When Nurses Use the "R" Word When Nurses Use the "R" Word - pg.2 | allnurses

When Nurses Use the "R" Word - page 2

I remember my first day on the job. I was sitting in education classes at a well respected children's hospital in the city. I felt lucky. Not only did I get to work at an amazing place dedicated to... Read More

  1. Visit  Spidey's mom profile page
    #13 2
    Quote from morelostthanfound
    Although I am fairly liberal, certainly not a prude or possessing delicate sensibilities, I have noticed that crude/vulgar speak is much more common today and seems, almost fashionable in some circles. I, personally, am not offended by colorful language (not in the presence of clients/patients), but understand those that may be and do think that it is somewhat unprofessional and unbecoming to the person-just my opinion though!
    I'm fairly libertarian/conservative, not a prude, nor do I possess delicate sensibilities I too have noticed that crude/vulgar language is much more common and that the "F" word is interspersed into a person's conversation quite a lot as if it is a normal part of just talkin'

    I was raised by a generation that did cuss but mostly GD and S**T . . . even my grannie would say some cuss words but tried to soften them by saying "sugar foot". She had a plaque on her wall that said "Profanity is ignorance made audible". That resonated with me from childhood on and it colors the way I speak. Thank you grannie.

    As to using the "R" word, it makes me cringe and I've taught my own children not to say it. But trying to police everyone's language is tough.

    Paul Austin, MD wrote a couple of books; one about being an ER Doc and one about having a daughter with Down Syndrome. He does discuss the use of the "R" word and does a good job I think (Both books are excellent). I don't have time to go look for the book right now but here's a link if anyone is interested:

    Home - Paul Ethan Austin

    Quote from Julius Seizure
    I don't think this has anything to do with nurses specifically. It is no longer considered a socially appropriate term to use - for anyone. I don't think the standard for nurses is any different here.

    Also, I thought this was an article about something like how nurses shouldnt say "the Q word" (quiet), but I couldn't figure out what R would be --- relax?? I was way off!
    Oh now, let's not get off on the tangent of whether saying Quiet can magically cause a bus to overturn or a gunfight to ensue . . .

  2. Visit  luvmyc profile page
    #14 2
    The R word is SO hurtful. I had a son (now deceased) with a profound brain injury after a 30 minute code. He had the MR diagnosis. And that's what it was-a diagnosis! When people throw that word around as an insult or a put down or a joke, it makes my heart bleed. I've reported nurses for throwing that word around and I would do it again.
  3. Visit  PrereqTaker89 profile page
    #15 1
    Ugh I hate when people use that word to describe *******s. Precious mentally challenged children and *******s are NOT one in the same!!
  4. Visit  TriciaJ profile page
    #16 1
    Quote from Emergent
    I work in the ER, we're a rough and ready bunch. One doc particularly likes to drop F bombs.

    As far as retarded, that would be rather mild. F-ing idiot would be more accurate.

    Of course, moron, idiot, imbecile also used to be clinical terminology as well, so the powers that be came up with "retarded".
    Exactly. Today's euphemism will be tomorrow's pejorative.

    I suppose the takeaway is, whenever in the workplace or anywhere else you care how you present yourself, avoid making derogatory remarks about anyone's seeming lack of intelligence. Just safer that way.
  5. Visit  hppygr8ful profile page
    #17 0
    Quote from RNrhythm
    I do no think there is anything wrong with using the word 'retarded' when clinically appropriate, such as, "the patient is mentally retarded." I do think it is incorrect to use it as a pejorative, as in, 'this new policy is retarded".

    However, I am open to new and improved wording. Because the "R" word has become touchy, I recently described a patient as a developmentally delayed adult. That got some eye rolls and the receiving nurse jotted "M.R." on her notes.

    I just now did a tiny bit of research. Should I be saying, "intellectually disabled?"
    Yes in California the "correct" term by law is Intellectual disability. All other terms such as MR and DD may not be used in any clinical settings to describe this patient population.

