How would you have handled this????

  1. I had something happen to me today that has never happened to me in my 21 years of nursing and I pray that even though I was very angry inside that I handled it right. Please note right up front this is not meant to start a war here or another LPN vs. RN debate. Actually I feel many of you RN's will be a little ticked off too. For those of you that don't know me, I work LTC, by my choice, did hospital and it wasn't what made me happy. I have been a charge nurse for 11 years so far. I have this very dear and wonderful couple on my unit. I love them dearly and we have wonderful talks and are very close. Their daughter came to visit them today and the following happened. When I entered the room to give them their meds, the male resident introduced me to his family as the charge nurse. He also told me that his daughter was a nurse. With no further converstaion, she informed me that she felt no one below a BSN should be allowed to be a nurse for they just weren't qualified nor did they have the knowledge needed to properly care for a resident. I assume since I was introduced as the charge nurse, she thought I was an RN. Then she asked what my level of degee was??? I told her I was an LPN. She said, "Well that just isn't right!" To say I was taken aback is an understatement. Inside I started getting very angry. That is a hell of a statement to make. Not all RN's hold a BSN, they are very much worth something but after she found out I was ONLY an LPN, she did her best to try and get me to mouth off to her. I told her the following statement. I said, "In this facility, my duties are the same as the RN's. All of our current house supervisors are LPN's and the only RN in authority is our DON, which we all answer to equally, RN and LPN's alike. I am considered the charge nurse on this unit, even when an RN is working the other end. I do what is in my job description and I have never had a complaint lodged against me. I stated that I fully agreed that if I were working in a hospital, I would not hold the title I hold here, but this is my chosen field and I enjoy what I do. I am sorry if you do not feel I am qualified to do this job and I would be more than happy to call my DON for you to speak with if it would make you feel better." She then asked, "Well why don't you get your RN degree?" I answered frankly, "Because I plan to work here for some time to come, I am happy with what I do and I have no desire to do so." She really seemed to be trying to start an out and out arguement with me. I smiked at her, said it was nice meeting you, told my residents I'd be back later and to have a nice visit. Then I went into the bathroom and seethed almost to the point of crying, which is what I do when I get mad, but then I said....NOPE!!!!! ain't gonna do it and went on with my job. I have to be honest and tell you there was a million things I wanted to say to her, specifically that if her parents coded, their life would be in MY hands, and that we didn't even have an RN on our shift with her BSN but I tried very hard to smile, keep my mouth shut and just get out of there. Anyhow, later, I went back to their room to give them more meds. The male resident took my hands, with tears in his eyes and said, "Honey, I'd give anything if my daughter hadn't spoken to you like that. You are a wonderful nurse and I feel very blessed that my life is in your hands because I see the kind of nurse you are and I trust you completely." I told him not to worry about it, that she is very much entitled to her opinion and told him he would always be my buddy, nothing would change that." (We call each other Buddy) I have been posting here for quite some time and I have to say that while a few RN's may hve problems with LPN's in certain settings, none of you have ever spoken like this and I just want to know, how would you have handled it? I honestly don't know if I did the right thing or not. She did not shake my confidence in my ability, if that was her goal, but for the life of me, I cannot understand why a complete stranger would light into me like that, for no reason. Maybe if there had been some sort of converstaion leading up to it but I swear to you, all that was said between us was what I have told you. I am still floored by this and I am honest when I say, she made me angry, which is pretty darned hard to do. I would really appreciate some feedback on this to help me get a grip on my emotions.
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  2. 68 Comments

  3. by   sharann
    Dear Duckie,

    That "woman" who calls herself a nurse is just a pi** poor excuse for a almost human being. You did the RIGHT thing!!!! I admire you for your ability to handle yourself in a professional manner. SHE on the other hand was just being a big bully who has no clue about the true essence of nursing. Fortunately her father DOES get it. Just listen to your BUDDY. He and you are perfect.
    Don't even think twice about what you did. Bravo!
  4. by   fergus51
    THAT IS RIDICULOUS!!!!! I do not understand why nurses are always in a pi$$ing contest with eachother. I don't get why nurses degrade people for level of education (whether it be because they have too much or too little) instead of on job performance. That woman should consider herself very fortunate to know that someone in the home cares so much about her parents and has made such a difference for them. I know the move to extended care is not always easy, and if any nurse can help by creating a loving environment they should be PRAISED and not degraded.

    I think you handled the situation very well. I would've probably been baited into being mouthy. You were much more professional in my opinion than that nurse with her Bachelors. (By the way, I have my BSN and I have never thought or said anything like that about LPNs. Behavior like that reinforces the stereotype that all BSNs are elitist snobs whih bothers me too).

