Offended by pt- how to react? - page 3

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   nicuRN2007
    Unbelievable. Sorry you had to deal with this ignoramus.
  2. by   CRNI-ICU20
    There is no cure for stupid.
    They don't make a twelve step program or a pill to help village idiots like this navigate social skills with more ease.
    I think on my next approach I would have taken a white nurse with me...as a great experiment to him...have him cover his eyes....and then say..."tell me, which one of us just gave you your medication?" When he complains, "I don't know"....say, "exactly...you can't know....because nursing is gender and color blind...." Then let him mull that over for a while...
    Sometimes teaching our patients involves also addressing prejudice.....in a nice way, people can learn to see past the surface...
    OR....
    You could try the full on approach of: "I see by your complete rednecked views that you believe that I am just a black mama nurse....well, honey...I am goin' to show you just how wrong you are!!" (just kidding!!)
    I am sorry you were confronted by this poor excuse of manhood...
    I really don't have alot of patience with this....I am pretty sure I would probably let my Irish get the best of me, and put them in their place.
    And then I would most likely be escorted to the door....we have an image to protect you know!
    Here's a classic example of the kind of abuse we take on a daily basis as nurses in this country...but we are unable to be supported in confronting it.
    It's so sad.
  3. by   meownsmile
    First you should be commended and congratulated for being the professional that you are. You handled it exactly right. Granted these guys were everything and more that the posts have named, but you were big enough and enlisted your professional attitude not to stoop to their level.
    It could very easily gone the wrong way if you had confronted or used some sassy comeback. Thats when things get nasty and YOU end up being on the short end of the stick no matter what happened if one of these guys decided they wanted to make a big deal of anything YOU might have said. Especially if they were a patient. You did good.
    I have a feeling these guys would have made comments of some sort to anyone other than a senior citizen nurse. They were looking for reaction and you didnt really give them what they wanted.
    Last edit by meownsmile on Mar 21, '07
  4. by   leslie :-D
    there are some comments that just cannot be dignified with a response.
    this was one of them.
    the only thing i would have done differently, is i wouldn't have laughed/smiled.
    as for running it by your nm, sure, by all means.
    you can tell him/her the incident and how you responded-just to keep her in the know.
    ignorance is seldom reversible, despite all the teaching tools we may provide.
    above all, keep your head up and chin out.
    and take a deep breath....
    i'm truly sorry.

    leslie
  5. by   jill48
    Quote from Kay Ciel, RN
    Well, obviously, the first thing you should've done was switched out assignments with a white nurse.

    But seriously, you handled that the best way you could have. Anyone who would make a beyond crass remark like that would not have benefited from any finger-wagging or witty reply you could've come up with. And seeing a wasted retort would deflate anybody's sails more than the original insult.
    I don't agree with this at all. Why should she switch assignments? I think she handled it perfectly. I would have used the opportunity to educate the man a little. He probably tried to compliment her, in his own, very rude little way. I would have said something like, " You know, Mr. So and So, I know that you meant that in a good way, and I can appreciate that, but anyone who doesn't know you would take offense to that remark because it sounds like an ignorant statement, and I know you're not ignorant. Just phrase it differently." But that's just me. There are enough people out there who really do HATE other people because of race, religion, sex, whatever. I just don't think that every statement is meant to be taken as hate, even though it may sound like it. Especially in some of the older people who still talk like they did in 1950. I don't see any reason to change her assignment though, unless she really thought it was a statement fueled by hate.
  6. by   staceylee67
    Quote from ldjrn
    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 this guy and be professional in every sense of the word. here goes:
    Quote from ldjrn

    i work fri-sun 7p-7a on a sub-acute unit. one of my patients was sitting in the common area speaking to another patient (they are both white males), when i took his pm medication to him. he then tells the other patient, "i like these black nurses. they do what they're supposed to do like good girls. they're so caring and loving; unlike those white ones." the other patient then agreed to this, stating, "yeah, some of the best nurses my son has are black" and mind you his son is one of the doctors we use most. i took offense to this, because that's a freaking generalization and i felt it basically relegated black nurses to a "mamie role"; but i was willing to let it slide. until my patient stuck his feet in his mouth and stated, "you see, what it is with these black women is that they have such sorry black men that when they see us white men, they just want to love all over us." this made me :angryfire (flaming hot mad); but i just laughed and told him, "i don't think that's what it is". i had the same patient assignment all weekend, but i had to mentally distance myself from this guy. whenever i had to do something patient care wise with/for him, i took someone else with me and i basically spaced out mentally; not the best patient care, i know. i wanted to address this with my nm and ask how to best handle situations like this, but i feel it's best if i just let it go. what do you guys think; i.e. what should i have done to let him know he was being offensive (and remain professional), and should i speak with my nm regarding this?

