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Angry Nurses - Why?

Specializes in Medicine.

I started Volunteering at a hospital doing some research for the Emergency Medicine Department. I was posted at the Pediatrics Emergency Room and from there I got to see the Nurses that worked for both the Peds and Regular ER Triage (since they were next to each other).

For some reason these nurses were just not happy with their jobs. All the nurses I've seen there had attitudes up to their chin. Even if a patient was totally nice they still provided an attitude. They spoke as if the patients were stupid and treated them without respect.

Yes the ER is a tough spot to be for a nurse, but why take it out on patients? Has anyone else seen this? Are you one of those nurses that get ***** at patients? It sickens me really that these people would choose a profession that stems itself from the genuine desire to help people and take it for granted. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who want to become nurses but couldn't make it. Why do these people deserve it?

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Never judge a book by the cover.

Moving to the ER nurses forum.

jmgrn65, RN

Specializes in cardiac/critical care/ informatics.

Unless you have walked in their shoes,you can't judge. I agree they shouldn't take it out on the patients. But I bet you don't know the whole situation.

IcanHealYou

Specializes in Medicine.

Yea that is true. I'll see how it is once I start school I guess.

Larry77, RN

Specializes in Trauma/ED.

My department has been very difficult lately with a very low morale but this is situational not because we don't like our job. We have had to work short and people are working a ton of overtime (I worked 76 hrs in the last 7 days). We are extremely stressed with our situation, not our job. I love my job as they might as well but the ER can make you cranky because there is a lot of people who abuse our "free" care and live very entitled lives. With more exposure you may obtain a better understanding of where they are coming from.

Hagabel

Specializes in 1 PACU,11 ICU, 9 ER.

I understand how frustrating it can be to meet people who are not happy in their job but as previous posters stated unless you have walked a mile in their shoes you cannot completely understand why they are so negative.

I am one of 'those nurses' who is unhappy on her job(one of my 3 per diem jobs) and am trying to find alternative employment. I am very angry as I have never been put in such a dangerous situation as the ER where I work in my entire nursing career.

I have been a nurse 18 yrs and all in level 1 trauma centers until the last 6 yrs and I have had more negative experiences in the lsat 6 yrs than in the entire rest of my career.

However my other 2 jobs are great and I love them, 1 of them being an ER. 8 or 12 hrs of triage listening to pts who probably 50% of them do not need to be there makes you very frustrated and with management that does not listen also makes you very angry.

However I really try not to carry an attitude over to my pts however minor and inappropriate their presenting complaint to the ER may be.

:banghead:

Blee O'Myacin, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, Heme/Onc.

I started Volunteering at a hospital doing some research for the Emergency Medicine Department. I was posted at the Pediatrics Emergency Room and from there I got to see the Nurses that worked for both the Peds and Regular ER Triage (since they were next to each other).

For some reason these nurses were just not happy with their jobs. All the nurses I've seen there had attitudes up to their chin. Even if a patient was totally nice they still provided an attitude. They spoke as if the patients were stupid and treated them without respect.

Yes the ER is a tough spot to be for a nurse, but why take it out on patients? Has anyone else seen this? Are you one of those nurses that get ***** at patients? It sickens me really that these people would choose a profession that stems itself from the genuine desire to help people and take it for granted. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who want to become nurses but couldn't make it. Why do these people deserve it?

I have a genuine desire to help people -- and don't particulary enjoy being taken for granted. Perhaps the other nurses you encountered felt the same way. As a volunteer, I am doubtful that you were privvy to the particular circumstances that have led to any feelings of anger on the part of the nurses.

I have managed to retain my basic human compassion, but after being a nurse for a few years, I'm nobody's doormat. And yes, I'll get frustrated when dealing with a patient or family member who decides that I'm not waving my magic wand fast enough, or not making with the graham crackers and ginger ale fast enough and I will walk away and perhaps roll my eyes when a patient who comes in with a stomach ache gets put into a hall bed because we have a kid in respiratory distress 3 minutes out and the room needs to be cleaned and prepped before the squad gets there... Or the 8th patient in a row "forgets" to cover their mouth when they cough, or purposely defecates on the floor... Should I go on??

