Do you stand up for yourself to patients? - page 4

I am just shocked with a conversation I had with a co-worker. I had a pt family member that was being rude and I asked the family member to stop talking to me that way (nicely). I was relaying... Read More

  1. by   SaoirseRN
    I think it's truly sad when there is an expectation that we should simply take verbal (or other) abuse from people simply because we are nurses and they are "custromers". I don't work in the USA, so the culture of health care here is different. We get the same types of personalities, and administration deals in numbers and budgets, but this "customer is always right" attitude isn't so prevalent. I will not allow people to speak inappropriately to me, and I think it's a sorry world when a nurse would be fired for reminding somebody to use their manners.
  2. by   tewdles
    Establishment of professional boundaries for delivery of nursing care is important.
    Patients and family members who are abusive to staff should be educated as to the expectations for their behavior. The patient and family Rights and Responsibilities of your agency should define those expectations.
  3. by   LadyFree28
    Quote from PunkBenRN

    I don't know why nurses feel they have to fall victim to this. It is not in your job description. Even someone who is confused has no right to treat you like that. If you have self-confidence issues or self-esteem issues, do some soul searching. Practice what you would say when someone is unreasonable. Write down how you would respond, it will help you gain confidence when the time comes. And most importantly, if your manager will not back you up in a situation like this, is this really somewhere you want to work? It will make a hell of a story in your next job interview

    ^ not only is it NOT a part if our job description, but in most states anyone threatening (assault) and attempts to cause bodily harm (battery) is a FELONY in most states.

    I will call the police, fill out incident reports (I have filled out incident reports for pts who were out if control, as well as with people as a witness) and do whatever it takes to make my job a safe environment. And If management fires me for trying to maintain a safe environment, they will be in hot water...they will be paying ME AND the FEDS...that's their loss.

    So if you ever THINK or HEAR someone tell you that nurses are supposed to "take IT," give them this info:

    and THEN say "Your let's fund a way to establish some boundaries for the sake of our pts!!!"
  4. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    Still reading through this thread but just wanted to post: I'm happy to get the charge... none of them are the types to put up with loud, obnoxious people either.

    First the charge, then the cops.
  5. by   rn2be73
    one of the many reasons i no longer have any desire whatsoever to continue in the nursing profession....the "customer" is NOT always right and since when did healthcare become customer service anyway? One of the reasons our healthcare system is broken
  6. by   medic0681
    you must, but I have seen "the suits" throw nurse under the bus for it..sad
  7. by   canned_bread
    Absolutely, as long as you are polite and professional, you have the right to stand up for yourself. One time I needed to give a push of IV antibiotics to a young patient (in his 20's) that was rude all the time, and he proceeded to say swear words to me and what not. A few hours later he asked me if anything was wrong (I had been silent around him and must have been giving off a bad vibe!). I told him, politely, that I felt disrespected by his behaviour earlier and I didn't like it. He apologised. That nipped it in the bud and we were "mates" for the rest of his hospital stay.
    I think you have a right, as long as it is professional, to ask for basic manners. Australia also has a policy that states no violence towards health professionals in hospitals. This basically translates to no forms of any form of aggression will be tolerated. Verbal or otherwise.
  8. by   mariebailey
    I thought of an exception; my TB patients. Sometimes I let them shoot the messenger. I make them swallow an enormous number of pills for 6 months straight, & I tell them they can't leave their home for weeks at a time. Thus, I let it slide if they get a little testy with me!
  9. by   tewdles
    I agree, Mariebailey, we do have to let good amounts of bad behavior slide...these people are generally not well and pretty stressed by the time they get to interact daily with an RN.

    Let it slide while orienting them to their responsibilities as a patient...
  10. by   Paul'in'FL
    I am willing to give patients the benefit of the doubt, but have zero tolerance with family members who are out of line. I am a big boy, and 99% of the time I can tell worry/grief/fear from being an obnoxious pig. Sadly, many Americans really do think that they have all the rights in world, without responsibilities, and can treat other humans like "things'.

    And before you think it due to gender, I am a pretty short, nerdy guy, and I top out at 135# on a good day...hardly Joe Macho!
  11. by   kmmathis5
    Nurses most definitely have the right to stand up for themselves. As an ER nurse I often have to ask patients and/or family members to be respectful to staff. In doing so, you set the tone for the relationship and many times, especially in the ER, you are keeping them from being disrespectful to other patients who can see or hear their behavior. Most of the time the outcome is good and it creates mutual respect and more open communication. You can't win them all, though but you at least have to try.
  12. by   Sunny68
    Sadly, I have decided to leave the profession that I once enjoyed doing. With the customer is always right, having to deal with rude family, patients and sometimes even fellow staff members I have decided that I have had enough. The one incident that made up my mind was when I over heard a QA nurse tell a surgeon how to treat his patient or he would be wrote up. Needless to say this well respected physician got very upset with her and the facility. I have not seen him since. I agree that nurses work hard to take care of the their patients today and should be respected and not mistreated by clients and management.
  13. by   judy944
    Every human being has the right to be spoken to in a civil manner. T the best of my knowledge, we nurses are still members of the human race. It is not wrong nor is it difficult to say to ANYONE, "please do not speak to me that way" That is usually all it takes for the other person to calm down. We have rights too. It is way pst time for nurses to assert themselves and demand their rights.