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

by evolvingrn 19,089 Views | 58 Comments

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 the story and she said 'oh you... Read More


  1. 3
    Absolutely stand up for yourself in a professional way. That's my opinion
    anotherone, nursel56, and nrsang97 like this.
  2. 1
    Quote from joanna73
    If someone is rude because they are very ill, or scared, I may let it slide. Sometimes abrasiveness is a mask. However, if someone is rude and demanding just to be difficult, I have said, "I'm here to help, but I will not tolerate rudeness." Just yesterday, I said this to a patient, and they responded, "Sorry. I don't even realize I'm like that sometimes." Fine, no problem. We reached an understanding. I am not there to be abused.
    I suppose I would handle those two cases differently, but I would still say something.

    In the first case, I may say, "I know you are scared, but there is no need to speak to me that way." Followed by "Would you like to talk about it?" or something similar.
    nrsang97 likes this.
  3. 2
    We did talk about it, and in the end I had her laughing and smiling. I'm not writing the whole play by play conversation here. But this particular patient has a reputation for being a terror. Sorry, but the boundaries are going to be firmly established immediately, with all of my patients. She knows just how far she can go with me.
    anotherone and nursel56 like this.
  4. 2
    You should definitely take up for yourself! I do often, and they usually change their tone and respect you afterward.
    anotherone and joanna73 like this.
  5. 1
    It can really be a hard situation for nurses when they are verbally abused. It will depend if you have rules against abusive patients and relatives. But for me, we have to stand and be firm about maintaining our dignity and self-respect.
    anotherone likes this.
  6. 2
    I stop the abusive behavior immediately. I calmly tell them I am here to help but under no circumstances will they abuse me. Most of the time this works. I have had to call security on a couple people when I was in management because someone was threatening my staff.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
    PunkBenRN and SCTravelRN like this.
  7. 0
    Being a nurse does not mean being a doormat. However, there are some pretty delicate situations in which it is clear that a patient or family member is not acting out of aggression, but confusion, frustration or grief. While some things may be abusive, or merely inappropriate, I try to see the words or actions from the perspective of that person. If there is no reason for those words or actions, then I definitely speak up.
  8. 1
    It really depends on where you work and the culture of your work environment. Where I live, we are a work-at-will state, and you can and will be fired for any reason. Also, we do not have unions. It is sad, but yes, we do put up with a lot of stuff that we should not have to put up with. I have been an RN for 24 years now, and I remember the good old days when nurses were respected. Today, we put up with crap just to keep our jobs. I have yet to see our management take the side of the nurse.
    anotherone likes this.
  9. 4
    I remember well getting no support in hospital, when I was an RN. It stank to high Heaven, but there was no help for it. There but for the grace of God go I. I got out of it, and never looked back. I miss the great people I worked with, but I did not nor do I still miss the politics, the headache, and the fruitless endeavors just to be treated with a little common decency.
    nursel56, joanna73, anotherone, and 1 other like this.
  10. 5
    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.
    nursel56, evolvingrn, SCTravelRN, and 2 others like this.


Top