Is it okay for RN to ask recovery patients not to swear? - page 4

Hi, I am an RN working in PACU. The other day, I received a male patient from OR, and as soon as he woke up from anesthesia he started complaining excruciating pain. Of course that's not unusual. But... Read More

  1. by   jadelpn
    As pp have stated, people react to pain (and anesthesia) in very different ways. I would care less about what is coming out of a patient's mouth, and more about what is going into his vein. Especially if you have maxed out pain control and the patient is still in acute pain.

    As an aside, I would take a patient swearing their heads off as opposed to the continual wailers/criers/bed thrashers/oh my Jesus-ers who when I can speak over their high pitched wailing...tell me that they are not in pain, but traumatized or some other thing. Can I stop it? No. It is not about me, I can only attempt to have patient focus.....and shut the door.

    I had 3 kids with no pain control (wasn't an option in my tiny hospital in the dark ages) and I did a bit of screaming/swearing.....and the old time nurses may have tsked me a bit....unclear due to circumstances....but never once stopped me....or my blood pressure would have gone way up...and that could have been an issue....
  2. by   CTtoRN
    Unprofessional. Who are you to dictate a person's reaction to pain and anesthesia? Everyone reacts differently.
  3. by   MidLifeRN2012
    OP would not last a day in psych. The filthiest mouths are here. You get numb to it after awhile.
  4. by   poppycat
    OP, I guess you're lucky I wasn't your patient. I've had numerous surgeries & after all but one, I came out of anesthesia swinging my fists. The first time it happened I caught one nurse in the jaw. After that, there was a large note on my chart to warn everyone.
  5. by   SarahMaria
    Quote from MidLifeRN2012
    OP would not last a day in psych. The filthiest mouths are here. You get numb to it after awhile.
    Especially forensics. The staff and patients curse non-stop. It can be shocking to outsiders.
  6. by   CeeLovesSurgery
    Quote from SarahMaria
    Especially forensics. The staff and patients curse non-stop. It can be shocking to outsiders.
    Correctional nursing is where I've heard it the worst.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    While it's "ok" to ask, you won't get what you want.

    Why does it bother you so much?
  8. by   Lucky724
    If a patient swearing is the worst of your day - you are an extremely lucky nurse.
  9. by   CountryMomma
    Quote from MidLifeRN2012
    OP would not last a day in psych. The filthiest mouths are here. You get numb to it after awhile.
    The patients or the staff? 😁

    I've never asked a pt to stop swearing in response to pain or similar stressor. Especially with meds like anesthesia in the mix, I don't hold it against them at all. They hurt, they're disoriented, and it isn't about my sensibilities or feelings, it's about their care.

    I had a pt come back from pacu, and he was just swearing like crazy. He wasn't delusional, but he was quite "off". The pacu nurse was tired of his crap and handed him of in a hurry. He was adding swears into random sentences - "I'm really f'in thirsty. Ain't there some *******ed water in this s-hole?" His wife was mortified when she walked in. He fell asleep and stayed asleep for a few good hours, and woke up back to his proper, no swearing, very grandfatherly self. His wife was just laying in to him about his behavior and how he would be writing apology cards to all the nurses - he was completely confused. He had no memory of the swearing, but remembered being really thirsty.

    Please don't hold it against, and please don't enforce your norms on patients.

    (My last 2 birthed were unmedicated. If a nurse had told me she was offended by my choice of language for the situation, I would have politely but firmly used all of Carlin's 7 words informing her off where to go.)
  10. by   eCCU
    Sounds like this was their way of coping with the pain. I'd be more concerned with managing it than what coming out of their mouth. Besides every one has different tolerance levels.
  11. by   Been there,done that
    Best get out of PACU if you so proper. Patients that are in pain are going to use their vernacular to express it.
    How exactly, do these "dirty" words hurt you?
  12. by   cynmrn
    I don't think it's terrible to ask a patient politely to stop swearing if it makes you uncomfortable. Yes, making a big deal of it and causing drama or being rude to the patient because they aren't complying would be inappropriate, but I'm not sure why everyone thinks it's insane to just request they watch their language. Just because you're a nurse, doesn't mean you don't deserve respect, and sometimes the use of foul language is seen as disrespect if you're not the swearing kind.

    Personally, I don't really care if they're not swearing AT me and there aren't other patients nearby that might hear and be offended.
  13. by   Wrench Party
    Almost all of my post-CABG, post-sternotomy patients swear like sailors, especially their first day out of the ICU and transitioning to PO pain meds. Doesn't matter race, gender, etc. Usually they're more lucid and way more horrified the next night I get them, and they apologize profusely. I tell them swearing increases pain tolerance!

    Personally, as long as it's not directed at me or someone else, I don't care. Curse till you're blue in the face!

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