How much personal info do you share with pts? - page 4

I am a second year RN student. I have had some really nosy, pushy patients the last couple of weeks and it has made me wonder where to draw the therapeutic communication / your asking me too many... Read More

  1. by   enchantmentdis
    Quote from sharpeimom
    I'd talk about our dogs and cats because that was always a good icebreaker. When you live in
    a very rural area and have off-beat looking dogs, people do remember you. My husband walks
    our two dogs all over town, and people remember them. Because I'm physically no longer able
    to exercise them, people don't immediately connect me to the dogs.

    Attachment 11899 Mannie - age 3 months
    Haha. Funny you mention this one. I had a family member report to management that i spent more time with the dog than with the patient.
  2. by   niko1999 RN BSN
    Most I have shared is I'm married ( I do wear my rings to work), I have no kids but I have a cat. Sometimes, depending on the patient, if we get on the subject, I will tell them about my eventual goal to go for anesthetist . And if they ask where I'm from, I will tell them the town I'm from, but nothing more. I think once I had a pt that had family in the same neighborhood as me, and I mentioned I lived in the nearby neighborhood.
  3. by   HippyDippyLPN
    I dont really share much besides little tid bits like I am married, have kids, etc. Hell I dont even tell my co workers personal things lol
  4. by   Pistachio
    Quote from hey_suz
    Depends on the relationship with the patient. I've learned to let my affect and manner set the stage for not sharing much and people respect that. In primary care though we might see the same person repeatedly over a period of years and I feel comfortable sharing a little bit with them, but only as it really pertains to the conversation, and put it right back on them. It gets much easier over time. It just is kind of a double standard that we ask all these questions and then not share about ourselves.And just wait until the "who are you going to vote for!"
    You just say "I'm planning to write myself in, you should to, I'll give you a great cabinet position." :-)
  5. by   tewdles
    What you might share is going to depend dramatically on what type of nursing you practice.

    In hospice nursing, for instance, we maintain very firm professional boundaries. We also seek to develop very trusting relationships with our patients and families.

    To make those things work together it is important to remember that there are "public" elements to us as nurses...things people have mentioned before like marital status, children, common interests, etc. There are less public things like personal experience with death or disease that might be shared.

    The bottom line really boils down to the intent and focus...
    Our intent must always be to facilitate communication and the development of a therapeutic relationship in order to meet the patient needs. If the focus of the conversation EVER becomes about US then we have violated a boundary and must back up and re-direct.
    It we are giving information that causes the patient or family to worry about us, console us or to feel a need to care for or protect us then our relationship is no longer therapeutic and must be changed ASAP.

    There is no question that the care of people in their homes over weeks and months vs. care in the acute setting leads to slightly different communication patterns.
  6. by   wooh
    Re: Who we're going to vote for:
    Quote from Pistachio
    You just say "I'm planning to write myself in, you should to, I'll give you a great cabinet position." :-)
    Nice! Another little tidbit to put in my arsenal when smiling and nodding doesn't cut it.
  7. by   JerseyBSN
    I don't give any personal information. Period.
  8. by   tewdles
    Quote from JerseyBSN
    I don't give any personal information. Period.
    Would it be fair to guess that you work in an acute care setting where you do not establish long term relationships with your patients?
  9. by   lykeen
    It's best not to focus on your personal life with patients. You are there to take care of them; keep the focus on them!
  10. by   tewdles
    Good point, our personal lives are NOT the focus...the therapeutic relationship and the patient are the focus.
  11. by   itsnowornever
    I have a whole different persona who has no husband and no kids and three dogs when a patient asks. It's none of their business. However, I have broken my rules on rare occasion. The little lonely sick lady who just wanted a connection, the scared woman who was worried about a c-section scar (I showed her mine, she was freaking out!), and my little old man that was trying to talk me into going home with him! LOL you will figure it out and learn, white lies about this stuff doesn't hurt. Just stick to a story.
  12. by   kookiepumpkin
    I just went through an encounter with a pt with a drug seeking, manipulative personality disorder. I am originally from Europe, my accent is subtle but noticeable. It frequently becomes a subject of conversation with patients. I don't mind telling where I'm from. Pts usually have sth to say about the country, language, culture etc. In this case though, the pt demanded to know where I'm from, insinuating that my education is inferior and I should go back to #*% (somewhere in eastern Europe, not my country). All that because I refused to give her more narcotics and sedatives at that time as she was frequently falling asleep during the conversation, slurring her speech, low O2 sat etc. My answer to her was that it doesn't matter where people are from, that we all adhere to the same standard of care and don't judge people by their race and country of origin, therefore I would not tell her. Then I offered to have the charge nurse come and explain it to her. Needless to say, the pt - nurse relationship ended there.
  13. by   Skwerl
    I came upon this thread after doing a Google search for advice on this sort of thing. I'm not a nurse....I'm an ultrasound tech working in a veteran's hospital. A lot of our patients aren't right in the head, and I can be alone in a dark, quiet room with a patient for up to an hour at a time. Some of them ask way too many questions. Many are just making conversation, but that doesn't mean I want to give them my information. Also, some of them are creepy or dirty old men. It was good to read the replies here. I was beginning to think I was being hypersensitive about discussing my personal life.

    On a side note, my job takes a certain amount of concentration. Sometimes my patients want to tell me their life stories and it's disruptive to the exam. I am learning to be able to tell people that I need them to be quiet, but I can tell that some get in a snit over it. It's really hard after spending years in the service industry, where "the customer is always right" is the attitude, to learn to develop these types of boundaries.