Terms of endearment - page 3

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   live4today
    Originally posted by NurseDianne
    Ok, I agree, it's totally a redneck, deep south thing. We call everyone hon, darlin', baby, etc.....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.......
    As Sandi Patti would say "I LIKE THAT"...in a very southern tone of voice. :chuckle

    I love being around MOST southerners for that reason, NurseDianne. When I was a traveling nurse and worked in the southern states, I quickly learned that "terms of endearment" were simply part of the culture there, and grew to love it so much when I went home, my northern friends started to tell me "Renee, you've been down south so long, you're starting to talk like them." :chuckle Well.....I would just say "Well....thank you very much!" in my newly acquired southern accent. I accepted what they would say about me "having turned southern" as a compliment.....not a curse.
  2. by   VictoriaG
    I, too, have an OB background and that is why I use "terms of endearment" when my patients need it: when they are frightened or out of control. I agree, it seems a bit condecsending during a blood draw!
  3. by   dachweiler
    I work in a psych hospital in Arkansas. All the terms of endearment are used everywhere and seem to be accepted by most people. (It gets old)

    However, I have found psych patients either love the "sweeties & honeys" or hate it. I try not to use them (I think it's alittle condescending and too familiar)--every now and then I slip with a very elderly or child patient. I have a few coworkers that use them with everyone and don't seem to notice that the patients aren't responding favorably. Just 2 nights ago, a 30 year old nurse called a very psychotic 42 year old patient "sweetheart" and the patient told the nurse to quit calling her that....her name was "Cher" (yes, THE "Cher")
    Last edit by dachweiler on Sep 3, '02
  4. by   Katana
    I grew up in the south so "Hon" was very common and perfectly acceptable term to use.

    Now, I live in the South West. Yes, I still use it occassionally but no where near like I used to.

    One instance where the daughter of a patient objected to my calling her Mom, "Hun" I explained to her that her very confused partent actually responded better and was calmer when addressed in this manner..... and went about proving it right then and there...."Mrs. XXX let me help you get more comfortable." patient immediately started slapping my hands away and told me to leave her alone..... backed off for a minute then reapproached and said, "Hon, let me help you get more comfortable." and she let me reposition her with no fuss.

    Her daughter was amazed. The only explaination I could give her daughter was that it was less formal and threatening to her Mom. The daughter didn't do much in the way of commenting on it but she no longer objected to my calling her Mom "Hun".

    When working pediatrics, I was taking care of a little baby who had respiratory problems and had to be in an infant seat all the time to help her breath... she would kick her blanket off and I would cover her back up and say things like, "let's get those pretty legs covered up, Princess. You don't want all the boys chasing you just yet." Visitor for another child on the unit actually stopped me in the hall and commented on how nicely I talked to that child as well as all the others.

    As in many things in life, it's all in how you preceive things. Some people like it and others are offended, feeling you are getting much too personal with them. You have to feel your way around and fit your conversation to the patient's world.

  5. by   Eeyore
    I get upset when people use tearms of endearment when they are addresing me. I have been known to reintroduce myself on several occassions.:chuckle I do make it a point to know how my pt.s wish to be addressed.I work in TX and most people just like to be called by their first name. I do agree that on peds it is helpful to " make a fuss over them"
  6. by   CATHYW
    I always address folks with their proper title when I first get to know them. If I have them for very long, or if I (or someone else) was about to do something uncomfortable to them, I might say, "shug, this is liable to hurt for just a second." I rarely use "honey," but sometimes use "hon." For children, I say whatever will work.
  7. by   cactus wren
    i confess........ I`m a hun,dear, type of person.........and I also use "young" man or woman alot.Usual age of my patients is about 80, it seems, and especially the men get a chuckle about being called "young". Years ago, near Indian land, i was instructed to call the elders"grangmother,or grandfather", it was considered a sign of reapect. One day had e90ish female patient, and when i called her grandmother she said" now, i don`t know who you are, but I am certain that i am NOT your grandmother....." Good call as I am most certainly not a Native American....... .So much for that therory, at least for that paticular patient. And that`s the key, you have base what names or nicknames by whar the patient wants.....or is comfortable with. Some of my patients are Mr. or Mrs., some are first names, and some are honeys and dearies........just depends......oh still have native American patients, so some are grandmother or grandfather
  8. by   Anaclaire
    I've always addressed my adult clients as "Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. Whatever". Sure, I learned it in nursing school, but I was also an Army brat with a Southern mother--- we HAD to say "Yes Mam and No Sir" to everything and everyone older than us was to be called Mr. Mrs. Dr. or their military rank followed by their last name!!! God forbid the General or someone of higher rank than our Dad call our house and we not use the proper language!!

    I'll admit that I've told a patient, "You've been such a sweetie about this." after starting an IV or something, but never called her "Sweetie" or "Honey" or anything else in place of her name...

    I couldn't care less about being called a term of endearment. I suppose it's my Southern upbringing, but I consider it more of a kindness than an insult... even if they are doing it because they don't remember my name! LOL

    By the way, even though my Mom is Southern, she doesn't call people by terms of endearment. Maybe that's why I've never done it. Anyway, something I think is funny is that my Mom's first name is "Winnie". For some unknown reason people love to call her "Miss Winnie". She tickles me to death when someone calls her that and she responds with a wink and a hearty laugh saying, "Don't you call me Miss Winnie! I haven't missed a DAMN thing!" I've heard her say that all my life. I think she says it more to get a laugh than because the Miss Winnie thing upsets her. Folks still call her Miss Winnie, regardless!

    I'm just so glad I don't tend to use terms of endearment with others and even more glad that terms of endearment used toward me don't bother me! I thank God for such small miracles in my life!

    Peace to all---
    Last edit by Anaclaire on Sep 6, '02
  9. by   Aussienurse2
    I had a patient who used to call me sexy legs, course I followed that up with " Hiya georgeos, how's it hanging" and the conversations used to deterioate from there on....he was 92 when he passed. I think it all depends on the patient....and the setting....and whether the boss is around. We're supposed to be very PC but I never am so they learn to cope. As long as you remember the patient isn't here because they want to be, and it's our job to make them comfortable and if we choose to make the setting a little more open and less intimidating we're doing our job.
  10. by   midwestRN
    Aussienurse2, I like your style. I use endearments a lot. Not on the first meeting, but after I know the pt. I think you have to individualize. Some I continue to call Mr/Mrs. Others are looking for a closer friend in a scary place.
  11. by   MassLPN
    I have to admit, I'm guilty of calling my patients honey and sweetie. BUT, I never talk down to them, or treat them like children. I actually do this in my 'real' life as well.. Everyone I come in contact with is "honey", so it's just a habit. Someone I care about, or care for, or am close enough to gets called 'honey".

    To call someone a good girl, though.... I can't say I do that, nor would I want to do it, or be called that...
  12. by   Audreyfay
    I am guilty of calling one of my clients "my dear" after they know me and I know them. I work with a lot of senior citizens. The only time I was offended by a term I was called...I still think it was just a lack of interest to learn my name...was when a co-worker anesthetist called me "miss"....when I was 9 months pregnant. I told him...do you understand the implications of what you just called me?