Offended by pt- how to react? - page 2

this happened to me friday at work, and i still cannot figure out a way i could've reacted differently to this. i've never had anything like this happen at work, so i was stumped as to how to chide... Read More

  1. by   emmycRN
    One of my instructors in nursing school gave us a lecture on boundary setting with pt's (I think it was during our psych rotation). I have never had to do this, but I remember her telling us that it's okay to tell a pt that their remarks are inappropriate and will not be tolerated. Of course, this should be done in the most professional way possible. Nurses should not have to take abuse from patients.
  2. by   Midwest4me
    Quote from emmycRN
    One of my instructors in nursing school gave us a lecture on boundary setting with pt's (I think it was during our psych rotation). I have never had to do this, but I remember her telling us that it's okay to tell a pt that their remarks are inappropriate and will not be tolerated. Of course, this should be done in the most professional way possible. Nurses should not have to take abuse from patients.
    Hey EmmycRN: I often DO tell pts that their statments are inappropriate, to which they then reply with some additional inappropriate response. Sadly, that's the nature of many nurses' jobs, particularly mine in a psych unit where we DO have to take verbal abuse almost daily. (The physical abuse is handled by using special behavioral/physical techniques in which we are trained.)
    To the OP: I think you handled the situation VERY well. I'm sorry, however, that you were the recipient of such ignorant, poorly educated, immoral treatment.
  3. by   bopps
    I am sorry you have had to deal with this. I would have been tempted to say something very rude to that bigot.I have spoken up before when patients have made ridiculous and rude comments.. but it's like Tweety said some bigots aren't worth the time. Stay strong. and remember you are there to take care of patients, not to be abused. You deserve respect no matter what race, sex, or sexual orientation you are.
  4. by   I_am_Julia
    i wouldn't waste my time telling the nm because that's their opinion. i've seen worse things said directly and indirectly about black people on this board.

    ignore it. some people are just going to be ignorant in any situation. telling won't change their opinion.
  5. by   RNKITTY04
    Sorry this happened to you but believe me I've had my share of racial comments also. I live down here in the deep south and actually had a African American patient refuse me as her nurse stating that "a cracker has no idea of how to take care of a sister"
    I was shocked to say the least, last time I took anatomy we all bleed red, but I just simply told the pt that I was all there was that day and if she wanted any kind of nursing care I was it.
    She "let" me take care of her but I definitly caught attitude all shift.
    Like a previous poster said, it happens all over, in all colors and sex's.
  6. by   Young Woman
    Hey darling just let it
    go, He probably didnt relise what he was saying
    if you found it offensive tell your boss, and maybe your boss can putll him aside and tell him its not appropriate for him to be saying things like that or just have a quit word to him yourself and just say u didnt appriciate the way he was talking, but dont take it to personal i am sure if he has demancia he will forget in time.
    [WIKI][BANANA]:smiletea2: :deadhorse :lol_hitti [/BANANA][/WIKI]

    Young woman
  7. by   EmerNurse
    Quote from RNKITTY04
    Sorry this happened to you but believe me I've had my share of racial comments also. I live down here in the deep south and actually had a African American patient refuse me as her nurse stating that "a cracker has no idea of how to take care of a sister"
    I was shocked to say the least, last time I took anatomy we all bleed red, but I just simply told the pt that I was all there was that day and if she wanted any kind of nursing care I was it.
    She "let" me take care of her but I definitly caught attitude all shift.
    Like a previous poster said, it happens all over, in all colors and sex's.

    I had an older african-american gentleman as a patient once who refused me as his nurse on the same excuse, using the cracker comment as well. I simply asked him if he would like to talk to my charge nurse. He said yes. Ironically, (because my unit is very very diverse in its' staff), the charge nurse is a white male. The patient insisted on a black nurse. He got one. She was from Jamaica. He THEN insisted on a REAL black nurse, aka American.

    At that point we all threw up our hands. No pleasing some folks and what took a lifetime for them to believe sadly won't always go away in the course of a shift.

