Chatty Patients, Busy Nurse



Hello everyone. I work in a sub-acute rehab facility (no more LTC, woohoo!) Anyway, my biggest obstacle in getting all my patients cared for on time are patients keeping me in their room just talking and talking etc. When I worked in the hospital setting as a tech, it was easy to have a patient care tech or nurse pretend to need me so I could get out of the room.

But the way this facility is set up, there are no CNAs around. (Because obviously they're in patients rooms working.) I've tried flat out saying I've got to go, but my A&O x3 patients keep rambling on.

The repercussions? The next patients waiting for me are very upset because they had waited so long. So I'm yelled at. I explain (while I'm doing whatever task they need) that sorry, I was tied up in a patient's room. Then THAT patient tries yapping away as I'm done and trying to leave to get to the next pt. waiting for me. In my head I'm yelling at them...."THIS! THIS is why I don't get to you on time. Because another patient was talking my head off, and now you're doing the same thing, making me late for my next patient!!!"

Of course I like talking to my patients, but for reasonable amounts of time.

Any ideas?

BrandonLPN, LPN

Has 5 years experience. 3,358 Posts

I just say something like "Okay Mr Smith, I need to go see another patient, but I'll check back on you soon...", and walk out of the room.

Sometimes the Chatty Cathys are still talking when I'm halfway down the hall, but that stopped bothering me quite a while ago.

Lev, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency - CEN. Has 7 years experience. 9 Articles; 2,802 Posts

You can go in saying "Mrs. Brown, I'm here to give you some medications and then I'm going to move on to the next room. Is there anything I can get you right now? I'll be back to check on you later. "



22 Posts

When I first started nursing I used to be terrible about getting hung up in pts. room's. Luckily I've got better at having a conversation as well as getting things I need done in a timely manner.


~PedsRN~, BSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Care Pediatrics. Has 4 years experience. 826 Posts

I usually use the "I'll be back to check on you" line as well. I can get caught by chatty parents. I have gotten really good at getting out of the room. :)

Pangea Reunited, ASN, RN

Has 6 years experience. 1,547 Posts

I also frequently say, "Talk to you later." or "I'll be back to check on you soon." And in some cases, I'll do something playful as I walk out to lighten the mood and close the interaction in a positive way. That could be a little spin, a goofy face, etc. I've also used, "You're too much for me! I've got to get out of here..." when a patient is being silly or controversial.

In any case, I never feel bad about leaving.

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative. 6,923 Posts

Just tell them you have to get back to work and leave. It takes practice.