How much Verbal Abuse should a nurse take from a PATIENT? - page 5

I have just started a new home health care case. My client is a well to do person and treats the other nurses and myself like DIRT... Constant verbal abuse is a norm from this client. We have... Read More

  1. by   MollyMo
    The patient can talk about me personally if they want. They can get racial with me if they want. I merely remind them that they are on the wrong end of a needle to be giving me a hard time. :chuckle Seriously, I let them know that I don't appreciate verbal abuse. When they get physical, talking is done. Families, physicians,everybody is getting notified. The patient gets restrained if necessary, arrested if necessary, and I get a new assignment. Very necessary!
  2. by   sjoe
    erdiane--I agree with the others who have pointed out that this is a simple case of assault and battery. Doesn't matter if the person is a patient or not. Make a police report and either
    1) refuse to go back, or
    2) go back and call the cops if anything like it happens again.

    If you refuse to go back, you might also wish to look into a civil lawsuit, as this behavior cost you loss of income, etc. If you do go back, a civil lawsuit would be weakened, since you chose to enter a known dangerous environment, etc.

    (Myself, I'd go the lawsuit route. Since he is well to do, you might just be able to retire early to some tropical isle.)
  3. by   sjoe
    micro--you're not an idealist, but a sentimentalist. It serves no useful purpose to permit and reward this kind of dysfunctional, physically harmful, and illegal behavior, as many battered people have ultimately discovered.
  4. by   sheanndie
    As a CNA when I've a pt particularly difficult - either physically or verbally our male co-workers are very helpful. Usually we'll ask a male CNA first (if available), if they're busy then ask the male RNs.

    If we've told the person that their language is not used in this facility, and they continue, many of the guys will walk in with us and give a hand. The men pt who verbalize in a negative way usually tend to calm it down a bit if another man tells them to stop. SO FAR I've not had to contact security.
  5. by   Angela Mac
    I was an agency nurse on a private duty case. My client would get so angry, he would say things like- "I need to have intelligent conversations with intelligent people. You are just a woman and a nurse, so shut your mouth. Why don't you go and iron my shirts for me". Later in the shift, he hit me on the back of my legs with his cane, when I walked past him to prepare his meal. I called the agency and told them I would not be returning to his home and I requested to take shifts at the hospital.
  6. by   vibe9
    Quote from billssisbeth
    I have just started a new home health care case. My client is a well to do person and treats the other nurses and myself like DIRT... Constant verbal abuse is a norm from this client.

    We have been called the "w" word for prostitute, the "s" word for loose woman, the "B" word for female dog and worse.

    the last shift I worked this client pulled my hair, slapped at me, sniped, spit and was totally "with it" during every episode.

    This client's tounge is like a two sided razor and I'm needing advice on how to Doctument the abuse with out being personal, catty or unprofessional.

    HELP!!!!
    It is a crime punishable by law. If the patient has all his/her faculties then they are liable for their actions. For people to commit assault and battery is punishable by double fines when done to a healthcare worker.
  7. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from CMERN
    I agree that we are closest to the pt in the most intense of times... I agree and can LUMP IT ... I accredit their behavior to the pts reaction to stress.... but... Due to the fact that in order for me the NURSE to be able to continue caring for these poor unfortunate people in their time of need..I DRAW THE LINE at physical abuse..I WILL document...I will NOT tolerate it...I will keep myself safe.
    Police Officers are dealing with people at times of high stress, but if they are abused, the abuser is prosecuted at the full extent of the law.
  8. by   moonladye
    recently the hospital I work at did a survey of all hospital staff. It was about job satisfaction, work culture, and how one views the various management levels.
    Its quite sad but the survey identified horizontal violence (abuse, harrassment etc) and violence from patients, families as the highest factor in job dissatisfaction. Now we have a project going called "building a culture of success", and looking at zero tolerance also.

    i have always found that being straight up in conflict situations has served me well. Regardless of others reactions at least you know you have kept your professional integrity.
  9. by   deathnurse
    "How much Verbal Abuse should a nurse take from a PATIENT?"

    "the last shift I worked this client pulled my hair, slapped at me, sniped, spit and was totally "with it" during every episode."

    "This client's tounge is like a two sided razor and I'm needing advice on how to Doctument the abuse with out being personal, catty or unprofessional."

    ***************************
    You've been brainwashed. You're not in this for the abuse are you? You've had your hair pulled and been slapped and you're worried about taking it personal?
    Last edit by Nurse Ratched on Jun 22, '04
  10. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from billssisbeth
    I have just started a new home health care case. My client is a well to do person and treats the other nurses and myself like DIRT... Constant verbal abuse is a norm from this client.

