How do you deal with dirty old men?

  1. I'm going to start working as a CNA soon, and although I'm looking forward to it, I'm dreading the perverted old men. While enrolled in my CNA class, the first resident I was assigned to asked me if I was a virgin, and that he could take care of it if I was. Some of my other friends fared worse. A couple of my classmates were assigned to a man who was a satyr. He'd constantly spout nasty language about performing sexual acts with us, buck his hips during pericare, and make grabs at our chests. My friend Jamie had it the worst, as she's drop dead gorgeous and a natural F cup, which even lack of makeup, 2 sports bras, and the dumpiest scrubs can't hide. A man grabbed her ponytail and tried to pull her head towards his crotch.

    I can understand and forgive if this behavior is due to dementia, but some of these men have no history of mental decline. In class, we were taught to be firm with them by looking at them in the eye and telling them that their behavior is not appropriate nor appreciated, and none of that blushy giggly stuff. We were also taught to avoid tempting them by not sticking out butts near them when we bend down.

    My question is what to do with these men who do not respect your requests to stop. Ignoring them is useless wheh they're pawing at your bra straps. I mean, I'm not scared of being raped b/c they don't have the physical strength anymore, but it seems like this behavior is somewhat condoned, and they don't even bother giving them slaps on the wrists. Is this kind of sexual harassment something that I'm just going to have to put up with, or can measures be taken? I refuse to be treated like a high-mileage stripper.
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  2. 70 Comments

  3. by   LovelyLady01
    Quote from Mirai Kangofu
    I'm going to start working as a CNA soon, and although I'm looking forward to it, I'm dreading the perverted old men. While enrolled in my CNA class, the first resident I was assigned to asked me if I was a virgin, and that he could take care of it if I was. Some of my other friends fared worse. A couple of my classmates were assigned to a man who was a satyr. He'd constantly spout nasty language about performing sexual acts with us, buck his hips during pericare, and make grabs at our chests. My friend Jamie had it the worst, as she's drop dead gorgeous and a natural F cup, which even lack of makeup, 2 sports bras, and the dumpiest scrubs can't hide. A man grabbed her ponytail and tried to pull her head towards his crotch.

    I can understand and forgive if this behavior is due to dementia, but some of these men have no history of mental decline. In class, we were taught to be firm with them by looking at them in the eye and telling them that their behavior is not appropriate nor appreciated, and none of that blushy giggly stuff. We were also taught to avoid tempting them by not sticking out butts near them when we bend down.

    My question is what to do with these men who do not respect your requests to stop. Ignoring them is useless wheh they're pawing at your bra straps. I mean, I'm not scared of being raped b/c they don't have the physical strength anymore, but it seems like this behavior is somewhat condoned, and they don't even bother giving them slaps on the wrists. Is this kind of sexual harassment something that I'm just going to have to put up with, or can measures be taken? I refuse to be treated like a high-mileage stripper.
    I am not really sure what to tell you:stone . This is the first time I actually heard that male patients were that BAD. But it has always been my biggest fear along with patients that try to fight you for no reason. I am really sorry that you and your friend had to go through that.
  4. by   Cute_CNA
    That's when you find a big, burly CNA named Bruno to tell the man, "Hello, Mr. Pervert, I will be washing you today!"

    Where I work, whenever possible, they try to put male staff w/male pts., and vice versa.

    You may be able to refuse to give that [patient] care. Ask.
    Last edit by Cute_CNA on Nov 6, '05
  5. by   hipab4hands
    I had a young male patient, who kept exposing himself, when I came into the room. I asked him to cover up on several occasions. On the third "viewing", I finally told him that he really had nothing to be proud of and to please put "it" away. He never flashed me again.
    In your case, talk with your supervisor and make sure that you are documenting the patient's action. You need to have a meeting with the supervisor, staff, and the patient. Explain to the patient that his actions are not appropriate and will not be tolerated. Explain to the patient that if he can not keep his hands to himself or makes inappropriate remarks that his care will be done strictly by male staff members only.
  6. by   Mirai Kangofu
    Yeah, in the CNA class, we would sometimes recruit the help of the 3 guys, who were all fairly muscular and were pretty respected by the residents. One of the guys, named Chris, was quite handsome and and had the same problem with the ladies sometimes.

