When did it become ok for patients to do this

  1. 0 I've been working as a CNA for a few weeks now and I've been hearing and seeing in the news about the horror stories about patients being physically abused and sexually assaulted by the caregivers. But what do you do when a patient sexually harasses you? I have not one but two patients who every night make it their business to make sexual comments and advances towards me every night. At first I tried to laugh it off and let it go thinking that it was nothing major but I feel completely uncomfortable with this situation. My usual supervisor is aware of this situation as well but does and says nothing against it and others girls have also told me that these particular patients have done this to them as well. Who do I got to since my supervisor isn't any help here?
  2. Visit  mskrisCNA2bRN profile page

    About mskrisCNA2bRN

    Joined Mar '13; Posts: 42; Likes: 6.

    18 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  MrChicagoRN profile page
    I had many younger female nurses on my floor. If there was was a problem I'd go in and have a subtle, or sometimes not so subtle chat with the patient. I'd also assign a male staff when possible if there was a continued problem, especially if there was a cognitive issue.

    That was usually the end of it.

    If your supervisor won't address it, then you escalate it up the chain of command
    catman88, Red35, and turnforthenurseRN like this.
  4. Visit  duskyjewel profile page
    Quote from MrChicagoRN
    If your supervisor won't address it, then you escalate it up the chain of command
    It's not OK, of course, but management seems to attract more than its fair share of cowards. Do take it up the chain of command, and start using buzzwords like "hostile work environment" "lawyer" and "EEOC". If that doesn't get them moving, it's hopeless.

    But you should be more assertive too. Are these patients A&O, or are they confused? If they are A&O, tell them that their comments are unacceptable and you won't put up with them anymore. If they are confused, chalk it up. Confused patients do weird, funny, and even horrifying things, and none of it is their fault.

    At least you didn't have a cho mo ask you to bring your kids to work with you so he could "do them." That happened to a fellow CNA on the tele floor I used to work on, and the charge had to reassign that patient to a male nurse, who provided all care for the rest of the shift. (No male CNA on that night.) The girl he said that to said at first she was stunned, and then she was so angry that she had to get out of the room or she would kill him. He was completely A&O....just evil.
    DizzyLizzyNurse likes this.
  5. Visit  elkpark profile page
    Quote from duskyjewel
    But you should be more assertive too. Are these patients A&O, or are they confused? If they are A&O, tell them that their comments are unacceptable and you won't put up with them anymore. If they are confused, chalk it up. Confused patients do weird, funny, and even horrifying things, and none of it is their fault.
    ^^ This.
    DizzyLizzyNurse likes this.
  6. Visit  mskrisCNA2bRN profile page
    Thanks you guys I really appreciate the help. I will be alerting the DON because these patients are both A&O and know exactly what they are saying to me
  7. Visit  mskrisCNA2bRN profile page
    duskyjewel I cannot believe he said that to her that's awful
  8. Visit  SopranoKris profile page
    This is why I quit being a CNA in the 90s. I was only a kid, a few years out of high school and those dirty old men would make lewd comments. One offered me money to give him a b*&%job....ugh!
  9. Visit  TurtleCat profile page
    That is awful and something no one should have to put up with. I don't care what anyone says, being sexually harassed or abused should never just be "part of a job." I'd read of nurses and CNAs being sexually harassed before and was always scared of it, however thankfully I never experienced much aside from some harmless/silly flirting.
  10. Visit  i_love_patient_care profile page
    I've come across this a lot. As the above posters have said, make sure it isn't part of their condition. One guy in a facility I worked at stopped doing it when threatened to be cared for only by males by upper management. I'm usually very firm about it. "Now sir, that isn't the reason I'm here, please behave yourself" or "Please stop doing/saying that, it's inappropriate" I usually am pretty quick, so have never had anyone actually grab me, but many have tried >.<
    Teacup Pom and elkpark like this.
  11. Visit  SaoirseRN profile page
    People like this feed on your discomfort. It encourages them to continue the behaviour because they are getting a reaction from you. The best way to end it yourself is to be assertive.
    DizzyLizzyNurse and elkpark like this.
  12. Visit  irisheyesRsmilin profile page
    Totally unacceptable behavior by those patients.
    ...I have had comments made at me, but it stopped quick when I explained that my husband is 6' and 245 farm boy who would have no problem coming in and discussing "professional boundaries" with them!
    The offending patient never did that again! :P
    dpcRN and marycarney like this.
  13. Visit  fuzzywuzzy profile page
    It genuinely doesn't bother me when a demented person does this. I'd rather have that than combativeness. But the few times that an alert person had made comments... eww. It makes me glad that I work in a nursing home where even the rehab unit doesn't get a lot of men at all, never mind alert ones. But I used to get that kind of crap all the time as a cashier. A lot of men are like that in their daily life and get off on thinking that since you are "serving them" in a professional capacity that you don't have the power to do anything about it. They LIKE making you feel uncomfortable, and they LIKE the power differential. If they're truly not "like that" but are just making a comment because they're nervous about being in a position of needing something from you, then when you react with surprise or discomfort they will not do it again. If the dude is a jerk then he'll keep doing it and you need to try not to show how uncomfortable you are, and act like you do not notice or care. If they get more explicit after that, feel free to make a cutting, sarcastic remark, but again, don't get emotional about it, because that just eggs them on. You don't want them to think they're getting a rise out of you or making you feel degraded. I know that in this line of work you're supposed to be all nicey-nice and everything is considered abuse, BUT I can't imagine getting in trouble with the nurse for making a wise remark when an alert and oriented patient is sexually harassing you. I feel like in my experience nursing is a lot more supportive than supervisors in cashiering jobs (it's sad how much abuse you are expected to take in those jobs). If you outright insult the patient you will probably get spoken to about the appropriate way to deal with these situations. But I don't think there's anything wrong with saying, "Gee, too bad I'm not allowed to date patients because you're soooo charming!" or something like that.
  14. Visit  Pearlite profile page
    The way we were trained to handle this was as follows. Stop what you're doing. Look them straight in face and repeat what they've said to you. In my experience this will usually stop them when they hear how inappropriate they've been. Next step is to tell them that their behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We were taught to treat them like a two year old when these innopropriate behaviours occur (it may sound harsh but it works and we're not there to be ogled and groped). If they think you're nervous or uncomfortable they'll keep at it just to wind you up. Touchy feely dementia patients are a little more difficult. I keep an eye on their hands (and feet) at all times as my residents can try to slap your bottom one minute and box you the next (they aren't sedated). Residents with these behaviours have assistance from two anyway which makes it a little safer.
    aTOMicTom and DizzyLizzyNurse like this.

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