    thanks.

    was this your first "back-handed compliment"? the guy is just a racist... nothing more than an ignorant dirty pig of a racist. i do admit that i am sometimes un-proffessional when retorting to such patients.. so you may not want to take my advice but here it is. (i am white for the record). "i'm sorry that you are so ignorant" or "don't you think that is a little bit racist"? or even "wow.. i would have never pegged you for a racist" or last but not least "i'm not stupid enough to fall for those back-handed compliments like your girlfriend probably is".
  7. by   staceylee67
    [quote=EmerNurse;2122058]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.[/quote]

    Ms. unproffessional again here.... but I believe in stucking up for ourselves.
    My mexican friend was told by a white patient "I don't want you as taking care of me because you are Mexican" So she said "Well.... I guess you won't be getting any care until 3:30, 'cuz I'm your nurse". He could have made a stink, or even asked again, and we would have had to re-assign a new nurse, however he got the point and shut up. We as nurses to not have to roll over and play dead everytime someone says hateful things. Patients have every right to be cranky, but NEVER hateful.
  8. by   jill48
    Quote from staceylee67
    [quote=EmerNurse;2122058]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.
    Ms. unproffessional again here.... but I believe in stucking up for ourselves.
    My mexican friend was told by a white patient "I don't want you as taking care of me because you are Mexican" So she said "Well.... I guess you won't be getting any care until 3:30, 'cuz I'm your nurse". He could have made a stink, or even asked again, and we would have had to re-assign a new nurse, however he got the point and shut up. We as nurses to not have to roll over and play dead everytime someone says hateful things. Patients have every right to be cranky, but NEVER hateful.[/quote]


    Let us not forget that they also have the right to be stupid.
  9. by   jill48
    Quote from jill48
    Ms. unproffessional again here.... but I believe in stucking up for ourselves.
    My mexican friend was told by a white patient "I don't want you as taking care of me because you are Mexican" So she said "Well.... I guess you won't be getting any care until 3:30, 'cuz I'm your nurse". He could have made a stink, or even asked again, and we would have had to re-assign a new nurse, however he got the point and shut up. We as nurses to not have to roll over and play dead everytime someone says hateful things. Patients have every right to be cranky, but NEVER hateful.

    Let us not forget that they also have the right to be stupid.[/quote]



    Okay, I don't know why this isn't working for me tonight - stupid computer!
  10. by   j_dee
    I think you handled it very well. I'm sure it caught you off guard and I can't imagine how angry you must have felt in that instant. Ideally if something like this happened to me (it hasn't yet, but I'm just a student...and as a minority I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities to come haha) I think I would have just said something like "I don't think so" or "No, I don't think thats true". I've had SLIGHTLY offensive remarks and my reaction was to not smile and to ignore them. This at least gets the point across that they are a) not amusing b) you are not going to put up with their crap

    Anyways, I'm sorry you had to deal with that.
  11. by   Cherish
    Thats awful. I have encountered some racism myself when I was in the Army. I'm black and my boyfriend is white and I hear the comments and see the looks, its like we should be on national geographic the way they stare sometimes. But I'm not on this earth to enlighten ignorant people. You did the right thing. I'm so sorry this happened.:icon_hug:
    Last edit by Cherish on Mar 22, '07
  12. by   RN BSN 2009
    i'm sorry, that's so awful people think this way in 2007
  13. by   Scififan
    Whenever I've had to put up with stupid remarks, usually from older male patients and sexual in nature I just enquire sweetly if they would like someone talking to their daughter, sister wife or whatever in that manner. Usually shuts them up for a minute while I make my exit. They all get good care from me, but I certainly will not go out of my way for them as I do for patients who appreciate me and what I do for them

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