Please try not to judge until you've been in the role. There is no reason to villify the nursing staff when you are there to help them! Why not try to alleviate some of the burden from the nursing staff within your scope as a volunteer? (ie -- get blankets, make a bed, fetch a glass of water if it's OK with the nurse)

Blee

interleukin

Specializes in Mixed Level-1 ICU.

Larry77,

"I worked 76 hrs in the last 7 days"

Who's choice is that?

What would happen if you stopped working so many hours?

Might that absolutely force execs to rethink, rehire, raise salaries to attract more...do SOMETHING to change the status quo!?

As long as you and your colleagues continue to patch the holes why should they make changes and why would you expect a change?

As long as it's working for them don't expect a change

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management.

For some reason these nurses were just not happy with their jobs.

Why don't you just ask them?

IcanHealYou

Specializes in Medicine.

I have a genuine desire to help people -- and don't particulary enjoy being taken for granted. Perhaps the other nurses you encountered felt the same way. As a volunteer, I am doubtful that you were privvy to the particular circumstances that have led to any feelings of anger on the part of the nurses.

I have managed to retain my basic human compassion, but after being a nurse for a few years, I'm nobody's doormat. And yes, I'll get frustrated when dealing with a patient or family member who decides that I'm not waving my magic wand fast enough, or not making with the graham crackers and ginger ale fast enough and I will walk away and perhaps roll my eyes when a patient who comes in with a stomach ache gets put into a hall bed because we have a kid in respiratory distress 3 minutes out and the room needs to be cleaned and prepped before the squad gets there... Or the 8th patient in a row "forgets" to cover their mouth when they cough, or purposely defecates on the floor... Should I go on??

Please try not to judge until you've been in the role. There is no reason to villify the nursing staff when you are there to help them! Why not try to alleviate some of the burden from the nursing staff within your scope as a volunteer? (ie -- get blankets, make a bed, fetch a glass of water if it's OK with the nurse)

Blee

Well from the way they present themselves I made a judgement. People do this all the time. I do understand however that nurses have a lot of work on their shoulders.

I wouldn't greet someone with an attitude in any circumstance. Some of the patients I've seen were brand new but for them asking a simple question with a simple answer was just too much. I would be mad too if the patient was inconsiderate to me but these people weren't.

I would've loved to help but the position I was in was to do research for my director so I was doing a whole other job.

IcanHealYou

Specializes in Medicine.

Why don't you just ask them?

You know what, I really wanted to haha. I wanted to just walk right up to them and ask why they were so bitter. Too bad I stopped volunteering before I could do it.

Sounds to me like the OP thinks he/she understands what its like to be a nurse, even if the OP is saying he/she doesn't. If you are not a nurse (and nursing school doesn't count) you can't really understand the stress that nurses are under. I find it hard to believe that all the nurses at this ER were just so wicked that they were rude to all the patients for no reason. I find it easier to believe that you do not know the full story. Other people on this website may disagree with me when I say this, but I feel that this is a forum for nurses to come vent, share stories, and not feel the pressure to defend ourselves. To come to this website to ask why nurses are so angry and to ask if we are one of the nurses that ***** your patients, or what ever you said, well, I find that rather offensive. None of us were there with you, so we can't tell you specifically why Nurse X said when she said. So really you are coming on here to vent that nurses are rude?? That's how i see it. Honestly, if you want to put down nurses, you can go to any other website out there. Because the general public is so ignorant to what we do as nurses and people want us to eat poop with a smile, that they are quick to put us down. (If we don't smile while eating the poop)

Again, I might be the only one that feels that way, but that's just how I see it.

Under staffed, underpaid for hours. madatory overtime, no lunch, no break, take a number. It is not the patients fault but you try to work 12 hours with no time to eat or pee and see how much of a good mood your in. Then add your lead telling you they are short for night shift so your gonna have to stay an additional 3 hours.

