Evil People

  1. Hello.

    I am sure those of you who worked new years eve last night are as exhuasted as I am...anyway my thoughts keep wandering back to satan's reincarnate, whom I met last night in the ED. She was a mother who brought in her drunk 16 year old child. It was about 3 am, I had 7 pts to myself including a GI bleed with hgb 8, a guy with a perf. esophagus, we had 3 pts waiting to be checked in, combative woman screaming...you know what I mean.

    So, I finally get back to the drunk girl and satan woman (pts mother) demands that I come into the hall. She tells me I am to numb her daughters arm before the IV and that I will have to have 12 people hold her down. Jump forward 20 minutes and I am setting up the IV. Mother says in evil tone "you better be good at this because you only get ONE try" After dealing with her evilness on top everything else all night this one just put me over the edge. I have never been so angry at a pt. (family) in my life. I was so angry that I could barely move my hands to unwrap the IV, it was as though I was frozen with anger, I never experienced a reaction like this in myself. I make an excuse to leave and regain my composure. I come back and the pt. has great veins. I insert the IV, pt. is crying softly--6 family members are stroking and babying pt. I don't go right in the vein, I pull back once, palpate, go in a bit and mother screams at me "pull it out NOW, you're done" I pull the needle out and leave the room. The mother procedes to tell Dr. how rude and incompetent I was. The story goes on of course but I'll stop here. Now, I have had plenty of evil encounters but nothing has ever gotten to me as much as this woman did. It was as though she sucked what little life I had left in me right out.

    So, the point of my story is, what do you guys do to get over being treated like this? I can't get her out of my thoughts and I keep running over everything I would like to say to her and how good it would feel. People like her should simply not be allowed to live in our society. I have given up so much and worked so hard to get where I am, I spend 12 hours a night trying to help people just to be treated like crap by ungreatful worthless scum sucking people. The thing that gets to me is that there is nothing I can do about it, and I am forced to tolerate something I have no tolerance for.

    Maybe the answer to our nursing shortage has nothing to do with recruiting nurses, maybe it has to do with finding some way of either teaching people how to be humane to each other, or simply killing off those who can't be decent.
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  2. 36 Comments

  3. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    Wow... sounds like a bad one, alright. The way I deal with these is simple. I simply don't allow them to taint my thoughts. Tell yourself that she isn't worth those brain waves and she certainly isn't worth your time thinking about her. Think positive instead (OK, maybe one quick thought in which you picture yourself "accidentally" dumping a bedpan over her head, but then RIGHT back to the positive thoughts! )
  4. by   UM Review RN
    I would've probably said something to reflect my feelings on a mother who allows her 16-year-old to get drunk on New Year's Eve (or any holiday).

    And I would've probably added that the alcohol provided enough anesthesia for a simple IV stick.

    But frankly, when I had that mother as a patient (masquerading as a guy), he wouldn't even let me stick him. I was palpating, trying to find the best vein--he had very nice veins--and suddenly he said, "I don't want you to start my IV. Go get someone else."

    Alllll righty then! Never mind that I was the best sticker we had on the unit! So I found someone who needed the practice. :chuckle
  5. by   weetziebat
    Quote from Happy-ER-RN
    or simply killing off those who can't be decent.
    To be honest, I kind of like this option. But to be realistic, I couldn't work in that atmosphere. You hit the nail on the head when you said the nursing shortage has nothing to do with nurse recruitment. Won't be long before they get fed up with being treated like crap by both the management and the patients/families.

    Sorry I can't offer any useful suggestions. I probably would have been fired cause I would have had mom escorted from the ER by security, as a hazard to the patient. Good luck!
  6. by   AlabamaBelle
    This is too weird!! We got a drunk 16yo girl admitted to our PICU on New Year's. She fell down drunk in a parking lot - in front of a police car! We got her intubated - she was restrained but broke out of those things.

    She woke up quite nicely Mon am. It took 5 of us to hold her down. Found out she got the alcohol from none other than her mom, as did her 12 yo brother.

    Sorry you had such a nasty mom; at least this girl's family was pretty nice.

    Cindy, RN
  7. by   rn in 3 years
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    Alllll righty then! Never mind that I was the best sticker we had on the unit! So I found someone who needed the practice. :chuckle
    That is HILARIOUS! Sometimes you CAN get revenge
  8. by   JBudd
    Quote from Happy-ER-RN
    So, the point of my story is, what do you guys do to get over being treated like this? I can't get her out of my thoughts and I keep running over everything I would like to say to her and how good it would feel.
    I keep telling myself "Jesus died for this person as much as He did for me." But I know what you mean by going over it and over it in your head! Sometimes just letting enough time pass is the only thing that'll do it. Replaying it and getting angry just keeps me angry, trying to replay it without anger seems to help.

    Did you consider calling security in? If for nothing else than to have a witness on your side, and someone to verify the abuse you're getting. My other thought was, would mentioning CYF have helped? Obviously there is some possiblity of neglect if the kid is that drunk. That kind of "threat" might shut them up. When it's crazy, we stick to the one visitor per patient rule, two parents if a minor. Every one else can wait outside, gets rid of the audience for the drama princesses.
  9. by   CyndieRN2007
    [quote]
    Quote from JBudd
    I keep telling myself "Jesus died for this person as much as He did for me." But I know what you mean by going over it and over it in your head! Sometimes just letting enough time pass is the only thing that'll do it. Replaying it and getting angry just keeps me angry, trying to replay it without anger seems to help.
    Amen!!!! Sometimes only time can help. I'm obsessive like that too. I think and rethink about it. Relax you mind and enjoy the new year...
  10. by   debx
    I just "zone out" and do what I have to do. Rude comments don't deserve a response. Sometimes these angry people want to get a rise out of you...and I refuse to play that game. It's not ok for them to take their displaced anger out on me.