    We have been called the "w" word for prostitute, the "s" word for loose woman, the "B" word for female dog and worse.

    the last shift I worked this client pulled my hair, slapped at me, sniped, spit and was totally "with it" during every episode.

    This client's tounge is like a two sided razor and I'm needing advice on how to Doctument the abuse with out being personal, catty or unprofessional.

    HELP!!!!
    First, I just have to say the funny. The first answer to the post suggest the pt is a man. My first impression is that it is a wmoan! Would love to know which?!

    Anyway in home care you just have to get used to hearing the verbals and get used to knowing when to duck to avoid the physicals. ALWAYS chart these behaviors but expect them you should.
    We are invading their home. We are taking their self sufficiency away from them. We are being mean!
    Most of the pts are simply acting out. Chart it factfully. "Vulgar language continues as care is provided." "Slapping and spitting today during VS assessment." "LLL seems to be clear, difficult to assess while stethoscope being grabbed from my ears. Resistance to Tx continues."
  11. by   lindarn
    Quote from Dixiedi
    First, I just have to say the funny. The first answer to the post suggest the pt is a man. My first impression is that it is a wmoan! Would love to know which?!

    Anyway in home care you just have to get used to hearing the verbals and get used to knowing when to duck to avoid the physicals. ALWAYS chart these behaviors but expect them you should.
    We are invading their home. We are taking their self sufficiency away from them. We are being mean!
    Most of the pts are simply acting out. Chart it factfully. "Vulgar language continues as care is provided." "Slapping and spitting today during VS assessment." "LLL seems to be clear, difficult to assess while stethoscope being grabbed from my ears. Resistance to Tx continues."
    Let me get this straight- A nurse is supposed to "get used to", being hit slapped, and bear the brunt of foul language, because we are "invading" their home? "WE", took self sufficiency away from them? WE are "being mean"?
    Home health nurse have to "GET USED TO IT"?

    No wonder nursing has become a pitiful excuse for a profession. We have no self respect. Do these patients act like this toward other health care professional, like physical therapists, and/or occupational therapists, or, God forbid, their physicians? Somehow, I know the answer is "no".

    And your excuse is that they are just, "acting out". When my children were toddlers, and "acted out" in an aggressive manner, they sat in the corner and ate a piece of soap. Needless to say, that type of behavior ceased rather quickly. There is NO excuse for physical abuse- it is called assault and battery, and I would have the person arrested and file charges. Perhaps when it becames known around town that nurses are not punching bags or whipping boys and ARE WILLING, AND DO, file criminal charges, that type of behavior would stop. I cannot believe that you make excuses and tolerate that kind of conduct.

    As I said, I doubt that these individual exhibit that kind of conduct towards others that participate in their care. WHY SHOULD NURSES PUT UP WITH IT?

    Just my New York $0.02.

    Linda
  12. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from lindarn
    Let me get this straight- A nurse is supposed to "get used to", being hit slapped, and bear the brunt of foul language, because we are "invading" their home? "WE", took self sufficiency away from them? WE are "being mean"?
    Home health nurse have to "GET USED TO IT"?

    No wonder nursing has become a pitiful excuse for a profession. We have no self respect. Do these patients act like this toward other health care professional, like physical therapists, and/or occupational therapists, or, God forbid, their physicians? Somehow, I know the answer is "no".

    And your excuse is that they are just, "acting out". When my children were toddlers, and "acted out" in an aggressive manner, they sat in the corner and ate a piece of soap. Needless to say, that type of behavior ceased rather quickly. There is NO excuse for physical abuse- it is called assault and battery, and I would have the person arrested and file charges. Perhaps when it becames known around town that nurses are not punching bags or whipping boys and ARE WILLING, AND DO, file criminal charges, that type of behavior would stop. I cannot believe that you make excuses and tolerate that kind of conduct.

    As I said, I doubt that these individual exhibit that kind of conduct towards others that participate in their care. WHY SHOULD NURSES PUT UP WITH IT?

    Just my New York $0.02.

    Linda
    If you look at it from thier point of view, yes, "we did it to them" No, it doesn't make sense but they are the pt! Remember the grieving proccess?
    Ignore their verbal blasts, gees words don't hurt ya.
    Learn to duck so you don't become the receiving end of the physical.
    Grow up. These people need your understanding not your "I'm here to help you", "you should be grateful I come here" routine.
    Nurses catch people at their absolute worst. To expect pts to be gracious and thankful for your presence is to expect them to be healthy, in which case they don't need you!
  13. by   veteranRN
    Obviously, going into a home as described is an "unsafe" situation and I would chart it as such. Let the administration know that you do not feel safe. If the local home health office will not listen take it up with corporate. But don't "bend over" for the agency, it is not worth it.

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How much Verbal Abuse should a nurse take from a PATIENT?