    I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that nurses don't respect long term care as a specialty. I heard a med-surg nurse say that LTC isn't even real nursing. I FUMED!!!! I pointed out that the ICU nurses often say the same thing abou med-surg and it is just as arrogant and wrong to say those things. LTC nurses need a big HUG and THANK YOU for looking after our loved ones with care and compassion and love, when we can't care for them ourselves anymore.

    Sorry I ranted, I am just really annoyed at that nurses behavior.
  5. by   135ctv
    I think you handled the situation as best you could under the circumstances. I can't think of anything better way for you to have handled it. You explained your position without becoming angry and refrained from giving her the fight she was looking for.

    Keep your resident's words in mind, he saw the situation for what it was.

    Her opinion is simply that. It is not important. You know the reasons you are an LPN and the kind of job you are doing. (If she looks down on non-BSN nurses so much, then why is she entrusting her parents care to them?)

    Snobishness exists everywhere. There are nurses who look down on aides, 2-year RNs who look down on LPNs, BSNs who look down on 2-year RNs, people in other fields who look down on nurses etc., etc., etc........... You are doing what you want, you don't need to justify that to anyone. Steer clear of her whenever possible and be polite when you do run into her. Don't try to change her opinion, you probably can't.
  6. by   willie2001
    It sounds to me like you handled this unfortunate episode in a dignified and graceful way. Some people really have a puffed up sense of their own importance.
  7. by   paula4ms
    You are a wonderful forgiving person to have handled that as graciously (sp?) as you did. My mother has been a LPN for 40 years (don't tell her I told ya'll) and I am very proud of her. She has always worked LTC and she loves it. I graduate in May (I pray!) with my RN (ADN) and she is my role model. I thank God that there are devoted, caring women like you and her to take care of the people who need it the most.

    Hey, give me that woman's phone number - I used to be a sailor, I know cuss words you wouldn't believe!!
  8. by   P_RN
    Duckie...you are a gentleperson.....your accusor is an A$$.

    They come in all shapes and sizes, but at least you know what shape this one is.

    Hold your head up. You can take care of me and mine any day of the week.
  9. by   Goofball
    I get a similar form of that snobby crap from my
    mother-in-law, all the time. She loves to tell me quite frequently, especially in front of other people, that her daughter, an LVN, says that RN's
    don't know as much as LVN's and shouldn't be allowed to work in hospitals. My M.I.L. was a Nurse's Aide for 9 years, but she tells everyone, including me, that she was a nurse, or that she nursed for 9 years- she says she knew more than the RNs she worked with.
    Now her daughter the LVN is going to school to get her RN degree. So now my M.I.L. tells me and whoever is in earshot, that her daughter says that two-year RN's aren't any good and they don't know enough, and that an RN shouldn't have anything less than a Bachelor's degree.
    It's all meant to insult, and it all stems from total insecurity and being a meanymost! The way I handle it is just to say as little as possible and to remember to consider the source.
  10. by   Jenny P
    Duckie, you are an excellent nurse who loves her job and your charges. I know this from reading your various postings here over the past year. You speak with love and concern for your patients, the quality of your skill as a nurse shines through in your various posts (and I think that I've read most of your posts over this past year). I would be honored to work with you, if I was ever so lucky.

    This woman is probably a jerk who just happens to be a "nurse" with an attitude; I suspect she'd have an attitude if she was anything else besides a nurse. I also think that she would be unhappy in any setting and probably spreads dissent wherever she goes.

    You did the right thing and that probably bugs the heck out of her. What a perfect way to fix her goat! By being pleasant and courteous in your dealings with her, I'm sure you made her very frustrated-- she couldn't bait you on! (At least externally; never let her know it bothered you inside!)
  11. by   hoolahan
    Duckie, you are grace under fire. I probably would have been baited too. IT would have taken everything I have not to go back at her. What an idiot!

    Your Buddy knows the truth, and that is all that really matters. People like his dgtr are not even worth wasting a moment of our time on. Now, prepare yourself for whenever she makes a visit again, no doubt she will try to get at you again.
  12. by   oramar
    I have been on the recieving end of this kind of verbal abuse. In my case it NEVER comes from people who work at the bedside. It usually comes from people who work in academia or have recently graduated. I have seen enough of it to know that even when it does not come directly from an academians mouth that is the source. If I could give a speech to a bunch of academics in their ivory towers I would tell them to start watching their mouths. Their persistant verbal abuse of people who do the most important job in the world has not accomplished much in the last 30 years. Perhaps they need to try a different approach. Nurses who continue to work at the bedside under the conditions we have seen in the last 5 years diserve a kiss not a dis.:kiss
    Last edit by oramar on Mar 14, '02
  13. by   SICU Queen
    Disgusting.

