Terms of endearment - page 2

After a quick scan of the various topics, I didn't see anything pertinent to this, so I'll throw it out: I was recently hospitalized for 11 days at the local county hospital. During the time I was... Read More

  1. by   Ex130Load
    Personally, been called a hella-of-a lot worse. Those names would be a welcome step up.

    In all seriousness, it'd be "water off a duck's back" to me. I agree with all of the others--can be condescending, it's regional, reassuring, unproffessional, just trying to be friendly, etc.

    However, just reading from your posting, you're part of the problem. It's within your power to tell'em how you want to be addressed. Yes, I know that could quickly get tiring and that some of staff will perceive you to have an attitude...which is why I'd probably just "go with the tide".
  2. by   bagladyrn
    Guilty as charged : ) Not with elders, but certainly have used "terms of endearment" with my young OB pts. along with hugs and hand holding. Not all of them - after a while you get a feel for who won't respond to such treatment. And I must confess that I've never been able to break the South Baltimore habit of calling people "Hon". Anyone who's spent any time there can tell you how ingrained that is.
  3. by   mark_LD_RN
    i don't see it as such a big issue.

    first of all it is NOT meant as an insult or to be condiscending at all. i work in OB area and I call almost all my patients Baby. I am a very caring and sweet person and my patients love me. they respond well to it because i guess they can tell i am sincere. If i fell someone don't like it i will make a effort to be sure to call them what ever they like. I do not buy into this whole medical model thing . I am the nurse you are the client crap. I treat my patients as i like to be treated and in a very friendly manner. I have never been afraid of using terms of enderment,olding a patients hand or giving a hug when appropriate, Have no plans on stopping it either since my patients really seem to like it. I have worked several areas and have never had a problem with my approach. i agree with nursedianne that In OB area it seems to work really well. but it has worked equally as well for me with elderly patients and when i worked psych. I quess it depends on the people involved.
  4. by   Nurse Ratched
    I don't think you're being unreasonable - we should all be called as we wish. For some reason, there is not a person that comes through my unit that goes by his or her given name, and we try to address them their preferred name.

    But I am guilty of terms of endearment (although not "girl" - seems strange for some reason.) After so many years in geriatrics, I have been "honeyed" and "deared" by my beloved residents to the point where it's just natural to return the affection. Plus, in psych, last names are a no-no. I, too, have use Miss Firstname. If I get the vibe that "dear lady" or whatever isn't a welcome term, then I switch, but I've had many mentions from pt's in evaluations for my friendliness/caring attitude and if it's coming out naturally then most people seem to respond positively. Being hospitalized, as you well know, is not a fun experience, and if I can improve it even just a litte by this, then I am glad of it.

    BTW - if you sat still for a PICC line, they should have given you a medal! Those things hurt . Hope you are much improved!
  5. by   Tookie
    Where l work this is a really important issue - It is the facility's policy and all staff are, on orientation and reminded if it is noted that they slip from the accepted mode - All residents are to be called by their prefered name.

    This is identified in their care plans and in varoius other sources to ensure that all staff (and volunteers) call people as they wish to be known.

    Endearments - are nice - in the right place - But l loath being called sweetie/love etc at the checkout and other places -

    So when we work at our faciltiy we beleive it is an acknowledgement of the whole person as an individual and for their dignity to address them in the manner that they would prefer and identify - (or their NOK will identify this for us) My mother would hate to be called anything else except Mrs or her given name.

    Dignity is hard enough to achieve in any aged care facility - but its harder when you are lumped together as 'love or sweetie' - to me, IMHO, it says I cant be bothered remembering your name so l will call you something nice.

    So, because we are consistant about educating staff re this - most of the staff comply - and will quickly remember when they do it accidently - Also another thing - No one ever refers to the person in room so and so.

    We are not perfect - but we do try and remember the person that we are caring for is, and has always been an individual who has contributed to this world and most often for a very long time and are now dependent on us for their care.

    So Mamabear agree completely with you.
  6. by   nimbex
    The hardest part of moving down south for me was the Miss Susan, Mr. Billy... ect.

    Then I started getting called sug. (as is sugar),(pronounced shoog) Hun. is included too. I've noticed that these endearments are passed back and forth between patients and caregivers, and families showing affection (The nurse calls the patient hun, the patient responds with sug, the family watches and responds by saying you the nurse, are the sweetest thing, and they call you honey pie.

