What sets my teeth on edge... - page 2

Why is it that when a normal, adult, professional nurse starts working with an elderly patient, they immediately start talking in that annoying high-pitched, lilting voice that most people reserve... Read More

  1. by   Furball
    Does anyone else think that Matt resembles the neurotic kid named Cameron in the movie "Ferris Buellers' Day Off"?
    Matts' cuter though...wink.

    Back to topic....those high pitched syrupy voices get to me too...ug. It REALLY hit me when I heard an ICU nurse talking to my gravely ill Dad like he was a 2 year old..grrrr. Felt like slappin'the syrup right outta her.
  2. by   RNKitty
    Okay, naive little blonde here - what is a sushi whore?
  3. by   mattcastens
    Wow! I just wanted to get something off my chest -- I wasn't expecting so much ... support! Thanks!

    Sushi whore: Let me put it this way, when my fiancee and I go out for sushi, our bill is usually more than $100 -- about ten of it is her's.

    Jenny: Byerly's sushi will do in a pinch. It's not the greatest, though. I would recommend either Oragami (in the warehouse district, right across from Theatre de la Jeune Lune), Sushi Tango (in Calhoun Square), or Yumi's (in Excelsior). I got a sushi kit for Christmas and want to start making it, but I don't know where to get good fish.

    As for the picture ... Cameron Fry, eh? That's a new one. I do get the "you look like..." comment a lot, never Cameron, though. I've had Kevin Costner, Matthew Modine, Noah Wyle, and (my favorite) Harrison Ford. :chuckle I know ... I don't see any of them either. Oh, well.
  4. by   semstr
    First thing I tell my students in geriatric class, Talk to these old, wise people the way you'll talk to others!
    I forbid dearies, honnies, granddad or ma and here the "du".
    Something you don't have, but here you talk to people you don't know or you respect highly, with "Sie", that's formal.
    Never say "du" to someone you don't know, and never say "du" to an older person.
    (Although du and Sie mean you, it is like in French the tu and vous)

    Also the highpitched, baby voices, they drive me absolutly mad!!
    Wouldn't want to be talked to like that when I am old!!

    Take care, Renee
  5. by   RNforLongTime
    I usually talk to my patients (most of whom are elderly and hard of hearing) in a slow but loud voice so I am sure that they can hear me. I try NOT to call them 'honey", "dear", "sweetie", etc. because it is offensive. I find it offensive when someone calls me any of the above names and they are not my mother or husband. I hate it when someone calls me dear! I am an almost 30 year old adult not an 11 year old! So, I can imagine that if I find it offensive then they probably will too.
  6. by   Jenny P
    Okay, first of all, I do not use a high pitched voice when talking with anyone. I was an alto or a tenor in high school chorus, so I don't think I have a high pitched voice. Secondly, I address almost all elderly patients with "Mr." or "Mrs." or "Ms" until they give me permission to use their first name instead. However, I have caught myself calling someone "Dearie" - and ONLY that term, in a few instances where (as I said before) I have really liked a little old lady who reminded me of someone special. And I've used the term mainly when I have to do a complex or painful procedure.

    Matt, I guess I live in the wrong area of town-- I'm on the northeast end of the Cities, so that's why I hit upon Byerly's sushi. Hubby has used fresh albacore tuna and fresh salmon, both from Byerly's fish dept. for his, plus he's done lots of veggie sushi. We will have to go and check out Oragami and Sushi Tango, but Yumi's will require a special trip because that's about a 45 min. drive for us-- too far for a sushi attack!
  7. by   P_RN
    Oh my......I guess being a Southerner, we might do things a bit differently.

    I'd NEVER call a senior by their first name......BUT here it is entirely permissible to use Miss Susie or Mr Clyde.....that is after you know them for awhile. Otherwise it's Mr. or Mrs. Smith etc.

    My DH's mother is in a nursing home and they call her Miss ApplePie. She is indeed elderly but not OLD if you catch my meaning. She loves it. She says that she's either Miss E or Miss Apple Pie......(she has a shirt with big red apples on it).

