Patient going to send nurse to Concentration Camps??

  1. It's another day and another dollar around here and the fun just never ends.

    A patient was making a long rant about Hipanics, African Americans and Native Americans. We have been instructed that we cannot leave this patient's room until all needs are met even if this patient is speaking like this.

    In an effort to get this patient to see that we are all human, I shared with the patient that I was Jewish. We spoke for 5-10 minutes about my Jewish heritage, my family and how we celebrate and honor this Jewish background of mine.

    Two days later I entered this patient's room and I was just a few mintues delayed in answering the call light.

    This patient says to me, "I am going to send you to the Concentration Camps because you are too slow."



    I WAS STUNNED.

    So I said, "Excuse me? What did you just say???"

    The patient repeated it just as clearly the second time; "Yes, I am going to send you to the Concentration Camps because you are too slow."



    I did not respond. I was taught that comments like this are not worth responding to because the person is obiously a completely ignorant bigot. I just went to the bedside and started addressing the needs of this patient, adjusting bedding, empty catheter bag ect...and then excused myself from the room.


    I reported this to my supervisors and they have done absolutely nothing. Their reply is that this patient has the RIGHT to say whatever she/he wants and we cannot dictate what this patient says.

    I completely disagree and I think this is a horrific thing to say to anyone.

    Comments and thoughts are appreciated.


    This is a long-term patient and I will be interacting with this patient for weeks to come.

    Advice?

    Anyone else gone through this?
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  2. Visit Kayauhs profile page

    About Kayauhs

    Joined: Nov '13; Posts: 101; Likes: 359

    70 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    You should have never discussed your personal religious beliefs with a patient ...especially a crazy one. Now he knows exactly which buttons to push.
  4. by   TriciaJ
    He has a right to be as loony as he wants. You have a responsibility to provide care for him. Period. Do not take anyone's stupid stuff personally. Even if he means it to be. If he's being cared for in a nursing home, he is already struggling with powerlessness. Many people don't handle it well. Fantasizing that he has the power to send you to a concentration camp is as good as it gets for him.

    I once had a patient threaten to tell my husband on me; "You know what you done". Uh huh. Yeah, whatever.
  5. by   Kayauhs
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    You should have never discussed your personal religious beliefs with a patient ...especially a crazy one. Now he knows exactly which buttons to push.
    Thank you for your reply, just for clarification, I was discussing with the patient my ethnic heritage, (I am from Jewish descent), not my personal religious beliefs. I realize a lot of people don't understand there are two separate issues there.

    And, you are correct, I don't know what I was thinking except this patient is completely oriented and I thought we were having an intelligent conversation. My bad.
  6. by   Kayauhs
    Quote from TriciaJ
    He has a right to be as loony as he wants. You have a responsibility to provide care for him. Period. Do not take anyone's stupid stuff personally. Even if he means it to be. If he's being cared for in a nursing home, he is already struggling with powerlessness. Many people don't handle it well. Fantasizing that he has the power to send you to a concentration camp is as good as it gets for him.

    I once had a patient threaten to tell my husband on me; "You know what you done". Uh huh. Yeah, whatever.
    I both agree and disagree with you. (How confusing is that!). Yes, I do have a responsibility to provide for this patient, ( I don't believe I stated the gender of this patient). However; the tide is turning in nursing to recognize that nurses are no longer required to be beat up, spit at, physically abused and verbally abused.

    Anti Semitic remarks are not acceptable in any realm.

    This patient is completely oriented and knows exactly what was being said.

    Consider if you will this situation in reverse and this patient had shared with me their own Jewish heritage and I had said, I'm going to send you to the Concentration Camps". I would be fired that day.

    I think it's time that patients are held accountable for their actions.

    Being sick isn't an excuse for being rascist.

    Several hospitals in my area are employing "Patient Behavior Contracts" that clearly state a patient cannot be verbally abusive or racist. We have a large population of foreign doctors here who have to put up with horrible statements on a routine basis.

