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Did this patient overreact?!

Nurses   (8,313 Views 48 Comments)
by Apatientnow Apatientnow (New Member) New Member

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You are reading page 4 of Did this patient overreact?!. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

248 Likes; 1 Follower; 13,043 Visitors; 1,364 Posts

I'm calling troll/bot post here.

There seem to be a lot of these lately. "Ectopic abortion" etc. Wondering how much extra traffic these inflammatory posts bring to the site.

Anyway, I'm tired of it and it makes nurses look bad.

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282 Likes; 7,886 Visitors; 728 Posts

I'm calling troll/bot post here.

There seem to be a lot of these lately. "Ectopic abortion" etc. Wondering how much extra traffic these inflammatory posts bring to the site.

Anyway, I'm tired of it and it makes nurses look bad.

Join date: 12/14/18. First post: this thread.

Victim blaming? Check.

Rug sweeping? Check.

For all involved, the OP has got to live under a bridge.

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macawake has 10 years experience.

2 Likes; 72,086 Visitors; 1,101 Posts

I told her she should have had on underwear and that she should be used to having it all hang out since she's had a few kids here. But we provided underwear since she left her extras at home.

I'm always suspicious of first-time posters whose first literary contribution to this forum is about either penises or vaginas. The above quote doesn't help. At all.

Anyway, you're asking a question that the internet cannot answer. How could we possibly decide whether the hypothetical patient overreacted or not, when we have no way of knowing what actually took place in that hospital room. Only two people know. The patient and her nurse.

I noticed that some posters have gotten a bit upset about some of the things you've written here. To me they're odd enough that I don't think I'll bother getting upset about them... I'll still offer my opinions on some of the things you bring up, because I think they're valid regardless of whether the specific incident described has actually happened.

...according to her she made two attempts to cover her privates with her gown but he kept forcefully uncovering them...

If things happened the way the patient described it, then of course that wasn't an acceptable way to behave towards a patient (or any person). The clue is the word forcefully. We don't forcefully conduct medical examinations and the fact that this happened near the genital area isn't even the point. You don't forcefully stick an otoscope into a patient's ear if they're saying no or are actively trying to pull their head away either. This was hardly a medical emergency where a delayed intervention might have cost a patient his or her life and even in such a situation there are ethical and legal aspects that have to be considered.

Then our head nurse came onto the floor to talk to the patient who was heard sobbing.

I had noticed her not eating and acting unusual today....

She was crying and shaky today when I went to her room and discussed it. She barely ate all day.

Whatever happened or didn't happen, you are clearly describing a patient who is suffering/troubled by something.

I guess barely eating and fear over it seems a bit much considering the setting is a hospital.

I know that you edited your post but you initially mentioned back alleys and parking garages and contrasted them to a hospital. Your thinking to me demonstrates a profound lack of understanding about sexual assault. If a person is sexually violated in some way, do you think they should feel less upset about it because of the setting it happened in?

If anything it might even be more psychologically damaging in a hospital room than in a back alley, because in a hospital room you're vulnerable due to your illness/condition but you do have an expectation of being safe and cared for by a trusted profession, whereas most people are probably more on guard and "threat-aware" if they have to walk through a dark alley.

He was not assisted by a female nurse. But also according to her he did not do anything to her privates. He just touched her legs and then faced the camera back on her after allowing her to dress up.

So if I understand this correctly, the patient isn't claiming she was actively sexually assaulted, but that rather that physically prevented from trying to shield the parts of her body that she did not want exposed?

As I metioned previously, we don't forcefully examine our patients. In this hypothetical situation the hypothetical nurse should in my opinion have explained beforehand what needed to done in order for him to check out the patient's complaint regarding pain and asked if it was okay. Areas that don't need to be exposed are normally left covered and if the patient wasn't wearing underwear (which is her business and nothing for you to opine about), you get something to cover her up if the gown hadn't been enough.

One thing worth considering since you appear to think that it's strange that a patient would be sufficiently upset after a nurse has forcefully removed their gown from their genital area that they'd cry and call their husband. I've never experienced sexual assault and I still wouldn't appreciate (one damn bit) if a nurse did anything forcefully to me. And I would let them know. Imagine however how a person with a history of previous sexual abuse would react in the situation you described. Suddenly crying, not eating and calling their husband doesn't seem so strange, does it?

She has had children so obviously she has been exposed on a number of occasions and now he feels uncomfortable and embarrassed.

I think she overreacted considering her child birthing days are not too far in the past.

I've been to the dentist dozens of times. My dentist still asks me to "open wide" instead of forcefully prying my jaws open. If I for some reason had a new onset anxiety attack at next dentist appointment he wouldn't say, lady I've seen your tonsils and thousands others, stop being such a fuss. Patients or any other person, have a right to their bodily autonomy and integrity. The fact that a specific orifice has been on display before doesn't change the fact that we as nurses should explain what we intend to do and ask if it's okay, and it doesn't mean that people can't be shy or uncomfortable for whatever reason. Seriously, enough with this childbirth thing.

He is well respected here. Hes married and used to seeing female genitalia and male. We are nurses for crying out loud.

I'm not saying that the male nurse did anything inappropriate because as I've already stated, I wasn't in the hypothetical room. I can't even begin to speculate about it.

What I can tell you is that a person's marital status or their profession is irrelevant. It's not like all sexual predators are single electricians or all thiefs are divorced museum curators.

