Patients Treat Nurses Like Garbage! - page 2

I don't know what it is. Last week I had five patients one day, all were demanding and miserable. This week I had another group of miserable demanding patients. I happen to see nurses who speak... Read More

  1. by   Kunzieo
    Tee Hee! Just these last few weeks I have been called by patients:
    Inept
    Incompetent
    Dog
    Stubborn A**
    Not Too Bright
    Unfeeling
    Dumb/Stupid
    Mrs. Levitz (not offensive...but nothing close to my real name!?!)
    and...my favorite...
    Lucifer.

    And I'm a good little CNA!
    But I agree...enough is enough. Appropriate limits have to be set with unreasonable patients. I am not afraid to tell a patient that I will not stand there and be insulted, and I am not afraid to leave the room, even if they are yelling and screaming. Too bad. I'll be back in 5 minutes after you think about how silly you just sounded!
  2. by   ginger58
    WOW!! I didn't think rudeness was so rampant but reading your posts I am horrified at how we are all treated.
    Our patients got to fill out their own menus and there were those that didn't "realize" they needed to check off creamer, more syrup, this or that and expected me to run back and forth to the kitchen.
    I had an ambulatory man (executive) that put his light on to move his tray table an inch, fix his blanket and his arms weren't even broken!
    Rich or poor some folks feel entitled to unreasonable demands. I once asked a "How to get along with difficult people" trainer what to do with these folks. She said to tell them that I'm there to meet their medical needs and make sure they progress towards discharge. Not in these exact words, but to tell them that I'm not there to meet their handmaiden needs and if they need this much care that maybe they should call a friend or family member in to help them with these other needs (fluffing pillows, moving a blanket an inch, and on and on). I don't mind doing these things if I have time and am not being abused.
    I agree that for a time I allowed the abuse but sometimes it's hard to bring reality to the attention of the patient.
  3. by   ICRN2008
    Quote from ERRNTraveler
    Don't think for a minute that pediatrics will be any better. I worked in peds as a new grad, and sometimes the parents made it absolutely unbearable! Like the ones who will sit and have a fit when you have to do ANYTHING unpleasant to their child. I work in ER now, so I still have peds patients, and I just can't get over the parents who drag their kid out of the house at 4 am for something that is nowhere NEAR life-threatening, and then get mad at me if I try to take a rectal temperature, start an IV, draw blood, etc. If they don't want us doing any of this stuff, WHY DID THEY BRING THEM IN???
    I have seen the same things on a peds floor. The other day I was kicked, hit in the face and would have gotten bitten if I didn't see it coming and pulled my arm away. We work with the patients to decrease the amount of stress and trauma they endure with minor procedures (BPs, IV starts, NG tube insertion, etc). However, if a kid has behavior problems at home, they will often become terrors in the hospital. There are parents who will take no steps to discipline their small children when they start to hit or kick the staff. I have learned that I have to be the one to say "Stop that now, that is not okay" and then work with the parents to get the kids to cooperate.

    In this day and age, many parents expect that their little prince or princess will get everything that he or she wants at all times. They look at me helplessly when a 2 year old says "No" to a blood pressure or a CVL flush and say "Well, she doesn't want to do it". I just don't get how it is that a toddler can succeed at running the show, but apparently that's how it works in some households. I have given many parents guidence on setting limits for their children and also worked with them to find ways that their child would cooperate. In most cases it's successful, but there are still kids who will kick and scream any time a nurse approaches them...
  4. by   TheCommuter
    I have observed that the patients who treat nurses rudely, are the exact same ones who become silent, pleasant, smiling, and respectful when the doctor sees them during rounds.
  5. by   Mulan
    Quote from lisa41rn
    I don't know what it is. Last week I had five patients one day, all were demanding and miserable. This week I had another group of miserable demanding patients. I happen to see nurses who speak rudely to patients and my thought has always been that the patients pay a fortune for their care and deserve a caring, nice and knowledgeable nurse. I'm starting to think otherwise and see why so many nurses speak up to the patients. In the past, I've nearly always taken a difficult patient and could bring out the best in them. My recent patients are just so rude. I'm the first to have the common sense to realize their illnesses are often new and anxiety can bring out the worst in people. Regardless, it doesn't give them the right to treat those caring for them the most, like garbage. I'm fortunate that I don't need to work and really wonder if I want to go to work, a job I once loved, to be treated terribly. I know many nurses I work with, who are honest, admit they would love to leave and do something different, but often don't have any other options but to be a nurse. How do you all deal with your rude patients??

    First of all, I have to disagree that patients pay a fortune for their care. Some people, depending on the insurance, may pay as little as $25 a day for a hospital stay, and may have a total out of pocket expense cap of $3000 per fiscal year, for all care, doctors office, hospital, etc., and they are not paying any premiums for this coverage so the total outlay would be a max of $3000.

    Some people have no insurance and are paying nothing for that hospital stay, they don't pay and the hospital ends up taking a tax write off.
  6. by   Mulan
    My thought is that the general public shoud consider themselves darn lucky that there are people willing to do this work.

    A patient throwing a hissy fit about food and water (the sec. doesn't order a tray), the nurse being as nice as possible and trying to placate, gets lied on and gets a patient complaint.

    Someone goes into a restuarant and acts like a total ***** throwing a hissy fit about water and food, I imagine they would be escorted to the door or the police would be called.
    Last edit by Mulan on Nov 16, '07
  7. by   Jessy_RN
    I am a new nurse and have found that most of these anti-social personality type patients act totally different when family/MD are around. These same patients are just plain "wild" at night shift. It really irks me when we have double the pt. load and no one sleeps..........yet mgmt. swears we sit around eating donuts all night long.

