I'm seeing a lot of unprofessional posting here related to venting about patients - page 12

by Garethaus

16,605 Views | 154 Comments

Hi, I'm just a newbie here but I have to comment on what I'm seeing here. Specifically nurses sharing their stories of their interactions with difficult patients. Surely it is unprofessional to be sharing patient details?... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from metal_m0nk

    You know, you could always skip my lecture too since you find it so offensive...

    Isn't that the point you were trying to make here:
    I'm not going to debate this anymore. There's no point. Think of me what you want.
  2. 0
    Quote from SaoirseRN
    You have offended me, and others, by deeming us unprofessional for venting. You've decided it's okay to talk about some aspects of nursing, but we must not be allowed to express our frustrations, because we can't be seen to be upset when patients behave inappropriately?
    What if I said that reading/hearing people write/talk viciously about others like in the example I posted up-thread was something that frustrates me? It does. No lie. I am expressing my frustrations here too.

    At least I am trying to show enough respect for the people who frustrate me to not slander and insult them while I do it.

    I'm all for venting. I'm also on the side of showing some restraint and keeping it about the frustration itself and not taking it to an inhumane level.

    That's all I'm trying to say here. You're free to disagree with me. I'm not offended or even frustrated by your point of view. I agree with most of what you're saying. Nurses should absolutely have a place where they vent their frustrations with people who understand just where they're coming from. I have never and would never criticize that. Ever. But there is a line. A human decency and respect line. And when it is crossed in the name of something so therapeutic as venting, no less, my heckles go up and I feel it is my responsibility to say something.
    Last edit by metal_m0nk on Jan 19, '13
  3. 8
    I don't believe that the OP is a nursing student at all. S/he has too many posts that demonstrate a very poor understanding of the culture of health care; consistently repeats incorrect contextual use of nomenclature that suggests to me that the vocabulary is most likely picked up from television, and multiple post have clearly evidenced that the individual has no foundation in the sciences. I believe that Garethaus is more likely a patient with an agenda, or an axe to grind. I suggest the board members pay him/her no heed. Admittedly, the OP's point about the disadvantages of this board being open to the general public is thus, unintentionally reinforced, .

    To the larger point, even if we should deem to ignore the possibility that any member here could be from anywhere in the world and not necessarily the United States, the mere suggestion that one could positively identify any individual patient from a population pool exceeding 315,00,000 is patently absurd. Secondly, accusations of a HIPAA violation on this score is complete nonsense, and only serve to identify, like the proverbial scarlet letter, those that would be foolish enough to pontificate on something they know nothing about. Please, if you are going to speak about HIPAA, strive to understand what it is and entails before endeavoring to lecture those of us whom have been dealing with it for 10 years already!
    Altra, loriangel14, psu_213, and 5 others like this.
  4. 2
    Quote from metal_m0nk
    I said nothing of HIPAA violations. Perhaps you are thinking of another poster. I did say that it concerns me that some would take broad and distasteful liberties with the information that they are technically allowed to share.

    I don't claim to be personally offended. I'm not. I do think that some of these vents are not entirely harmless and I still believe that to be true. But also, what I was hoping to get across is that the ways in which some nurses present themselves and other nurses by association to the world at large through their very, very public vents is not entirely sensible - because it isn't just the patient's (whether real or fictional) reputation at stake. The nurse also puts his/her prejudices on display for the world to see. And while an onlooker might not come away from reading one of those vents able to say, "they are talking about me specifically," one might very well come way thinking, "they could be talking about me," not as in, "OMG is it ME they're talking about?" but as in, "I'm a smoker/diabetic/overweight/poor/Black/Hispanic/under-educated/sweaty ...did my nurse talk about me this way when I was out of ear-shot?"
    I see Allnurses as a a room where people from far-flung geographic places, different ages and stages of life get together and talk. Sometimes that room has an audience, but the participants aren't thinking about the audience reaction when they talk. Therefore, they are pretty much "themselves". An occupation doesn't tell us anything about character.

