Remember that feeling about how much distress and how helpless you felt in the future and this is someones mother, wife, sister, aunt and imagine how the family feels when the patient acts this way.......it might help explain why the family acts/reacts the way they do.
Now.....I realize that, as a student, this has upset you and Yes, you need to develop a think skin for it will not only be a confused patient that may be aggressive and not like you.
I have worked in nursing a long time.....and grant it I work in areas where this kind of behavior occurs from completely "rational" oriented people. There are times they mean every word they say. I have been called everything but blonde and white (my hair color and my race) and then some.
I remember answering a code MANY, MANY years ago and a very nice tiny little old lady, who, obviously had a bad night..... had 4 point restraints on with a "posey" (brand/company name) vest on. She called me into her room, and I never walk past a patient room when someone is calling for help, she proceeded to ask me for a "pair of scissors or perhaps a knife".....to "get free from my captors". When I declined she went on a tirade of profanities that was shocking from one so sweet looking and tiny. She spewed more venom and called me some pretty amazing profane things for a 92 year old. Then calmed down and begged for water....tearfully she begged, so I asked an aide that went be the room is she could have a drink....the aide said yes.....which I gave her......and....she promptly spit in my face and called me more foul degrading names.
I have been beaten with a call light cord by a confused 80 year old lady, that weighed 90 lbs dripping wet, while she screamed for the police be called because we were in her home.....she was in ICU 2nd POD after open heart.
I have had patients that are confused who get the phone and call the police that they are being abused and kept prisoner.....the police call and tell them so an so called and is being abused....PLEASE!!!!!! take the phone away from them.
I have had a perfectly rational commercial airline pilot push me into a wall because he didn't think we were moving fast enough to care for his infant daughter who had a temp (100.1) after vaccinations that day, and he had to make a flight.(he got arrested by the way and never made that flight).
I have had perfectly "rational and oriented" patients who just wanted to die and were very angry that we would not let them kill themselves and that they lived.
I have been choked with my own stethoscope.
It happens.....some of them will actually mean it, but you can't take it to heart. It's like being a parent. You have to say and do things that they may not like or understand (like a baby getting shots and screaming their sweet head off) but it is in their best interest. You are there to be their nurse, a good nurse. Being liked as a good nurse is nice but in doing your job you may not be as popular with some of the patient population. This is not a popularity contest......and that's OK.
You learned a valuable lesson today. There will be patients that you will not be able to help....and yes, it is a totally helpless feeling. But you are the professional in the room and how to best handle these situations will improve over time.
Things we learned today....that confused patients can be unpredictable. That they need to be protected from harm until they are more alert/oriented and/or better able to make good decisions. That patients in restraints need to be 1:1 observed (and yes I have given a video about restraints to many students and staff) and to remove all things from the patients reach that they can use to hurt themselves and you.
That you will not always be able to help someone.
You did good...and grew a little as a nurse today.
Welcome to nursing, well done.