    I can't believe the gall of some people. My husband has been an LPN for 14 years and I met him when I was a new grad. HE taught me so much on the unit we worked on together. Nurses can ALWAYS learn from each other, and that woman's BS about the BS degree was full of exactly that.

    Ignore stupidity like that and keep on doing the wonderful job that you're doing. Obvously your "Buddy" loves you, and that's what is most important.
  14. by   CEN35
    duckie,

    i think you handled it better than anybody else would have! truthfully, if i was in that same situation i don't know what i would have done?
    well ok i am lying, i would probably be fired after i got done going off on her. i probably could not have been so refined and gracious. i am sure i would have given her "my take" on the issue, and reamed her up/down and inside out.
    i don't know if i could be be outright belligerent. i've been told i don't have it in me. however i think the analogies and sarcasm would be flying high and fast, before i could even stop myself.

    gawd.....i would have said stuff to her like:

    (my top 10 responses)

    #10) oh excuse me miss rn bsn, it's time to bathe your loved one, but i don't know if i'm capable of that? i'm just an lpn. oh duhhhhh....that's right, i am an lpn that is all i am capable of doing is giving a bath!

    #9) oh miss rn bsn.........i am just an lpn, the last resident that coded i just didn't know what to do, so i called the don since she is an rn. i then waited for her to arrive, so we could start cpr. however, since i now know your an rn if your father codes, i'll call and wait for you to come save the day!!! yeah that's it, the fact that it says rn bsn it might increase the odds of getting a pulse back. i mean after all i wouldn't want to hurt the poor guy, by doing cpr wrong or something? i mean hey, i'm only an lpn?

    #8) well miss rn bsn it's time for his meds, but i'm a little confused? the pink is the one he takes in the morning, and the yellow one at lunch, and the blue one at night.......i think? oh geeze this is too complicated......maybe i better ask the na? oh that's right....your here!!! your a rn bsn! maybe you can remember which color pill is supposed to be given when? i mean, by your statement.....your the next thing closest to god! hell.....you probably discovered these meds too!!!

    #7) oh this patient care stuff is so complicated, maybe i better go clean out the toilet. you know, i am pretty compitent in toilet bowl cleaning! i can't remember? do i need a bsn to clean a toilet bowl properly?

    #6) well since i am underqualified to take care of your father, without a doubt. i'll let you take over the care while your here. of course you'll have to report off to another rn right? :chuckle that could be a long wait here!!!

    #5) i work here because, this place doesn't want to hire rn's. they figure residents like your dad are about to croak soon anyways. god forbid we have an rn bsn here, who might actually save them. i guess the management figures, with lpn's were sure to keep the resident turnover rate acceptably high!

    #4) well miss rn bsn, you are totally right. i realize that the thermometer training you had, doesn't even come close to what they taught me. however, i have done pretty good! i have done thousands of rectal temps!!! i even read the thermometer accurately.........most of the time! you know what's even better! i only caused about 50 sigmoid perfs so far!!! not bad eh!!!

    #3) well miss rn bsn, maybe you can give me a few pointers, from all your wisdom and knowledge!!

    #2) well miss rn bsn, you remind me of something. there was this chimpanzee in my lpn school. this monkey used to just sit there and smirk at me after tests, just because he always mangaged to get a little better grade than i ever did!!! that was just so annoying!!!:chuckle :roll :chuckle

    and the #1 response

    well you see, after failing the stna test multiple times, i finally passed!
    i then went on to lpn school, where after failing three times in a row......i finally made it through.
    i have been through the rn bsn program three times also without success, but am really confident in myself!!! i know i'll make it through the program and pass the boards the fourth time.
    it's meeting people like you that keep the drive going!! it's all i want to do and be!! just like you!!! may i kiss your feet while your here? :chuckle


    *** ok just for the record - this is not slam towards anybody, na, lpn, rn - i just know i would have a hard time keeping my mouth shut, to someone who sounds as arrogant and ignorant as this person did. fact is......i have met rn's (bsn, adn, asn, msn whatever) that i would not let touch me as a patient with a ten foot pole. in the same respect, i have met some lpn's, nurse techs, and medics.......that i would depend on my life in a heartbeat!!! that's a fact!!!

    me

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