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