Quote from abundantjoy07
Has anyone ever snapped while on the job? After all of the verbal abuse has anyone ever just gave back to the patient what they give to us? I did last night...all the threads I've searched no one has ever said they as the nurse responded aggressively. I'm just curious to hear the responses of others. My charge nurse was allll tooo happy to report it to the director and to tell the family to file their complaint... but when I got in to speak with the director he just said, it happens. Patients are always going to be mad and for me to just go home so I could get rest for work tonight... Really? In the age of customer service and just grin and bear it I expected more.
Just a little background, the 18 year old patient literally thought he was bleeding to death from his nose (vitals stable, no horrible frank bleeding, mainly dried blood from the pressure he was holding) and the doctor wasn't able to see him in 5 minutes of his arrival...EMS brought him in and he automatically got a room and I guess he thought he was in dire straits. He was also mad because guess what I was in another room and not in his giving him the magic pill he needed. He yelled he needed help now and I straight up told him, you're not dying, keep the pressure on it because it's working, the doctor knows you're here and he will see you soon. He cussed and started throwing stuff, his mother got angry and started getting hostile and I just told her they could either wait for the doctor or they could get up and go to another ER. She got angry and then I really went off...
How on earth can you stay sweet and kind all the time anyway? Sometimes therapeutic touch and all that mess just goes out the window and self-preservation kicks in...
Responding aggressively will not help in any situation. I have worked in hospitals in some pretty rough areas.....while my responses are not always syrupy sweet they are not aggressive.
Telling at someone that they aren't dying and to buck up will only serve to escalate the situation...which it did as he started throwing stuff and not you got his Momma in on the act. Telling them to sit down or leave isn't helpful either and of course the situation deteriorated.
You are lucky your director was understanding. I've seen nurses fired for a lot less.
It is very hard to keep your cool especially on busy nights but engaging the offender is like arguing with a 2 year old in the throws of a tantrum....you aren't going to win. engaging Momma....who obviously hasn't taught her son self control is a recipe for disaster.
When there are drama kings and queens that have learned that acting out will gain them immediate attention it is difficult to not become engaged in a battle. But the battle is futile and you will be the one losing. Here are some tips.......Don't take their behavior personal. Consider the source. Is the risk of being fired worth this situation? Is this patient really worth your time, frustration and energy? In a hundred years will any of this matter? If the answer is no to any of these questions.....keep your frustrastion to yourself. Walk away....go to your charge nurse, or co-worker, and tell them you can not deal with the jerk in room xyz.
My high school drama teacher had something painted alon the cieling of the drama room...
All the World's a Stage by William Shakespeare
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
So, for me, I play a part in the play. Act I Scene I...The jerk enters stage right. My character...the calm, serene and patient one who can't be bothered by the trivial wailing of the rabble.
It all a game. On my bucket list....I want to work for one week saying exactly what I have kept inside for 34 years. How satisfying that would be.....sigh with a smile.
Now if they get assaultive and start throwing things......I know the number to 911 and I am not afraid to use it.
"You need to calm down" in my best no nonsense Mommy/authority voice....
..and "If you continue the police will be called and you will be escorted off the premises, Mom...you need to calm your son down immediately if he wants to be treated. This is not a bar on a Saturday night there are children and sick people here. If he doesn't want to clam down he will be asked to leave by us or the police." If he doesn't want to play....he can leave. By Police escort, or on his own power. I don't particularly care which but they will be leaving.
Now, have I ever gotten so annoyed that my response was less than therapeutic? Yes.
Have I ever told anyone that if they were so unhappy with their treatment they are welcome to seek a second opinion while holding the AMA papers for them to sign (as well as the elopement/LWBS papers in my pocket? Yes
Have I told more than one or two obnoxious drunk/drugged/crazy
patient/person/parent/gang member to lay down, shut their mouth and knock it off? Oh heck yeah!!!!
Have I broken up fights in the waiting room with a fire extinguisher? Um.....yes.
But the most threatened I have ever felt was when a father (who was an airline pilot for a major airline) felt his infant daughter wasn't being seen by the EDMD soon enough for a fever (100.1) after immunizations that day held me by my throat demanding the ED MD...was I nice and polite to him in my request to let me go? YOU BET I WASN'T...and he went to jail.
Pick your battles and try to choose only the one's you will win. Above all else....don't let them get under your skin...it really isn't personal. I'm sorry you had such a bad night
and I know it's tempting.....but don't engage the.....malcontents.
I wish you the best.