    First, several general questions come to mind (and I'm not referring to what you excerpted specifically) Do you think the public should be shielded from knowing that some nurses are bigots? Should we maintain the fiction that no nurse thinks the thoughts expressed there by either censoring them or requiring they be expressed in a closed environment? Is it our job to let someone know that what they said makes them look like a repugnant human being? (I find this happens quite a bit anyway :-))

    When we encourage the free flow of ideas, it's important that people not feel too much throttling and interfering with that process. I believe most people are decent and don't need to be closely monitored but that when restrictions are put in place it's the decent people who are most aware of breaking the rules, with the result being strained and stilted interactions that die on the vine. It gets messy sometimes when a few stray over the line, but I know it gets dealt with, and believe me they don't care anything about post count or your status when this is done.

    Now a personal view on it -- maybe I'm too much of a bat (and thus somewhat inured to it) to know if that thought would cross my mind. I do read tons of med blogs, where you often get the same kind of what I'll call a version of medical "locker-room talk". It doesn't make me wonder if my doctor talks that way about me. Likewise, I assume my co-workers talk trash about me, so when I hear about it, I don't fly off the handle. It's probably a protective mechanism developed from years of wearing my feelings on my sleeve with the battle scars to show for it. Like locker room talk, I have a pretty good idea what is said there, but I'd honestly rather not hear it. If I stay and listen anyway, it's on me.

    However, I guess I too have my limits. When one hospitalist was bragging about how he loves to do a History and Physical on a patient with dementia because he can code and bill for the whole thing and not actually do jack because the patient is not an accurate historian. Essentially he was crowing about being paid for 15 minutes of no work on the back of a real living, elderly person who was not oriented to their surroundings. It made me sick. The answer to why that pushed all my buttons (have not read that blog since) is within me, but I think I'm able to realize that man is a <fill-in-the-blank> I don't mix his occupation into my assessment, nor do I think he is an incompetent clinician because of it.

    I'd like to think you could see nurses in the same way and separate what was said there from the way we as a group might feel. When you changed the wording to make it sound like the patient was writing the imaginary thank-you note to the nasty nurse I didn't react other than to wonder why her supervisors didn't tell her to go home and take a shower. I mean if she smelled bad every day.

    I decided to read the thread that you took the excerpt from, and one quoted an older post from you. I have a ton of respect for you, so that is all I will say about that. I also know your language skills exceed mine, so apologies in advance if I misunderstood something again.
    loriangel14 and Esme12 like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from BlueDevil,DNP
    I don't believe that the OP is a nursing student at all. S/he has too many posts that demonstrate a very poor understanding of the culture of health care; consistently repeats incorrect contextual use of nomenclature that suggests to me that the vocabulary is most likely picked up from television, and multiple post have clearly evidenced that the individual has no foundation in the sciences. I believe that Garethaus is more likely a patient with an agenda, or an axe to grind. I suggest the board members pay him/her no heed.
    Well, I'm male. I would've thought the name Gareth identified me as male. Gareth - aus for Australia. Also for someone who has a poor understanding of the culture of health care, I nevertheless seem to have identified a relevant issue considering all the debate and discussion there's been about it. Go figure. My vocabulary.....well, it's not my fault if I haven't met your expectations. I can't please everyone.
  6. 0
    Quote from nursel56
    First, several general questions come to mind (and I'm not referring to what you excerpted specifically) Do you think the public should be shielded from knowing that some nurses are bigots? Should we maintain the fiction that no nurse thinks the thoughts expressed there by either censoring them or requiring they be expressed in a closed environment? Is it our job to let someone know that what they said makes them look like a repugnant human being? (I find this happens quite a bit anyway :-))
    I don't think that the public should be shielded from knowing that some nurses are bigots. But dammit, in this day in age I expect to be expected to call them out on it. I'm more than willing to do it alone. Any support to that end is welcome and appreciated, and not required or anticipated. I understand the desire to stay out of it. But I dream of a day when there aren't 6 people in line waiting to take me to task for attempting to interject a broader perspective to counter a widely damaging message. This aspect of my personality often makes me wildly unpopular but it isn't something I can or really even want to change.

    It is never my intention to make anyone look or feel like a repugnant human being. I know that I don't communicate in quite the way that I want to and often times even though my mind computes a group of words as a delicate or sensitive way to express something, it often lands on the recipient with much more force. I have not yet fully reconciled how to get a point across more delicately, but I do work on it and I'm much closer to that goal now than I ever used to be. If I am made aware that I am making someone feel that way, I am quick to apologize and modify my approach or let them know explicitly that I don't think any less of them just because I have a different perspective. Often though, it seems that people (myself included in this) are just wired to present feelings of guilt as offense rather than saying, "Wow. You just made me feel like the biggest jerk on the planet." If I find some way around that, I will not hesitate to share it for the benefit of all. It's probably just that old ego defense crap that's so hardwired into all of us.