    No one, except me the northerner had seen a problem with it. Now I may slip and use one once in awhile... I find it puts a smile on my face to be on the receiving end....

    No disrespect ever meant on either side.... it feels quite welcoming, must admit.

    Mind you, when my only knowlege was NY, these interactions were TOTALLY disrespectful and avoided. Just different where I am now.

    Interesting how our greetings show such a national diversity, when in daily practice we are similar in so many ways.
  7. by   hapeewendy
    I agree that it can be condescending and unprofessional , I got reamed out by a patient when I was a new grad no less for sayin something during a conversation - not even quite sure I was referring to her even - like m'dear etc , she really laid into me , raising her voice and everything, I humbly apologized and never did it again but around my office she became known as the grizzly old lady - is that any better than m'dear?
    I mean lets face it , we all slip up , my intentions are never to belittle or degrade and I do believe my patients know that , it works both ways though, I happen to not enjoy being called honey or baby or the likes but I certainly dont get angry if someone , especially a patient, calls me that.
    there is a way to let your nurse know how to addresss you. You dont have to be nasty and you dont have to be rude about it.
    if someone requested I adress them a certain way , I would do so , end of story
    it doesnt have to be a big melodramatic moment full of emotion and pent up anger.
    I'm there to do you a service and the "customer" may always be right but its all in the approach.
    if you tear a strip of someone you better believe that they are thinking of worse names for you than m'dear or honey or darling etc.
    having said all that I am going to try my best not to use these terms when dealing with patients.
    I Can see how from their point of view it probably makes them feel even more powerless than they do already.
  8. by   NICURNtobe
    I'm in TN and was told never to call a patient "hon", "dear", etc. I agree that it can sound condescending and unprofessional. I didn't hear it alot in S. FL but here in TN it's everywhere.
    Last edit by NICURNtobe on Sep 2, '02
  9. by   JeannieM
    I had a Southern-fried mother, and I grew up hearing "hon" and "sugar" every day of my life! I'm in Texas and we have clients who are almost offended if you DON'T address them with such terms of endearment! Once again, probably an area thing, and certainly should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. (And I have been known to hug patients too!) Point well taken, though.
  10. by   mamabear
    Thanks for all the responses.
    I realize that, in a lot of cases, "honey" and "sweetheart" are regional things; I lived in Norfolk, VA, for 4 years.
    I, however, live in northwest Indiana, about 20 minutes from Chicago, where I grew up. Nobody addresses total strangers like that, regardless.
    This whole thing came to a head when I was languishing in the hospital with a particularly nasty bout of acute pancreatitis. A nurse from another unit was floated to the med-surg where I was. After umpteen "dearies", "honeys", ad nauseum, I asked her if she had floated from peds or geropsych. She said no, but she had spent a good deal of time teaching staff development re: effective communication skills I let her know that I was 56 years, have two college degrees, and found her unnecessary endearments offensive and inappropriate.
    Keep 'em coming. I'm glad I'm not the only one
  11. by   h2ogoddess
    Just don't call me Ms. anything, I HATE that "title">
  12. by   NurseDianne
    Ok, I agree, it's totally a redneck, deep south thing. We call everyone hon, darlin', baby, etc..........:roll I admit I do gage the patient prior to using any "term of endearment". We southernerns are a touchy, feely kind of folk. :kiss , I admit to calling our patients, Ms.... or Mr....., we see them so often. They know us, so......how's the wedding plans coming, or does your youngin' like school this year?" It's just us, the only time I can see uncomfortable folks, is the "snow birds" that travel thru, and occasionally have to stop for help. If they stay with us for over a few days, we always get complimented on our hospitality. I even had a man from Canada ask me for a Georgia peach to take home. When I politely told him that peaches were out of season, he told me he was refering me me......:imbar
    It's all in the way the "term of endearment" is delivered. I suppose if any of ya'll were to step into our ER you would think "sexual harassament". But, we are friendly, touchy, and the most careing people around. When I travel, I constantly hear people say........"talk for us"..........ugh....... And my "term of endearment?"......."is there anything I can get for you hon", "it's alright darlin' that's my job".......etc.......
  13. by   Brownms46
    NurseDiane...that is one of the things I liked about the south.. That kind of down home warmth...even though I'm from WNY..
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Sep 2, '02