Jump to content

A pt. really pissed me off today...

Posted

It's bad enuf we only hav 1 x-ray room in the whole hospital, but 90% of the pts are non-english speaking, try explaining when body language doesnt workk, frustrating indeed! I had been x-raying a pt for a half an hour(pt had 3 page exam & couldn't speak english). On top of that, we are horribly short staffed and I was the only x-ray tech, running the whole radiology dept by myself from start to finish, including accessioning the pts. As I am performing the exam, a pt knocks on the door, interupting me & the pt. in the room, to ask how long it will be. My blood started to boil, how incredibly rude & inconsiderate! Here I am, running the whole Radiology Dept. by myself, trying to do everything as quickly as possible, w/ this stupid distraction!! When I got her in the room, I told her, "this is not Burger King, you can't have it your way! This is a hospital, you should expect to wait." :nono:

tattooednursie, LVN

Specializes in Mostly LTC, some acute and some ER,.

I don't work in x-ray but I can imagine how frustrating it is. I hate it when I tell a patient I will be with them in a few minutes because I am in the middle of caring for another patient . . . and they ring asking how much longer when your still in the middle of something 5 minutes later.

woody62, RN

Specializes in icu, er, transplant, case management, ps. Has 27 years experience.

I don't work in x-ray but I can imagine how frustrating it is. I hate it when I tell a patient I will be with them in a few minutes because I am in the middle of caring for another patient . . . and they ring asking how much longer when your still in the middle of something 5 minutes later.

Ever think they could need a bedpan but are too embarrassed to ask for it over the intercom?

Woody:balloons:

It's bad enuf we only hav 1 x-ray room in the whole hospital, but 90% of the pts are non-english speaking, try explaining when body language doesnt workk, frustrating indeed! I had been x-raying a pt for a half an hour(pt had 3 page exam & couldn't speak english). On top of that, we are horribly short staffed and I was the only x-ray tech, running the whole radiology dept by myself from start to finish, including accessioning the pts. As I am performing the exam, a pt knocks on the door, interupting me & the pt. in the room, to ask how long it will be. My blood started to boil, how incredibly rude & inconsiderate! Here I am, running the whole Radiology Dept. by myself, trying to do everything as quickly as possible, w/ this stupid distraction!! When I got her in the room, I told her, "this is not Burger King, you can't have it your way! This is a hospital, you should expect to wait." :nono:

I think that was a mistake and very unprofessional.

The patient didn't know you were by yourself and isn't responsible for staffing issues.

Also, you don't know if the patient had a legitimate reason for needing to leave, and if they were in pain or extremely uncomfortable...I would be asking how long it was going to be as well.

Had that patient complained, you could have ended up in deep trouble.

kstec, LPN

Specializes in Geriatrics/Family Practice. Has 1 years experience.

If the patient was in the ER waiting for an x-ray then a nurse would of triaged the patient and a doctor would of decided whether it was urgent or not. So I don't think he was totally unprofessional. We provide a service but are not at a patients beck and call. No the patient who interupted didn't know someome was in the x-ray room already but someone would've called them when it was their turn. No it's not the patients fault that staffing is terrible, but again we as healthcare professionals are human and normally don't fly off the handle unless we are pushed to the limit. I would hope that the patient would complain, so that may they get more help in radiology, not to the the x-ray guy in trouble. And if you don't speak english in America it does make it harder and more time consuming to get your job done. And no I'm not going to learn Spanish.

I think that was a mistake and very unprofessional.

...I would be asking how long it was going to be as well.

quote]

The patient I was with, like 50% of the other pts I deal with in this Chinatown location speaks chinese, and while I do speak some chinese in Mandarin & Cantonese for basic commands, there are about a gazillion different dialects spoken in China.

