Was it verbal abuse? Y/N or maybe? - page 2

Hello, first time poster here. I've been at my current job for over a week now. I'm eve shift at an LTC. While administering HS insulin to a resident, she frowned and asked, "Why are you guys always... Read More

  1. by   caliotter3
    JKL33 brought up good points. This is likely where any negativity could affect you.
  2. by   Wuzzie
    I'm curious to know what the person who voted "yes" has to say to support their choice.
  3. by   kbrn2002
    Quote from RivkaLev
    Thank you all so much for taking the time to comment. The situation looks more cut and dry upon reflection. It's bizarre, I'm not usually one to make a mountain out of a molehill. This particular situation bothered me because I felt a bite of guilt - and I cannot place why. Ad to it the fact that it happened just before my 3 days off - and I get to stew over it. Oh well, laundry and wine should take care of my overthinking brain.
    Skip the laundry part, just go with the wine
  4. by   Oldmahubbard
    Of course, it is not verbal abuse, but anytime something negative is said, that family members are not ready to hear, it can be twisted and construed.

    My sad experience of being too honest.

    You do learn to say less, rather than more.
  5. by   FolksBtrippin
    This is definitely not even close to verbal abuse. It's not even unprofessional. I think you may need to practice the understanding that you can't control how other people react to you. You can tweak what you say for next time and adjust your education methods, but that doesn't mean you were wrong to give her straight up info the first time.
  6. by   Munch
    Definitely NOT verbal abuse. Part of being a nurse is to EDUCATE our patients which is exactly what you did. You didn't say anything that wasn't true and while I wasn't there it doesnt seem like you said anything in an inappropriate manner. Telling people the possibly negative things that can happen if they aren't complaint might motivate them to be more vigilant with their treatment.
  7. by   Oldmahubbard
    Beware, I got the reputation of being a "Debbie Downer" for similar comments.
  8. by   djh123
    Rather than vote, I'll just say as a fellow evening shift LTC nurse of almost 5 years that you'll have lots of verbal exchanges with residents, some of whom are 'all there', others who are not, and rather than worrying about fine points, my main thing is simply to be as professional and polite as possible, and to not say 'comebacks' to residents, although I can't say I've never done so in highly-stressful situations, but even then, I tone it down as much as possible. (Another way to put it is, I've seen and heard a few other nurses get way more confrontational with residents than I ever do).
  9. by   opalbee
    I actually saw a presentation on this subject today, coincidentally. In the presentation, there was a scenario where one of the elderly dementia patients kept trying to escape and wander the streets. Out of frustration, the CNA shouted, "If you wander the streets, you'll get hit by a car!" Somehow, this still counted as verbal/mental abuse, even though it was a possibility and was said in an attempt to get the resident to understand the seriousness of the situation because her safety was at a great risk.

    The resident in OP's situation *could* have been implying some type of abuse. OP's situation is similar to the one above in the sense that the caretaker noted the negative consequences that would result from partaking in or denying an action. I think, however, you could say that it was taken out of context because part of your job is to inform the resident of the consequences that would result from refusing a prescribed treatment, and the resident also has the right to know why he or she is receiving a particular treatment. You literally answered her question that asked that, in a (presumably) professional and non-offensive manner.
  10. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from opalbee
    I actually saw a presentation on this subject today, coincidentally. In the presentation, there was a scenario where one of the elderly dementia patients kept trying to escape and wander the streets. Out of frustration, the CNA shouted, "If you wander the streets, you'll get hit by a car!" Somehow, this still counted as verbal/mental abuse, even though it was a possibility and was said in an attempt to get the resident to understand the seriousness of the situation because her safety was at a great risk.
    Who was giving this presentation?
  11. by   opalbee
    Quote from Julius Seizure
    Who was giving this presentation?
    It was part of an online training program that my company provides; I don't know who the particular creator of that software is.
  12. by   idkmybffjill
    Quote from opalbee
    I actually saw a presentation on this subject today, coincidentally. In the presentation, there was a scenario where one of the elderly dementia patients kept trying to escape and wander the streets. Out of frustration, the CNA shouted, "If you wander the streets, you'll get hit by a car!" Somehow, this still counted as verbal/mental abuse, even though it was a possibility and was said in an attempt to get the resident to understand the seriousness of the situation because her safety was at a great risk.

    The resident in OP's situation *could* have been implying some type of abuse. OP's situation is similar to the one above in the sense that the caretaker noted the negative consequences that would result from partaking in or denying an action. I think, however, you could say that it was taken out of context because part of your job is to inform the resident of the consequences that would result from refusing a prescribed treatment, and the resident also has the right to know why he or she is receiving a particular treatment. You literally answered her question that asked that, in a (presumably) professional and non-offensive manner.
    I see that as a different scenario, honestly. In that situation, the CNA is yelling at a patient in frustration over their displaying a symptom of their disease. Dementia patients aren't wandering as a conscious choice, understanding exactly what they are doing. So telling them they're going to get run over or yelling at them isn't going to change their behavior because their behavior is born out of confusion and disorientation, not some sort of ignorance of the danger. Yelling is only going to agitate and upset them more.

    That's different than telling someone who is cognitively aware the common consequences of not taking a certain medication as the doctor has prescribed.
  13. by   opalbee
    Quote from idkmybffjill
    I see that as a different scenario, honestly. In that situation, the CNA is yelling at a patient in frustration over their displaying a symptom of their disease. Dementia patients aren't wandering as a conscious choice, understanding exactly what they are doing. So telling them they're going to get run over or yelling at them isn't going to change their behavior because their behavior is born out of confusion and disorientation, not some sort of ignorance of the danger. Yelling is only going to agitate and upset them more.

    That's different than telling someone who is cognitively aware the common consequences of not taking a certain medication as the doctor has prescribed.
    I believe you're right, I suppose I just found it odd that it should count as "abuse" when the action wasn't done out of ill-intent. Every other example I was given for "verbal abuse" were things like "If you don't eat your food now, I won't give it to you at all" and "If you keep being mean, your family will never come and see you". The difference between these and the scenario I learned about today is that the nursing assistant in that scenario wasn't threatening the patient with punishment; she was exasperated at the fact that the resident could very well be injured while wandering the streets. Residents who suffer from dementia can be agitated by things that aren't abuse, either. They can be agitated from people who are trying to help them calmly, as well, even if the caretakers are trying to approach the situation "by the book". I don't think yelling "you'll get hit by a car" is necessarily effective, but I still find it odd that it would be considered something as serious as "verbal abuse."

    And the OP's resident does seem to have some type of mild cognitive problems:
    Quote from RivkaLev
    Looking back, it was poor judgement to have shared possible disease process consequences to a resident with (supposedly) mild dementia.

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