If you think being married has anything to do with the will and capacity to commit sex crimes, the crimes are primarily power and control related/motivated, not motivated by sexual need or desire.

About the camera, I don't see anything strange with it being turned away from the patient if they need to get undressed or if any type of invasive exam/procedure needs to take place. I'm assuming the camera is there so that the patient can be monitored (for medical safety reasons) when the staff aren't present? As a patient I would refuse to even have a bandaid slapped on while "on camera". Actually I'd likely refuse the camera altogether. I'm fine with my nurse or physician seeing me naked if it's necessary but I'm sure as heck not fine with having an unknown number of strangers whom I cannot assess, doing the same.

I'm not an American. We're big on integrity in my neck of the woods. We can't even have cameras in the cells in police stations or in prison cells, only in the public/shared areas. It's considered an invasion of privacy.

One final thought. If a nurse, male or female, is concerned that patients will level false allegations against them, they need to bring a coworker along each and every time you enter the patient's room. It's in my opinion absolutely pointless to do it only for Foleys or procedures involving the nether regions. If a patient is going to falsely accuse someone, the reason that someone was in the room is of no consequence. You can sexually violate someone in less than a minute even if they start off fully clothed.

Thankfully most patients, most people, don't make false accusations. The few times I've felt that something was a "bit off" with a patient, I've brought someone along with me on a couple of occasions. But the rest of the time, I'm fine on my own. Personally, I think the same goes for male nurses. Use your people reading skills, take care to inform patients properly and listen to their requests. That applies whether you're a male or a female nurse and with both male and female patients.

You can't really protect yourself against every possible threat out there, but you can be situationally aware and make a habit of treating other people, including patients, with respect. I think that goes a long way.

Edited by macawake

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AnnieNP has 20 years experience as a MSN, NP and works as a Nurse Practitioner.

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I seriously doubt the OP is a medical professional!

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macawake has 10 years experience.

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I seriously doubt the OP is a medical professional!

Why do you have doubts? :wideyed:

I mean, in my hospital we always refer to childbirth as "letting it all hang out".

And we always talk to our patients like that too :lol2:

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AnnieNP has 20 years experience as a MSN, NP and works as a Nurse Practitioner.

49 Likes; 1 Follower; 2,937 Visitors; 346 Posts

Why do you have doubts? :wideyed:

I mean, in my hospital we always refer to childbirth as "letting it all hang out".

And we always talk to our patients like that too :lol2:

I have my doubts based on what the OP claims to have said to the patient. The whole story sounds sketchy to me.

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience.

520 Likes; 1 Follower; 5,629 Visitors; 768 Posts

Why do you have doubts? :wideyed:

I mean, in my hospital we always refer to childbirth as "letting it all hang out".

And we always talk to our patients like that too :lol2:

And, I always hear medical professionals refer to keeping a female patient covered as her "vagina".

Yea, agreed, serious doubts!

And OP didn't answer my question if she/he was a nurse.

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72 Likes; 4,719 Visitors; 285 Posts

The nurse in question should not have exposed the patient over her objections or without explaining the situation to her beforehand. Of course, I have no way of knowing of that's what he did.

Using your intuition and good, clear communication in these situations is very important. The nurse needs to try to figure out how the patient feels about the care about to be provided even if the patient doesn't say so clearly. Of course, this is easier said than done, and it leads to situations like the one here where it's not clear after the fact what exactly happened. Aside from having an attendant in every room with every nurse in every situation, I see no perfect fix.

I think this is a dangerous practice by the male nurses in your unit. They are easily, exposing themselves to unnecessary sexual harassment accusations. How hard it is to ask a female colleague (CNA, HUSC...it another nurse in not available) to be present for female foley insertion. We live in a very litigious society...male nurses, be aware.

Delia, with no offense intended, you sound very much like you are not male and do not work at the bedside. Most hospitals do not have the resources to provide female escorts for all male-on-female care, even for situations where an escort has not been requested. Workflow and time constraints do not allow for it.

Instead of throwing male coworkers under the bus pre-emptively for not adopting unrealistic and very burdensome practices in response to sexist expectations, try listening to people who have to deal with these situations. I would have to have a female nurse spend 4 hours a day watching over me if I adopted your recommendation. It'll never happen.

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14 Likes; 4,423 Visitors; 192 Posts

In case other posters haven't made it obvious to you by now, NO, she was not overreacting and both of you should be held accountable for your inappropriate behavior towards this patient. Lord have mercy on anyone that treated me this way. You were both completely inconsiderate of her sense of privacy and modesty. Be more mindful and sympathetic. Even if everyone here was saying she was overreacting, who are you to tell her how she should feel with strangers seeing her nude? You don't know her background or beliefs, but it doesn't sound like you'd care anyway.

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twinmommy+2 works as a ED RN.

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I have experienced Military Sexual Trauma, and if I were in her position, in a hospital and on medications alone, and a male were to come in and turn the camera and expose me like that I would react like she did. It makes not one iota of difference that she had childbirth experience and the nurses on this unit need to be more cognizant of how a person in the patient's position would feel.

PS, I've had childbirth as well. This post just makes me angry for her.

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Woodenpug is a BSN and works as a challenging.

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Why would I need to palpate the bare thighs of a patient with an unclear description of thigh pain?

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traumaRUs has 25 years experience as a MSN, APRN and works as a Asst Community Manager @ allnurses.

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As the OPs user name indicates they are a patient, we will close this pending further discussion. Thank you everyone for your advice.

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