For the most part, I am described by others as being extremely patient and kind. But my fuse is wearing thin! with the increasing number of entitled, demanding patients, as well as verbally and sometimes threatened physically abusive nature. ( Everyone I am describing is alert and oriented. I can handle the person with brain injury or the mentally ill that have less control of their behavior and words. It's the perfectly with-it adults who should know better). I am so sick of demanding patients that my attitude towards them has changed- I go in and do my minimum assessment and work, get them what they need, and remind them that verbal abuse is not tolerated. I have gone to managers. I work in a float pool so thankfully I rarely have the same person twice. What makes a person think they can call us stupid idiots? When they have little clue about what is policy and procedure, and expecially if other nurses have given in and done what they wanted or how they wanted it. Sometimes joking around can help dissolve some situations- I have seen nurses fire back insults at the patient in a joking manner (that is not my way) and I've seen others give in to whatever they want (giving shots in unapproved sites), or getting them their coke while they are cussing.
Excuse me, if you want your coke you are going to ask for it nicely, and no I am not neglecting you or refusing your care. Your immediate need of a carbonated beverage is not essential to your health and healing. I just want to say "put on your big girl panties and behave." The attitudes of patients seems to be getting worse lately, and it is stressing me out. I would like to begin a program at my hospital system based on mutual respect, with some sort of measure to curtail the verbal abuse by patients on staff. Or family members to staff. I, and many of my colleagues, are highly trained nurses with the interest of excellent care for the patient. We did not get our license out of a cracker jack box, and even if we did, no one deserves to be spoken to that way. I don't care if that's how they are raised, or just their way- they need to be accountable for their words and actions. We are not doormats. This, along with the stress of med-surg, is running me out of bedside nursing.
If your hospital or facility has any program or action plan in place, would you please share? Does it work?