How are you judgemental? - page 4

I was reporting off this morning on a rule out chest pain pt. He was a 49 yr old guy who had an extensive family cardiac risk hx, he had had a CABG in his 30's, had been an alcoholic until 8 yrs ago,... Read More

  1. by   Valanda
    I'd have to say I am extremely judgemental when I see a pregnant woman smoking. Patient or not, it infuriates me. I did not smoke while pregnant, yet I had 3 babies born prematurely. 2 of them have on-going disablities from being so premature (30,28,27 weeks). It just makes me so mad I want to slap these women and I know I cannot be civil. I chose to work as far away from pregnant women as possible. I guess that's one of the best things about nursing. If you know something seriously bothers you there are so many areas to practice in it's often possible to steer clear of things that really upset you.
  2. by   scribblerpnp
    Quote from Valanda
    I'd have to say I am extremely judgemental when I see a pregnant woman smoking. Patient or not, it infuriates me. I did not smoke while pregnant, yet I had 3 babies born prematurely. 2 of them have on-going disablities from being so premature (30,28,27 weeks). It just makes me so mad I want to slap these women and I know I cannot be civil. I chose to work as far away from pregnant women as possible. I guess that's one of the best things about nursing. If you know something seriously bothers you there are so many areas to practice in it's often possible to steer clear of things that really upset you.
    A little off topic, but this reminded me of something. A couple of years ago (maybe more recently), there was an article about a pregnant woman who was furious about some construction work going on next to her home. She was worried the jack hammer and large sounds would harm her unborn baby. The local news station did a bit on this as well. The BEST PART of the whole article was that the photographer had taken a picture of her outside near the construction site and MOM WAS VISIBLY PREGNANT AND SMOKING A CIGARETTE! I've always wondered if the photographer took that exact picture on purpose, or if the understood meaning wasn't meant at all.
  3. by   BlueEyedRN
    I actually get way more judgemental with my patient's families than with my patients. I think a big part of it is that I'm new and so I don't know how to be firm but diplomatic with families. I also need to learn better to understand their point of view, how they're scared and powerless. But seriously. I had one patient with 1500 daughters and grandaughters who would come running out of the room and make it this big emergency and it turns out that they wanted me to stick a swab in his mouth because it looked dry. Or "oh, he's in pain, give him something!" Mr. X, are you in pain? Shakes he head and rolls his eyes. "But his respiratory rate went from 20 to 24 and his heart rate went from 65 to 70!" The worst is when they have a medical background. "It's okay for me to do this because I was a critical care nurse 30 years ago." Yeah, touch that vent again and I'll smack you into next week. And I obviously don't have anything better to do than wait on their loved one hand and foot. I had a daughter demand a cup of ice from me and then went and found the charge nurse and complained about how I wasn't taking care of her mom because I wasn't back yet 2 minutes later. Meanwhile, I'm in the next room assessing a patient who just had a big run of Vtach. GRRRR! Families make me crazy.
  4. by   82airborne
    Some of the things that irritate me are the person who call the ER to ask how long the wait is. My standard response... there is no wait for a true emergency. Pt. who come to the ER by squad for some minor complaint thats been going on for 47 years( yes we had a man come via call 911 get the chopper on standby squad) for a bump on his face thats been there for 47 yrs. and the migraine pt. who is in 10/10 pain, N/V and photophobia allergic to everything but dilaudid who I can't triage because they have the TV 6 inches from their face and eating McDonalds and talking on a cell phone.
  5. by   grammyr
    Quote from agoodusername
    I really don't appreciate this thread. Aren't we perpetuating stereotypes by highlighting them in a discussion? This is exactly how "drug seekers" and "complainers" are created, marked, studied and pegged -- before we ever even experience them!

