Nurses: Why do many of you do this? - page 4

I've been a registered nurse for two years now. Sometimes the nurses in my unit and I get together outside of work and chat. One day, the nurses were discussing about their patient encounters... Read More

  1. Visit  monkeybug profile page
    5
    Quote from nguyency77
    I have a question!

    I'm just a student nurse. But there's a certain person that I know who is a RN. She and I are both part of our ethnic community; therefore, most everyone knows everyone by name, gossip spreads like wildfire, etc.

    The problem is...She likes telling stories about patients that are identifiable.

    The other night, she told my grandparents a story about Mr. So-and-So who had X amount of strokes, was having X treatment at Y Hospital, is about to die, his WHOLE life story (including how many kids he has, how long he's been in the hospital, etc.), his NAME, who his wife was... This is an arbitrary example of what she does.

    Call me a silly idealistic student, but isn't that WRONG? I can understand it when nurses tell stories of funny/weird situations. I know I have had to care for interesting people during my time as a CNA... Won't ever forget the times I got punched by residents!

    But it is NOT ok to be sharing information that is specific and identifiable. I knew exactly who the person was and how to find him. I just feel that the people in my ethnic community don't necessarily understand their rights under HIPAA.

    What do I do? If I keep my mouth shut, she's just going to keep telling the whole world about her patients.
    What she's doing is highly inappropriate. There is a huge difference in sharing an interesting story about an anonymous person and sharing a particular person's life story. Huge difference.
    Ir15hd4nc3r_RN, GrnTea, hiddencatRN, and 2 others like this.
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  3. Visit  nguyency77 profile page
    0
    Quote from monkeybug
    What she's doing is highly inappropriate. There is a huge difference in sharing an interesting story about an anonymous person and sharing a particular person's life story. Huge difference.
    I thought so, too. This is going to sound really passive-aggressive, but the next time she starts on a topic like that I'm just going to ask her if telling the story is okay with HIPAA. She used to work in a LTC, and she actually shared information about who lived on what floor. And of course they were all people within the community who were identifiable. Maybe this isn't a problem to some residents, but in our culture some people consider it morally wrong to institutionalize the elderly because of family values. I personally don't feel that way, but I digress.

    It's as if she thinks I don't know what HIPAA is, and somehow that makes it okay to gossip about patients to people who know them? It doesn't.
  4. Visit  Altra profile page
    0
    Quote from nguyency77
    I thought so, too. This is going to sound really passive-aggressive, but the next time she starts on a topic like that I'm just going to ask her if telling the story is okay with HIPAA. She used to work in a LTC, and she actually shared information about who lived on what floor. And of course they were all people within the community who were identifiable.

    It's as if she thinks I don't know what HIPAA is, and somehow that makes it okay? It doesn't.
    I agree that what this nurse is doing is highly inappropriate. But before you take on an (older than you?) member of your social circle in what may be viewed as a confrontational way, consider that social norms DO vary quite a bit by region, ethnicity, community size, etc. For example: I've worked in a small hospital where, if you saw a neighbor/acquaintance walking through the halls, it would be considered rude if you did not stop and ask why they were at the hospital -- and you could expect to get a pretty detailed response.

    Might be better to more privately "ask" this nurse about HIPAA, in a I'm-just-a-student-learning-about-this-for-the-first-time way, and see what response you get. If she continues to breach confidentiality at every social gathering, you need to decide what this is worth to you: you can report her behavior to hospital management, or you can leave it alone and simply resolve not to duplicate her behavior.
  5. Visit  paradiseboundRN profile page
    10
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    One midnight shift one of my cataclysmically demented little old ladies was missing. I found her in another resident's room straddling a wastebasket and pooping into it. The resident who lived in the room in question was hospice and his family were spending the night and they slept through the whole thing. You bet your bippy I've told that story to a number of friends. If telling funny patient stories (no names) is wrong, I don't want to be right....
    I worked at an older hospital with a boxed type heater in the room. It didn't get hot to the touch. It just blows hot air. I had an elderly patient poop on that. Never did get smell out of the room. Every time the blower kicked on...
    chevyv, GrnTea, ktliz, and 7 others like this.
  6. Visit  chrisrn24 profile page
    0
    I had a friend once who in nursing school was telling me stories of names of people at that hospital. Frankly, I told her "you shouldn't be saying the names of these people."
  7. Visit  ktwlpn profile page
    3
    QUOTE>>>happy hours/breakfast-and-beer mornings <<<QUOTE I NEED a breakfast and BEER morning! Right before I clock in at 7am.I think I would have a really good day. The last time a bunch of us went out for happy hour after work TWO people in the restaurant approached us and asked us where we worked and if our facility was hiring because "you all seem so happy and are having so much fun" So freaking happy to walk away from the place at 3pm.
    Ir15hd4nc3r_RN, AnonRNC, and Altra like this.
  8. Visit  RaedeenHeadrick profile page
    4
    It's HIPAA, not HIPPA... just sayin'
    SionainnRN, GrnTea, BrandonLPN, and 1 other like this.
  9. Visit  blondesareeasy profile page
    1
    It ain't hippa if there are no identifiable factors. You can go on TV and talk about it too.
    anotherone likes this.
  10. Visit  laurelember profile page
    0
    Idle speech is a genuine ethical concern, as well as locations where it proliferates. It is true that if each person overheard their own suffering, they would wish they had never entrusted. It's genuinely heart-wrenching to witness the "unknowing" that causes suffering. One's intentions are important. To prevent more suffering? To ridicule? It comes around.
    Last edit by laurelember on Feb 19, '13
  11. Visit  echocat profile page
    3
    Sometimes in life we have to triage problems!! Sometimes we have to laugh about them.

