The Disrespect Of Nurses - page 5

by TheCommuter Asst. Admin

21,642 Unique Views | 81 Comments

I was at my workplace earlier this month when my supervisor told me about a volatile situation that was unfolding on a different floor between another nurse and a verbally abusive family member. This particular family member was... Read More


  1. 4
    I agree that we are disrespected to no end. If your not being held accountable for what other nurses did not do, yelled at by physicians, management and irate family members. They don't realize we have to be the nurse, the short order cook, housekeeping, repair person, and in most cases the cna, secretary, case-manager, counselor to crazy family members and did I mention, I'm trying to be the NURSE! Too many hospital politics that keep you from the bedside and between all of these duties the crazy family members that keep coming to the nurse station or calling for every free supply they can get, tap their fingers and wonder when the discharge paperwork will be ready? These people are insane. I love being a nurse, and wish I could do just that and focus on bedside patient care, but management also has us doing their job and wonders why we can't move any faster. When I have those irate family members in my face, I give them "the look" if they want to impede with patient care I just give them the choice to leave AMA. Then when you tell them insurance won't pay sometimes they back down. I understand customer satisfaction and reimbursement, but in most cases if you give them an inch, they will take a mile.
  2. 4
    When I worked in the hospital, I certainly found this to be true. While I was priveleged to care for many nice, respectful people, a significant proportion of patients and their family members arrived at the hospital with an adversarial attidude already in place. Sometimes, by using my charms, I could change the dynamic, but not always.

    I am more than willing to cut people slack for not being at their best because they are scared, in pain, or just not feeling well. But for some people, they just function at a baseline of entitlement and disrespect regardless of the circumstances, and I have no tolerance for that.

    Now that I work in an outpatient capacity, my experience is completely different. I have found most people are happy to see me, do not ask me to do things outside of my role, and are respectful of the knowledge and skills I possess. I am much happier as a nurse in this capacity.

    Sometimes when I consider going back to the hospital, this is definitely an issue that comes into play.
  3. 0
    So true!
  4. 1
    The most disrespect I receive is from OTHER nurses, especially RN's, as I am "just" an LPN. I work on the SNF unit of a LTC facility. We have an admission "process".............checking insurance, screening pt @ hospital, talking to family, etc........some HMO's require a prior authorization which can take sevou start the eral days, depending on when you start the process. The RN Case Managers at the local (only) hospital know this process......BUT here is typical senario..........call you about a referral @ 3:30pm on Friday wanting to discharge to you THAT day..............or sending you a referral............you rush over there to screen.......arrange for am MD to cover pts. SNF stay only to discover that your SNF was THIRD choice and pt is going to 1st choice AND the MD you arranged to cover is going to follow pt there. Also NO respect from DON; I have been an LPN longer than DON & ADON combined............DON RARELY helps when floor nurses need help..........that is left to Medical Records....MDS Coordinators......other floor nurses......while she sits in the office with the HR director, office secretary, housekeeper, and a floor LPN (who always "needs help because she is SO far behind") and gossip. ADON & a floor RN work their butts off and get no credit........all that goes to DON...............but if something goes wrong..............it's everybodys fault EXCEPT hers and the LPN she is best friends with.
    bleverett likes this.
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    I hate to say it, but it's only going to be worse, as insurance payments become tied to patient satisfaction. Safety, protection and respect for nurses needs to be a part of union contract negotiations. Acting crazy in a hospital situation (unless you are the patient and it is the psych ward) should be grounds for security to escort off the premises. It should be tantamount to what happens if you act obnoxiously and start making threats on a plane.

    I wonder if nurses could individually press charges against patients for making "terroristic threats" (which is a felony), even if management doesn't do anything about it. And I wonder if those same nurses could file suit against their employers if something really awful did happen and they had a pattern of not protecting their employees appropriately. I'm sure after a few such lawsuits with huge payouts, they would think twice about nurses safety and respect.
    wooh and citylights89 like this.
  6. 2
    We get disrespected because we put up with it. It starts in nursing school. My instructors treated us like ignorant little sniveling street urchins. They were horrible. I can't recall a a single instructor who treated us with respect.

    Then we graduate, pass the boards and get treated poorly each day on the floor. You just shrug and get used to it after awhile but it sure takes its toll in the long run.
  7. 0
    I work in a long-term/rehab facility and I can think of many instances where nurses were threatened, bit, hit,verbally abused, disrespected etc....and what did management do? Not a thing for nurses. Coddled the patient and/or family members. We get no backing at all and it stinks! Some wrote that all management cares about are the "patient satisfaction surveys" and I have to agree. We've also been told that "so and so is a private pay" meaning they get the big bucks for those pts...so keep them happy and satisfied. What a joke. Where else workers would be treated like this, i don't know? It seems that the more loud and bossy patients and/or family members get, the more they are given special treatment. Sick of it, but no matter how many meeting we have, management simply put does not support us nurses. We keep saying that it's goin to take on of us getting physically hurt for something to be done.
  8. 1
    In REtroSPECT,
    I was a nurse for 15 years in every department except surgery, and I can tell you there were times not only was I spat on, hit, kicked, cursed and slapped..verbal threats of "I'll have your license!" over the years.
    Telling you I was not only a good nurse, but a patient and kind nurse, wouldn't matter, because of the nature of our business, is usually at a time when families are upset, angry (at the illness or sometimes fear of a possible loss of a family member), Just rumors about how the Hospital may have handled a patient/patients before, especially in a small community.. things can blow up quickly.
    Usually they just didn't want their loved one brought to the hospital that the ambulance was required to take the patient too, ( especially if the patient was critical.)
    As for the hitting slapping and spitting, that came from patients themselves, and NO not all of them were senile nor crazy,..just mean and could get away with it because no one in management or otherwise would stand to back us up. NO ONE> Get that..you are on your own sadly.
    If I were to go back, and choose again, no I wouldn't have been a nurse, but I cherrish the years I did serve as a nurse because there were far more good than bad, but my body is now paying for it,..all the lifting, on your feet 12 hours at a time, all the lack of sleep from crazy shifts and changes,..no it isn't worth it now..with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic fatigue, CHF< a Pacemaker,..now I am the patient. RESPECT wasn't common, so I give extra effort to show my nurses what I rarely had..RESPECT~
    Soliloquy likes this.
  9. 3
    Quote from duckyluck111
    I wonder if nurses could individually press charges against patients for making "terroristic threats" (which is a felony), even if management doesn't do anything about it. And I wonder if those same nurses could file suit against their employers if something really awful did happen and they had a pattern of not protecting their employees appropriately.
    First off, it is the district attorney who decides whether to press charges - it has nothing to do with the employer, nor necessarily even with the victim. That is, if the victim wants to press charges, the DA may not choose to file the case. The converse is also true and the DA my choose to indict regardless of whether the victim desires it. District attorneys, being elected officials, are generally pretty responsive to public pressure and usually side with victims.

    Under OSHA regulations, employers are required to provide a safe workplace. If it can be documented that they are aware of safety concerns and choose not to address them, they can be held liable.

    The development and implementat of needless technology isn't due to hospitals' concerns for their employees, it's to safe-workplace rules.

    Keep that in mind as you choose representatives who may push for the dissolution of OSHA.
    DizzyLizzyNurse, morte, and wooh like this.
  10. 3
    Simply put, it is because most nurses are women. Women have a tendency not to stand up for themselves. Therefore management allows the abuse in the name of patient/family satisfaction.

    If the majority of nurses were male, it wouldn't be that way. I guarantee it.
    FMF Corpsman, PMFB-RN, and citylights89 like this.


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