    I'm not discriminatory about my displeasure with people treating each other like trash. No one is safe (heh). But we become so accustomed to believing that if someone doesn't agree with our methods, then they must be "one of THEM, a hostile force." But give me a second. I'm sure I'll be "scolding" your mortal enemy for the very same reasons soon enough.

    I don't know....It really just boils down to that feeling of responsibility I mentioned earlier. Sometimes the view from my eyes is that people get so easily wrapped up in what *they* think, what *they* feel, what *they* want, and what *they* deserve. I'm just trying to pull 'em out of their own heads and say, "Hey, check this out. There's all this periphery. So many points of view to consider. What you say and do *does* have a profound affect on the world around you. Maybe in ways you might not have considered. I've got some ideas about how we can change the climate." I'm not perfect. I'm not even great. On a scale of 1 to 10, some days I'm a 1.5. But I'm trying to be a 10 too, just like everybody else.

    See now, my feeling is that there are forms of communication that stagnate the free flow of ideas much more readily than others and nitpicking at superficial and circumstantial shortcomings in others (like socioeconomic status, or years of nursing experience, or post counts, or gender stereotypes, or, or, or) doesn't do anything to elevate the conversation or solve the problem. People have to vent. We just do. But should that be all we do? What about the rest of it? What about coming back to a vent after a few days of cooling down and saying, "Okay. Now that I've blown off some steam, what can be done about this?" And what happens if all we do is blow off steam? I watch people degenerate into increasingly destructive spirals of ranting wherein their criticisms get more and more caustic, their showing of humanity more and more distant, and I think that is because venting satisfies a temporary need temporarily. To my mind the only thing that satisfies whatever need that venting temporarily fulfills is resolution. Most times, that resolution comes in the form of acknowledgement. And the most fulfilling source of acknowledgement is the source of the initial frustration.

    It is very honorable that the nurses here support each other and offer that acknowledgement to each other to try and smooth over the hurts and ills that the business of nursing bring. It is not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination. But I think there's gotta be some balance. That with that support and acknowledgement should also come some suggestions about how to go about getting that ultimately satisfying form of resolution - some guidance for how to solve the problem. And sometimes what is necessary is to remind someone that there is a human being inside the source of their frustration and that if they address that human being with understanding instead of judgment or anger they may just build the bridge necessary to resolve their conflict and enjoy life....for a little while at least....until the next frustration comes along.
    Last edit by metal_m0nk on Jan 19, '13
  7. 1
    Quote from metal_m0nk
    I don't think that the public should be shielded from knowing that some nurses are bigots. But dammit, in this day in age I expect to be expected to call them out on it. I'm more than willing to do it alone. Any support to that end is welcome and appreciated, and not required or anticipated. I understand the desire to want to stay out of that kind of fray. But I dream of a day when there aren't 6 people in line waiting to take me to task for attempting to interject a broader perspective to counter a widely damaging message. This aspect of my personality often makes me wildly unpopular but it isn't something I can or really even want to change.

    It is never my intention to make anyone look or feel like a repugnant human being. I know that I don't communicate in quite the way that I want to and often times even though my mind computes a group of words as a delicate or sensitive way to express something, it often lands on the recipient with much more force. I have not yet fully reconciled how to get a point across more delicately, but I do work on it and I'm much closer to that goal now than I ever used to be. If I am made aware that I am making someone feel that way, I am quick to apologize and modify my approach or let them know explicitly that I don't think any less of them just because I have a different perspective. Often though, it seems that people (myself included in this) are just wired to present feelings of guilt as offense rather than saying, "Wow. You just made me feel like the biggest jerk on the planet." If I find some way around that, I will not hesitate to share it for the benefit of all.
    I don't mind your style at all, and what I meant was more along the lines of nurses calling other nurses out when they write such broadly hurtful diatribes. There's a good amount of internecine warfare here, too. Many times we make each other cry, but you won't hear many admit to that.

    Much as we ***** and moan about it, we need our gadflies. Generally it's the people who initially strike others as a nuisance,(generally, not you) a conscience, or start the whispers in our own heads we'd rather not hear that pave the way for the more genteel social changers to follow. I tend to go against the grain on this forum on matters which I'm sure certain people here would prefer I just shut the hell up about, but . . .well I can't do that, and with that group I'm not an insider. Yet they tolerate me for the most part.

