Cursing in LTC

  1. Have a question. Have a friend that's just been suspended pending investigation because she responded to a residents cursing and repeated the curse back once. Other residents heard it and she has been suspended for next several days. My question is what will happen to her? Will she lose her license over this? Is it likely she'll lose her job. She is really distraught over this. She has been on the receiving end of many, many curse words and she repeats one and she is history..?
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    The membership at Allnurses.com cannot determine what will happen to your friend.

    LTC staff members cannot curse, swear, or verbally berate residents, even if the residents are being vulgar and yelling profanities at the staff. It is up to the professional to maintain composure and avoid stooping to the profane resident's level.
  4. by   wecan11
    My friend works in Ks and I'm not familiar with what their State Nursing Home agency discipline guidelines are. Is it likely she will she lose her license, get some type of discipline..?
  5. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from wecan11
    My friend works in Ks and I'm not familiar with what their State Nursing Home agency discipline guidelines are. Is it likely she will she lose her license, get some type of discipline..?
    I will reiterate that the membership at Allnurses.com cannot determine what will happen to your friend. I wish her the best of luck.
  6. by   SE_BSN_RN
    Well, I personally think that is a little over the top, but I agree with Commuter. We can't say what's going to happen. The most that may happen is she'll be fired for abuse. I doubt she will lose her license. No one knows but those looking over the case. My question is, why would she repeat the word in the first place? Why use profanity around a resident at all? There's no need to repeat something she heard, right?
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    I think a lot depends on which curse word was used, and the context in which it was used. If the nurse was responding in kind to something like "Eff you", that is entirely inappropriate and she should at least receive a written warning. However, if the resident was teasing and she parroted back the curse word, that's another kettle of fish entirely and a verbal reminder about language should suffice.

    Of course, I wasn't there and thus don't know
    the context, so I echo the other posters in saying that we really can't advise you or make an intelligent guess as to what the management will do in this case. It does seem a bit over-the-top to suspend someone for single curse word, but again, it all depends on context.

    Personally, I've cussed in front of a resident before, but only when I knew the resident didn't mind it. Even so, I've never used foul language, only the occasional "damn" or "oh crap" if I do something irritating, like drop an armload of clean linens on the floor.
  8. by   wecan11
    Thank you Viva for the information on the context. She is a good nurse. I believe she had a knee jerk slip of the tongue.
    From her account, she was verbally threatened and may have been caught off guard. Thank you for the advice!!
  9. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Nurse or CNA if they cursed at a resident, most likely I'd fire them. It could be considered verbal abuse or even a threat.
  10. by   BrandonLPN
    There's a huge difference between swearing "in front of" a resident and swearing "at" a resident. Also what's considered a swear word can be subjective. I don't consider "hell" or "damn" to be cussing. And I know I've muttered "oh, sh**!" a few times when I drop a pill or something. Sometimes stuff like that just slips out. A manager who punishes someone for something like that is a manger who has too much time on his hands, IMO. Obviously, telling a resident to "eff off" would be a whole different story.
  11. by   CapeCodMermaid
    It's not about whether YOU consider it a swear word. It's whether the resident does. Certainly saying "oh sh**" if you drop a pill is far different than cursing at the resident, but we need to remember, we are in THEIR home and they're old. My grandmother thought the word "cripes" was too vulgar to say in public.
  12. by   BrandonLPN
    You're right, cape cod mermaid. I think the fact that almost all our residents are male Korea/Vietnam war vets means all of us who work there are a little more free with the colorful language. If I were in a typical LTC full of little old ladies I'd be more mindful. I'd never swear in front of my grandma, after all!
  13. by   SE_BSN_RN
    And always remember.....if your manager doesn't like you, they will find a way to get rid of you. Always watch your p's and q's, watch your back, watch your mouth, and stay away from the gossip. Do your work, get your own work done before you help others, and leave everything better than you found it. Most management in LTC think there is always someone waiting for your job. They will fire you for trivial things. Always know your policy handbook, and don't deviate from it. They expect you to play by their rules, and many times they don't play by their own. What the resident says is taken at face value, and you have no say. Protect yourself, too, but don't do anything stupid.
  14. by   morte
    Since she was threatened, she should be writing up an incident report.

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