    I have to do a lot of self talk. I refuse to let these evil, nasty people rent any of my head space. They aren't worth it. I remind myself that I'm going to go to my happy home and family and enjoy my life and I thank God that I'm not miserable and ugly like that person is.
  11. by   Nurse Ratched
    Quote from debx
    I refuse to let these evil, nasty people rent any of my head space.
    That was a great quote . It's even worse - they're the friend who crashes on your couch, eats your food, leaves a mess in the bathroom, and doesn't even _pay_ rent lol.
  12. by   rn/writer
    my husband used to go nuts at work when he felt he'd been accosted by evil people. in his case, it was mostly middle management drones who lied to save their own anatomy or who reneged on incentives they offered to get extra work done. he filed complaints. he went through various mediation efforts. but even when the outcome was okay, he still felt furious. i tried to tell him to let it go, but he didn't know how to do that.

    what finally made a difference was when i made the offhand remark that their garbage wasn't personal. it was like a light went on. he saw that these knobs were equal opportunity jackasses and their slime trails had far more to do with who they were than who he was. if he hadn't been there, they would have unloaded on whoever was unfortunate enough to be in his place.

    somehow, this clicked and really made a difference. now, he's like a man holding a vicious little brat by the top of its head and letting it flail and snarl and gnash its teeth while he just watches in amazement. sometimes, he gets caught off guard and starts buying into their hoo-haa, but as soon as he realizes what's happening, he assumes his buddha-like composure and lets them rant and rave and spin their wheels. occasionally, when he's feeling particularly feisty, he'll wait till they're done sputtering and fuming and then he'll ask, "is there any more in there?" the halfway decent ones settle down then. the twits can sometimes go another round. it doesn't matter. he's no longer caught up in their storm.

    when you're dealing with evil people--it isn't personal. you're the target of the moment. when you leave, the crosshairs will easily shift to someone else.

    it isn't about you. it's about them trying to convince the world that they are the center of the universe and the frustration that boils over when others won't recognize their elevated status and bow down.

    the only way to win is not to play. as soon as you attempt to meet their loopy demands and accusations with logic, you lose. do what you have to do. say what you have to say. just don't get drawn into arguing or explaining (beyond an initial attempt to see if this is a reasonable person you're dealing with). once you have determined that this is an impossible person, pull waaaay back on your desire to connect. connecting with a crazy critter is like agreeing to take the wrong end of a tug of war rope. in really bad cases, the rope is electrified and you will get jolted.

    people like this are rewarded by their victims' shock, anger, indignation, etc. zapping others gives them the illusion of the power they crave. and a little tastes like more.

    you combat this by learning to make yourself bulletproof. google assertiveness training and look up techniques like the "broken record" and "fogging" and "negative assertion."

    here's an excerpt and a link from a good article.

    [font=trebuchet ms, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]assertiveness training does not teach the student to be aggressive, loud, or bullying, although it may well help them to stand up to those who are. assertiveness is not about trying to dominate others: it is a more a matter of resisting those who seek to dominate and manipulate you.
    [font=trebuchet ms, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]

    [font=trebuchet ms, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]if well-taught, assertiveness training can help the student recognise when they are being abused or manoeuvred for someone else's benefit, and how to resist such treatment effectively without becoming angry and aggressive.



    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/a2998551


    once you have learned to protect yourself, you will find your own anger lessening and you may even reach the point where you feel compassion for people who are so needy and twisted that they constantly have to go after others. then you will be in a position of power to truly care about the person who is trapped inside that prison of hostility. you might be able to connect on your terms, you might not. but either way, you will be okay.
  13. by   BamaBound2bRN
    [QUOTE=Angie O'Plasty, RN]I would've probably said something to reflect my feelings on a mother who allows her 16-year-old to get drunk on New Year's Eve (or any holiday).

    Unless the mother locks her 16 year old in the basement 24/7- which is illegal- then how is she suppose to "Not allow" her daughter to get drunk? You can only raise your children to a certain point then pray that your lessons stick in their adolescent brains. And I am sure that you have first hand knowledge of the "Perfect Healthcare Experiences" these patients have been through in the past.

    My wife had to undergo a lumbar puncture a few years ago. We were at a "University Hospital" and naturally a 4th year med. student was sent in to perform the procedure. I appreciate the fact that all need to learn, but after his 4th attempt, the supervising MD asked if she could send in another student to try? I would and probably was labeled an "Evil Person" for what I said to the doc in the hallway.
    Last edit by Nurse Ratched on Jan 4, '06
  14. by   debx
    Great response RN/Writer.
    It's actually liberating when you can shake them off. I have to admit that I still have times when I come back with a comment without thinking but that is a rare event. I never want to empower the evil people with words I've said that can be used against me or that I regret.

    You mentioned the simple comment that "it's not personal". That's it in a nutshell. They're the one with the problem. They are the ones with the issues or the agendas.

    I don't know how many times a week I have to tell my self "whatever" and keep going.

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