Quote from CCRN_Marie
You also have the power to stop this. As a mandated reporter, you have to protect the patient whether from themselves, yourself or colleagues. It is important that you understand how powerful you are in the nursing profession. When we see evil and do nothing, we let the evil doers go and perpetuate the cycle.
I say this because the nurse abusing the patient is wrong, for sure, but how you deal with that defines you.
There will be loads of times when you have to be an advocate for your patients. More often than not, it is a healthcare provider such as yourself or a doctor, will not see eye to eye. It is essential that you develop the skills to be assertive without being aggressive.
Are these nurses using very harsh, unprofessional language? Yes.
Is there a very bitter, stressful environment in that hospital? Most likely.
Is there clear patient harm and abuse? We don't know. For all we know, the nurses in that unit gritted their teeth and did their job well enough when they exited the station.
As a student only armed with textbook knowledge, I saw many things in hospitals that I considered "wrong" or "bad practice." As a more experienced nurse, I no longer have a black and white view. I did not have the insight to know what I do not know, what I would do when faced with the same stressors and how people cope with the difficulties and ambiguities of patient care. There is a blurry line between unprofessional behavior and truly harmful abuse that warrants reporting, but there is one.
How would you deal with the situation the OP presented? Talk of advocacy is well and good but I would like to know specific actions you would or have taken in the same situation. I am having a problem seeing how a student has the power to stop the negativity.