I am getting fed up, and I need suggestions.
I never know what to do when a patient gets belegerant with me that knows what they are saying.
If a patient is confused, it does not bother me if they are swearing, hitting, or whatever, but if a patient who is not angry towards anyone else in the facility ecxept me, it really hurts.
This particular situation has been going on for me for a few months. This patient is VERY hard to please, but very seldom does she talk to the other aides like she talks to me. I think it is because I sort of panic when I do anything wrong, and that can be senced. I try to do everything right, but I get to nervous and start doing things wrong. Tonight she requested that I couldn't be her aide anymore. She kept ringing her call light to go to the BR. Whenever I answer it, I ask her what she needed and she said, "Nothing, get the hell out of here." As soon as I went out the door she rang again, and the same conversation took place FIVE MORE TIMES At this time there were 2 aides out to lunch, and another aide who had just gotten another patient in the shower.
The nurse on the hall was busy taking care of a life or death matter, so I was the only one who could do it! I explained that to her, and still the problem persisted. I finally went in there and said, "I'm sorry, but everyone is very busy. I am all you have right now. If you want one of the others to do it, you'll have to wait 15 minutes to a half hour." She told me that she wasn't going to wait that long . So she finallybroke down and let me do it. Of course when I did it I was called every four letter word in the book, telling me that I was stupid, and shouldnt get a job here, telling me that they should't hire retards like me. i wanted to stand up for myself so bad, but I was just getting more and more angry with her, and if I said anything, it would probably be something management would hear about the next day, whether it was nice or not. She would blow it way out of proportion. She was yelling at me so much that I couldnt concentrate to get the hoyer hooked up right, I was so mad that I couldn't see straight. she wasnt sitting on the pot right. I spent quite some time trying to get things right, and just trying to smile to make it look like she didn't hurt my feelings. My eyes were welling over with tears. She said I was causing her great pain with the way I had her sitting on the tolet I tried readjusting several different times. She went into this wailing fit. i told her I was going to find someone to help me. and the whole way out the door she was screaming, "Stupid! Your stupid! I hope you die before you come to work tomorrow! I hate you!!!"
I had had it. I found a well-expirianced aide, and she said that she would help me. After she went down there I followed, because I hate for people to do all my work for me. As soon as the other aide came in the paitient was all giggles again. The aide said
"I got it from here!" So I go back to the nurses station and just started bawling. That was about the time when everyone was comming back from lunch, and they asked what was wrong. I told them what happened, and they all offered suggestions on what to say to her to make her not act that way. Everytime I went to answer her call light, I tried these approaches, and they didn't work.
It is so hard to be nice to some one who wishes death on you, who KNOWS what they are saying.
Any suggestions as to what I can do about this?
Jul 16, '03
Mandy, You are gonna see pts like this thru your career. gotta toughen up girl!! I dont know how other people approach pts like this but you were right to let them know you were the only game in town at the moment. if they dont want you to help they have a right to wait . dont ever tolerate abuse from a pt or anyone else for that matter while at work . make sure that you document that the pt refused your help . remember that people go into this field to help others but you dont have to be a punching bag for the pt. its just another day ... dont let one pt get you down...
Jul 16, '03
Mandy- what a horrible experience! The best thing is to ignore her (hard as it might be...). If you can't, confront her in a respectable, mature, proffessional way. I've found that anyone who is A&O knows when their behaving inappropriately. Sometimes-you just can't please people-and telling them that their behavior is inappripriate is all you can do. Just say, "Mrs. So-and-so, that langauge is inappropriate and uncalled for. I am trying to help you. What is it that I am doing wrong?" If she gives you a specific way to do something-and it's safe to do, tell her ok-let's do that. Sometimes, resident's like things in a particular way, and hate anyone who doesn't do it exactly like that. I think we've all encountered that. As an aide-I once had a lady tell me I was qualified to wipe her a**, but to stupid to put BenGay on her ankles. I had wonderful mental images of where I'd like to put the BenGay....
Grin and bear it. Good luck.
Jul 16, '03
I agree with burp.
There will always be patients like this.
It doesn't have a thing to do with you.
Sometimes we may remind them of someone they knew,
someone they did not like.........
they cannot help it, but,
they project those feelings of
dislike onto us.
It is what we refer to as "personality clashes."
"Our personalities clashed." . period.
There is NOTHING you can do to undo the other persons'
perception or feelings towards you.
The sooner you learn this, the easier life is.
It is just part of "growing up."
Recognizing that "everyone you meet is going to like you,"
is not realistic or true.
And, especially with the ill, elderly, etc.
Just switch patients, or spend as very little time in that patients' room as absolutely necessary.
You only make it worse when you try to ''fix" the relationship.
Jul 16, '03
Thanks for all your help
I wish I can fix it. It bothers me so much. I was going trough so much doo - doo today. Alot of my patients were like that, but that particular situaton was the worst. Other then that I was hit in the face with a hand held shower head, then got drenched from head to toem and had to go the rest of the day soaking wet, forgot a whole bunch of imprtant stuff, like my vital signs, lazy hall partenr who would pass her call lights up, leaving them for me, and ofcourse when I was in all this mess, she didnt help me with mine. I would go be taking a patient into a shower (tied up) and see one of my lights turn on, I'd come out after the shower, and it would be still on. I'd finish up the patient I was working on, and the patient who had been ringing was mad at me because it took me30 minutes to answer her call light!!! I'm glad its my Friday, thanks for letting me vent.
Jul 16, '03
You need to 'distance' yourself from this person. This is obviously a bitter old lady getting her kicks because she has the power over you, to upset you. Take your power back by not reacting...even if it kills you.
Same idea as dealing with bullies. If you react, they have power; if you don't, you keep the power.
Jul 16, '03
I have had a similiar situation happen to me and I finally asked the family member, " why are you being so mean to me, I am just trying to help" This usually will work because it puts them on the spot and addresses the issue up front.
Jul 16, '03
You may also want to try saying "The way you are speaking to me is inappropriate and abusive. I will not tolerate your abusive behavior and should you choose to persist, then I will have to leave and come back after you have gained control of yourself." Nurse does not translate into punching bag. If you don't stand up for yourself, nobody else will.
Jul 16, '03
Try to talk to your supervisor. If the client is alert and oriented we had our super talk to them about being respectful. I agree. I have had to tell people, I know your upset for whatever the reason is but you need to talk to me with more respect or I will leave the room and give you time to cool off.Document in quotations what she says to you in the record so you have some documentation to what happened and your interventions that way if she calls and files a complaint your troubleshooting is documented. Good luck.
Jul 18, '03
My sympathies. What a rotten experience. You seem so caring, too bad this patient is so bitter. You have become the target of her frustrations. Maybe the reason you are the target is because she can tell that you are caring and knows that someone (you) will actually be affected by her verbal outburst. She might feel powerless and feel she has lost all control and nobody cares. But by your caring nature she will know that she has affected somebody and is not invisible.
I am sending good healing thoughts your way to negate the evil thoughts she sent your way. Here's a thought. Can you bring her a gift to melt her icy heart? A cheap bouquet of flowers or a stuffed animal may soothe the beast.
Jul 18, '03
I agree with chigap. It is perfectly okay to tell a client that their behavior is abusive, and therefor unacceptable. You can stand up for yourself as long as you don't resort to becoming abusive yourself. I think this matter needs to be referred to your charge nurse or NM.