    I'd rather have a gadfly or even a bomb-thrower with well-thought through ideas than a gushing pile of BS somebody dashed off in 50 seconds. Someone who takes the time to mentally put themselves in the other person's position as much as humanly possible is the person I want around, once I take a look at what is causing my indignation. You mentioned something about coming back after a vent and posting thoughts after the initial brushfire has been contained. One of the most frustrating foibles of the forum is that there are so many times when the loop isn't closed, or a longtime member disappears without a trace, and there's nothing we can do about it. We respect their privacy, too.

    Someone will post a "help me" or a "support me" or a "what should I do?", have people take the time to offer what they asked for, and they never come back, or they never let us know if they were fired or they lost their license or, or . . .I know you've seen them. It makes me appreciate the ones who call people out but stay for the "talk" that follows.

    Lately we've been called on to provide support to a member that is so much the gold standard it puts most of the day to day crap into the wind, which I only bring up because I've been so affected by it. Anyway, I can't speak for anybody but myself. I hope you continue to hang around and make us think.
    metal_m0nk likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from metal_m0nk

    What if I said that reading/hearing people write/talk viciously about others like in the example I posted up-thread was something that frustrates me? It does. No lie. I am expressing my frustrations here too.

    At least I am trying to show enough respect for the people who frustrate me to not slander and insult them while I do it.

    I'm all for venting. I'm also on the side of showing some restraint and keeping it about the frustration itself and not taking it to an inhumane level.

    That's all I'm trying to say here. You're free to disagree with me. I'm not offended or even frustrated by your point of view. I agree with most of what you're saying. Nurses should absolutely have a place where they vent their frustrations with people who understand just where they're coming from. I have never and would never criticize that. Ever. But there is a line. A human decency and respect line. And when it is crossed in the name of something so therapeutic as venting, no less, my heckles go up and I feel it is my responsibility to say something.
    I wasn't even directing my original comment to you, please stop quoting me. I am done discussing this.
  9. 0
    OP I just don't understand how we are allowed to vent, in your opinion, but not allowed to mention patients. That makes absolutely no sense. And venting in needed, now if someone was saying how when they have difficult patients they like to miss their IV sticks on purpose, that's a whole different story. When they complain about not being able to take care of their patients because one patient or their family harrasses them, that is a legit complaint. Like others have said, if/once you get into the real world of nursing your opinion will probably change.
  10. 1
    Quote from nursel56
    I don't mind your style at all, and what I meant was more along the lines of nurses calling other nurses out when they write such broadly hurtful diatribes. There's a good amount of internecine warfare here, too. Many times we make each other cry, but you won't hear many admit to that.

    Much as we ***** and moan about it, we need our gadflies. Generally it's the people who initially strike others as a nuisance,(generally, not you) a conscience, or start the whispers in our own heads we'd rather not hear that pave the way for the more genteel social changers to follow. I tend to go against the grain on this forum on matters which I'm sure certain people here would prefer I just shut the hell up about, but . . .well I can't do that, and with that group I'm not an insider. Yet they tolerate me for the most part.

    I'd rather have a gadfly or even a bomb-thrower with well-thought through ideas than a gushing pile of BS somebody dashed off in 50 seconds. Someone who takes the time to mentally put themselves in the other person's position as much as humanly possible is the person I want around, once I take a look at what is causing my indignation. You mentioned something about coming back after a vent and posting thoughts after the initial brushfire has been contained. One of the most frustrating foibles of the forum is that there are so many times when the loop isn't closed, or a longtime member disappears without a trace, and there's nothing we can do about it. We respect their privacy, too.

    Someone will post a "help me" or a "support me" or a "what should I do?", have people take the time to offer what they asked for, and they never come back, or they never let us know if they were fired or they lost their license or, or . . .I know you've seen them. It makes me appreciate the ones who call people out but stay for the "talk" that follows.

    Lately we've been called on to provide support to a member that is so much the gold standard it puts most of the day to day crap into the wind, which I only bring up because I've been so affected by it. Anyway, I can't speak for anybody but myself. I hope you continue to hang around and make us think.
    Thanks, nursel56. I think you rock pretty hard.

    Sorry to derail the thread, but I had to say it
    nursel56 likes this.


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