Monday, November 3, 2014

Code Dentures

I got possibly one of the most annoying pages ever yesterday. It was a nurse calling to inform me that an elderly female patient had stolen her elderly female roommates dentures.

And where was this lady keeping the dentures? In her mouth, obviously.

The denture thief was demented and apparently would not let anyone take the dentures back. So what exactly was I supposed to do? Knock her out so we could take the dentures?

To be honest, I'm pretty sure the roommate didn't want them back at that point.


  1. Happens all the time, esp in nursing homes. A long time ago, one woman went round one night collecting dentures from bedside tables and putting them all in a pillowcase. Went back to her room and tried them all on till she found a set she liked. The nurses had a mess sorting out the dentures in the morning. :) Nurse shouldn't have bothered you. Kinda not bright.

  2. Many years ago, I was called upon to help supervise student nursing assistants in their clinical rotation. There were many things wrong with this assignment, not the least of which was that I already had many years experience as an ICU/ER nurse and I wasn't really sure what nurses' aides did on general medical floors. Nonetheless, I couldn't gracefully get out of the assignment. I met my charges and reviewed their assignments with them. I thought I covered all of the important things, but apparently, I had not.

    One of my aides was taking care of two LOLs (Little Old Ladies) in one room. Patient A had a muffin on her tray, but she didn't want to eat it. Patient B was eyeing the muffin hungrily. I walked into the room just as the student aide was taking the muffin off of the tray of Patient A and giving it to Patient B, an insulin-dependent diabetic. Caught just in time; Patient B very unhappy.

    In our post-clinical conference that afternoon, one aide remembered that she had removed a stool-filled bedpan from one patient, she wasn't sure what she was supposed to do with it, so she put it in the patient's bedside table. And forgot about it. I quickly called the nurse's station to report the - um - surprise awaiting them.

    Next room - another student. This time, the student was combing the hair of her gentleman patient. He was telling her that having someone else comb his hair was very relaxing and was encouraging her to continue. He was not the least bit relaxed ... the breasts of this well-endowed student were pushed into the side of the patient's face! No wonder he liked having his hair combed!

    And, this is the memory that was ignited by your post: Back then, the hospital had 4-bedded patient rooms. My student was helping the four LOLs with their morning bathing, etc. With a remarkable sense of efficiency, the student decided to put the dentures of all four patients into one basin to take them to the utility room and give them a good scrubbing. I walked into the patients' room to hear: "No, Gladys. These aren't mine - maybe they are yours. Hand me the ones you have, dear." The patients were happily trying each set to sort out which dentures belonged to whom.

    Interestingly, no one ever asked for my assistance with the student assistants again! TCG, RN