1. I had a male patient tonight whom I have taken care of for 2 nights now. He continuously says very lude remarks, and when I was bent over administering an IV med he started rubbing my back, telling me he had a crush on me and how his wife and him were over so him and I could date now. As if! The entire night he would find excuse after excuse, even going so far as to tug his IV out so I would have to go in and spend time with him to replace it, could come up with a million and one tasks that involved me bending over in front of him. How degrading and humiliating! I so wanted to tell him where to stick his totally unwelcome advances, however, this hospital as with many others thinks the patient is always right, even when you are being sexually harassed and degraded. How can I handle it tactfully, I pray he is discharged but I just do not have that kind of luck.
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    About huggietoes

    Joined: Mar '02; Posts: 133; Likes: 3


  3. by   live4today
    Next time he tugs at his IV and requires a new a MALE nurse from ER to come start it for him. That should do it! :kiss

    Nighty night! Sweet dreams! Hope you dream about that PRICK where you are smiling as you go towards him with a big ten inch 16 gauge needle to STICK him with. :chuckle :kiss
  4. by   dianah
    Report this to your supervisor, ask to be reassigned, maybe go in w/a security person . . . hmmm, most hospitals have a WORKPLACE sexual harrassment policy (w/hierarcy of people to report incidents to), but we as nurses should not have to tolerate such behavior from the pts!! Anyone else have any other suggestions??? Did you say anything to the pt: I am assigned as your nurse and your advances to me are unwanted and will not be tolerated. If you touch me again I will consider filing charges of assault. Do I make myself clear?? . . . or something like that.
  5. by   patadney
    Do NOT bend over him,walk around the bed-stay at arm's length,raise the bed up when you are working so you don't have to bend over. Next night,ask that he be assigned to male staff. Hopefully you have a few male nurses-perhaps make a note on cardex to that effect (male staff only)Remember,he is in the hospital because he is sick and not all people who are sick are nice people to begin with. Good luck!
  6. by   Nurse Ratched
    Ugh. I get this at times. I am always very blunt with the offending person, at first saying simply, "I am your nurse, and that is not part of a professional nurse/patient relationship." "You will remove your hand now," can be added for emphasis if needed, along with the appropriate withering glare.

    That shuts down most of them. If the person continues, the next response is, "I f you were doing something like this at your workplace, it would be considered sexual harrassment. It is here, too. Last warning."

    Then it's the biggest, burliest male nurse I can find. In the absence of one being available, I call security to accompany me into the room.

    And if the hospital has trouble with you telling a patient that this kind of behavior is inappropriate, then throw the phrase "hostile work environment" at them and have them run it by their lawyer. You'll have no trouble.
  7. by   kmchugh
    Shooooot. Next time he pulls out his IV, give me a call. I'll come start a 14 or 16 gauge IV at the base of his thumb. Won't use any lidocaine, either. Though, I'll probably miss two or three times...

    When that's over, he may come up with some other ploy to get you in the room, but I give you my cast iron promise he won't pull any more IV's out.

    Report this creep.

    Kevin McHugh
  8. by   Nurse Ratched
    Kevin, yet another reason I *LOVE* male nurses .
  9. by   kmchugh
    Oh, one other thing. You said "...he started rubbing my back, telling me he had a crush on me and how his wife and him were over so him and I could date now."

    Just tell him "I think I need to have a talk with your soon to be ex. Since it's "over" now, I'm sure you won't mind me talking to her, and she won't mind your behavior."

    Kevin McHugh
  10. by   boggle
    Hate that kind of behavior too!

    I agree with setting limits, stating that the behavior is inappropriate as DINAH and NURSE RATCHED suggested.

    Taking a step back to consider the WHY behind the behavior helps, too.

    Most of the patients I've dealt who behaved like this were very threatened by their present illness/condition. It looked like a fear of loss of control, loss of masculinity.....that kind of threat. Kinda sad really. Like little kids acting out when scared.

    Then again, there are those patients who are just creeps to begin with!!!.
  11. by   amblessing
    Yucko! This is why I want to work with babies! They don't pat your fanny, make lewd remarks, yell because they don't like food, blah, blah, blah.
  12. by   researchrabbit
    It is creepy! Try Nurse Ratched's solutions above.

    If the harassment continues, though, ask for help from the most assertive nurse on your floor and LEARN from her!

    And in the future you might try this. A lot of times with this kind of guy you can defuse the situation by making it clear that you are revolted by the unwanted attention in a polite way (for example, if the guy is at least a few years older than you, you might say "EUWW! You're old enough to be my father!" or "Ugh, I could NEVER even consider dating a patient -- that could get me fired!" or even (with a laugh) "Thanks, but I'm not attracted to men!" Accompany this with the appropriate eye widening and polite look of horror -- practice in front of a mirror). This will pretty effectively "wilt" the guy's interest and he will also have nothing to complain about to administration (after all, you have not been rude!).

    Also, do whatever you have to do to keep from bending over (it's better for your back anyway). Pull up a chair and sit or prop the arm up on a pillow. Stand as far away as possible so he can't touch you. If you have to be in touching range (for example, for IV meds), state "Don't move. I have to pay attention to this or you might get hurt" -- and if he moves, repeat SHARPLY and FIRMLY, "Don't move!"

    And last, but not least, develop your own "mom" voice and demeanor (works well on immature people like this guy!).

    Take care and good luck!
  13. by   RyanRN
    All the above suggestions are good. One point, I see NO reason why you 'tactfully' have to handle this situation. Just say and do what you have to - right is right and this loser knows darned well what he is doing is wrong. You are being manipulated and intimidated. Lay it on the line in no uncertain terms.
  14. by   JeannieM
    Huggietoes, you are being sexually harrassed, and you most emphatically DO NOT have to tolerate this treatment. Complete an occurrence screen, go to your supervisor and report the behavior. Do not accept being assigned to this individual again. If your supervisor does not take your statements seriously, go to HIS/HER supervisor. Behave calmly and professionally at all times, reporting only the facts. "The patient stated, 'I have a crush on you...'" "The patient placed his hand upon my back..." No one, male or female, 18 or 80 who is in healthcare has to submit to sexual harrassment. JeannieM