    It's time for a change.
    Last edit by Kayauhs on Apr 1 : Reason: Spelling
  7. by   caliotter3
    I have learned the hard way that it never pays to express anything personal to the patient/client. Tell them anything about yourself and you can rest assured that somehow, someday that information will be used against you most of the time. Don't try to connect with them. Keep personal information private. Or, don't be surprised when this happens. He couldn't wait to do this to you. Next time, don't give the next individual the ammunition.
  8. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Kayauhs
    Thank you for your reply, just for clarification, I was discussing with the patient my ethnic heritage, (I am from Jewish descent), not my personal religious beliefs. I realize a lot of people don't understand there are two separate issues there.

    And, you are correct, I don't know what I was thinking except this patient is completely oriented and I thought we were having an intelligent conversation. My bad.
    Then don't discuss that, either. And no politics!
  9. by   Kayauhs
    Quote from caliotter3
    I have learned the hard way that it never pays to express anything personal to the patient/client. Tell them anything about yourself and you can rest assured that somehow, someday that information will be used against you most of the time. Don't try to connect with them. Keep personal information private. Or, don't be surprised when this happens. He couldn't wait to do this to you. Next time, don't give the next individual the ammunition.

    I completely agree with you! I'm just kicking myself for giving the ammunition with a nice pink bow. All wrapped up and ready to use.

    Lesson learned. Every single day I learn something new after all these years. I'm going to dust off, shower and go back to work. Thank you for your well thought out response.
  10. by   Kayauhs
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    Then don't discuss that, either. And no politics!
    No kidding. What was I thinking? Never again I assure you.
    (and NEVER politics!) haaa!
  11. by   NightNerd
    For clarification, management is saying that you can't leave the room and come back when the patient has pulled himself together? I've had some luck - not all the time, but occasionally - with explaining that I don't engage in these conversations and will continue care after s/he has refrained from rudeness. If they're alert and oriented, I don't feel bad giving them a moment to reflect them on how they treat others before continuing (non-emergent) care. That being said, some people will always be nasty and we do have to treat them, in which case I do my job and get out of the room, minimal verbal interaction, no pleasantries.

    I agree with the advice above to never share anything personal, anything that has meaning to me. Even with patients who are kind, I feel like it takes away from the time we have to talk about the patient's health, questions, etc. My personal life and history has no place in work conversations.
  12. by   K+MgSO4
    Rights and responsibilities of patients information.

    Neuro psych if any question over cognition.
    If NAD, expedite treatment, behaviour contract, no home services and bye-bye.

    Why is the NUM/DON and consultant letting them get away with this...I have been off for Easter but got a call from my ANUM asking if it was OK is she pressed charges on a patient who racially abused her. I drove into work to support her doing so. I do not stand for that crap.

    Also you need to reflect on why you thought disclosing your heritage to an offensive patient would be a good idea. You are no different to the other nurses who have been caring for him or her and it is doubtful that they would of had a lightbulb moment with you.
  13. by   djh123
    I don't think you said anything about their mental status. If someone has dementia, Alzheimer's, (in some cases) Parkinson's, multiple personalities - I let whatever they say slide right over me, because they're not in control of what they're saying. I'm not saying I'm defending your patient at all; I'm just wondering. Unfortunately, though, even if they have all of their faculties, yeah, the attitude is usually that we can never rebuke a patient.
  14. by   Kayauhs
    Quote from K+MgSO4
    Rights and responsibilities of patients information.

    Neuro psych if any question over cognition.
    If NAD, expedite treatment, behaviour contract, no home services and bye-bye.

    Why is the NUM/DON and consultant letting them get away with this...I have been off for Easter but got a call from my ANUM asking if it was OK is she pressed charges on a patient who racially abused her. I drove into work to support her doing so. I do not stand for that crap.

    Also you need to reflect on why you thought disclosing your heritage to an offensive patient would be a good idea. You are no different to the other nurses who have been caring for him or her and it is doubtful that they would of had a lightbulb moment with you.
    I love your response and strength that comes through in your words! I TOTALLY agree, sharing my own personal information with this patient was my bad. I assumed I could make a difference and well all know what 'assume' means.

    Putting up my armor again.

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