    Hppy
  6. Visit  ClaraRedheart profile page
    #18 2
    I won't use it because I realize that it is offensive to others. However, the word simply means slow. I think what makes it ugly is how people have used it over the years, in a derogatory fashion. I'm a pianist. One of the musical terms you run across is ritard... from the same latin roots. It simply means to slow down. The word is just that, a word. No matter what term we use for the developmentally disabled, some jerk is going to turn it into an insult. I saw a kid calling another kid "autistic" the other day as an insult. We're just going to have to keep updating our speech if we are trying to outrun any term that can be used as an insult.
  7. Visit  angeloublue22 profile page
    #19 2
    I learned this lesson the hard way. I had mostly used the "R" word randomly without thinking when I first became a nurse that habit was quickly stopped in a uncomfortable and ridiculous way. I was working in a ICU psych unit and a mentally handicapped client came up to me and said, "Where is my present?" I said, "What present?" He said, "Chris (name changed, the other nurse on unit) said you had a present for me?" Then I realized he was talking about his meds. I then said, "Oh yeah, I have your meds, Chris is just being a retard." Then mortifyingly, the client started yelling down the hallway with the all patients present, "Retard! Retard! Chris is a retard!" OMG, I almost had a panic attack as I tried to shush him. Then of course Chris told him not to use that word. I had to have a conversation with the client about it and apologize for my word slip. I definitely learned a great lesson that day.
  8. Visit  Stepney profile page
    #20 0
    Quote from Julius Seizure
    Yes, the 'correct' terms now are developmentally delayed, and intellectually disabled.

    Developmental delay/global dev. delay is what you use for people who are too young to do IQ testing or other standardized measurement of skills.
    After about age 5-6 years old, when they can undergo cognitive testing, intellectually disabled becomes the new diagnostic term.

    Comprehensive Evaluation of the Child with Intellectual Disability or Global Developmental Delays (AAP)
    Developmental delay in the young child could also be related to only motor skills, with intact cognition.
  9. Visit  nursej22 profile page
    #21 0
    The term retard is also used in working with engines and motors. It means to impair the function of an engine.
  10. Visit  Julius Seizure profile page
    #22 0
    Quote from Stepney
    Developmental delay in the young child could also be related to only motor skills, with intact cognition.
    Absolutely. Thats why intellectual disability cannot be determined until cognitive testing is possible. There may be no cognitive impairment at all.
  11. Visit  ValRN1 profile page
    #23 1
    The term MR or mental retardation is ni longer medically or socially acceptable. Terms such as intellectual disability or gross and fine motor delays can easily be substituted. In my children's hospital, no one uses the less accurate term of the past.
  12. Visit  veggie530 profile page
    #24 1
    Ah, nurses making much ado about nothing. Very refreshing.

    Look, I get it. We live in a PC culture where everyone gets offended. In a professional setting you have to watch your tone because of professionalism and representing your organization (and covering yourself from HR headaches). But to build this mystique of a moral quandary over the use of "the R word" (good grief) is so hyperbolic. In short it's unprofessional because professional organizations don't want to offend potential clients and the word is just that -- offensive to some people.

    Quote from angeloublue22
    I learned this lesson the hard way. I had mostly used the "R" word randomly without thinking when I first became a nurse that habit was quickly stopped in a uncomfortable and ridiculous way. I was working in a ICU psych unit and a mentally handicapped client came up to me and said, "Where is my present?" I said, "What present?" He said, "Chris (name changed, the other nurse on unit) said you had a present for me?" Then I realized he was talking about his meds. I then said, "Oh yeah, I have your meds, Chris is just being a retard." Then mortifyingly, the client started yelling down the hallway with the all patients present, "Retard! Retard! Chris is a retard!" OMG, I almost had a panic attack as I tried to shush him. Then of course Chris told him not to use that word. I had to have a conversation with the client about it and apologize for my word slip. I definitely learned a great lesson that day.
    lmao. And nobody died. Totally harmless. Thanks for the good laugh, I would be mortified, too.
  13. Visit  Elfriede profile page
    #25 0
    I don´t use the "R"-word (retarded=Zurückgeblieben). OK, my language is a bit different. I use to say : "She/he takes her-/himself a bit more time to learn."
    By the way : Isn`t it the job of the pedriatican to talk with the parents about a diagnosis first ?
    In my languange is the "H"-word (handicapped= Behindert) even worse.
    But as said above : Let the doc talk first and don`t burn your mouth.

    Frieda

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