I'm Worried...

  1. Hey everybody......

    Wether you know or don't know, I'm a nursing student working as a CNA for the summer. I absolutely love my chosen field and I even like working as a NA. My problem is my mouth. I have and have always had a bad tendency to mouth off to people who are being rude to me. I am not a hothead and I don't do it to just anyone, matter of fact, I'm pretty laid back and easy going. It takes a lot to get me hopping. The problem is, when I am yelled at or fussed at (can you tell where I'm from ? ) and I know I didn't do anything wrong, I am very quick to let the person doing the yelling know that I didn't do anything wrong.
    For instance.... a couple of nights ago ( I work 3-11) I was picking up supper trays on the floor. I had handed out trays on one side of the hall but because I was swamped, a nurse helped me by handing out trays on the other side. Anyway, I was picking trays up on the side the nurse had taken, I went in a paitient's room and asked if he was through with his tray. He was on the phone and said that we hadn't even brought him a supper tray. Well, I was sitting there looking at a supper tray that hadn't even been touched! I told him that this was a supper tray. He proceeded to yell at me and tell me that when we hand out trays, we need to wake people up and let them know! Okay, I understood that he was upset but I couldn't help but adding, and these were my exact words "Sir, I'm not the one that brought this tray in here." He did apologize, blamed his temper on "that medicine hanging there" ( NS of all things). I offered to heat his food up and he was fine.

    My problem is that I'm scared that my mouth will get me in trouble. Anybody have any suggestions?
  2. Visit Kaleigh profile page

    About Kaleigh

    Joined: May '02; Posts: 28
    I am a nurse's assistant for a hospital.


  3. by   Mattigan
    With experience and practice you can get a pretty good grip on your mouth. I know - my mouth has always been my very worstest enemy. I have been working in hospitals since 1975 and every now and then it still betrays me.
  4. by   live4today
    Hi Kaleigh
    Have you thought about taking an anger management class, as well as an assertiveness training class? You can probably take these classes in the continuing education department of your local community college. I took them, and am glad I did.

    Often times, we ACT before thinking...and REACT at all the wrong times due to our childhood upbringing. Taking classes that can help you to confront issues that cause you to be angry and have angry outburst, or cause you to smart off the mouth instead of managing the conflict at hand in a more appropriate way would go a long way in warding off a potential firing from your job, or being ousted from the nursing program. :kiss
  5. by   Starkid2616
    Dear Kaleigh,
    First of all, you have to understand who you are talking about. These are sick people who are miserable. in other words take from who it comes. I know rudeness
    is not neccesary, but alot of these folks are venting. Also, i have learned over the years if you are kind to a rude person, you will see their whole attitude turn around. And one more thing,lol their is nothing wrong with standing up for youreself when you are right. If you do it in a very suttle way it is more effective than the defensive attitude. Keeo up the good work.
  6. by   BadBird
    Well my dear, it might get you in trouble, then again there is nothing wrong with being assertive. The fact that you are well aware of it tells me you could control what comes out. Remember it isn't always what we say but how we say it.
  7. by   Stargazer
    I agree with Starkid. People get cranky when they're feeling sick and powerless, and you are supposed to be their advocate, not kicking them when they're down. On the other hand, I've found that 9 times out of 10, people--pts, docs, fellow nurses--can be charmed or kidded out of a bad mood.

    You WILL have to learn to be assertive, but that is not the same thing as being aggressive, or rude. There is a big difference between a quiet "I will not allow you to speak to me that way" and "How dare you, you jerk?"

    In the situation you described, I thought your response was appropriate. Like all things, it gets easier with practice and experience. The fact that you're aware of a potential problem and looking for solutions is encouraging.
  8. by   night owl
    This is where the expression BITE YOUR TONGUE comes into play. Believe me Kaleigh, you're talking to the "hot and cold queen." I've bitten my tongue so many times it's a wonder I still have it! They need to have a sound proof room on each unit where you can go into and vent your heart away. You close the door and verbally assault NOBODY. You can scream, cuss, swear whatever it takes to get rid of the anger you felt in the patient's room. When you come out, you're feeling wonderful! I can just see you now..."Excuse me, I'll be right back..." {{{{SLAM!}}}}"... #$$^*&(&*^^%%#@, ^+-%&$#@, AND $#@!$^&*(*#, @*&%, $%#@^&!!!! and f*** you you BLaher blahba-er!!!! " Much better now... In all seriousness, control is the key word here and in time you will learn how to be assertive without being aggressive. An assertiveness training course and an anger management course as Renee mentioned would be a very good solution to the problem.
    Well there are a few things in this business you have to learn,
    1. when to nail your tongue to the floor to keep it from flapping
    2. when to pry the nail out and let it fly
    ( Can you tell we are from the same area)
    Understand that when you deal with sick people you will have actions and words said to you out of illness, worry, fear, attention , and even medications. Dont take those personal at all, it happens , evaluate the situations and deal with them as best as you can and sometimes the best that you can do is walk away for a moment and eat the words you wish to say.
    You will get them from the patients , thier family and even the people you work with . Evaluate the situation and see if it is that or is it something underlinning that the person just may need to get off thier chest.
    It is best to handle situations like this and others with a nailed tongue and a large ear, most of it is an underlinning case and the person just needs an outlet.
  10. by   Youda
    The assertiveness training class is an excellent idea! I have a tendency to flare, too. But, I "tune into" my emotions. If I feel that "flare" start, I immediately say, "I'll be right back." I turn on my heels and do not show my feelings EVER to the patient. I leave the room until I have cooled off or send someone else in to handle the problem. I then congratulate myself for being "in control" of *ME* when the person who hollered at me wasn't in control of themselves at all. Usually, just that thought allows me to go back and deal with the situation better. Another trick I use when I feel the "flare of anger" is to objectify the situation. In other words, I try to see everything as an OBSERVER, not a participant. That allows me to really see what is happening with the patient: the furrowed brow, the angry hand mannerisms, the loud voice, and that allows me to do an ASSESSMENT and an INTERVENTION. Maybe the patient is in pain, needs a referral to social services because he isn't coping with his illness, etc. Another way is to just repeat what the person said, like, "You're upset because your food is cold." Then shut up and wait for a response. OR, another good answer would be, "what can I do to correct this for you?" The point is that when you see people's bad behavior as a SYMPTOM (anger, fear, feelings of helplessness, poor coping, etc.), you can deal with it appropriately. Tell yourself that you will CHOOSE, instead of just knee-jerk react, how to calm the situation down in the best way. Those are my tricks for keeping my mouth under control. You'll find your own ways, too.
    Last edit by Youda on Aug 8, '02
  11. by   MishlB
    You better learn to bite your tongue, especially with patients. It's not about you, it's about them.
  12. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heat of texas

    If you cant say anything nice then dont say anything at all.
    quote unquote Thumper the magnificent
    circa walt disney

    doo wah ditty