    I chart everything-but many times, the day nurse tries to insinuate I am exaggerating or confused because so and so are just not like that. Either way some nurse is always screwed!!
  8. by   Agnus
    There have been times when it is so bad that I tell the patient that illness is not an excuse to bite the hand that feeds them. THey will treat me with respect if they want care. Patients respect this and get the message very quickly if you remain respectful of them when you do this. Sometimes they need to be reminded that you are human and worthy of respect.

    If you are afraid to do this them maybe it is you who needs to develop some respect for yourself and your patient.
  9. by   flightnurse2b
    i dont let it bother me anymore. i used to get really upset and think "omg i cant believe you are talking to me like this im trying to take care of you!" but then i realized, this is just the nasty, rude, "everyone owes me something" general public... and they're sick. the people i waited on at cracker barrel could be nasty. people in traffic can be nasty. people at publix can be nasty. and all these people are going to get sick at sometime or another. they dont hate me... they hate that they are sick, they hate their spouse, they hate their job..whatever... im just the first face they see... and i dont pay much attention to stupidity and ignorance.. im not going to let anyone contribute to my wrinkles. some people are scared of the hospital, nurses, doctors, needles, whatever.... some people are mentally ill or demented... some people are just deep down mean and rude. i usually just assess the situation, listen to what they have to say, and kill them with kindness. i will later remember this behavior when they need an IV, but i wont argue or get upset. ill just smile and nod. if a patient calls me a b---, ill say thank you. if they yell, ill whisper. in the end, i feel its not worth it. sure, i believe in setting limits. but when they arent redirectable to begin with... its my blood pressure going up, not theirs. ive been called every name in the book, spit on, punched, bitten, scratched, had an overbed table or two thrown in my direction, and been donkey kicked so hard in the stomach i spent the night in my own ER...... and mostly by patients who werent psych. they were just nasty. but i refuse to let anyones behavior get the best of me.... no one can make you feel bad except yourself... and thats a lesson that took me years to learn. as my father used to always say... "you cant polish a turd."
  10. by   Agnus
    Quote from allison2008
    spit on, punched, bitten, scratched, had an overbed table or two thrown in my direction, and been donkey kicked so hard in the stomach i spent the night in my own ER...... and mostly by patients who werent psych. they were just nasty. but i refuse to let anyones behavior get the best of me.... no one can make you feel bad except yourself... and thats a lesson that took me years to learn. as my father used to always say... "you cant polish a turd."
    Oh yes I really love it when you put a spit guard on and it splatters back into their own face. [lol] It never takes more than spitting twice with one of these on to stop them. But then who cares if they stop once they have it on.

    I know it seldom happens but you are entitled to file asault charges. maybe it more nurses did this behavior would become the exception rather than the rule for these folks.
  11. by   wooh
    Quote from BSNDec06
    ...However, if a kid has behavior problems at home, they will often become terrors in the hospital. There are parents who will take no steps to discipline their small children when they start to hit or kick the staff. I have learned that I have to be the one to say "Stop that now, that is not okay" and then work with the parents to get the kids to cooperate.

    In this day and age, many parents expect that their little prince or princess will get everything that he or she wants at all times. They look at me helplessly when a 2 year old says "No" to a blood pressure or a CVL flush and say "Well, she doesn't want to do it". I just don't get how it is that a toddler can succeed at running the show, but apparently that's how it works in some households...
    I saw a mother promise her 8 year old that he'd get $100 if he sat still for his PICC line dressing change. With inflation, imagine what he'll get if he needs medical care at age 15 or 16!:trout:
    I've gotten good with the whiny kids, "You either need to take it for mommy, or I'll give it to you. And if you spit it out, I'll go get more. But you WILL take the medicine." But it still pains me to watch moms that insist on trying to reason with their 3 year old to take their medicine.
  12. by   wooh
    Quote from Jessy_RN
    I am a new nurse and have found that most of these anti-social personality type patients act totally different when family/MD are around. These same patients are just plain "wild" at night shift. It really irks me when we have double the pt. load and no one sleeps..........yet mgmt. swears we sit around eating donuts all night long.

    I chart everything-but many times, the day nurse tries to insinuate I am exaggerating or confused because so and so are just not like that. Either way some nurse is always screwed!!
    Back when I worked nights, I went into help one of our new grad nurses along with the charge nurse and a tech. Old man going wild swinging his cane at us. I told him TWICE that he would stop swinging the cane or I would take it away. He kept swinging, I took it away. Then wild old man starts to fall back. There was a chair behind him, but I was afraid he was going to hit hard, so I put my arm behind his back so that he'd slowly lower into the chair instead of hitting his butt hard, and maybe hitting his head on the back of the chair hard. In the midst of all the excitement, our tech got badly scratched. (And of course the family refused to allow HIV/hep testing so she could rest easy.)
    Next morning family tells doc that not only was I rude to him and wouldn't let him have his cane, but I hit him and made him fall down. THE DOC BELIEVED THE FAMILY. You can't even count on the docs to be on your side, since they don't get the crappy treatment so obviously we're making it up.
  13. by   Djuna
    Quote from wooh
    I saw a mother promise her 8 year old that he'd get $100 if he sat still for his PICC line dressing change. With inflation, imagine what he'll get if he needs medical care at age 15 or 16!:trout:
    I've gotten good with the whiny kids, "You either need to take it for mommy, or I'll give it to you. And if you spit it out, I'll go get more. But you WILL take the medicine." But it still pains me to watch moms that insist on trying to reason with their 3 year old to take their medicine.
    I just tell them 'If you don't take the medicine in your mouth I'll have to put a needle in your bottom'

    One child actually CHOSE this route voluntarily then thanked me for it. Kids are crazy!

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