    Also, we may have been given the plebian treatment b/c we're students, and raising a stink might have compromised relationships between the school and the nursing home.
  7. by   PhoenixGirl
    In this type of situation, you shouldn't go into the patients room by yourself. A decent facility would not make you do that, and if they did, well then you shouldn't work there!

    i've only come across this type of patient once in my short time since nursing school started. We were doing a basic brief change, bed bath and linen change in a guy that was vulgar and masterbated all the time. Three of us went in, and one was a male student. If a patient is physical, you do not have to take it! You should not be forced to take a patient you are that uncomfortable with and usually a facility would say that you would have to have multiple people in the room at once to deal with this type of patient.
  8. by   Someday-C.R.N.A.
    As a male CNA student, I would be glad to accompany you into this man's room whenever you needed to perform care.

    "Men" like this feel that women are inferior.

    People like this will not listen to a woman telling them to stop, but they will usually listen to a man. (Atleast for a little while).

    Reporting these incidents is definitely important. Keep track of and report everything.

    Tolerating sexual abuse is NOT a part of the job.
  9. by   mcdonaldlass
    When I was an aide, had to dealwith one or two "dirty old men". Just asked them would they want their grand-daughters subjected to that? Worked pretty good, too!!!
  10. by   FroggysMom
    Quote from mcdonaldlass
    When I was an aide, had to dealwith one or two "dirty old men". Just asked them would they want their grand-daughters subjected to that? Worked pretty good, too!!!

    You should not have to tolerate that! Where is your administration?!!

    Personally, if the patient was not demented or limited mentally in some way and grabbed my ponytail for the purposes you described, he'd best be ready for a possible lawsuit because after I tell him once very clearly what he is not allowed to do and what will happen if he does it again, if he tries it again, he WILL get one. :angryfire

    (Sorry, but this incensed me to no end!)
    Last edit by FroggysMom on Nov 6, '05
  11. by   epiphany
    Quote from FroggysMom
    You should not have to tolerate that! Where is your administration?!!
    So true. With all the sexual harassment awareness campaign, not enough attention is being paid when patients do the harassing. Your employers should be backing you all the way on this, and you shouldn't be made if to feel you have to handle this alone.
  12. by   TexasPediRN
    A nice small 'talking to' also helps:

    "You're actions are competely inappropriate and if you continue, I will have no choice but to get security up here as well as hospital administration to deal with this problem; and I'm sure you dont want to be dragged into a sexual harrassment lawsuit. "

    Its not a threat, but its a strong statement and I think would make any patient think twice about what they are doing.

    Good luck dealing with them and remember to be stern about it. Sometimes nurses have to deal with some not so fun things that we shouldnt have to deal with.

    McDonaldLass: LOVE that comment! That would work great too- If I ever run into that situation again (right now I do peds home health) I'll have to try it!
  13. by   coffeentea
    We had a pt in his 50's paralized from the waist down. He was incont . He grabbed my butt when I was helping the cleaned him up. I thought I had imagined that but the cnas told me he liked to touch staffs when they are near.( they thought this was funny) the next time I helped cleaned him up he tried to touch my breast. I stopped what I was doing and looked at him straight in the face and told him I know you are not confused if you try that again I will slap you because my reflex is very fast & you don't want to find out . I know some people in here may get mad and think what I did was wrong , but would anybody allow these behaviors outside of work?
  14. by   Daytonite
    How about not wearing any makeup? Well, it was just a thought! Also, for the real old guys who get nasty I just say in a pleasant tone of voice, "now that's enough of that". They usually know they're being out of line unless they have some dementia going. For the "flashers" I just pull their gown or linens down to cover their crotch and don't say anything unless they continue to do it during the same episode. Then, I say, "stop doing that. I'm not interested in what you have to show me." or "I'm going to tell your doctor about you doing this." Sometimes the doctors will have a talk with the perverts and tell them to cut it out. You could also call security and ask them to intercede with the patient if it is getting to be a problem because exposure of genitalia by an otherwise normal person is a crime. I'm not saying have the guy arrested, but they might be a little more inclined to stop that behavior if Officer Smith comes in the room to have a chat with them. Besides, it will be the talk of the security staff for months!

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