    I'm in nursing school, and I remember the first time I heard a nurse give me report on my very first patient. "She's got these open abcesses on her thighs that are really painful, she says. But if she's in so much pain, why is she still going downstairs to smoke every hour?" This made sense to me, a naiive, inexperienced nursing student, and so, before I even got a chance to begin my career in my own way of thought, I walked into my patient's room with a stereotype blocking my entire field of view. Because of this, the first thing I noticed about her was that she was sleeping with her cigarettes in her breast pocket (of course), and the first thing I assumed was that she would be crabby and want to smoke as soon as she woke up (of course), and that she really wasn't in all that much pain (of course not).

    I'm really thankful that I took the time to try and get to know her, because I learned a lot about how wrong that nurse was. I learned that my patient was missing her son's first day of kindergarten, and that she had been diagnosed with Crohn's a decade ago with no end in sight. She really was in pain, which I could clearly see without years of experience under my belt, and yes, she smoked. But it made me realize: why wouldn't she? She had nothing else to get her through the day!

    Stereotyping is really a huge issue with nurses, especially in the realm of report. You can make or break a nurse's DAY depending on how you describe your patient at end of shift. Think about it -- the outlook for your day can be completely different depending on the report you get: "This patient is really great. She's sweet, she doesn't really complain, and she definitely knows how to get up and go to the bathroom by herself. Really easy," versus, "Oh my gosh. What a nervous nancy. This lady shakes, and she's a smoker, but she's not allowed off the monitor so she just bugs you all the time about going downstairs. She always asks for pain medicine, but when you walk in she's asleep, and she has been incontinent three times. It's not going to be a good night for you." Everyone knows how each of these reports gives you a totally different outlook for your shift, and how you treat your patient.

    This is my argument: both examples are wrong. Both examples of report put an idea into the receiving nurses mind, and immediately create a stereotype that molds and alters the rest of the shift and every dealing with the patient. I think that report should STRICTLY be confined to report -- medical, objective information that is PERTINENT and important to nursing care, NOT nurse opinion.

    Stereotyping is a HUGE problem in nursing. Let's STOP glorifying it by giving petty examples of people who bother us. Our patients are sick, and regardless of what they are sick with or how sick they are, they deserve respect, and good, unbiased, un-stereotyped care.



    For those of us who have been nurses for a while, this site is better than XANAX!!! I am able to come here after a bad shift and see that I am not alone and that others have as bad or worse things happen and if I feel the need to vent, I know I can do so without a patient,family, or others overhearing what or whom I am talking about. We can curse,cry, discuss and then go on about our business of taking care of people. I like to call my visits here therapeutic communication.
  6. by   nursesaideBen
    Quote from BlueEyedRN
    Yeah, touch that vent again and I'll smack you into next week. :
    :roll Too funny!! I have noticed even though I'm not a nurse yet just an aide that families way too often seem to get in the way and do more harm than good especially when they decide to sit with the patient overnight :zzzzz One time I had this woman who hunted me down into another patient's room where I was holding a patient so the nurse could give him an IM of Haldol and taps on my shoulder saying she needed a blanket NOW :angryfire :smackingf I felt like saying sure, you hold my violent patient down and I'll go get the blanket hehe. One of my favorite's is when you go in to VS and you're putting the b/p cuff on and the patient's daughter or son who is in their 40's is asks "Oh my God is this going to hurt my momma?" Yes it will we just didn't want to say anything about it.
  7. by   moongirl
    I had a pt today that got up and went outside to smoke. She then later rang the bell, I went in and she wanted a bed pan to pee. I was like "uh nope, but I will help you to the bathroom" you can get up and go smoke, but you want to lay in your bed to pee.... sooper. My name tag may say "student" but it certainly doesnt say " stupid"
  8. by   scribblerpnp
    Quote from moongirl
    My name tag may say "student" but it certainly doesnt say " stupid"
    Good for you! HA.
  9. by   RN mom of 2
    This is a good topic, because I think as nurses we aren't supposed to judge our patients, but human nature makes us judgmental in some ways.

    I am bothered by pg women who are smoking, drinking etc., because they are responsible for another life. I kind of put these women in a different category than the average person who may be abusing themselves, but no one else.