    The dearie and hon.....I'll admit when I can't have a name on the tip of my tongue....you know a brain fart....then a Hon might escape....Dear ain't Southern though.

    Diff'rent things for diff'rent folks.

    Oh "Ma'am" is *REQUIRED* around here. I guess not so in other parts of the USA.
  8. by   mario_ragucci
    Empathy is a quality not all care providers have. Some people just gloat in the fact they are able-bodied, so they talk down to those that are not. It's very wrong, and I hate it too.
    I hated it when I was in clinicals and the older folks couldn't feed themselves, didn't want to eat, and couldn't talk...thats when it bothered me the most. I used touch during those times, and retina to retina communication techniques. Many of the other students baby-talked the older adults, and it was boarderline revolting with me. I wanted to be their voice, and in some instances I was. I'd wait till the "baby-talker" was in the break room, or something, I'd listen to them, then (with my own abilities) baby-talked them, with an adult voice. It upset them. Didn't get me anywhere, but, they knew what it meant to be spoken down to. I shouldn't do that, and am realizing i can not change people.
  9. by   NurseDennie
    I always try to pitch my voice lower than normal when I'm speaking with an elder. My grandmother could only hear/understand when I did that. It's Difficult to do when speaking loudly, too. At least for me.

    I love sushi, too. I've never spent that much money on it, but I'm sure I would if I let my teenaged daughter "loose" in there! MMMMMMmmmmmm


  10. by   SICU Queen
    I always love the nurses who SCREAM at the vent patients. I guess they figure the ET tube plugs up the ears as well...
  11. by   micro
    I inherited my dad's voice and snore.....and I am a daughter.........so my voice tone is usually a bit low pitched and that seems to work well with pt. hoh, etc......

    I do have a bit of country in me, but also ingrained country respect.......Mr. Mrs. Using name, asking patient what they like to be called.........

    but if I have a pt. that says.....please call me bud, I will call them bud.............and yes, a hon has escaped my lips, after I have taken care of same patient a few days.......know not p/c........
    I also try to use sir, ma'am and full first names for those of younger generation.....

    patient care and empathy is focus..........what patient prefers.........
    different when you have also been on other side of the bedrail.....
  12. by   SmileyMouse
    This really sets my teeth on edge and I think that the reason is that as a society we do not have respect for our elderly.
    I have been in nursing for 10 years, many of those in the LTC setting. I have been disgusted and angered by the way that people treat our elderly. They are either treated like objects or children. Who do you think made our country what it is? These people are not useless or mindless. Everyone has purpose on Earth and just because you can't see it doesn't mean that it isn't there! These people provided an invaluable service to us, by being mothers, servicemen etc. and we need to treat them accordingly.
    I ALWAYS say sir and ma'am and use Mr. and Mrs. it is all about respect and thank you Matt for saying what so many of us were thinking.
    And as a point of reference from someone who worked with Alzheimer's patients for 2 years. A lower tone always works better than a high pitched one. Oh yeah, and did you ever think that maybe sometimes they don't answer you because they DON'T WANT TO? So speaking louder or higher or babytalking more won't make a bit of difference Just because they are old doesn't mean that they don't have brains or opinions. Or maybe they don't answer the babytalkers because they are trying desperately not to 'slap the syrup' out of them. (that would be me):kiss Mousy
  13. by   micro
    smiley mouse..............you sound pretty wise mouse to me.........

    yes, I have been told by some elderly people i know that they don't have much control over things anymore but sometimes a lil' HOH is a good excuse to tune people out...........

    again i restate in my usual voice.........low tone slightly slower to ensure understanding and eye contact...................
    with all my patients...........and if hearing loss is a ???, then low and slow tones are heard best..........

    understanding differences in communication styles, language/colloquillism(chk splg), personality types is also important in all of our communication with others..........especially when it is as vital as in our job.............

    patient teaching is essential........and dang that even with another nurse(if they are a patient.......am i going to start out with indepth physiology initially)..............oops.....that sounds like another thread subject.......whatcha think y'all!