    As for the patient, he got great care, and signed out AMA after his x-ray was negative. <shrug> go figure.
  8. by   NurseShelly
    Ugh! This disgusts me like you wouldn't believe! I'm so sorry that you had to experience that. I know all to well what you must've been feeling. I've had my share of racial insults thrown my way. I've even had pts. refer to me over and over again as "the black girl" instead of my name like everyone else. Like Tweety said, bigots just aren't worth the time. Luckily, I've found a well trusted mentor that I can vent to about issues like that. LDJRN, and everyone here, I hope you have someone that you can vent to. Ignorant people like that won't change, but you're only human, and you have feelings. You don't have to tolerate crap like that at work or anywhere else. If you don't have one already, I suggest you find a healthy outlet like kickboxing, knitting or whatever; anything that will not only prevent you from snapping at a patient, and losing your job, but your license as well. Good luck!
  9. by   KellieNurse06
    Sorry to hear you had to deal with this type of thing. I would just let it go...as much as you want to chew him /them out or give them a piece of your mind. Regardless of how inappropriate it was..(very much so) I sense he was being sarcastic & condescending to puff himself up so to speak, and also to get a reaction from you.
    I have a relative, my aunt ( my mom's sister) who is very prejudiced (mostly from being married to my uncle who recently passed, who was a white mid western raised man who grew up in the 50's -60's when prejudice was really huge) ...and sadly especially towards anyone who isn't white. It sickens me, and the even more amazing thing is one of my best friends in high school was an african american male....he was like a brother to me literally....so it boggles my mind when I personally hear my aunt make remarks about people who are not white.....because I am not in any way shape or form prejudiced....there is good & bad in EVERY person regardless of color period.
    My point I guess is......look at the entire picture.........their age....most people who are in the 50's-70's year age brackett, grew up with prejudice or segregation and all that stuff going on back then..and lots of things we don't give a second thought to today would be very frowned upon in their day. Also the upbringing by their parents also influenced them......hence a learned behavior.
    It's also mostly due to lack of education & ignorance, so when you want to rip them a new one, or tell them how inappropriate their comments are/were......you are sinking down to their level......Just kill em with kindness & smile..as much as you want to do the opposite. You are the better person for not going there.
    You could of said jokingly " I sense a little sarcasm here?"
    A friend of mine who has been a nurse forever mentioned this to me about people who go on & on about something (like how he kept going on & on) ..." me protesteth too much" and " How great thou art" more or less saying those who protest or proclaim on & on are the ones full of themselves because if they truly were that great, then they wouldn't have to go on & on in such a manner.......I truly believe that, & think she is so right on the $$$.
    Don't let this one person get you rattled because I guarantee it won't be the last time.......unfortunately. Obviously you are the better person for holding your tongue...and I think you handled yourself extremely well & very professional..... You could of blew his mind & said
    " yes, and quite a few african american people invented life saving medical procedures/tests/medical equipment that many people should be thankful for or they may not be alive today because of it" ...........
    Last edit by KellieNurse06 on Mar 21, '07
  10. by   NurseRatchett
    Hmmm, I don't think you overreacted or underreacted in this sticky situation.
    You want to keep your porfessionalism, but at the same time let this jackass know that what he said wasn't acceptable or funny. Very hard thing to do.

    Another poster was very right in that you don't want to engage racist or sexist %&holes. They really aren't worth the massive time and effort it takes to educate and correct this type of person.

    I would definitely talk with your NM. He or she needs to know in case this happens again...maybe with the same patient or completely different one. Having the support of your mgmt team should help you. Bringing the co-worker while delivering care was also a very smart move.
  11. by   Sabby_NC
    so sorry that you had to experience this. i think you handled it in the best way possible.
    this i pray was a one off by a patient not thinking before opening his mouth.
    smile and know you handled it well as a professional nurse.
    good for you.
  12. by   AirforceRN
    So, maybe I won't be the most popular guy after this, but hey, its just my opinion.
    I don't think "just letting it go" is the answer. Sure, we have to pick our battles but from the sounds of most of the responses here, nurses are being too picky. Just because we are a caring profession and we are professionals doesn't mean we have to put up and shut up. We aren't paid to put up with ignorance and in today's society there is no place for racism like that. I'm not saying that we should yell and scream and whine and moan at every thing that is said that we disagree with but when it comes to things like this I think the record has to be set straight. Racism is not acceptable in this day and age and people can be charged for engaging in it. I don't think we should call the cops on people like this, but there is no harm in letting them know that they are being ignorant. As for the asking for another nurse thing...IMHO, NO! As a male, I've been asked to go get a female nurse. Unless it is a pelvic I tell my patients that I'm a professional and I do just as good a job. I know some people are modest, but we (men) don't often have the option of asking for a male so why be selective? Trust me, I'm not going to be staring at your 85 year old breasts.
    So, I probably haven't made many friends here today, but everyone is entitled to their opinion, this is mine, take it or leave it.
  13. by   Captain Tripps
    You had Jimmy the Greek as a patient??

    Did I just age myself with that comment?

    Ignorance is like dust, amazingly common and very easy to ignore. If I had a dime for every insult I have gotten over 19 years I wouldn't need to go to Nursing School. Don't take it personally and get angry be the better person and feel pity for him, or you can place an oversized Foley in him. :spin:

    Peace,
    Tripps

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