    Other than that, I try not to judge people. Let's face it...life can be difficult, and most of us find ways (not always healthy ones) to cope. Some people really lose their way, for example drug addicts, alcoholics, and those with serious eating disorders (to name a few). Also, report is for relaying the medical facts and not for passing our own personal judgments along. When you state your own personal feelings to the next nurse, it sets up her psyche to feel the same way about that patient.

    I remember being in the ER during nursing school and a guy came in who had overdosed. He was unconscious and in restraints, and these nurses were making fun of him. It still hurts my heart to think about it. They were laughing about the contents of his stomach, which he almost aspirated on (ohhh yeah..that's sooo funny). They were saying he ate a big mac, or something like that. The whole thing made me sick. They thought he was a big looser, because he was an addict. When I looked down I saw a human being who was in pain (emotionally, spiritually) who was coping the best he knew how. The weirdest thing was, he had on an inexpensive ring and I couldn't stop staring at it. It made him so real...so human. It reminded me that we are all the same, and even someone "in the gutter" may want to wear something that makes them feel good about themselves. I'll never forget that guy or the ring he had on.

    I know people joke around, because it's how they cope, but I think it's important to always remain professional, and remember that it is a fellow human being entrusted to our care. You never know when you may be lying on that table, and you'd want the same grace shown to you.
  10. by   Marylou1102
    QUOTE
    "I remember being in the ER during nursing school and a guy came in who had overdosed. He was unconscious and in restraints, and these nurses were making fun of him. It still hurts my heart to think about it. They were laughing about the contents of his stomach, which he almost aspirated on (ohhh yeah..that's sooo funny). They were saying he ate a big mac, or something like that. The whole thing made me sick. They thought he was a big looser, because he was an addict. When I looked down I saw a human being who was in pain (emotionally, spiritually) who was coping the best he knew how. The weirdest thing was, he had on an inexpensive ring and I couldn't stop staring at it. It made him so real...so human. It reminded me that we are all the same, and even someone "in the gutter" may want to wear something that makes them feel good about themselves. I'll never forget that guy or the ring he had on.

    I know people joke around, because it's how they cope, but I think it's important to always remain professional, and remember that it is a fellow human being entrusted to our care. You never know when you may be lying on that table, and you'd want the same grace shown to you."



    Thank you RN mom of two, That was beautiful.
  11. by   Tweety
    Quote from RN mom of 2
    I know people joke around, because it's how they cope, but I think it's important to always remain professional, and remember that it is a fellow human being entrusted to our care. You never know when you may be lying on that table, and you'd want the same grace shown to you.
    I agree. I think making fun and laughing at people is wrong. I know how that feels and it hurts.

    Venting "that patient just came back from smoking and is now asking for the bedpan" is another thing altogether.
  12. by   Spidey's mom
    I'm judgmental of spelling errors . . .(judgEmental) . . .

    Seriously - I had an instance today of what I find frustrating. A man who recently had a total knee came back to the hospital in 10/10 knee pain. His knee was swollen, red, hot. Fluid was aspirated and he was admitted. When I got out of report, he was writhing and crying out in pain. The nurse taking care of him who just sat through report with me was sitting there talking to the CNA and ignoring the pt. I finally had to say something, "Your patient is now throwing things around in the room . . . "

    I have to agree with "agooduser" to a certain extent - sometimes we can stereotype a patient and that shows in our care of them. And I also think Marla had good points. What we think inside SHOWS on the outside.

    I think there is nothing wrong with venting here or in private at work - it is all very necessary and good. Just try not to do it in front of the patient.

    Now - my judgmental pronouncements: pregnant women who abuse their bodies with ETOH, illegal drugs, cigs. Addicts who abuse their children.

    My irritations? Male patients who make sexual comments.

    This is a good thread - thanks for starting it.

    steph
  13. by   RN mom of 2
    "Thank you RN mom of two, That was beautiful."




    "I'm judgmental of spelling errors . . .(judgEmental) . ."


    Sorry....happy fingers! I usually catch them. I spelled loser wrong, too.

    My bad!!

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