Be polite, I don't have superpowers!

Nurses General Nursing


This is a bit of a rant. I have noticed that for some reason people think that I can comprehend and respond to 3 different conversations at once. FYI I can't. Yesterday I was talking to the unit secretary, she was showing me how to work the new faxing station because I needed to fax a new order. While she is doing this the CNA comes up and starts telling me about a possible room change for another patient. The CNA does not say "excuse me" She just starts talking, the secretary just keeps talking, and I guess another Nurse saw that I have some extrasensory powers that allow me to hold 3 coherent conversations at the same time and starts asking me about a patient's belongings bag! All of these people were in the same room and all of them saw that I was already talking to someone else. No one stopped to let the other person finish...

So I lost it!!! Haha JK, I have been doing this long enough to know that going off on people gets you nowhere, especially if you are new to a facility. I just smiled and said with a bit of a laugh, "hold on, there are 3 of you talking to 1 of me!" They all giggled, the secretary kept talking and the other 2 waited for her to finish, I think it dawned on them that there was no emergency and they were being a bit rude.

The rant is not because this happened once. It is because it happens all the time! I remember being on the phone with the lab because there was a critical value, I was actually speaking into the receiver and the nurse manager walked up and started telling me that I needed to go do a dressing change on a patient (FYI it was already done, she just assumed it wasn't, she was a horrible manager but that is a different rant), there was no question that she didn't realize I was on the phone, as she was standing in front of me staring at my face.

Those are just 2 examples, there are more but you get the point.

When someone is obviously talking to someone else wait your turn, few conversations on the floor are long and drawn out, you usually will not be standing there more than 15 seconds, if you must interrupt just say "excuse me". I'm pretty sure the concept of waiting your turn starts being taught in pre school. If you are trying to give information to someone who is not fully paying attention there is a good chance part of the message will be misunderstood or missed all together. The point is that we are all busy, respecting your colleagues doesn't take much effort or time. If no one is dying then don't be rude!

i used to say that when we graduated they took away our crystal balls and magic wands, and now we had to make do like regular people. usually got a smile for that.:thankya:

as long as i have been in health care, it has been like that. I totally agree we all need to be more understanding of others and what is going on around doing this it will make a much better atmosphere to work in.. bad thing is, everyone is usually busy and they need to get the info out there so they can move on and do their things as well.. this is how i have handled it in the past, i tell my staff if you need something please just leave me a note on my cart and i will get to it as soon as i can, if it is not an emergency then it can wait, i say this with a smile and let them know i think it is important what they need to tell me, but i have a million and one things going on at once and i might forget so this way i have it in front of me as i prioritize what i have to do.. NOW to only get patients to understand this .. hum that's a whole other issue!.. lol

Specializes in Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff.

lol, this happened to me the other day. I was in the middle of typing out a d/c when the d/c planner needed to talk to me. About then the MD wanted to tell me something. So here I am trying to listen to those two people. Just when I thought I was doing ok, my manager comes to me and wants me to get up, leave these two people, and go fix a beeping IV pump that was not mine!

I put up my hands and told them all to STOP (in a nice tone). But geez.. I only have two ears.

Like you, they all saw me talking but wanted to get their say in and leave.

That annoys me sooo much! It also annoys me when the staff who are polite enough to not talk over others are literally waiting in line to speak with me & they each hurriedly rattle off what they have to say, one immediately after the other, without so much as allowing me to breathe much less process what the heck they had to tell me. I am a nurse, not a computer!!! ... & then they walk away, content to give me their *important* info but not really caring if I understood the significance? What gives?

lol. I'm a cna and I will be paged to 3 different rooms at once then a minute later they will redo the pages in a more hasty tone. And they keep paging every minute until myself or someone else answers the page. I don't know why they expect me to be able to be at multiple places at once, I want to yell at her to calm down and I'll be there when I be there. And they know that it's me because they say my name each time.

I get it too! I always say, "I'm sorry, my clone did not show up to work today." Usually gets the point across.

Specializes in Ambulatory Surgery, Ophthalmology, Tele.

I was describing this to my hubby this morning. :lol2:

Yesterday I was standing at my med cart charting. I received a phone call on my Vocera speaker phone that is clipped to me (can't remember if it was the pharmacy, lab, or a family member of a patient :bugeyes: but it was one of those). At the same time, to the left of me my charge nurse walks up and asks if I can trade patients with another nurse because the patient was unhappy with the other nurse (they ask me to do this about once every 6 months), to the right of me a doctor is asking me if I can translate spanish for him, and diagonally to the right is a doctor sitting at the desk charting (he had just arrived and I paged him 30 minutes prior because someone had new onset hematuria, I really wanted to talk to him first). Wow, REALLY? You guys..... I am ONE person, you know? :nono: I translated for the doctor, the doctor I wanted to speak with left (grrrrr) and the charge nurse fortunately was able to fix the problem without having to switch nurses.

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

Because of the way my brain is wired, I've never been able to handle multiple communications at one time, not even when my kids were little and tried to get my attention when I was on the phone. I've learned how to accommodate this disability by holding a hand up in warning and saying (firmly, but politely), "I can only deal with one of you at a time. Please wait until I'm through here." If one of the interruptions is for something that really can't wait, I'll put off the person I'm working with at the time, apologize (easier to ask forgiveness than permission) and then go do what needs doing right away after promising the first person to get back with them as quickly as I can.

This is the only way I can manage the insanity. There are those who don't like it, but it is the only manner in which I can stay functional and NOT start screaming at everyone, which isn't professional and would probably get me fired. :coollook:

Specializes in PACU, LTC, Med-Surg, Telemetry, Psych.

I sometimes tell my patients that I would use my super power to split into two people, but I can not because the facility would have to pay me twice as much!

Specializes in Emergency.

Happens to me all the time. And I was part of it. When I started my new job- which is more "political etc" someone called me on it. I do think we should call each other on it. How rude we have all become!

While I understand your frustration, you were able to accurately explain all the conversations. :)

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