I should have said something... - page 3

Recently I admitted a patient in 5 point restraints going through ETOH withdrawal who needed Ativan IVP. A coworker and friend was helping to secure one of his wrists and when the patient wiggled,... Read More

  1. by   chadash
    Sometimes in the moment, you are so shocked that someone would do such a thing, you are tongue tied.
    But the person who did these things either needs anger management, or a major attitude adjustment. If they did this, what else have they done?
    Funny thing, I had a fellow employee slap my hand recently. Odd.
  2. by   Tweety
    I understand. It takes practice and courage. I don't like confrontation and when I do I stammer and get nervous. However, it's an important thing to do and learn. Because going to management does no good. Sometimes it's good to wait and catch your breath and not confront at the time, other times you need to nip it in the bud then and there.

    Don't beat yourself up.
  3. by   rn/writer
    To the OP: Thanks for having the courage to share your dilemma. Please don't let over-zealous criticism discourage you.

    For a handful of people, confrontation comes easily. Perhaps too easily in a few cases. For the rest of us, it's a skill that is learned out of necessity and honed with much (and sometimes painful) practice.

    One of the best ways to handle a situation like this is to draw YOUR boundaries. You can't control the other person, nor can you grow them a conscience. What you can do is take that person aside and state your limits. "I'm very uncomfortable with ________. If I ever see such a thing again, I'll have to report it. Please don't put either of us in that kind of position."

    This might seem like too soft an approach--and certain things would require an immediate response--but it serves a purpose. It puts this nurse (and anyone she complains to) on notice that you DO have standards and you won't be pushed around simply because you're newer.

    It also gives you a chance to grow into assertiveness. And it feels a lot less like tattling.

    You'll have to be the judge of whether it's too late to address this incident. It may not be if you simply state that you were put on the spot and you don't like it.

    The thing is that you usually get farther by stating your own personal boundaries than by trying to argue right and wrong. You aren't judging, just stating what you are and are not willing to tolerate.

    What you can take away from this incident is a determination to learn to speak assertively and acquire confidence through practice. Google assertiveness and learn some of the phrases to avoid and some to latch onto for future reference. Practice in other areas--the grocery store, the dentist's office, with family and friends. When you are assertive, you are basically telling what you think, feel, and need without attacking anyone else. This is an essential life skill no matter where you work, but nursing will give you many opportunities you might not otherwise see.

    BTW, this skill transfers well to working with docs.

    I commend you for your honesty, your concern for your patients, and your determination to grow as a nurse.
  4. by   GardenDove
    Quote from sanctuary
    Thanks, GardenDove, I needed a chuckle.:chuckle
    Why, you're very welcome! :beercuphe:
  5. by   P_RN
    Jesska, I want you to repeat this to yourself until it comes as easily as breathing out and breathing in:


    If you'd like you may increase the volume so the hall-lurkers can hear. Do not defend yourself verbally to the offender. Say:

    Last edit by P_RN on Dec 21, '06 : Reason: typo
  6. by   Jesskanurse
    Quote from rnin02

    She wasn't referring to the pt as a drunk aka skid row bum, wino, pick your alcohol related adjective. She said 'a drunk and uncooperative pt' which from the OP, was true. If I go out tomorrow night, get hammered on margaritas, pick a fight and wind up in the ER in 4-points, darn tooting I'm being drunk and uncooperative. That's completely different from the disrespectful reference to the homeless guy at the bus stop "oh him, he's just a drunk". There's definately a difference
    Noooooooo. My patient was not A) A 'drunk' or B) Drunk as in intoxicated. He was going through ETOH WITHDRAWAL. This is not a state of being intoxicated. This means he hasn't had a drink which is causing him to go into withdrawal. Please people lets read what I originally wrote. Please.
  7. by   P_RN
    Jesska I fear it is you who are not listening. We understand that your patient was in withdrawal. That was not your query. You said you should have DONE something.
    We have given you our opinions. The physical state of your patient was secondary. Should you have said something? Yes. Will you say something next time, I hope you do. Meanwhile concentrate on your question.
  8. by   nursejohio
    oops, i guess i overlooked that part. sorry.