Cursing on the job

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    Alright so maybe this is a sign of burnout but most of us (not all of us) in my ED curse (sometimes loudly) while on the job. Usually its related to frustration. We were so incredibly busy yesterday and all of us were getting our butts handed to us. The call light was binging and the usually missing clerk was not there to answer it so I stormed over, snatched up the phone, and cheerfully (fake cheerfulness of course) yelled "Hi! Can I help you!!!?!?!?!" It was a "problem" patient who had their tv on full blast so I of course couldn't hear anything they were saying so I yelled "I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE TELEVISION..." and slammed the phone down. Then I proceeded to curse. Is this normal? I feel like I have anger management problems. I'm never rude to the patient's face, but I do this passive aggressive stuff and I'm not sure that it's healthy. It's also dangerous because it only takes once to do it in front of the wrong person and you're outta there. Anyone else have issues like this???
  2. 53 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    It sounds like a toxic work environment. Your choices are to hunker down and deal with it, find a new job, or change the environment (not sure how you would do that). You are right that it sounds like it's eating you up. How is your personal life? Ideally if a staff member isn't pulling their weight that should be dealt with. You could notify your boss and hope for the best, I'd be looking for a new job.
    Michele1377 and bebbercorn like this.
  4. 10
    Quote from Ciale
    It was a "problem" patient who had their tv on full blast so I of course couldn't hear anything they were saying so I yelled "I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE TELEVISION..." and slammed the phone down. Then I proceeded to curse. Is this normal? I feel like I have anger management problems. I'm never rude to the patient's face, but I do this passive aggressive stuff and I'm not sure that it's healthy. It's also dangerous because it only takes once to do it in front of the wrong person and you're outta there. Anyone else have issues like this???
    Truly ... if you didn't curse in this situation I'd worry about about your anger management -- that it would explode at any moment.

    The ER is often a fast and furious, stimulus-overloaded environment. Cut yourself some slack. I don't think a muttered expletive is "passive-aggressive" at all ... passive-aggressive would be going into the patient's room and applying pressure to the volume control on the TV until it *accidentally* breaks off.
    canoehead, Keep_Calm, DawnJ, and 7 others like this.
  5. 9
    This is too funny!! Just today we were talking about one our patients ( CVA) that is an RN. Her speech is starting to come back and she has the worst potty mouth.We were having a good laugh about it and then someone said "well she was an ER nurse.A potty mouth is a requirement". lol
    canoehead, isthatso?, DawnJ, and 6 others like this.
  6. 11
    Oh, dear Lord, I would positively explode if I couldn't cut loose with the occasional bit of choice invective, especially at work. I'm so glad I have an office where I can shut the door and have my conniption in relative privacy, though I still can't exactly scream because there's too many people walking down the hall. But sometimes it gets to be really funny when my boss and my two floor supervisors are all in there, and we're kvetching and moaning and cussing about something.......we can be pretty foul! Then we put our nice faces on and go back out to smile upon everyone we meet. Little do they know...
    Syrenia, hudabelle, wooh, and 8 others like this.
  7. 1
    I don't curse and personally don't like to hear co-workers curse. If I did curse I would be sure to keep it to myself. Ofcourse after working in the Ed I'm sure it's hard. I new I wasn't an Ed nurse when everyone around me dropped the f-bomb except me
    RNam likes this.
  8. 11
    I don't curse in front of pts but at the station i will string invectives together under my breath.

    My childhood (as inner city as you can get) gave me the ability to curse colorfully and easily. I can and will work multiple f-bombs into conversation. I can also refrain from cursing without thinking about it as that is habit as well. Situational potty mouth if you will.

    Nothing wrong with cussing at appropriate times.
    Ciale, canoehead, Ella26, and 8 others like this.
  9. 6
    Yeah......I cuss so I can manage my anger. Working in the inner city for an extended period of time has given me a colorful vocabulary. Once when my kiddos were small(about 3 or 4) they were with my hubby and they were in traffic when my daughter piped up..."Daddy, Mommy class those people "donkey behinds"

    My husband told me the next time she cussed he was going to wash my mouth out with soap...I told him that I was glad she didn't quote me exactly because I call them "really foul word" donkey behinds.

    We all have responses to stress and I have, on occasion told a WR to knock it off so I could think. I once broke up a fight with a fire extinguisher. Stand around any ICU and hear a code called....the prominent word is oop:.

    You need to be careful when you cuss...but cussing is a good release of tension and some cuss words really help you to feel better once said out loud.

    I wish you the best.
    Ciale, anotherone, Altra, and 3 others like this.
  10. 3
    Quote from Altra
    Truly ... if you didn't curse in this situation I'd worry about about your anger management -- that it would explode at any moment.

    The ER is often a fast and furious, stimulus-overloaded environment. Cut yourself some slack. I don't think a muttered expletive is "passive-aggressive" at all ... passive-aggressive would be going into the patient's room and applying pressure to the volume control on the TV until it *accidentally* breaks off.
    Or accidentally run it over with the stretcher....
    Ciale, Altra, and VivaLasViejas like this.
  11. 1
    I've turned into quite the potty mouth since moving to the ER! I think there's a certain type of person who gravitates towards the ER and the potty mouth usually goes hand in hand with that. At least on night shift!!
    nrsang97 likes this.


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