Getting Trapped in Patients Rooms

  1. Hello, all. Well, I'm back again for some more good advice. You all give such good advice all the time.

    Here's my problem: I have a hard time getting away from talkative patients. I just don't know how to get them to end the conversations without getting firm. You know, I'll say something like, "Well, I have to go, I'll see you in a bit". And these people will keep talking like I haven't got anything better to do than stay in their rooms all the time.

    I love my quiet patients who don't talk much. And I noticed that it's mostly the little older patients that give you this problem. I guess because they are often so lonely and want companionship. And i am a really nice, sensitive, person. And I think that I am guilty of approval addiction. I am trying very hard to be like the other nurses who i work with who can just go into a room and show no emotion, but they do their jobs well. But, when I turn my back and walk off from the talkers in mid-sentence, I always get the butterflies in my stomach as if I've done something that wasn't right.

    Please help me. I can't keep letting these people control me with on-going talk even after I've told them that I got to go. Do you think it would be bad of me to just walk off while they are talking? Because that's what I sometimes feel like doing. Because I told them that I was busy and didn't have time to talk in a very nice way. They don't do this with the nurses that show them no affection. I feel they are taking advangtage of my kindness. How can I get away without feeling guilty? I sometimes feel that being nice is a curse and I wish I could be a little more non-chalant.

    Thank you in advance.
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    About OliveVinesRN

    Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 100; Likes: 4
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Med-Surg/Long-Term Care


  3. by   nurse4theplanet
    I have struggled with the same issue. I always find it awkward trying to end a conversation and feel that I am not very good at it, coming off as blunt of uncaring sometimes.

    I try to find natural pauses in the conversation and ask, "do you need anything else before I go?" This works sometimes...but it can still be difficult.

    I know what you mean about the little elderly patients that have long hospital stays with few visitors and just like the interaction, not realizing that you have other duties to take care of. I try to spend my down time in the room, sitting and talking with them.....actually mostly listening. I have had several patients cry when I tell them that I am leaving at the end of a clinical day and I will likely not see them again because they will be d/c'd before I return. It tears at my heart strings. I would hate to be that lonely. I know when I get sick, I really crave attention and companionship.
  4. by   hipab4hands
    I used to tell talkative patients that I had to leave, because other patients needed their scheduled meds/treatments/etc., but that I would be back at (fill in whatever time) and would continue our talk then. I would then exit the room.
    I always made sure that I did follow up with them as promised, and it cut down on the number of "call bell" calls.
  5. by   mandana
    I like to schedule myself. So I say something along the lines of, "You are very interesting/fun to talk to/pleasant/whatever. I have X other patients to see and today I need to do X, Y and Z with you. When I come back to do X, Y and Z with you, can we continue this conversation then?"

    Then when you go back, start with "So you were saying blah, blah, blah". It's a good way for me to make an exit, make sure they know what I expect from them and what they can expect from me as well and then when you come back and remind them of what they were saying, it makes them think you really care.

    Usually, these folks are the sweetest and the most afraid.

  6. by   imenid37
    Some rooms are truly Black Flag Nurse Motels. You know nurses get in...but they can't get out. I often say something like.. "Wow, I love talking to you, but I've got to go give meds or a tx, or feed a baby, etc.
  7. by   suzanne4
    Worse comes to worse, you can ask the secretary to page you in ten (?) minutes or set an alarm on your watch. Or if you can use your cellphone, just set the alarm on it.