Quote from dirtyhippiegirl
Yay, thanks for the reassurances/suggestions.
I don't know what it is but it seems like my patient population doesn't take to the generalized answers -- "Oh, they're old" IS something that I use in most general settings and get away with it but not while I'm nursing. Just leads to more questions.
My left arm is such a pulpy, disfigured mess of scar tissue that some of my burn patients specifically ask me if I've been burnt in the past. I almost feel obligated to explain the truth in that particular situation.
seems to me in nursing school (a hundred yrs ago) they encouraged us not to get into personal discussions of ANY kind, basically, "oh, we aren't here to talk about me, let's talk about you. What do you do in your spare time" or "how is that pain of yours?" or something. Outside of work people would not ask such questions unless they knew you - it would be almost rude to ask. So diverting the conversation like that is basically a polite way of saying "none of your business" but diverting back to them. Usually they are happy to do so.
There are those who will persist of course. like the burn pt, I have no idea how you would answer that. to say "no" would invite more questions, to say yes is lying (unless you just say, "I don't want to discuss it right now," (and not answer) and then revert to the "We're here to talk about you. so ... " etc...
there are times tho, I think, where it could be theraputic to talk about it a little, or, use it to help the person deal with their OWN scars, etc. ie the burn person, "how is it for YOU to have scars..." etc.
well I don't know if any of that is helpful ... hope so.