Patients Treat Nurses Like Garbage! - page 4

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   Christie RN2006
    Quote from Emmanuel Goldstein
    I'm sick and tired of hearing the excuse that these people are acting this way because they're ill and stressed. And I wish like hell nursing instructors would stop drumming this crap into students' heads. All that does is perpetuate the stereotype of the nurse as a long-suffering martyr.

    I've been in this business long enough to recognize the difference between patients (and families) acting out from illness and stress and those who are simply a horse's ass.

    "Stress" ain't got nothin' to do with it. And I refuse to excuse that behaviour.

    /rant
    You do have to admit that stress does bring out the worst in people... I feel bad for my family when they have to deal with me when I'm stressed, but still that is no excuse to treat people like crap.
  2. by   SICU Queen
    I can't even begin to count the number of times I've been treated like crapola by a patient and/or family member.

    It's one of the many reasons why I can't wait to get out of this profession. I've been a (mental and physical) punching bag long enough.

    :angryfire
  3. by   sistasoul
    Quote from 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.
    I love this post. I work as an LNA at a hospital and a receptionist for an eye Dr and I see the same thing going on. At the Dr's office a patient will come in and start demanding things and being downright nasty. When they go in with the Dr they are like a different person. It is so infuriating. These people are bullies. As a receptionist they know I have to be nice and accomodating to them but they feel inferior to the Dr and don't dare talk nasty to them. This is one reason when I graduate NS in May (god willing) that I will not be long for bed sde nursing.
  4. by   core0
    Quote from sistasoul
    I love this post. I work as an LNA at a hospital and a receptionist for an eye Dr and I see the same thing going on. At the Dr's office a patient will come in and start demanding things and being downright nasty. When they go in with the Dr they are like a different person. It is so infuriating. These people are bullies. As a receptionist they know I have to be nice and accomodating to them but they feel inferior to the Dr and don't dare talk nasty to them. This is one reason when I graduate NS in May (god willing) that I will not be long for bed sde nursing.
    You have a huge advantage in the office that you don't have in the hospital. You can fire the patient. We had a policy that if they are abusive they are given one warning then we gave them 30 days to find a new practice. If they were very abusive they didn't get a warning, just an invitation to find somewhere else. This applied to anyone. Nurses, receptionist etc. Docs didn't stand for abusive behavior period. Where I am now its even easier. Part of transplant evaluation is ability to follow directions and to continue care afterwards. If the are rude or abusive we invite them to find another program. This means they are usually on pretty good behavior. Of course once we transplant them we are stuck with them forever.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  5. by   sistasoul
    Quote from core0
    You have a huge advantage in the office that you don't have in the hospital. You can fire the patient. We had a policy that if they are abusive they are given one warning then we gave them 30 days to find a new practice. If they were very abusive they didn't get a warning, just an invitation to find somewhere else. This applied to anyone. Nurses, receptionist etc. Docs didn't stand for abusive behavior period. Where I am now its even easier. Part of transplant evaluation is ability to follow directions and to continue care afterwards. If the are rude or abusive we invite them to find another program. This means they are usually on pretty good behavior. Of course once we transplant them we are stuck with them forever.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
    I think I will definitely be looking into some type of outpatient nursing after I get hospital experience. Sounds like you work for and with a great group Of Drs
  6. by   blueheaven
    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??
    We tend to vent to each other in a place away from the bedside (usually in the nurses report room). I have noticed that we get "runs" of rude patients...then it will change and we get nice patients and unfortunately they have the "family from HELL" We are finishing up a run on the families from hell right now.....LOL
  7. by   Aidaniel
    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??
    I think all nurses globally, in some way, suffered the same way too. Whenever I am on the same situation, I try to be patient and keep cool to the max! Sometimes whenever I have the chance, I would locked myself to the rest room and yell aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!:angryfire ( but not to the point that others would hear me ) and when I go out of the rest room I am a renewed person ( lol ):spin: ready to deal with these people ( specifically the relatives ) civilly again.:trout:
  8. by   lamazeteacher
    Gratefully! I let them know how much I appreciate how hard it is to be sick (I've been there, and each day I thank God for being well, now), and how important it is to keep thinking of what they'll do and feel, once they're well again (or if that's not in the "cards", more short term improvements, like seeing a favorite person, being home, etc.).
    These days, being sick means financial disaster, especially for those without health insurance. The rudeness and 'tude may be a symptom of depression, and a social worker might help. This could be an opportunity to get treatment for it!
    When I've been flat on my back, I resented anyone upright, because I wanted to be in their shoes, not where I was. When a Nurse remarked to me that it was OK to cry, the flood gates opened, and I felt so much better afterward. There really is a toxin that must be released in tears, that's what they are for.
    The more help you can give someone difficult, the more satisfaction you can get back. Remember that you're there at a time when you're most needed by that person, and it's a privilege we get that most others don't have in their work, and know that YOU ARE NOT THE TARGET! There's a short book by Laura Huxley about that......
  9. by   bradleau
    Do you not have problems with the parents? That is why I will not work with peds. I hate to say it, but the drunks that are admitted are much nicer and appreciative than the 20-30 yr olds that think they can continue their party after admission.
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from core0
    i saw an excellent example of limits yesterday from one of the nurses. we have a patient that "likes" her pain meds and phenergan. we have set strict limits on when she can get it which of course does not mean that cannot be on the call light continuously. when i was talking to the patient i noticed that her nurse had written in big letters the schedule of her pain and nausea meds on the white board. above that was "next pain med 930" "next nausea med 1000". while i was there she came in changed the times and gave the meds. it sits right at the end of the bed and is a good reminder when the patient can call.
    [font="comic sans ms"]excellent idea -- for those who are basically cooperative but forgetful. it isn't going to do a thing for those who are sneaky and manipulative.
  11. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from mulan
    sorry that's been your experience. most places where i have worked, the patient is always right, the nurse is wrong.
    [font="comic sans ms"]that's been my experience as well! and if it's a dispute between a physician and a nurse ("i know my partner ordered those pain meds. he says he did. your nurse just misplaced that page of the chart!") the physician is always right. if it's a dispute between a nurse and pt ("your nurse wouldn't let me do my job! i don't have to stop just because of a little v tack!") the pt is always right. and so on.

