Inappropriate Conversations in the Workplace

  1. While working in the emergency room, I have endured many conversations that range from issues in today's news to political standpoints. I keep my mouth shut for the most part and take care of the assignment at hand, the patient.

    Today, however, my feathers were ruffled and I had to take a bathroom break to prevent a heated outburst. The conversation at hand was dealing with racism and police shootings that end with there not being any justice for the victim. The nurses and nurse practitioner was literally making fun of a particular situation that vexed me to no end. Mind you, this is the emergency room with multiple patients.

    I've never engaged or actively participated in these conversations. My question is, do I go to the director about this or turn the other cheek?

    ETA: Multiple patients were complaining about not having any updates about placement etc... while this could have been done while the "conversation" was ongoing.
    Last edit by Shookclays on Apr 9
    •  
  2. Visit Shookclays profile page

    About Shookclays

    Joined: Sep '16; Posts: 144; Likes: 139

    54 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    I consider it an advantage to know how my coworkers think without them knowing much about me. No, I wouldn't put on my "offended" hat and go crying to the boss. They're going to think what they think whether they say it in front of you, or not. I get the sense that you're not upset about patients not being updated quickly enough. This is personal and you should probably let it go instead of turning it into a "work" issue.
  4. by   Shookclays
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    I consider it an advantage to know how my coworkers think without them knowing much about me. No, I wouldn't put on my "offended" hat and go crying to the boss. They're going to think what they think whether they say it in front of you, or not. I get the sense that you're not upset about patients not being updated quickly enough. This is personal and you should probably let it go instead of turning it into a "work" issue.
    How could you infer from that post that I didn't care about the patients being updated? If I didn't I wouldn't have added it. And it's not "crying" to the boss. With the setting being in the emergency room, I'm sure the patients heard it as well. It is VERY unprofessional to hold conversations of the sort in this environment especially when patients are waiting. I asked to see if there were any other nurses in my predicament and what they did about it.

    ETA: I could care less what they "think" but when they decide to voice it publicly, that's when the problem arise.
    Last edit by Shookclays on Apr 9
  5. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Shookclays
    How could you infer from that post that I didn't care about the patients being updated? I forgot I didn't I wouldn't have added it. And it's not "crying" to the boss. With the setting being in the emergency room, I'm sure the patients heard it as well. It is VERY unprofessional to hold conversations of the sort in this environment especially when patients are waiting. I asked to see if there were any other nurses in my predicament and what they did about it.
    Do you care about unprofessional conversations when you're in agreement with the opinions expressed? Have you ever gone to the manager about opposite points of view being expressed at work?
    You have to realize that the person you bring this up to is going to see right through your concern "about patients". Do as you see fit, but I think the whole thing could backfire and cause you personal problems.
    I frequently listen to opposing viewpoints from people I work with. They can be irritating and it can be tempting to respond. It's not worth it, though. I just smile and do my job.
  6. by   Shookclays
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    Do you care about unprofessional conversations when you're in agreement with the opinions expressed? Have you ever gone to the manager about opposite points of view being expressed at work?
    You have to realize that the person you bring this up to is going to see right through your concern "about patients". Do as you see fit, but I think the whole thing could backfire and cause you personal problems.
    I frequently listen to opposing viewpoints from people I work with. They can be irritating and it can be tempting to respond. It's not worth it, though. I just smile and do my job.
    It doesn't matter if I'm in agreement with their views or not, unprofessional is unprofessional. As stated previously, the patients are the top priority and when they're not getting the proper care, it irritates me and no I haven't gone to the unit manager for anything.
  7. by   OldDude
    I think your post leads the reader to believe your are upset about the subject matter of the conversation you were privy to and ends with patients not being attended to as an add on. Maybe you could clarify what your are concerned about. Patients being neglected because of the staff yacking at each other or because of the subject matter being discussed.
  8. by   Shookclays
    Quote from OldDude
    I think your post leads the reader to believe your are upset about the subject matter of the conversation you were privy to and ends with patients not being attended to as an add on. Maybe you could clarify what your are concerned about. Patients being neglected because of the staff yacking at each other or because of the subject matter being discussed.
    Patients being neglected.
  9. by   Davey Do
    Quote from Shookclays
    With the setting being in the emergency room, I'm sure the patients heard it as well. It is VERY unprofessional to hold conversations of the sort in this environment especially when patients are waiting. I asked to see if there were any other nurses in my predicament and what they did about it.
    Yeah, Shookclays, such situations are frustrating. But if you stifle one jerk, there'll always be another one to take their place.

    At times like this, I remember what Edgar cayce said: "You can't get someone into more trouble than they can get themselves into".
  10. by   Triddin
    You're original post comes off that you are upset about the content being discussed imho. If you're uncomfortable with the conversation, if it isn't affecting patient care, either ignore it or politely express that the topic makes you feel uncomfortable.
  11. by   OldDude
    Quote from Shookclays
    Patients being neglected.
    I can see your point. I've seen it time and time again. It's very frustrating and usually comes from being burned out and bitter and developing the attitude people come to the ER just to irritate the staff. I don't think there is much you can really "do" about it and have much success. I never figured it out. Hang in there. Best of luck. I wish I could be more helpful.
  12. by   Shookclays
    Quote from Davey Do
    Yeah, Shookclays, such situations are frustrating. But if you stifle one jerk, there'll always be another one to take their place.

    At times like this, I remember what Edgar cayce said: "You can't get someone into more trouble than they can get themselves into".
    Thank you Davey. Love that quote and will have to remember it. I didn't have this problem on the psych floor when I was a tech. I'm thinking about just working there as a nurse permanently.
  13. by   Shookclays
    Quote from OldDude
    I can see your point. I've seen it time and time again. It's very frustrating and usually comes from being burned out and bitter and developing the attitude people come to the ER just to irritate the staff. I don't think there is much you can really "do" about it and have much success. I never figured it out. Hang in there. Best of luck. I wish I could be more helpful.
    Thanks for your words.
  14. by   sevensonnets
    You had to take a bathroom break to prevent a heated outburst of your own. Might not a heated outburst have been unprofessional as well?

close