I totally agree about passing premature judgement but some nurses actually are nasty pieces of work. I work in a county facility and see the same amount of (non-emergency) unneccessary cases in the ER. And yes is it frustrating when they come in yes.. well judge not less yee be judged. I go above and beyond trying to help my co-workers deal with the huge patient load by thinking ahead and offering to do whatever I can under my CNA but yet I still have issues with some nasty attitude nurses. Today I had one who actually got an attitude with me for setting her up for an IV on pt by bringing the chart and all the stuff to her table because when the attending came to look for her at the patients bedside, as usual she wasnt even there. I wasn't ugly about seeing her everywhere but with her patients gabbing to other nigerian nurses in another language (so noone but them understands, we have no african patients). I was trying to help so that whe she did decide to show back up and deal with the asthma patient sattin 90 she could get it done. I realize I am not a nurse (I start nursing school this fall) but I do strongly believe that we are supposed to work together as a team to give the best care we can in a timely and compassionate manner. I take offense to nurses who don't want to work together and complain to management when I call them over to make sure they see the sores and sundry issues so they can document them. I don't care if the cheif complaint on the homeless man was SOB, if he has PCP and a level 2 decubitus somebody needs to document it so it can be addressed either on the floor or with a followup in the EC. I am not gonna ignore things to make their lives easier and they have no right to be nasty to me because they have to do some more paperwork. I try to make up for it even with whatever else I can do while they document. I also take offense to nurse who don't witness something and can't make accusations to management that I am doing procedures I shouldnt trying to get me wrote up, but they don't have the guts to document false accusations. Sorry this is turning into a vent,,, but all the nasty hearted mean back biting nurses who are not in the EC to provide patient care and are only there to get a paycheck, watch out because I will be a GREAT NURSE in the ER soon and when I'm in management we will have no tolerance for this behaviour. I will work my unit myself before I would allow this to continue.,

IcanHealYou

Specializes in Medicine.

Sounds to me like the OP thinks he/she understands what its like to be a nurse, even if the OP is saying he/she doesn't. If you are not a nurse (and nursing school doesn't count) you can't really understand the stress that nurses are under. I find it hard to believe that all the nurses at this ER were just so wicked that they were rude to all the patients for no reason. I find it easier to believe that you do not know the full story. Other people on this website may disagree with me when I say this, but I feel that this is a forum for nurses to come vent, share stories, and not feel the pressure to defend ourselves. To come to this website to ask why nurses are so angry and to ask if we are one of the nurses that ***** your patients, or what ever you said, well, I find that rather offensive. None of us were there with you, so we can't tell you specifically why Nurse X said when she said. So really you are coming on here to vent that nurses are rude?? That's how i see it. Honestly, if you want to put down nurses, you can go to any other website out there. Because the general public is so ignorant to what we do as nurses and people want us to eat poop with a smile, that they are quick to put us down. (If we don't smile while eating the poop)

Again, I might be the only one that feels that way, but that's just how I see it.

Why would I come here to put down nurses if I want to become one. You shouldn't take offense if you aren't one of them. My question is why are they angry, and you're answer is because they are under a lot of stress, so I guess because of stress its ok.. I'll definitely look down upon nurses that are rude to patients just because they are under stress. I'll dish attitude if it was dished to me, nurse or not. I was sitting there 6 hours a week just watching them do their job. I have never seen them once be courteous.

I understand the stress, I don't understand why some nurses must take it out on patients. It's a choice, you don't have to be a nurse if you aren't happy with it and you knew what you were getting into.

But I'm sorry if I was offensive to anyone here, maybe when I do become a nurse one day I'll understand why common courtesy can be lost under stress.

IcanHealYou

Specializes in Medicine.

I totally agree about passing premature judgement but some nurses actually are nasty pieces of work. I work in a county facility and see the same amount of (non-emergency) unneccessary cases in the ER. And yes is it frustrating when they come in yes.. well judge not less yee be judged. I go above and beyond trying to help my co-workers deal with the huge patient load by thinking ahead and offering to do whatever I can under my CNA but yet I still have issues with some nasty attitude nurses. Today I had one who actually got an attitude with me for setting her up for an IV on pt by bringing the chart and all the stuff to her table because when the attending came to look for her at the patients bedside, as usual she wasnt even there. I wasn't ugly about seeing her everywhere but with her patients gabbing to other nigerian nurses in another language (so noone but them understands, we have no african patients). I was trying to help so that whe she did decide to show back up and deal with the asthma patient sattin 90 she could get it done. I realize I am not a nurse (I start nursing school this fall) but I do strongly believe that we are supposed to work together as a team to give the best care we can in a timely and compassionate manner. I take offense to nurses who don't want to work together and complain to management when I call them over to make sure they see the sores and sundry issues so they can document them. I don't care if the cheif complaint on the homeless man was SOB, if he has PCP and a level 2 decubitus somebody needs to document it so it can be addressed either on the floor or with a followup in the EC. I am not gonna ignore things to make their lives easier and they have no right to be nasty to me because they have to do some more paperwork. I try to make up for it even with whatever else I can do while they document. I also take offense to nurse who don't witness something and can't make accusations to management that I am doing procedures I shouldnt trying to get me wrote up, but they don't have the guts to document false accusations. Sorry this is turning into a vent,,, but all the nasty hearted mean back biting nurses who are not in the EC to provide patient care and are only there to get a paycheck, watch out because I will be a GREAT NURSE in the ER soon and when I'm in management we will have no tolerance for this behaviour. I will work my unit myself before I would allow this to continue.,

