Nurses: Do the patients often try to talk to you about politics? - page 4

by delrepublica1776

3,583 Views | 37 Comments

I was just really curious about this, since I volunteer at an ICU visiting room, and of course I mostly just sit there and sometimes the patients' relatives will come up to me and talk to me about stuff in general. Sometimes,... Read More


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    It depended entirely on the time and the person. Wingers who wanted to show off the ranting skills they got from AM radio just thought I was an airhead who was probably interested in fashion or pop singers or something because that was just nothing I wanted to encourage and besides, I was really too busy to listen to it.

    Then there was the nursing home patient many years ago who had been a presidential speech writer when I was in diapers. I used to pick political fights with him and on those nights, he'd pick himself out of his wheelchair, do his own HS care, and sleep through the night after he'd meekly toddled to bed. I knew his wife socially, so I knew I was on pretty solid ground there, although other staff thought I was being mean to that old man.

    If I saw a copy of The Nation at the bedside, I might remark on one of the articles I'd read in it, but that's usually as far as it went. Mostly it was just stuff I tended to avoid, like religion and sex, unless it pertained directly to patient condition. Some people are idiots, some are not, but trying to educate idiots about anything but their health was just not in my job description.

    That's really how to stay safe. Just let the idiots expose themselves and move on to what you're paid to do, help them get well. They'll complain about you if you try to teach them anything else and managers who think hospitals should be run like fine hotels won't like it.
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    During my entire nursing career I have adopted the following " I Never discuss Politics, Religion, or sex orientation at work", and this has kept me away from any drama.
    lindarn likes this.
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    I have a policy that I never discuss politics or religion. You are not going to change anyone's mind and are probably going to make someone mad!
    lindarn likes this.
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    Quote from mjmoon
    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh- not looking forward to this.. I have a hard time biting my toung with all the republican fear mongering..
    Herein lies the problem with todays politics. Rethuglicans do not fight fair.

    Breeding and encouraging fear mongering helps no one. The partisanship needs to stop- we should be able to bridge the divide. We WILL not always agree, but there are still some commonalities.
    lindarn likes this.
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    I live in a conservative state so I get comments all the time about politics. We have TV's in patient rooms & it's always Fox news on. I ignore the comments patients & families make as Fox news commentary goes on. I didn't get a 4yr degree to discuss politics. I usually try to change the subject.
    lindarn likes this.
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    I was in a traveler position at the time of the election. My assignment was
    deep into the heart of McCain country. It was where his home is, (and not
    his Phoenix home - his real home in boonieville AZ).

    I had to ask all of my pts LOC questions, with the reknown "who is the president
    question." OMG, what controversy with that question. I had to stop asking it
    because of the fear of assault! I NEVER got a straight answer - just outrageous
    actions and statements by the pt.

    BTW, I didn't vote for McCain but certainly never shared that tidbit.
    lindarn likes this.
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    While I am certainly no fan of the current administration, I do not mention that to my patients, pro or con. I let them speak their mind, and then I change the subject. I do feel that politics, like religion and culture, are things that should only be discussed in the most general way, and you should tread lightly on them. The risk of these connections with the patient can potentially compromise the communication and thus compromise the care given.
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    I smile and tell them "my Mother told me years ago that I should not discuss religion or politics." Then I change the subject. If they continue, somehow find an immediate errand or message to someone. Just don't let them continue and never argue with a patient or family-no matter what, you will never win or change their mind!


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