How much personal info do you share with pts? - page 6

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

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    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.

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    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.
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    You decide where to draw the line. I don't work on a psych floor. Most of the time I have no problem telling a patient I am married and don't have kids if they ask. We have a lot of patients who are veterans or military spouses and they ask what my husband does (he is military) or if he is deployed...again, most of the time I have problem talking about that information. I don't tell them more personal information (like where I live, etc).

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