Is it okay to tell a patient to not disrespect you

  1. 1
    I had a patient who was questioning me and even though I attempted to answer her questions, she wasn't happy with my answers. She told me that I am a terrible nurse and to get out of her room. I said ok I will just don't disrespect me. She flipped out when I said that. Was I out of line to say that? Where I work they stress that pt satisfaction is most important so pts come back to us again
    vivere likes this.

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  2. 46 Comments...

  3. 2
    Ummm, no. It wasn't OK. Further, she wasn't "disrespecting" you, she may have been disrespectful TO you. How come? Perhaps she was scared, in pain, wondering what the heck was wrong that she couldn't get her questions answered. Or perhaps she was just plain mean. I don't know- I wasn't there but I think your therapeutic listening skills could have been better. Nobody is at their best when they're sick.....
    Mc3
    psu_213 and kakamegamama like this.
  4. 3
    I think your response was very human but it's probably in your best interest to not respond that way again in the future. I mean, you let her know that she was getting to you and it sounds like she was pushing your buttons, which means you may have given her the exact reaction she was looking for. I've been known to respond with, "I don't think that's appropriate for you to ask," or "I don't appreciate your responses," but I think keeping it to "I" statements is more beneficial.
    RNJill, psu_213, and lolakbolak like this.
  5. 31
    In the past I have told patients to stop cursing at me. I have also demanded that patients stop yelling at me.

    I am cognizant that patients are not on their best behavior when they are sick, but I am not anyone's verbal punching bag, so I see nothing wrong with tactfully setting expectations on how future nurse/patient interactions will proceed.

    No customer is going to get away with cursing, hollering, name-calling or making threats at the airport, bank, pancake restaurant, or hotel, no matter how bad they feel. However, the hospital allows bad behavior for the sake of 'customer service.'
  6. 10
    For the situation you described I probably would not have said anything. However I have had pts cursing me out and throwing things at me. In that situation I told the pt that her behavior was unacceptable and I would not tolerate it. I then told her that if she did it again I would be calling security. Sometimes you do need to set limits with consequences
  7. 1
    I get very irritated when disrespected. This is good advice and something I try to remember in those situations.
    keeping it to "I" statements is more beneficial
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  8. 9
    In that type of situation I just say, "I'm sorry you feel that way." It's hard not to feel defensive when someone speaks to you like that.
    LibraSunCNM, CharlieChase, Tinker88, and 6 others like this.
  9. 6
    I don't think there's anything wrong with it, but I would probably use different wording because it's vague. In the situation you describe I would give the patient more concrete behavioral limits.
    hiddencatRN, nrsang97, beckster_01, and 3 others like this.
  10. 1
    I don't think you need to allow yourself to be trampled, but sometimes I think it's all in the delivery. I've seen someone say that while working her neck. It's hard to pay attention to body language when your patient has you about to blow your top, but I think that's a really important part of it.
    MedChica likes this.
  11. 12
    You have every right to set limits on how you are treated. Just because you are a nurse doesn't mean people can verbally abuse you. I would have set the patient straight if she spoke to me like that.
    pseudomonas, Jillsma, nrsang97, and 9 others like this.


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