Do you stand up for yourself to patients? - page 6

by evolvingrn

18,888 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. 2
    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.
    maelstrom143 and anotherone like this.
  2. 0
    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.
  3. 1
    Yes we have every right to be treated as respectfully as our patients. If a relative of a patient is verbally abusive, they should be told not to repeat this. Relatives can be escorted off the premises for abusing staff. We have a duty of care to patients, but hospitals are private property, abusive relatives have no right to be abusive.
    redhead_NURSE98! likes this.
  4. 1
    Quote from evolvingrn
    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 can't do that " I said huh? I have a right to not be verbally abused and she said "no .......I don't think you do as a nurse, we have to meet pts and their families where they are"

    Really? I don't think that is true. I am one to set boundaries, just like I did with this family member and usually it turns out really well and we have workable pt/nurse relationship. Not in this case, they then even got more irate and rude and I got the charge.

    But I stand by my right to not be verbally abused. What do you think ? Do you stand up for yourself or do you believe its okay to let people tear you down and be verbally aggressive to you and that is our role as a nurse?
    You are totally correct. We are paid to take care of the patient and their family (within reason), but we are not paid to be abused. It is called assertiveness and a skill that nursing school attempts to teach us, but they fall way short, especially since the system insists on "the customer is always right" even when he/she is not.

    Assertiveness is a particular mode of communication. Dorland's Medical Dictionary defines assertiveness as:
    a form of behavior characterized by a confident declaration or affirmation of a statement without need of proof; this affirms the person's rights or point of view without either aggressively threatening the rights of another (assuming a position of dominance) or submissively permitting another to ignore or deny one's rights or point of view.[1
    Assertiveness - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    redhead_NURSE98! likes this.
  5. 0
    I personally do take up for myself. I set limits and when they are crossed I am firm and I will even let the patient know that I will excuse myself from their care. I say all of this nicely though. My employer always sides with the patient. So if you don't stand up for yourself no one else will.
  6. 1
    Quote from JohnMcC
    Yes we have every right to be treated as respectfully as our patients. If a relative of a patient is verbally abusive, they should be told not to repeat this. Relatives can be escorted off the premises for abusing staff. We have a duty of care to patients, but hospitals are private property, abusive relatives have no right to be abusive.
    Just today a guest came in throwing a fit (LOVE when they come in flipping out first thing in the morning based on some crap that their barely oriented relative said on the phone), at the desk yelling while I was literally in the act of going to pull out medicine for her relative. I asked her to lower her voice and she got louder and said she didn't have to lower her voice. I called security. I am tired of dealing with it and it is a PATIENT SAFETY ISSUE. I cannot work and focus and do my job when someone is screaming at me. In the time it took her to be a horse's butt I could have had her relative medicated.
    anotherone likes this.
  7. 2
    In the ED we get lots of ETOH, some are funny (old guy literally fell off the bar stool and gave himself a head lac) some just sleep it off, and some are rude and violent. Sometimes you have to go mean mommy on them, sometimes you just walk out (as long as they are safe). Thankfully we have a lot of security who help watch our drunks and our docs are amazing. Just last week myself and a security guard were assulted by a drunk and my doc read her the riot act. They always have our back.
    When they don't have the drugs or alcohol to blame I just tell them that I know they're scared/hurt/ whatever, but that doesn't mean they can swear or be agressive with us, that we are here to help them. usually just acknowledging their anxiety/fear/pain helps de-escalate the sitch.
    SoldierNurse22 and mariebailey like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from CapeCodMermaid
    I try to intervene if my staff is being verbally abused. I march into the room with as much attitude as my 5'3" size allows and ask the screamer to come speak with me in a private place. I've called the police on occasion when a family member was over the top, I've used humor, and I've walked away from family members and patients if they were screaming at me. We are professionals and we do not have to allow ourselves to be treated in this manner.
    I'm 5'2"...we must run on Girl Power!
  9. 0
    Quote from BARNgirl

    I'm 5'2"...we must run on Girl Power!
    ^I SECOND THIS!!! Grrrrl power!!


Top