    When I worked in the ER the break room was considered a "safe place" where you could vent about the "fluff-my-pillow" patients, the "get me a sammich" patients, and the really monstrous illnesses we encountered -- vertebral fractures, unrepairable AAA, 35 year old fathers who die on the way to work. You could laugh, you could cry, you could lose it all you wanted to. It made getting through the shift bearable. And doable.

    The more outrageous the family antics were the more we laughed (I had a woman screaming at me in the ER when I was a clerk because her friend needed 'her next dose of Demerol' when the entire clinical ER staff were called to a horrendous code at the ambulance bay. I told her I was unable to help her but as soon as one of the doctors or nurses came back from trying to save somebody's life I would let that person know. I meant that sincerely; I wasn't being a smartass, but she stomped off calling me "lazy and useless".

    The work we do is difficult and sometimes patient families don't understand that we do our damdest to make their loved one feel cared for and provide comfort and relief. Sometimes they do, and their gratitude and appreciation makes it all worth it.
  12. Visit  rngolfer53 profile page
    4
    Several months ago, I took care of a wonderful, and feisty LOL who needed to poop. Really needed to poop. She had tried Senna, PEG, the usual suspects with no joy. Finally the doc talked her into a Dulcolax suppository, which the patient viewed with a good dose of skepticism. Anyway, I gave her the supp, and pretty soon she has a BM...then a second, and a third. The poor doc came to see her just as I was getting her back to bed after the fourth session on the BSC. The patient initially ignored the doc and said to me "Is she the one who gave you that stupid order?" Then she looked daggers at the Dr. I had to get out of the room asap before I stroked out from trying to hold the laughter in. The Dr was on her own. The patient's daughter was trying to hold in the guffaw's too.

    I can't hear the song Angry Eyes without thinking of this patient, and I still tease that Dr about it.

    There are funny and sad situations that arise every day in life, and nursing gets its fair share of both. The normal human reaction is to laugh or cry. Last I looked, nurses are human, and need the release provided by both laughs and tears.

    Pick a safe time and place, don't tear down people and don't be stingy about laughing at yourself too.
    Ir15hd4nc3r_RN, chevyv, AnonRNC, and 1 other like this.
  13. Visit  SaoirseRN profile page
    2
    Quote from paradiseboundRN

    I worked at an older hospital with a boxed type heater in the room. It didn't get hot to the touch. It just blows hot air. I had an elderly patient poop on that. Never did get smell out of the room. Every time the blower kicked on...
    We had a similar incident with a wall mounted hear register at my ancient hospital and an explosive C-Diff incident. They had to remove the register and found the "explosion" ended up not only inside it, but on the wall behind and somehow leaked through the ceiling to the floor below (which is OBS!).
    GrnTea and Hygiene Queen like this.
  14. Visit  That Guy profile page
    4
    I share the stories to vent. I dont carry much emotion with me at work but sharing the stories helps relieve the pressure a lot. My fiance is a nurse too so we share stories about the different places we work. A lot of my friends are nurses too. It calms us down after dealing with the stuff we do day in and out. We share things at home and in public. There are no identifiable things about the people we talk about. I will however not talk about patients I know will end up in the paper the next day in public.

    You would also be surprised at what you can learn from hearing other peoples tales.
    SoldierNurse22, RNFiona, Altra, and 1 other like this.


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