Have you ever lost it with a patient? - page 2

by notjustanurse

6,816 Views | 38 Comments

I mean completely lost your cool? I did. Today. We have a frequent flyer who startde the day with bad behavior and I let him get to me. I shouldn't have, but I did.... Read More


  1. 5
    Oh yes I have lost it with not only a patient but with family members as well. They need to be told and I was doing the telling. Why on earth do people have to act like idiots is beyond me but they do.
  2. 4
    Quote from Teacher Sue
    I've not only lost it with patients, I've lost it with visitors, physicians, and staff. That's what almost 30 years in nursing will do to you.

    I only lost it on a visitor twice, the first time the pt husband kept following me around and almost into patient rooms to tell me his wife was in pain. I knew and had medicated and called MD. I also had a pt with a chest tube c/o pain and needed to assess him and medicate him. I finally told him to stop following me around and that I have already addressed his wife's needs. I also lost it on her docs that night for not consulting pain service as I requested.

    I lost it on a pt daughter after being repeatedly told not to suction her mom on the vent she kept it up. She said that she does it all the time, and since she is a nurse too it is ok. Management told her it was not and threatened to have her booted if she kept it up.

    I have lost it on docs who wont listen or keep asking for unreasonable things.
    kingsmiley, DTemple1, Fiona59, and 1 other like this.
  3. 8
    Oh yeah. In LTAC, a little patient looked, talked and kinda acted like Gollum. I don't know how I didn't lose it sooner. He would ask for all the drugs, I would give him all the drugs, and the nausea drugs, and he'd complain of nausea five minutes later. Ok. I would give ginger ale, and mind you both his hands worked. So he got mad regularly and dumped it in his own lap then would call for a diaper change. No really? So I made him clean himself up, and then sit in the chair and I changed his bed, then helped him back to a clean bed and said no thank you, I am not giving you another ginger ale just so you can pour that one out too.

    So I went to nurse station and heard him talking on the call light about how I refused to medicate him. This was after a month of being a total... expletive deleted... he regularly bit his hands to cause skin tears so I would have to do wound care, etc. I just stormed down there, and told him off and apparently all could hear. I told him all about the boy who cried wolf and how he DIED and deservedly so, and how I could tolerate a lot but buddy you are not allowed to lie. This was basically the mean mama that he acted like he'd never encountered before in his life. All the limits were set down at that point and I did not deviate from them, then I insisted on keeping him in my assignment for the week, just so he knew I meant business. I had to hand him off to the DON the next morning and I thought, oh god I'm gonna get fired. So I told her what had transpired and that I wasn't too professional about it. She said, it's about time someone told that one off. Good job. I did a little dance when he was transferred out.
    kabfighter, AmyinNC05, VICEDRN, and 5 others like this.
  4. 7
    Hanging up the phone on annoying/demanding family members is very satisfying. You get the pleasure of snubbing them without the risk of saying something you can't take back. Also fun is to turn your back and walk away from them while they're still talking. I try to employ these methods rather than "losing it".
    sunnybabe, VivaLasViejas, Red35, and 4 others like this.
  5. 5
    Personally I don't blame anyone for losing it when victimized by abusive patients, doctors, administrators, etc., but a lot of the commenters in threads think that it's tantamount to a mortal sin to ever start yelling, under any circumstances — end of story.
    Last edit by sirI on Aug 30, '12
    Altra, DTemple1, DizzyLizzyNurse, and 2 others like this.
  6. 2
    I've never lost it in front of the pt. Honestly. No lie.
    I've exited the room and vented at the nurse's station. I've yelled in the med room. I've mentally dismembered some pts. But I've never spoken to a pt in a way that would warrant any kind of complaint.

    I'm no saint. I simply can't afford to lose my job. My family depends on me.
    Fear is a serious motivator to be good.
    sharpeimom and CrufflerJJ like this.
  7. 1
    I wouldn't say that I lost it, but I really chewed out someone I caught smoking in her room. And when I was done, the charge nurse called the cops on her, and they came in and chewed her out. And confiscated her smokes and the RX drugs (not in her name) she had in the bed with her.
    Fiona59 likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from NurseOnAMotorcycle
    3:52 pm by Hygiene Queen

    Yep.
    And anyone who denies it is a liar.






    Or new.
    Thats me. I've only worked in long term care as an RA/activities assistant. I would be stern as needed but I never yelled at a patient or anything. Not that I didn't want too some times. Some day I probably will. ANd when that day comes I will probably freak out and cry as soon as I'm alone.
    I was lucky, most of our residents were great, even most of the "bad" ones liked me so I had less issues than most of the staff. The really difficult ones didn't seem to respond positively to other workers "loosing their cool" so I tried to avoid that.

    But every patient and every job is going to be different. I knew my residents well enough, and had enough time to, redirect them and work with them instead of yelling. However I'm sure there are situations where you don't have enough time to use "possitive reinforcement" and have to "loose it" to keep someone safe.

    So no judgement here unless you are just indiscriminately yelling at everyone.
  9. 7
    Just last week.

    Frequent flier, 3rd visit that week, drunk, high on Percocet, comes in to detox. (sure ya did, just like the other 2 times). He's loud, obnoxious, cussing up a storm, F bombs all over the place. I repeatedly asked him to keep it down and stop cussing as he's not the only pt in the ER. He says he's sorry and 5 minutes later same stuff. His iv infiltrated and a coworker stopped the fluids for me cos I was busy at the next bed over. Next thing I see is him cussing while tearing the lock out of his arm and flinging the bloody thing across the ER.

    I lost it. Told him how difficult he had been since setting foot in the ER and how his behavior was unacceptable and nobody wanted to hear his dirty mouth. He apologized and said "I'm an a$$ hole". I said, "I think you're right"

    Imagine my distaste to return after my 2 day break to find him sitting there again.
    VICEDRN, JZ_RN, DTemple1, and 4 others like this.
  10. 6
    yep.
    Some patients/family/visitors just need to hear how it is and how its gonna be. Enough hand holding
    Altra, JZ_RN, VivaLasViejas, and 3 others like this.


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