Do I let her know about my brother?? - page 3

Recently I was in the surgeon's office as a follow up for hernia surgery. The nurse who works in the office doesn't really know me--or that I am a nurse. As she was taking my BP/temp, her friend... Read More

  1. by   TazziRN
    Quote from Miss Mab
    Oh goodness....Here we all go again---equating certainly unprofessional behavior that needs to be addressed with heinous firable offenses. Oh yeah, and let's not forget, many of you would NEVER want to work with that person or HAVE her as your nurse. Pfft....

    Sorry to sound so callous but the OP was being cared for by a jerk. Guess what? There are lots of those in healthcare. The time to say something would have been when it happened. Why do so many seem to lose their tongues when apparently it's an issue with which you take such great umbrage? If it's really so egregious to you then by all means follow up with her. But the whole letter writing thing, supervisor calling, etc.-----please.

    I don't think you need to mention your brother--it really doesn't matter---it wasn't offensive beause of WHO she happened to say it in front of----it was just flat out offensive in itself. Besides, you don't know her story. While your photos are sentimental and all and I'm sincerely sorry for your loss, maybe her whole family was down at Jonestown or she's the only one left who hasn't taken that step. The point is you don't know. Here's a little secret. I've probably said more than once a poorly chosen comment or two about a drunk tearing up my ER (been one myself) about having to babysit a manipulative 5150 (Nephew was one twice) and, oh yeah, even an attempted Borderline "gesturer" who worked everyone of our last nerves---ladies and gentlemen, the newly found twin of my dear sister!

    Point is ---I'm not an angel--I'm a human. And then I'm a nurse. And a damn good one.

    Maybe the original nurse is too---she just behaved incredibly stupid and needs to be called on it. Simple/easy and should have already been done. Hmmmm....how long will it be before someone calls for her license or a call to the board

    FWIW--My guess is the OP somehow identified herself as a nurse and therefore the other people probably "let their guard down" some. Still inappropriate? Yep. So say something!!!

    Now I'll get flamed on this one--but geez people, we really love to rally around and pile on what is clearly someone's bad judgement. She was wrong--tell her so and move on..............oh yeah, except the Marty Mary nurses---we KNOW you would never do such a thing

    And to the OP----I really am sorry for your losses. I just get so tired of the righteous piling on we seem to do. If I was staffed everyday with all of these perfect nurses who seem to exist so plentifully in cyberspace then I would never feel the desire to call off!
    1) Many times we are so shocked at the time of an occurence that we cannot think fast enough to say the appropriate thing. And sometimes we're not sure if we should say something, so we come to places like this to ask advice. And oftentimes it's better to say something later, or to a supervisor, because time to think means the time to find an appropriate way to say something. There have been times when, in the heat of the moment, I've either said something in a way I shouldn't have, or left something out. Time to think about what to say and how to say it prevents that.

    2) What's a Marty Mary nurse?
  2. by   Cattitude
    Quote from Miss Mab
    Now I'll get flamed on this one--but geez people, we really love to rally around and pile on what is clearly someone's bad judgement. She was wrong--tell her so and move on..............oh yeah, except the Marty Mary nurses---we KNOW you would never do such a thing

    And to the OP----I really am sorry for your losses. I just get so tired of the righteous piling on we seem to do. If I was staffed everyday with all of these perfect nurses who seem to exist so plentifully in cyberspace then I would never feel the desire to call off!
    No flaming here, I agree with everything you said. I know that I am so far from perfect it's not funny. Most of us have made mistakes at one tiem or another and yes even put our foots in our mouths.

    These employees were wrong but they shouldn't be beheaded for goodness sake! I think the OP should talk to the "nurse" or whatever she is, one on one first and let her know that it was wrong. I'm sure she'll apologize profusely and be 1000 x more careful in the future. Isn't that what we want? For people to learn from their mistakes?




