I just basically want to vent. I work in a LTC facility as a wound care RN. There is one patient in his 60's with chronic wounds to his legs from PVD. He sits in his electric w/c in his room most of the day and that is where I do his wound care. He has made subtle remarks about my chest in the past but the other day he came out and asked if he could ask me a personal question. I said sure. He said, "now you won't get offended and turn me in or anything, will you?" Being rather easy going most of the time I said no. So he asked, "what size are you, up there?"
I just laughed and said I didn't know. Then he went on to talk about how he liked it when I bent over in front of him to wrap his legs and my shirt hung down and he could see my breasts. Then he added, "it really turns me on."
I wanted to barf, but I just laughed it off, thinking that would be the end of it. No. Every day since then he has made some reference to my "rack" or some other demeaning name and it has made me so self-consious I dread going in the room. I haven't told anyone else because it is so embarrassing. Now, I truly know how people feel when they are referred to like they are a piece of meat. It also affects the job I'm doing on him. Today he expressed disappointment that I wasn't going to show him "my stuff" and all I could think about was hurrying up and finishing and getting out of that room and as a result I missed covering one of the sores on his legs and I just couldn't bring myself to go back in there. I will thankfully have my partner with me tomorrow, but yuck. Dirty old man. I was thinking of saying to him there were enough cute little nurse aides here for him to feast his eyes on instead of a saggy old woman with 5 kids but I guess I would just be feeding his disgusting behavior if I did.
My husband was no help. He just said, poor old man, it's probably the only thrill he gets in life (so this will probably be my husband when he gets to the nursing home
I'm sure this falls in the category of sexual harrassment, but I would be even more embarrassed bringing attention to myself over it.
Just another thing nurses have to put up with in this world. I would be interested in hearing other accounts of inappropriate patient behavior toward nurses.
Quote from anicwalters
I hate that others have made crude remarks about you not nipping it in the butt. As a nurse you expect to provide care and compassion and I'm sure you have dealt with difficult patients successfully. I too have recently encountered a situation in which the patient made inappropriate comments. I told other workers and the supervisor and refused to go into this man's room alone. It is not easy to just "nip it in the butt". I tried to laugh it off and the patient even laughed at me and told me I turned all red. I explained that his comment was unexpected and I was embarrassed. I went home in a very unsettled mood.
Sorry you feel this way. And I said bud not butt.
I don't let people disrespect me or my coworkers. We take so much crap off people and we shouldn't allow ourselves to be sexually harassed. And since you didn't address it with that patient it bothered you when you went home. If you let this slide then the patient may think it is ok and go even further with the comments or may act upon them. Anywhere else this behavior would not be tolerated so why should we as nurses be ok with being treated this way?
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Last edit by DoeRN on Jan 27, '13