I totally agree.

CritterLover, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER, ICU, Infusion, peds, informatics.

could you be mistaking a "no-nonsense" attitude for bitterness?

when i did triage, i tried very hard to not be too friendly.

sometimes, being really friendly is necessary -- some kids, patients who are reluctant and scared.

however, most of the time, being too friendly just invites the patients to chat, and elaborate -- two things you don't have time for in triage.

i frequently had to cut people off mid-sentence. while it may seem rude, bitter behaviour; it was really just me trying to cut through the extraneous information, to figure out what triage cateogory the patien belonged in, if i needed to do anything else at that time (labs, ekg, iv), and can this patient safely sit in the waiting room for a while?

when i would ask "what brings you here tonight?" and the answer started with "well, i've had this pain in my side for the past six months...." you better believe i'm going to cut that story off, and interrupt with a "but what caused you to come in tonight?"

i wish i could have been more chatty and friendly (and when the waiting room was caught up, i often was); however, getting people in and out was more of a priority.

IcanHealYou

Specializes in Medicine.

could you be mistaking a "no-nonsense" attitude for bitterness?

when i did triage, i tried very hard to not be too friendly.

sometimes, being really friendly is necessary -- some kids, patients who are reluctant and scared.

however, most of the time, being too friendly just invites the patients to chat, and elaborate -- two things you don't have time for in triage.

i frequently had to cut people off mid-sentence. while it may seem rude, bitter behaviour; it was really just me trying to cut through the extraneous information, to figure out what triage cateogory the patien belonged in, if i needed to do anything else at that time (labs, ekg, iv), and can this patient safely sit in the waiting room for a while?

when i would ask "what brings you here tonight?" and the answer started with "well, i've had this pain in my side for the past six months...." you better believe i'm going to cut that story off, and interrupt with a "but what caused you to come in tonight?"

i wish i could have been more chatty and friendly (and when the waiting room was caught up, i often was); however, getting people in and out was more of a priority.

hmm maybe you are right critter. perhaps those nurses are just really good at their jobs because of experience and they have learned to work efficiently. (not being sarcastic) many have said i must be a nurse to understand all this, and i really hope i will once i start working.

i really can't wait to start classes and to work in the hospital.

I can second that fact sometimes it does take prodding and direction to get only the pertinent details for the triage because there is a lot involved in quick assessments and people tend to ramble about things that don't have anything to do with what they are complaining about. But we as care providers have to at least try to care and prod them in a considerate manner. Sometimes though cutting them sort causes harm as my nurse found when she misjudged a pts CVA and triaged her as non emergent because she thought she just had a fever (shakes) by the time the woman got processed paperwork done... the oncoming triage nurse found out she had just been discharged from one of our floors with another cva incident and had only been out 3 days. Come to find out that's just how she presents (shakes and fever) she had had another one while waiting... pt ended up in ICU. Nurse theng got mad at me for letting her know how pt ended up.

It is the other way round where I work. The patients are some times very abusive to the staff. I remember a patient i covered for a co-worker that asked to see a doctor, after the doctor went to her she said to him to get her a real doctor that speaks english properly and knows what he was doing. And is not just what she said, it was how she said it. Anyway, he was the R3 and from Ukraine, none of the rest of the doctors spoke better english. So she grumble all night. Her nurse complaint about the patient tone of voice all night. This happens a lot where I work and we the nurses have to be polite to the patient no matter what.

I'm not saying there aren't angry nurses who treat patients bad but don't generalized from your experience in one just one hospital.

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