    Quote from crissrn27
    Maybe these women weren't nurses?? Around here mostly MAs work in docs offices (even surgeons). MAs don't get the same kind of lecture on privacy issues, etc, as we do. Not that it excuses their stupid comments in front of a pt, but I would think a nurse would be more careful, especially in front of another nurse,
    I think you may be right. They were probably NOT nurses. The OP stated that the second one was going to "babysit" the guy ALL DAY (suicidal pt). that sounds like something a CNA or tech would do.
  3. by   zumalong
    The person who said the comments was an LPN.
  4. by   Cattitude
    Quote from TazziRN
    1) Many times we are so shocked at the time of an occurence that we cannot think fast enough to say the appropriate thing. And sometimes we're not sure if we should say something, so we come to places like this to ask advice. And oftentimes it's better to say something later, or to a supervisor, because time to think means the time to find an appropriate way to say something. There have been times when, in the heat of the moment, I've either said something in a way I shouldn't have, or left something out. Time to think about what to say and how to say it prevents that.

    2) What's a Marty Mary nurse?
    1. I hear ya Tazzi. I keep forgetting all of us have such different personalities . See, I have such a big, blunt mouth and would have spoken up right then and there, no doubt about it. But other people have their own way of doing things and thats ok too.

    2. I think she meant Martyr Mary
  5. by   Miss Mab
    Thanks to eagle eye Miss Tazzi for catching what appears to be the only blatant spelling error I made while managing to miss the gist of my post. (Which, BTW, I thought was pretty good for no spell checkin'!)

    Coming here for opinions is awesome and one of the reasons I like it here. My issue is in the responses one tends to get to many of these queries. Lots of indignant posting about write them up, call the boss, fire them, send 'em to the stake! :spin:

    Blech...

    It's great to see some folks get the point, which turns out is not far off from the OP's.

    And certainly, Miss Tazzi, I have a sneaking suspicion that you very easily recognized my Martyr mistake for what it was. Kinda like lookin' in the old mirror, eh?
  6. by   NurseCherlove
    Quote from Miss Mab
    Oh goodness....Here we all go again---equating certainly unprofessional behavior that needs to be addressed with heinous firable offenses. Oh yeah, and let's not forget, many of you would NEVER want to work with that person or HAVE her as your nurse. Pfft....


    Sorry to sound so callous but the OP was being cared for by a jerk. Guess what? There are lots of those in healthcare. The time to say something would have been when it happened. Why do so many seem to lose their tongues when apparently it's an issue with which you take such great umbrage? If it's really so egregious to you then by all means follow up with her. But the whole letter writing thing, supervisor calling, etc.-----please.

    I don't think you need to mention your brother--it really doesn't matter---it wasn't offensive beause of WHO she happened to say it in front of----it was just flat out offensive in itself. Besides, you don't know her story. While your photos are sentimental and all and I'm sincerely sorry for your loss, maybe her whole family was down at Jonestown or she's the only one left who hasn't taken that step. The point is you don't know. Here's a little secret. I've probably said more than once a poorly chosen comment or two about a drunk tearing up my ER (been one myself) about having to babysit a manipulative 5150 (Nephew was one twice) and, oh yeah, even an attempted Borderline "gesturer" who worked everyone of our last nerves---ladies and gentlemen, the newly found twin of my dear sister!

    Point is ---I'm not an angel--I'm a human. And then I'm a nurse. And a damn good one.

    Maybe the original nurse is too---she just behaved incredibly stupid and needs to be called on it. Simple/easy and should have already been done. Hmmmm....how long will it be before someone calls for her license or a call to the board

    FWIW--My guess is the OP somehow identified herself as a nurse and therefore the other people probably "let their guard down" some. Still inappropriate? Yep. So say something!!!

    Now I'll get flamed on this one--but geez people, we really love to rally around and pile on what is clearly someone's bad judgement. She was wrong--tell her so and move on..............oh yeah, except the Marty Mary nurses---we KNOW you would never do such a thing

    And to the OP----I really am sorry for your losses. I just get so tired of the righteous piling on we seem to do. If I was staffed everyday with all of these perfect nurses who seem to exist so plentifully in cyberspace then I would never feel the desire to call off!
    I'm not saying that a nurse who works in a surgeon's office doesn't get stressed, I'm sure they do. But to the extent of an ER nurse?? Sorry, but I'm just picturing 2 office nurses (MAs or whatever) about to cruise out for some lunch and she (not even the one who was having to do the 'babysitting') makes not just one very inappropriate comment, but follows it up with yet another, IN FRONT OF A PATIENT in a nice little quiet office setting. I don't know why, but that makes a difference to me (although it shouldn't) when I picture this vs. the same scenario occurring in a balls-to-the-wall, high-stress ER.