    i want to find me one of those jobs where management actually listens to the bedside nurse before deciding who is right!
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from emmanuel goldstein
    i'm sick and tired of hearing the excuse that these people are acting this way because they're ill and stressed. and i wish like hell nursing instructors would stop drumming this crap into students' heads. all that does is perpetuate the stereotype of the nurse as a long-suffering martyr.

    i've been in this business long enough to recognize the difference between patients (and families) acting out from illness and stress and those who are simply a horse's ass.

    "stress" ain't got nothin' to do with it. and i refuse to excuse that behaviour.

    /rant
    [font="comic sans ms"]you've got that right! no matter how ill and stressed you are, you don't have a right to treat anyone like crap! i can understand how someone who is ill and stressed might forget some of the little niceties of social intercourse, but there is no excuse for hitting, kicking, name calling, biting, spitting, threatening and lying. illness and stress might excuse your forgetting to say "thank you" before you turn and barf into the basin that was just handed to you; it does not excuse throwing the contents of said basin at the nurse because "you should have gotten it faster!"

    the public didn't used to behave like this -- the horse's ass factor has definitely increased dramatically!

    but then i don't remember nursing school teaching me that i have to tolerate that sort of thing, either. it's something new that's come down the pike along with press gainey. nursing has taken a giant step backward.
  13. by   AuntieRN
    Quote from allison2008
    had a frequent flyer in the ER i used to work at that was incredibly racist and was verbally abusive to the black nurses and techs.

    one night, he got assigned to a travel nurse from jamaica. unfamiliar with mr. sunshine, when she entered the room to greet him, he dropped the N-bomb like no body's business and screamed as loud as he could for help.

    i went in there and said "Mr. W, what is your emergency." he said "well, you see, i dont understand why you people keep sending these n---- nurses in here". at this point the nurse was already in tears.

    so i said "Mr. W, is it correct that you are here because you are having difficulty breathing and think you are having a heart attack?"... he said yes. and "is it correct that you do not have an advanced directive in your chart and would like to be resuscitated if your heart stopped?"... he looked at me like i was stupid, but again he said "no i sure dont and i want everything done for me"

    so i posed him the question... "would it be ok then, to have a colored nurse perform CPR on you, or would you rather us let you go since there aren't any white nurses on duty this evening?"

    he apologized to his nurse and never spoke the N-word in that ER again.

    ohhhh allison2008 you are the bomb! I love the way you think!!! There are many times when I wish I could just put a family member or patient in their place.

    We have a frequent flyer who is homeless, drinks and smokes too much and is hooked on pain meds. His doc was away and he thought he had the covering doc fooled into giving him "better" pain meds, guess the q4hr percs and the q2hr ativan and q6hr phenergan just wasnt enough for him. Well what she ordered was Toradol IM. Now I have had Toradol IM and ohhhh does it hurt. I warned him it was gonna hurt I do not believe in lying to my patients. He screamed that I couldn't give him something for pain that was gonna hurt him. Well I finally convinced him it was this or nothing. My charge nurse told me I did have a little evil in me because I told him to roll over with a smile on my face and gladly gave him that IM shot. It was only the second IM injection I had ever given LOL.....(even though I explained what Toradol was...he told me it made him finally pain free and higher then a kite...his exact words..LOL "

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