Do you stand up for yourself to patients? - page 5

by evolvingrn | 19,307 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


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    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.
    Document!
    nursel56, maelstrom143, buffieriley, and 2 others like this.
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    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: http://www.ena.org/IENR/Documents/St...d%20Felony.pdf


    and THEN say "Your Welcome...now let's fund a way to establish some boundaries for the sake of our pts!!!"
    nursel56, maelstrom143, PunkBenRN, and 1 other like this.
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    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.
    nursel56, maelstrom143, imintrouble, and 1 other like this.
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    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
    maelstrom143, Sunny68, jrwest, and 1 other like this.
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    you must, but I have seen "the suits" throw nurse under the bus for it..sad
    imintrouble likes this.
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    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.
    maelstrom143 likes this.
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    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!
    imintrouble likes this.
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    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...
    imintrouble likes this.
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    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!
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    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.
    maelstrom143 and tewdles like this.


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