I usually have a high tolerance for rudeness and inappropriate behavior, but yesterday I reached my limit. This patient is always verbally abusive toward staff, speaking with an acid tongue and tone. He claims that the nurses write down the wrong time in the narc book. "No, she didn't give it to me at that time. Your clocks are all wrong; none of them say the same time."
The man has nothing nice to say, regardless of the issue.
Yesterday, I finally grew tired of apologizing for something I didn't do, and called him on his behavior, stating, "You are being rude. Do not speak to me that way."
He retorts, "I just give what I get. You nurses are always rude to me."
I reply, "I am never rude to you. In fact, I hardly say anything to you because you have nothing nice to say in return."
He says, "You were rude to me just now." "If I sense a sarcastic tone, I will be sarcastic right back."
I say, "I was not sarcastic toward you, and I do not deserve to be spoken to the way that you speak to people."
It turns into a bit of back and forth, and then I realize, what is the point? In no way do I want to be having an argument with this man, but I am tired of being treated like ****. Some people, sick or not, are just jerks. If I weren't in the professional atmosphere, I would have told this guy off. No joke. I have been around enough people that are verbally abusive to be able to put them in their place. However, I somehow do not defend myself in the professional atmosphere for fear of repercussions from management.
Now, I have never been written up nor do I want to be, but it was at the point with this patient that I was thinking, Oh well, if I get written up for refusing to be treated poorly, so be it.
Then I realize, this guy was probably raised without any manners to begin with, and my "educating" him now is not going to change anything.
Funny thing is, later he winked and smiled at me. What the heck was that? Now he was being nicer to me? He still had the same verbally demanding and demeaning tone when asking for pain meds though from his PO med nurse.
Anyhow, I still haven't reached a "happy medium" when it comes to dealing with this issue. I know there has been ongoing debate on AN regarding the "customer service" attitude. Funny, the first thing this patient said when I refused to tolerate the behavior was, "The customer is always right." Wrong.