Exit Strategies For Nurses Who Deal With Overly Talkative Patients - page 3

by TheCommuter 13,165 Views | 30 Comments Senior Moderator

I am a nurse who deals with multiple patients during the course of each shift. Sometimes Ill get a patient who simply talks too much and wont let me leave the room. Sometimes a family member will be the one who is talking too... Read More


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    Usually patients have questions or are talking about a very specific topic. I refocus the conversation onto that one issue and state, "Did you have any more questions about (insert topic)?" They usually get the hint and say no and I can exit with their blessing. I have learned with certain patients to give a disclaimer on entry like, "I'm in the middle of something but I wanted to check on you real quick." This way the know right away that this is not social hour chat time.
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    I'm forthcoming with my patients. I introduce myself and explain my approach/plan for the shift. I tell each of them that I am required to divide my time up equally amongst each of my patients. I explain to them that I will stay and chat for as long as they like, but the clock starts ticking as soon as I enter the room. So, "if I'm 'needed' in your room for an hour, in an effort to be fair, you can multiply that by 6 and that's when you can expect to see me again, since management dictates that we treat all of our customers fairly and with respect".

    I point out the tracking device that is attached to our badges which shows our location every second of every day, and explain its mechanism of action. I've even gone so far as to demonstrate to family members how the badge triggers the light above the door to the patient's room so that others will know exactly where I am and how long I've been at that location. This works especially well for those patients who end every sentence with "and-umm", (letting you know there is more to come):***:.

    I had to get creative after that one introduction at the beginning of the shift took me all the way back to great-great-great-granddaddy's Civil War days!
    Last edit by BSNbeDONE on Dec 28, '13 : Reason: spelling
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    Where I work in ophthalmology, we are not so bound by what we can say, however, we get patients that are chatty and those 65 plus patients that we see a day per doctor do want to have that personal time with us technicians. I usually tell them "it was so nice seeing you again (insert name), I better get going, the doctor is waiting for me to finish so he can come in and see you". This works like a charm. As for when I work in the floor, I suppose one can know which ones are the chatty ones, if the team is a cohesive one, alerting some co-workers in the team (after all just telling one to come to the rescue may not be successful in case they have the same issue at the same time....LOL) to come and get me in five minutes or page me, is the tactic I may want to use. Definitely, I will not use the fainting one....LOL
    Last edit by SENSUALBLISSINFL on Dec 29, '13
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    Quote from BSNINTHEWORKS
    I point out the tracking device that is attached to our badges which shows our location every second of every day, and explain its mechanism of action.
    You are tracked everywhere you go? That sounds horrible. Why?
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    Quote from malestunurse
    You are tracked everywhere you go? That sounds horrible. Why?
    It's the wave of the future. We've got the tracking system in our new building. Darn -- I've misplaced my tracker somehow. Haven't seen it since the first week . . . .
    not.done.yet likes this.
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    Quote from Ruby Vee
    It's the wave of the future. We've got the tracking system in our new building. Darn -- I've misplaced my tracker somehow. Haven't seen it since the first week . . . .
    You've misplaced your tracker? Smart idea!!! I would so very much hate to be tracked!
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    Quote from TheCommuter
    You've misplaced your tracker? Smart idea!!! I would so very much hate to be tracked!
    It's funny how most of the senior staff misplaced theirs -- except for the ones who "accidentally" dropped them into the toilet or sink, rendering them useless! For some reason, the newbies all think it's a great idea and wear them proudly. I will say it makes it easy to find my orientee when I've lost track of him!
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    Quote from malestunurse
    You are tracked everywhere you go? That sounds horrible. Why?
    The device was to show proof of our rounding when patients complain that they had not seen a nurse or tech "all day". Lots of our patients, with the push for pain control, are so spaced out that they don't even remember conversations with staff...yet the pain level is ALWAYS 8-10. (That's a whole other topic). So, when the patient complains, the computer printout from the tracking devises are retrieved to reflect how often we entered any given room and how long we were there. It tracks us up to 10 feet outside the hospital doors. Then it vibrates intermittently until we return within range.
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    Usually I say, "I've enjoyed talking to you and would like to visit more, but I have to go right now. I will come back and check on you." I've had the pager go off multiple times and back pedaled towards the door, and the patient will continue to ramble. Usually those strategies do not work for me. I like the tech calling for the nurse over the call button speaker. I'll have to try that. Enjoyed your post! I can relate to the "dizzy" excuse, but I'd be afraid to use that, because the patients may think their nurse is not well enough to care for them. Anxiety runs high when people are ill!
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    I like to take some part of their conversation and say, "that reminds me, I have to get back to work". That lets them know that I have a job to do and I am currently not working by standing and talking to them. I don't want to make them feel bad about talking though, so I will say something to the effect, "you have had a fascinating life, or that is very interesting, I would like to hear more if I can get a few moments of free time later....as I am walking to the door...it works great!

    To say you feel faint and need to get a drink....you might as well tell them they are boring you to tears and you want to go take a break....


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