Published May 25, 2011
You are reading page 6 of Calling a Patient 'Sugar': Abuse?
Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP
Perhaps it is cultural/regional; would those of you who are amazed at the possibility that others find this to be inappropriate be okay with your banker, doctor, child's teacher, grocery clerk, boss, or other total stranger calling you sweetie or honey?
In this neck of the woods, most of the above happens and it really doesn't bother me. 'Honey' and 'sweetie' are a part of everyday life down here.
Having said that, I can understand how it bothers some people and don't think any less of them if it does.
Horseshoe, BSN, RN
If a banker called me "honey" or "sweetie," I would find that patronising and condescending. If, when addressing my daughter's teacher, she responded by calling me, "sugar," I'd wonder if she lost her mind. I wonder why we as nursing professionals would see it any differently.
It would not outrage me for a nurse to call me "sugar," but I would definitely find it forward and inappropriately familiar. Though CERTAINLY not abusive.
i would say that its unproffesional. ALways call your adult patients by the proper name(mr or mrs smith) unless your patient has asked you to call them by their given name (tom or mary, or miss mary etc) with children and teens use the given name and with patients around your own age you can go either way depending on the patient. But never hun or sweetie unless your in LTC and have a relationship with these people.
calling it abuse is absurd.
Well, sugar, I am gonna get my butt sued off if I can't call people 'sugar, honey, sweetie.'
lol as a mother and a sweet southern belle, i call everyone and my dogs sweetie, sugah, and dahrlin. Ill be biting my tongue all through clinical because my instructors have FORBIDDEN the use of any "terms of endearment" with our patients
ashleyisawesome, BSN, RN
seeing as im only 22, i dont feel comfortable calling my 80+ year old residents at work "sweety, sugar, honey" or anything of the like.. since i work in an ALF i know them pretty well, i call them by their first names. I have one that i call granny, but she insists. haha..
at the hospital when im in clinical, if its an adult i usually address them as mr or mrs soanso, and ask if they mind me calling them by their first name.. however im in my peds rotation now and ill usually call them by their first name.. unless its a baby, then i call them "oh-so-cutie-baby-aww-so-pretty-sweety pie!" i have not had one objection yet!
xtxrn, ASN, RN
I think it depends on the person (patient/resident) and the relationship (acute care or LTC) AND- most important, what the resident/patient wants to be called. :)
In Texas, it was a pretty safe choice to use ma'am or sir (I miss that here in the midwest). It was a term of respect, not so much endearment, so not as likely to be misunderstood ime.
Now, there were some residents in LTC that I had closer relationships with (even working in MDSs)...one Hispanic gentleman who didn't speak much English at all (but understood enough to get by) called me "La Gringa Mexicana"- which makes absolutely no sense, but it was our joke.... I called him "Señor". :heartbeat
I also had a grumpy old fart (who I adored ) who would scream out my name "______, are you gonna grease my butt?" ALL over the wing- great with families touring the facility . I called him by his first name- and the other nurses simply referred to him (when talking to me) as "your son"...:rotfl: It worked for that relationship, and no offense was intended. His family was just glad someone liked him - LOL.
When we had BBQs (including beer for the residents who had ETOH orders) a few of the ladies would get a serious buzz...there was all sorts of joking about the "wild women driving drunk in their wheelchairs"- it was part of the fun :) But a newer resident would be addressed differently, until he/she was comfortable being called by their first name, nickname, or whatever.
In acute care, it was Mr/Mrs/Ms _______, until told otherwise. Most wanted a more casual name- others did not. We had a large vet population (and VA hospital) but sometimes they needed something at the community hospital and would come in- we ALWAYS asked if they wanted to be called by their rank. Some did. Usually the ones who were the most scared.
I had to teach the "no terms of endearment" stuff when I taught CNA classes. It was in the curriculum. And, if they were used to not learn the persons' actual name, I supported it. But in LTC especially (or any setting where there is a longer patient relationship) the individual and their needs/qualities/etc always entered in to what the resident was called.
But no- it's not abuse. That word is used way too freely and can have some really damaging effects on the one being "accused". You don't want to do it in front of a state surveyor (THEY get uptight about it)...but if there's some name the resident wants to be called- put it on the care plan...then there's not much anybody can do about it :) The resident has the right to be called whatever they want. We have the responsibility to follow their lead....imo :)
The resident has the right to be called whatever they want. We have the responsibility to follow their lead....imo :)
I think one day when I am old and in the nursing home, I will want everyone to call me 'Admiral.' Or maybe 'Janis Joplin'.
I get what you're saying, and agree with you.
skylark, BSN, RN
I have a question -
does the age of the nurse make a difference?
I only ask because I have coworkers that use these terms to patients, and it seems fine. Somehow it sounds motherly and comforting.
And yet I recently had a student, maybe 20, who addressed everyone as "love", and for some reason that we could not figure, it was very condesending, and irritated both nurses and patients.
I think one day when I am old and in the nursing home, I will want everyone to call me 'Admiral.' Or maybe 'Janis Joplin'. I get what you're saying, and agree with you.
I want to be called "Princess Sheeba of Saturn"
Ruby Vee, BSN
i have a question - does the age of the nurse make a difference?i only ask because i have coworkers that use these terms to patients, and it seems fine. somehow it sounds motherly and comforting.and yet i recently had a student, maybe 20, who addressed everyone as "love", and for some reason that we could not figure, it was very condesending, and irritated both nurses and patients.comments?
i only ask because i have coworkers that use these terms to patients, and it seems fine. somehow it sounds motherly and comforting.
and yet i recently had a student, maybe 20, who addressed everyone as "love", and for some reason that we could not figure, it was very condesending, and irritated both nurses and patients.
i think it has something to do with the age of the nurse, but probably more to do with attitude. people know when the person addressing them with endearments is condescending or when it's sincere or when it's just the way that person talks.
When I was in the hospital a while back I made it very clear I didn't want to be called by any little pet names. I also made it clear I do NOT wish to be called "Mr. Jones" under any circumstances. There's an issue there that would take too long to explain even if I wanted too but that's the way I feel.
Would I have considered any little terms of endearment abuse? No way. But I do find it offensive and don't practice it myself. I find out up front how my pts. want to be addressed and try to respect their wishes.
Someone mentioned earlier that they might call a male pt. "chief". I can tell you that is just about the quickest way I can think of to totally pi$$ off a Native American. My mother was half Kiowa and half Comanche so I know from whence I speak.
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