So going back to Hypoglycemia Girl and "I Need My Pills" Lady from a couple posts ago...
At one point during the shift I was chatting with Hypoglycemia Girl and her boyfriend, and had apologized a couple times for not checking in on her more often. I explained (without compromising confidentiality) about the issue with INMP Lady and how I wished there was something I could give her.
HG said, "Can't you just give her something else, like Tylenol, and tell her it's the right stuff?"
I explained that most of our patients (especially the older folks) know their pills by look more than by name or what it does. I said, "I've had patients refuse certain medications because at home they take two little green pills not one pink pill, even though I explain to them it's just a different manufacturer"
Together we came up with a fabulous idea for a business, creating Placebo knockoffs that look just like the real thing. That way if your patient is demanding Ativan but isn't allowed it for whatever reason, you can give the appropriately sized and colored placebo. Of course, they should be kept separate from the full-fledged medication, and be available only in hospitals.
But wouldn't that be damn helpful for confused folks who can't understand that if we give them Ativan when they're already having trouble breathing, they might stop breathing altogether....
I know we shouldn't be out to deceive our patients, and that we should educate where people don't understand. But some people are apparently ineducable and just giving *something* would reduce stress on everyone's part :)