    Had this been a racist or sexist comment or the like, well, that would certainly = instant termination. So why should this be any different? It's just as offensive and inappropriate.

    Do I say mean-spirited things to blow off stress? Absolutely, every day I work. Ex. muttering softly to myself, "Whaaa...I'm in pain. Whaaaaaaa" as I am drawing up pain med for the 5th time that day for the same person. Do I say them in the presence of my co-workers? Sure. Sometimes. Have I ever said such things around patients? No way!

    Anyway, the long and short of it is this: She shoulda had more self-control. Bottom line. If you think about it, we all have several opportunities on a daily basis to relinquish self control, but we know better because there are consequences. I would love to shoot the police officer who gives me a ticket a bird in his face, but I'm pretty sure I would not like the outcome of that. OK, rambling now. Long day. Tired and going to bed. Thanks for playing all.
  7. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from NurseCherlove
    Had this been a racist or sexist comment or the like, well, that would certainly = instant termination. So why should this be any different? It's just as offensive and inappropriate.
    That's exactly what I was thinking. If she had made some comment about caring for a sickle cell patient and they may as well die...maybe she'll help them die...instant termination as it should be.

    Just as racist statements are gross misconduct leading to termination, so should be statements about the mentally ill and how they should just die. If you are giving a pass to the statement about the mentally ill and suicidal (somehow it's ok?) then you are indulging in stigmatizing and prejudice against the mentally ill. This type of talk in front of a patient is willfully demeaning and hateful.

    If this isn't gross misconduct, I don't know what is. Some errors people deserve to be fired for - to feel the sting and learn from it. Talking about this particularly in front of a patient is gross misconduct in my book. I'm not talking about shooting them at dawn. I'm talking about firing them.

    What if the patient who was subjected to hearing this had struggled with mental illness and contemplated suicide?

    Some things there ought to be zero tolerance for. This is one of them (in front of a patient). I'm not talking about black humor behind closed doors that helps health care workers through a shift.

    And yes, I have dealt with a suicidal relative. So I know the pain attached to this. It's but by the grace of g-d and happenstance that it's not us as the suicidal patient.
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on Apr 14, '07
  8. by   IMustBeCrazy
    I would talk to her and tell her about your brother.

    I don't understand this. If it were a quadriplegic pt, would she say "I have to BABY SIT this quad today?" If it were a heart patient would she say "I have to BABY SIT this fat guy that just had a CABG today?" If it were a traumatic brain-injured person would she say "I have to BABY SIT the brain injury in room 2 today?" And not only say it, but say it in front of another pt? AND TO MAKE A JOKE ABOUT GETTING IT RIGHT NEXT TIME???!!!!

    You can see where I'm going with this. Because a patient has a mental illness does not make them unworthy of care and compassion. And, I DO believe it is a fireable offense. It's ignorance and hate speech. As another poster mentioned, this is not the same as venting in the nurses station away from all pts. This is a blatant lack of regard for that pt's privacy and dignity to talk like this in front of yet another pt. And don't get me started about the complete ignorance of the nurse, that is another issue.

    I learn a lot from the mentally ill that I care for on a daily basis. They teach me compassion, humility and quiet dignity. It sounds as if this nurse could stand to get a crash course in those traits.
  9. by   Miss Mab
    Bored now......

    To finish up, surely you are aware of an entire staff within the hospital who are just that---sitters. And yep, hospitals I've worked at--down south in particular---even officially call them babysitters. So, yeah, they proudly make their $11 bucks an hour babysitting the TBI pt who needs one on on re-orienting---and yeah, even the obese s/p CABG if he's busy trying to yank out lines and get outta bed. A sitter before restraints always, chemical or otherwise if you have the satffing.