It is one thing to ask how long at the front desk or pt. waiting area, before or after a pt. goes into the x-ray room. But it take a lot of audacity to go knock on an x-ray room door while an exam is in progress after 1/2 an hour and claim it was an hour. Not only is it rude & inconsiderat to the worker & patient, you're also lying about the time you were waiting:angryfire. The pt. was in no dire need of medical attention, nor was the pt. a Stat.

The pt. just stated she wasn't feeling well, and was tired of waiting. After it was her turn, I told her what she did was wrong, she preceded to argue w/ me, I took her x-rays, then she apologized afterwards saying, "thank you & I'm sorry we got off on the wrong foot" after realizing how how efficient & quickly I took her x-rays & how professional I was.

kstec, LPN

Specializes in Geriatrics/Family Practice. Has 1 years experience.

Sorry correction, I will not learn chinese or vietnamese either, I assumed spanish, and you know what they say about assuming. OOPS!!!!

Sorry correction, I will not learn chinese or vietnamese either, I assumed spanish, and you know what they say about assuming. OOPS!!!!

Ha ha ha!! ur funny! ;) Thnx 4 brightening my day...approx. 50% of my pts speak Chinese, & 50% speak Spanish. While I learned enuf spanish to speak it well enuf, its not my 1st language & takes a lot of effort to understand & speak it, & to juggle that obstacle w/ my other regular duties can be overwhelming at times...

Ms Kylee

Specializes in Med Surg, Hospice. Has 4 years experience.

We're not at the patient's beck and call? Gee.. would someone tell my patients that, please? They think that they're the only patient on the whole floor that I'm taking care of. :banghead: Actually, they were all pretty good today after I told them that I would be back after I took care of another patient... and the nurse that I cannot stand wasn't on today.

ohmeowzer RN, RN

Specializes in ob/gyn med /surg.

pt's have no idea what goes on in the hospital.. they haven't a clue what nurses or xray techs do.. i tried to expalin to a pt's family today that because they had to wait for a heart cath because we had 2 er patients in front of them and it was a emergency. you think they'd understand? oooh noooo.. they yelled and screamed and made my life miserable all day.. it was horrible.. you try to explain to these people nicely that there were people that came in that were critical and needed help first.. they did not care.. ugh

woody62, RN

Specializes in icu, er, transplant, case management, ps. Has 27 years experience.

pt's have no idea what goes on in the hospital.. they haven't a clue what nurses or xray techs do.. i tried to expalin to a pt's family today that because they had to wait for a heart cath because we had 2 er patients in front of them and it was a emergency. you think they'd understand? oooh noooo.. they yelled and screamed and made my life miserable all day.. it was horrible.. you try to explain to these people nicely that there were people that came in that were critical and needed help first.. they did not care.. ugh

You explained, they still got upset. I am sorry, I don't understand how they made your life miserable all day. Did they continue to stand and scream and yell at you? If they did, why did you remain standing there? I would explain and if a family continued to yell, I would excuse myself. If they continued to yell and scream, I'd call security. No one has to remain in a situation where they are verbally abused. No job is worth that much to me.

Woody:balloons:

teeituptom, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

Why empower the patient to make you mad. It isnt the patients fault.

Take a deep breathe, hold it, relax. just like taking a cxr, but makes you feel better. and it doesnt empower the patient

ohmeowzer RN, RN

Specializes in ob/gyn med /surg.

well i had the wife of the husband calling me up , and then the daughter called me up asking me why i have no idea what was going on in cath lab.. ugh.. well , i just think people don't understand.. i was kind to them and explained the best i could , that emergencies need to go first,, well i have been at this job for 9 years and you think i would get use to people freaking out.. but i don't .. i guess it was just one of those days..i called the charge nurse .. she gets paid 94 cents more than i do .. so i let her work for her money..lol..it worked out allright .. and they cool off after they found out she will need a CABG and the wait was worth it..lol... just another boring day... i kinda like my coworkers so it's worth the heck once in awhile.. lol

canoehead, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

When I work triage the wait is always "at least two more hours" if they are restless. Then if you get them in sooner it's a bonus.

