How do you deal with rude patients? - page 3

I am a new nurse, just graduated in May. I am beginning to question whether or not I made the right career choice. The main reason is I cannot stand being yelled at sworn at and basically treated... Read More

  1. by   sjoe
    rncountry--you said it excellently.
  2. by   rachel h
    Thanks everyone for your wonderful replies. I especially loved your reply, rncountry! I guess I have just been getting more and more frustrated with this kind of situation because I was taught in school that it's acceptable for people to take out their anger/ fear/ _________, whatever on you because they are sick and don't feel good. I think this is a bunch of crap, but I am always afraid to speak up because I'm afraid of being viewed as unprofessional or rude to the patient. However, I'm so glad to see that I'm not alone in my sentiments!
  3. by   deespoohbear
    I think rncountry stated it the best. We are not paid to take abuse, period. I do not let anyone talk to me (or treat me) like I am the dirt on the bottom of their shoes. Patients, family, physicians, other nurses, anyone. I once had a medic start cussing at me over some paperwork and I flat out told him "I am not talking to you that way, and you will not talk to me in that manner." Haven't had a problem with him since. Just because you are sick and don't feel well doesn't give you the right to treat people like dirt. Deceny and respect are always called for. My personal philosophy is if the patient is A&O times 3, and starts being abusive in any form, all bets are off. Same goes for the family. My manager knows this is my way of thinking. Last week I had an elderly pt get smart with me. I was doing the noon med pass and I brought her meds in at 12:15. She had already finished her lunch. I took her pills to her and she said "I like my pills with my food, not after." I promptly told her that I had 7 other people I was taking care of that day and I was doing my best. Then I proceeded to walk out of the room. At supper time, she apologized to me for being so rude.

    One of the posters here has a signature line that says something like "we will get as only as much crap as we will take." Truer words were never spoken.
  4. by   stressedlpn
    I just enjoy the heck out of starting their I.V.s dang I missed it gotta try again, man you have really rolling veins, or inserting their foleys, not enough KY what are you talking about I smothered the thing in KY NOT!!!, seriosly though I try to be myself, I am confident that I go above and beyond the call of duty every day, If they have a prob. with me I just laugh, cont. being my usually sweet self and let them wallow in their own self pity,
  5. by   rncountry
    rachel I hope I helped some. And thanks to all who agreed with me, I actually expected to be told that I was not caring enough, or something to that effect.
    Next time you have a rude patient, take a deep breathe, explain you are a professional and expect to be treated like one. Leave the room if necessary, letting the patient know you will be back when they can be calm. When this happens make sure you immediately go to your supervisor and let them know what happened and how you handled it. That way you don't give the patient a way to bite you back.
    And stuck with the career, we need nurses like you!It is my belief that big changes are coming to this profession. The nursing shortage is going to be too severe for it not to. Stick around the fun is only beginning.
  6. by   Flo1216
    I can handle the rude patients's the rude relatives that make me want to pull my hair out. Especially the ones who accuse you of not cleaning their incontinent of urine and stool father " in 2 days" when in reality he has been cleaned probably about 20 times in 2 days. God forbid you are not there when the first drop of urine hits the sheets.
  7. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by cheerfuldoer
    What to do with a rude patient..........SMACK 'EM!!! :chuckle

    Just teasing........really I am.....
    Renee:chuckle I was thinking that too.. just kidding of
  8. by   perkines
    I work every fri. sat, sun 7p-7a Around 8 I start vs and I tell each pt the plan for the night and morning. If I will be waking them up every four hrs or when I will be in to draw blod. That way when I come in at 4 in the morning I can remind them about what the plan was. Only on one occasion have I had a person who was A&O jump all over at me . Calling me names and b*tching about not getting any sleep--blah blah blah. So I let him go on. