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How to grow a thick skin and not take things personally?

Nurses   (239 Views | 5 Replies)

DribbleKing97 specializes in ACE.

63 Profile Views; 25 Posts

Taking things personally if a patient is mean to you, or a family member is asking you lots of questions and is making you look incompetent. Also from staff members.

 

My friend said if its a family member/patient you should remind them who's the Nurse, but at the same time I think there are other ways like apologizing.

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience and specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 1,196 Posts; 7,286 Profile Views

Well, you definitely need a thick skin for nursing but without more facts about the situations I cant really give a more specific answer. I will say that it is not unusual for a pt/family to ask questions. That said, are they asking legit questions that you just dont know the answer to, if so just tell them you are not sure, they need speak to the MD, tell them you will go find out, do whatever the situation calls for. If you feel they are just trying to be difficult it will only escalate the situation if you "remind them who's the nurse". 

You do need to learn to not take things personally, most of the time it is not personal and you will only hurt yourself and make the situation worse. Not sure what you are apologizing for but again depends on the situation.

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ClaraRedheart has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg.

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You will learn to not take things personally in time. I thought that would be hard for me, but it didn't take long. I tend to empathize, so if someone is being controlling, manipulative, grouchy, etc.. I look at where they're standing, and at where I'm standing. If it's the patient, they're sick and in the hospital bed. If it's the family member, they're dealing wiith a sick loved one. Sometimes they try to get control where they can find it. If it's a family member, their idea of helping can be micromanaging the nurse. I will have to set boundaries, but I don't get angry 99% of the time. For instance, today... I was frustrated at how time consuming a patients care was, it was a med-surg floor and I'd just spent 2 hours down with him for a test that didn't go so well. I get up and I have new orders and late meds on all of my patients that my co-workers were watching for me.  They watched the patient phones, but didn't check orders or give new due meds. I felt overwhelmed. I was feeling like I was about to cry until I caught a periphery of his wife in the room through the window by the computer that I was charting on and it was sobering. My husband was at home... healthy. Taking care of our healthy children. At the end of the day, I get to go there too. At the worst, I have gotten delayed to 8:30 PM in the last few years. An extra hour is nothing in the grand scheme of things. I have absolutely NOTHING to complain about. I caught up on the others one task at a time and somehow, miraculously, STILL got out on time. 

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yournurse has 2 years experience.

138 Posts; 3,008 Profile Views

1 hour ago, DribbleKing97 said:

Taking things personally if a patient is mean to you, or a family member is asking you lots of questions and is making you look incompetent. Also from staff members.

 

My friend said if its a family member/patient you should remind them who's the Nurse, but at the same time I think there are other ways like apologizing.

I always have the mindset of patients being sick and not being themselves, that includes their family members. I forgive them but be firm.  you shouldn’t remind them of anything. Just tell them that it’s inappropriate. 
 

in regards to coworkers, I remind myself that it doesn’t matter what other people say about me. I know myself and I deserve to be there. I am working for my patients and no one else. my coworkers are not paying for my bills. If you have that mindset, you’ll be happy forever. Heh.  Hope that helps. 

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Davey Do has 41 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

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3 hours ago, DribbleKing97 said:

Taking things personally if a patient is mean to you, or a family member is asking you lots of questions and is making you look incompetent.

To shoot straight from the hip, DribbleKing, take responsibility for your feelings. No one can make us feel any way. It is we who choose to feel how we feel.

Now, I'm not talking about catastrophic circumstances- just little things people say or do that elicit emotional reactions.

Once we take responsibility for our feelings, then we can learn how to control them. To gain self confidence takes hard work, so we don't feel less about ourselves in any given circumstance.

If we are proactive, prepared, and learn from our mistakes, then that's a good foundation on which to build. In order to feel good about ourselves, we don't need to know and be able to do everything, but we need to learn to deal with just about every situation and circumstance.

Sometimes, as they say, it's not what you know, but who you know. Like, I know the NP's direct phone number.

Be a person of integrity; "Live", Richard Bach wrote, "never to be ashamed if anything you do or say is published around the world -- even if what is published is not true.”

Good luck to you, DribbleKing!

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13 Followers; 4,056 Posts; 31,614 Profile Views

4 hours ago, DribbleKing97 said:

My friend said if its a family member/patient you should remind them who's the Nurse,

That is poor advice.

What you should do is start working on the mindset that your security (self esteem), your goodness, your caring, your competence, etc., etc., does not depend upon what people say to you or about you, particularly when they are not in a position to objectively judge such things.

Don't argue with patients/families and don't chastise them. That is neither productive nor therapeutic.

 

4 hours ago, DribbleKing97 said:

I think there are other ways like apologizing.

For what do you plan to apologize?

Just hang in there and listen carefully so that you can learn what sort of a problem or perception they are having and then go from there. Generally we are not able to do that very well if we become defensive.

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