Ever have a patient work your very last nerve?

  1. 8 I had a patient yesterday that truly must've thought I was his audience at the comedy club. He had such a snarky sarcastic attitude, a really dumb sense of humor, and wasn't funny. He made obnoxious comments and was clearly trying to see how far he could go before he ticked me off.

    When he could tell he was skating on thin ice with me, he even said "don't go into some corner and cry now, I was only joking." I told him, "you're giving yourself too much credit, my skin is a lot thicker than that."

    2 hours into the shift I couldn't stand this man, and it took all my mama taught me to keep from telling him something.
  2. Visit  proud nurse profile page

    About proud nurse, BSN, RN

    proud nurse has '14' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Medical Oncology, Alzheimer/dementia'. From 'United States'; Joined Jun '12; Posts: 550; Likes: 1,147.

    32 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  eatmysoxRN profile page
    2
    I've had a patient like that. Made jokes that weren't even a little funny. Nearly had a RT in tears making inappropriate comments he thought was funny. I just gave him my best evil eye every time and said nothing. He eventually stopped while I was around. I was happy when he was discharged.

    ~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~
    ~miss_mercy_me and proud nurse like this.
  4. Visit  MN-Nurse profile page
    7
    Quote from proud nurse
    I had a patient yesterday that truly must've thought I was his audience at the comedy club. He had such a snarky sarcastic attitude, a really dumb sense of humor, and wasn't funny. He made obnoxious comments and was clearly trying to see how far he could go before he ticked me off.

    When he could tell he was skating on thin ice with me, he even said "don't go into some corner and cry now, I was only joking." I told him, "you're giving yourself too much credit, my skin is a lot thicker than that."

    2 hours into the shift I couldn't stand this man, and it took all my mama taught me to keep from telling him something.
    I have found that some patients can just get to you, and some cannot.

    When patients go mining for emotions, I find it works to be a dry well.
  5. Visit  uRNmyway profile page
    11
    Ever seen movies or commercials of those morons who harass the Royal Guard at Buckingham palace, just because they know those guys can't show any reaction? I think that's what some patients are like. Just push our buttons over and over again, just for oop:s and giggles, because they know we can't push back for fear of losing our jobs.
  6. Visit  monkeybug profile page
    3
    I've found that a blank stare works wonders with stupid comments and jokes. Look at them enough times like they are some oogy new specimen of bug, and eventually they'll get uncomfortable and stop. They are usually looking for a reaction, and if you don't give them one they'll give up (and then try something new).
    jrwest, proud nurse, and anotherone like this.
  7. Visit  prnqday profile page
    2
    Ignoring them works too... "Sorry, I missed what you said, I'm busy doing x,y,z"
    proud nurse and anotherone like this.
  8. Visit  turnforthenurseRN profile page
    2
    I had a patient whom the moment you walked into his room, he started complaining. After about 10 minutes into the shift, I wanted to shoot myself. The nurse before me warned me of this, but I didn't think he would be that bad. I was wrong. I tried to stand there and listen to him because maybe he just needed to vent and needed someone to talk to, but it didn't matter what you did - he would still complain about something, ANYTHING. He would complain about you standing there listening to him lol. It came to the point where I started walking out of the room while he was in mid-sentence because I couldn't stand to listen to his complaints anymore!!!

    I was back the following night and I gave that patient to someone else, I just couldn't deal with him again. He drove me nuts. He drove that nurse crazy, too.
    proud nurse and anotherone like this.
  9. Visit  Biffbradford profile page
    4
    "You're probably sick of me by now ... but blah blah blah ...." On the call light for every little thing they can do for themselves. They would drive the Pope to take a swing at 'em!
    VivaLasViejas, al586, proud nurse, and 1 other like this.
  10. Visit  proud nurse profile page
    0
    Quote from MN-Nurse
    I have found that some patients can just get to you, and some cannot.

    When patients go mining for emotions, I find it works to be a dry well.
    I'd like to be able to stand there unphased. I'll have to work on this, because I've always been one who wears her heart on her sleeve.

    But I wonder if to him I wasn't showing any emotion, because it seemed that he just kept pushing. Why I was his project for the day, I have no idea.
  11. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    3
    Quote from proud nurse
    I'd like to be able to stand there unphased. I'll have to work on this, because I've always been one who wears her heart on her sleeve.

    But I wonder if to him I wasn't showing any emotion, because it seemed that he just kept pushing. Why I was his project for the day, I have no idea.
    I don't let them phase me. I don't give them that satisfaction....why were you his project you ask? You walked into the room.
  12. Visit  JDZ344 profile page
    2
    Quote from Jeweles26
    Ever seen movies or commercials of those morons who harass the Royal Guard at Buckingham palace, just because they know those guys can't show any reaction? I think that's what some patients are like. Just push our buttons over and over again, just for oop:s and giggles, because they know we can't push back for fear of losing our jobs.
    I saw a video where this guy is harassing a guard and the guard knocks him on his butt. Seriously, why would anyone mess with elite soldiers?
    Last edit by JDZ344 on May 14, '14
    SoldierNurse22 and Hygiene Queen like this.
  13. Visit  Hygiene Queen profile page
    1
    Ugh!
    I just don't show any reaction. My face is a blank slate.
    I consider this part of my skills

    Sometimes, I get a pt who's tossing out insults and stupid comments and you can see from the expression on their face that they are enjoying what they are doing... they may be smiling or looking at me sideways with a gleam in their eye. You know the type I mean. You want to smack 'em! But, my brain is trained to shut off my facial expression when they do that. I have it mastered!

    Sometimes, I even call their bluff, "Joe, I do believe you are trying to get a reaction out of me." I say this very matter-of-fact. This ruins their fun. If I know their game, they know they won't get what they want from me.
    I had two sisters come to visit their mom. Both were totally obnoxious, but one more than the other. The more obnoxious one kept spitting out the most ignorant comments, obviously trying to wank me off (she darn near did it, too!). She eventually chilled out because I totally ignored her: I directed all my questions to her sister, I would only look at her sister and in no way did I acknowledge anything she said. I even turned by body so that I "edged" her out.

    I've said a hundred times, "don't feed the beast".
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
  14. Visit  KelRN215 profile page
    1
    OP, your post reminded me of a patient I took care of in nursing school. At the end of the day, my clinical instructor said to me "I don't know how you put up with that man all day, he's the rudest person I've ever met." He didn't ruffle my feathers in the least. I said, "you should meet my family."
    LTCNS likes this.


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