When patients and visitors are rude

  1. 9
    I feel sorry for nurses who post (I know they are just venting) how obnoxious, demanding, ridiculous, rude, patients and family are, or will become, because hospital reimbursements (medicare) are tied into patient satisfaction. Or even somehow the ACA is going to cause patients to be more demanding.

    I have worked bedside nursing in county and private hospitals for 30 years. I can't believe I am just lucky and never encounter patients or family who are so inappropriate?

    When I do encounter them (yes I guess I have) I go into automatic pilot, I don't even consciously think about it, I had to Google "how to react to rude people" to realize what I guess I do without thinking. (I wish I could go into automatic pilot in codes....I freeze up and can't think at all!)

    "Don't give their behavior more thought,"...... must obviously be my first reaction because I immediately forget (except for really rare occasions) what they said or did....."their behavior is out of character for them"...."they are not trying to hurt you personally, they do not care about your feelings"..."they have their own issues." (We are talking health care here...maybe they have some serious issues and concerns you don't even know about.) "Do not engage them......you don't have to prove yourself."

    Really, honestly nurses, they are not out to get you! Validation of their feelings is almost 90% of the time all they want, even if you really don't agree with what they are complaining about, they believe it so just say...."yes I can see why that upsets you...I understand why you are so angry....that must really make you mad..."

    If it gets to the point of fearing for your physical safety your institution is mandated to have in place a "code" to call for help with violent patients or family. Yes, I know it can get to this point...I have seen it.


    Honestly if you find yourself frequently encountering rude demanding patients and family maybe it is time to think about what attitude you are giving them that they react this way?

    If you can think of nothing else think "raise them to my level, don't lower myself to their level."
    HappyWife77, EGVnurse, KimberlyRN89, and 6 others like this.
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  3. 41 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    Well said! Thank you for the reminder that we are dealing with people having a stressful time. Not everyone has good coping skills. Rudeness and bad behavior are sometimes just a matter of proximity; we are closest so we get the brunt of the vent!
    jadelpn and michiganstudent like this.
  5. 3
    It drops my jaw to see how entitled these patients think they are, even the uninsured lazy scums... How in the earth can they be entitled to something that they are not and have not worked for? I am researching to leave the bedside for good. If you're in a field where your own will conspire against you, such as in nursing, that just brew bad soup...
  6. 17
    Quote from brownbook
    I feel sorry for nurses who post (I know they are just venting) how obnoxious, demanding, ridiculous, rude, patients and family are, or will become, because hospital reimbursements (medicare) are tied into patient satisfaction. Or even somehow the ACA is going to cause patients to be more demanding. I have worked bedside nursing in county and private hospitals for 30 years. I can't believe I am just lucky and never encounter patients or family who are so inappropriate? When I do encounter them (yes I guess I have) I go into automatic pilot, I don't even consciously think about it, I had to Google "how to react to rude people" to realize what I guess I do without thinking. (I wish I could go into automatic pilot in codes....I freeze up and can't think at all!) "Don't give their behavior more thought,"...... must obviously be my first reaction because I immediately forget (except for really rare occasions) what they said or did....."their behavior is out of character for them"...."they are not trying to hurt you personally, they do not care about your feelings"..."they have their own issues." (We are talking health care here...maybe they have some serious issues and concerns you don't even know about.) "Do not engage them......you don't have to prove yourself." Really, honestly nurses, they are not out to get you! Validation of their feelings is almost 90% of the time all they want, even if you really don't agree with what they are complaining about, they believe it so just say...."yes I can see why that upsets you...I understand why you are so angry....that must really make you mad..." If it gets to the point of fearing for your physical safety your institution is mandated to have in place a "code" to call for help with violent patients or family. Yes, I know it can get to this point...I have seen it. Honestly if you find yourself frequently encountering rude demanding patients and family maybe it is time to think about what attitude you are giving them that they react this way? If you can think of nothing else think "raise them to my level, don't lower myself to their level."
    You are blaming the NURSE for a patient being rude? You MUST be joking
    jewels2010RN, monkeybug, Sammie7, and 14 others like this.
  7. 18
    So the water pitcher that was thrown last week was not aimed at ME?
  8. 12
    So according to the original poster, it's a battered wife's fault if her husband hits her in the face? I mean, his dinner was on the table AFTER 5 o'clock................I truly believe if nursing was a largely MALE profession, most of these rude patients/visitors wouldn't try any of these shenanigans.
    monkeybug, merlee, Sammie7, and 9 others like this.
  9. 9
    Is this condescending post for real? It is true that some patients/family members are having a bad day. It is also true that some of them behave as if you are their personal servant and that they are residing in the Hilton. Just because I am at work does not mean that I don't feelings. If I can ignore rudeness I will but inevitably there always comes a point where you have to respond or your whole day is going to be run by that pt and their family. I do not treat pts rudely and will not let them treat me rudely.
    jewels2010RN, Sammie7, imintrouble, and 6 others like this.
  10. 3
    "Don't give their behavior more thought,"...... must obviously be my first reaction because I immediately forget (except for really rare occasions) what they said or did..."Do not engage them......you don't have to prove yourself."


    If you can think of nothing else think "raise them to my level, don't lower myself to their level."[/QUOTE]

    If you know the secret to this can you please share it with us?
    Usually, co-workers, visitors and family who are genuinely rude are not listening to you. Everything you say both to them and about them sounds to them like nonsense.

  11. 6
    It all comes down from old nightingale Victorian kind of thinking that got nursing into this mess. Why the heck would a grown men and women of bachelor or associate degree treated like this and clean literal crap all day long? We have degree like physicists, teachers, engineers, and yet people think nurses are about as good as crap. This also has to do with some nurses and public misconception of nursingh you are a nurse. What did you expect? You have to bear all the injustice, vanity, hatred and mistreatment, and all because that's "what nurses do and are". Self sacrifice and all that? I am a human being before I am a nurse, with feelings and all. The problem is, this public concept of nurses being doctors lap dogs will not change even though educational challenges and rigors of nursing have expanded exponentially. Very regretful situation...
  12. 6
    Quote from tarotale
    It all comes down from old nightingale Victorian kind of thinking that got nursing into this mess. Why the heck would a grown men and women of bachelor or associate degree treated like this and clean literal crap all day long? We have degree like physicists, teachers, engineers, and yet people think nurses are about as good as crap. This also has to do with some nurses and public misconception of nursingh you are a nurse. What did you expect? You have to bear all the injustice, vanity, hatred and mistreatment, and all because that's "what nurses do and are". Self sacrifice and all that? I am a human being before I am a nurse, with feelings and all. The problem is, this public concept of nurses being doctors lap dogs will not change even though educational challenges and rigors of nursing have expanded exponentially. Very regretful situation...
    Hear hear! This is a profession, but nurses are seen as slaves. I don't know what needs to be done to turn the tide.


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