How much Verbal Abuse should a nurse take from a PATIENT? - page 6

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   mscsrjhm
    Quote from Dixiedi
    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!
    I expect common decency. Don't mind ducking the dementia patient, or child, but to say someone is "just acting out"....
    No, I have too much respect for myself. If I wouldn't treat someone that way, I also won't be treated that way.
  2. by   Destinystar
    you have all the right in the world to exercise your civil rights and call the police. if the guy is sane he should be subject to arrest like anyone else if not he should be 51/50. and your employer should be held responsible for knowing about the situation, and ignoring it which is another contributing factor to your physical/emotional pain and suffering.
    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!!!!
  3. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from 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.
    bravo moonlady! i so agree about creating a zero tolerance work environment, amongst staff anyway. it is playing hardball at its' finest but does command a professional and civil work environment.

    as for patients, i will tolerate verbal abuse and that's where i draw the line. NO SPITTING OR PHYSICAL ASSAULTS. to allow that is one of the biggest insults to the image of nursing itself, nevermind one's personal invasions of their rights to not be attacked.
  4. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from Mschrisco
    I expect common decency. Don't mind ducking the dementia patient, or child, but to say someone is "just acting out"....
    No, I have too much respect for myself. If I wouldn't treat someone that way, I also won't be treated that way.
    An individual who is acting out has emotional problems or they would not be acting out!
    I will agree there are those individuals who will hit and are just plain ill-tempered. We all know those exsist and they are usually women with no children in town to help with their needs! We also know WHY they have no kids around to help! These individuals should not be tolerated. However, the post I was referring to made comment about the pt being alert and oriented. That's NOT an adequate method of deciding if a pt is competant to make such decisions about instinctive behaviors. Refusing to care for these individuals is wrong!
    Last edit by Dixiedi on Jun 26, '04
  5. by   mscsrjhm
    Quote from Dixiedi
    An individual who is acting out has emotional problems or they would not be acting out!
    Quote from Dixiedi
    I will agree there are those individuals who will hit and are just plain ill-tempered. We all know those exsist and they are usually women with no children in town to help with their needs! We also know WHY they have no kids around to help! These individuals should not be tolerated. However, the post I was referring to made comment about the pt being alert and oriented. That's NOT an adequate method of deciding if a pt is competant to make such decisions about instinctive behaviors. Refusing to care for these individuals is wrong!


    We can all agree that an incompetent person must be taken care of. I, and possibly others, had the impression throughout this thread that the person was competent, just mean.
  6. by   cd48x
    [QUOTE=vibe9]QUOTE]Hi I saw your post and would like to read your story on how 1 person can make a difference in a large system. email me @ greengrits@yahoo.com ...have a gr8 day!
  7. by   Canuck RN
    the last and final time i was assaulted by a patient happened at 2330 hrs when an alert,oriented 80 year old woman laid her teeth into my left forearm.myself and another nurse attempted to dislodge her teeth but they were her own and she wasn't letting go.the attack was totally unprovoked. the bite bled and i presented myself in the er where i had blood drawn and was put on a 2 week course of antibiotics. the old gal also had bloodwork drawn. her gp visited in the am and in defense of the nurses, he said her behaviour was intolerable and discharged her home stat. to add insult to injury the antibiotics caused a yeast infection so memories of that old lady stayed with me for a month. the worst though was when the hr person appeared on the unit and laughingly asked to see my battle scars. i told him to go to he** and continued working. management still doesn't have a clue as to a nurse's working conditions!!!!
  8. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from Mschrisco

    We can all agree that an incompetent person must be taken care of. I, and possibly others, had the impression throughout this thread that the person was competent, just mean.
    My misunderstanding. I took it that she is an elderly lady with an ongoing medical problem that has taken away her mobility and left her at the mercy of strangers who come when they can and not neccessarity when she needs them the most. An elderly woman going through the grieving proccess for the death of her own ability to care for herself.
    My mistake, I thought she had emotional problems and was not healthy and able to care for her own needs.
  9. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from Dixiedi
    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!
    :imbar i just don't understand this way of thinking dixie. no one expects patients to be gracious and i think all of us have tolerated the verbal abuses. but 'learn to duck'????? what about limit setting? what about not enabling the patient? those are just interventions for the patient but NO ONE should have to be the victim of somone's physical aggressions. it's evident that your feet are firmly planted on this issue but at the same time, you needn't tell op to 'grow up'. some of these debates should be an exercise in civility and measured words.
  10. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from earle58
    :imbar i just don't understand this way of thinking dixie. no one expects patients to be gracious and i think all of us have tolerated the verbal abuses. but 'learn to duck'????? what about limit setting? what about not enabling the patient? those are just interventions for the patient but NO ONE should have to be the victim of somone's physical aggressions. it's evident that your feet are firmly planted on this issue but at the same time, you needn't tell op to 'grow up'. some of these debates should be an exercise in civility and measured words.
    The post that I responded to when I said "grow up" was not in response to her objecting to being hit (and other) by a pt but by her attitude that she shouldn't have to subjected to this kind of behavior.
    I don't think it's right either, but that's the way it is. That behavior is one of the symptoms that must be treated by the nurse, not something she can complain about and stop with some unknown exterior force. Yes, set limits. I do it every time I go to one kids house. (he's a good foot taller than I am and quite a good handful at 17. Had a heart attack and suffered anoxic brain injury at 14.) Anyway, he has a mouth on him, his favorite is "*****" and he bites. I remind him every visit this behavior in not tolerated. He is alert and oriented, he is "with it"; however, there are extenuating circumstances; that is anoxic brain injury. So, you learn to duck.
    We all know when independant people loose their independance they retaliate any way they can. It's not right, but it is humanity. Learn to duck if you are going to last 30 or more years in nursing.
  11. by   leslie :-D
    and yes, anoxic brain injury does have its' own set of implications. but i wouldn't compare that pt. with someone who doesn't have any official dx's to warrant physical abuse. with your teenage pt. there is actual trauma to certain areas of his brain so i do not think he truly has any independent control of these outbursts. but i would never tolerate physical assault from alert and oriented without any further etiologies.
  12. by   Pretzlgl
    Quote from 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.
    Great way to put it....
  13. by   jaimealmostRN
    A few days ago, I had a pt. make a rude comment to me. I IMMEDIATLY told him this would not be tolerated while looking him square in the eyes. I have also seen other nurses say things like, "I will leave the room until you can act civilized, I don't allow this behavior" etc. This is almost always effective. It is important to stop this behavior as soon as it starts so they know they cannot get away with anything. I agree with another poster when they said that the police should be called if the person is physically violent. Also, from what I've read on this board, home health agencies drop patients who either refuse care or are violent. And personally, I would refuse to see this person, my safety is paramount. I think a police report would help an agency decide to drop someone if they were boarderline before.

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