    The OP should follow up as she must but I will reiterate---though it was personally hurtful to you in your situation--I think you'll drown out the message that it's just a wrong thing to say in general if you make it about you and not simply her bad. As if it's perfectly A--OK to say something like that as long as the person you're speaking ti has no experience with suicide or its aftermath.

    And again, I gotta believe for whatever reason, they DID know she was a nurse( her chart, her previous procedure there, etc) and for some reason felt it was more shoptalk than anything, inappropriate shoptalk no doubt, but still true none the same.

    This is why I'm bored now---no one said a mentally ill pt. patient does not deserve care and compassion. Or even that the nurse should get a pass. Sometimes I think on these forums we are either reading two different things or are just so diametrically opposed in our nursing thory and practice that understanding simply can't occur.

    Anyway, I'm done. Looking forward to working with many of you super nurses one day
  10. by   laughing weasel
    If you dont tell them then you are denying them the opportunity to change. Dont do it in a hostile gettim kind of way just tell the nurse that you were hurt by what they said. We have all said somethings that we did not mean. i have said some pretty harsh stuff to my friends talking trash but it is true that yuan should be careful of where you say as well as what you say and we all need an occasional reminder of that.
  11. by   P_RN
    ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT A "NEXT TIME" EXPERIENCE WITH THIS OFFFICE?
    I think I would have to discuss this with the surgeon. Those of us who have worked in the OR know surgeons who run off at the mouth about the sleeping patient. I wonder if this LPN takes her cues from some such physician.
    It was a privacy violation for the coworker to enter your exam room and for that alone you need to mention it to the doctor.
    Perhaps the 4 of you could gather and hear what you have to say. I cannot imagine ANY comeback that would be appropriate.
  12. by   DreamyEyes
    Quote from zumalong
    Recently I was in the surgeon's office as a follow up for hernia surgery. The nurse who works in the office doesn't really know me--or that I am a nurse. As she was taking my BP/temp, her friend entered the exam room (door was open) and asked her if she was ready for lunch.

    The two began talking as if I wasn't there--the friend (don't know if she was an aide or nurse) said, "I have to spend whole day babysitting some kid who tried to commit suicide".

    My nurse says, "Oh, those people--why don't they just get it right the first time so we don't have to deal with them. (laughs) Most of them are waste cases anyways so let them go--maybe you could give tips how to be successful next time."

    Whole time I was sitting there listening to them I was getting more upset. Now you see both my brothers have died due to suicide. And to me and my family they were not waste cases--they suffered from severe depression. At the time I didn't say anything because I was speechless and still not feeling 100% from surgery.

    I have been in nursing for over 24 years. I know the things that are said during report etc. by some people. Mostly because they haven't experienced someone who is suicidal or has substance abuse. I have to return for f/u next week. I am "dying"(sorry bad pun) to tell this nurse off. But should I quietly discuss this with her, or really make her see my point by hitting her with all guns (bringing in pics of my brother and his daughter who grew up without her dad and making this discussion known to her supervisor).

    I am having a hard time letting this unprofessionalism go unnoticed. I also know that I want to educate people about suicide and depression. Anyone have any thoughts???
    I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Suicide has also affected my family---although we stopped my sister before she could do anything. 3 years later, she's a much happier person now. Depression is a disease, and some people just don't understand that.
    Last edit by DreamyEyes on Apr 14, '07
  13. by   pinksugar
    First of all, I am so sorry for your loss.

    I am of the opinion that people should be able to think whatever they want. What they actually say, however, is a completely different story. Health care personnel should not be talking about patients in front of other patients, and they definitely shouldn't be saying things like that!:angryfire

    I would confront the nurses privately and give them a chance to apologize. Sometimes we say things that family or patients would not appreciate, and that is why they should not be said in front of patients or family. That doesn't mean they are bad nurses. I won't lie - I work on an oncology floor and sometimes I do get upset when I have a 40 year old mother of three young kids dying in one room and I am taking care of a patient in the next room that is perfectly healthy except for the fact that they are detoxing and suicidal. This is coming from the daughter of an alcoholic, BTW. That doesn't mean I should be crass but it does bug me.

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