I think that was a mistake and very unprofessional.

...I would be asking how long it was going to be as well.

quote]

After it was her turn, I told her what she did was wrong, she preceded to argue w/ me.

Please tell me that you didn't do this?

I think a more professional approach to the issue would be to explain to the patient (which I thought deserved an apology FROM YOU), that you didn't mean to snap at them, but there are privacy laws regarding patients in the rooms, that you must take patients in order of seriousness of illness or injury, emergencies come first, blah blah blah...that is EDUCATING the patient that may or may not be familiar with how things are done and how formal the process is.

Saying, "And she proceeded to argue with me", implies that you feel like you had some kind of authority over the patient....which you don't have...even physicians don't have that.

Do you get tired of explaining that to people? Of course you do...all jobs have certain aspects of things people get tired of explaining. I went to traffic court yesterday for a ticket and heard, no less than 20 times, the judge explain the traffic school process. I was one of the last people to be heard, but what if the judge said, "I'm not going to explain it to you....you've been sitting here in court for two hours and should have been paying attention." He did it because it's his job to explain it.

I'm not saying that you didn't have a right to be upset...you are human, and it sounds like you were having a very, very frustrating day.

However, I am also a huge proponent on self-control and accountability...I have never worked in a profession where no matter how much I was screamed at, cursed at, yelled at...could I EVER make a statement such as that and expect to keep my job the next day....no matter HOW far you were pushed, and it doensn't sound like this fellow pushed you at all...they just had a question, no matter how ill-timed.

You are not really mad at the patient. You are stressed out beyond you ability to cope by short staffing and the patients are suffering for it. Who is responsible for a hospital having only one xray room and why is it so understaffed. The people that are giving you a hard time for giving patient a hard time are not looking at the big picture. What are the members of these two communities doing to address the problem? They should demand to meet with the people that run this hospital and find out what is going on. Could it be that since the hospital serves only non English speaking minorities the managment thinks it can understaff and neglect?

While I do deeply sympathize with how frustrating it is to be short staffed ... I have to say that I find this statement:

I told her, "this is not Burger King, you can't have it your way! This is a hospital, you should expect to wait." nono.gif

horrifically rude, uncalled for, and unprofessional.

If *anyone* in a hospital/medical care setting dared to say such a thing to me or any of my loved ones, you can bet I'd complain to anyone and everyone who would listen, particularly if the staff then had the audacity to scold me and tell me what I did was wrong.

Everyone's time is important, not just yours. Perhaps what that patient was there for wasn't medically urgent or "stat", but I'm sure it was important to her. She was probably scared and frustrated, and she probably had other places she needed or wanted to be.

If I had to wait for half an hour to get an x-ray, I know I'd go up and try to find out what the delay was and how much longer it would take. Perhaps this patient didn't know who to ask or was not getting a firm response from the receptionist, which is why she felt she needed to ask you.

I understand the big picture. I think almost everyone here knows what it's like to work in an understaffed environment and to work with people who don't speak the same language. I don't think those factors make it appropriate to be rude to people, though. If the situation were reversed - if the original poster had been the patient and had a staff member say something flippant to him/her - I bet the original poster would be pretty pissed.

Honestly - and I'm not trying to be ugly - but since you're getting so much sympathy here and seem to still feel entirely justified in speaking to a patient the way you did - I hope the patient complained to your superiors and that action will be taken. It's *never* okay to treat people that way, no matter how tired and frustrated you are.

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

Honestly - and I'm not trying to be ugly - but since you're getting so much sympathy here and seem to still feel entirely justified in speaking to a patient the way you did - I hope the patient complained to your superiors and that action will be taken. It's *never* okay to treat people that way, no matter how tired and frustrated you are.

I agree, fatigue, short-staffing, stress, rude and bligerant family members and patients, are no excuse for being rude in returrn. We must always maintain a profesional demeanor in words and deed.

It's not easy.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.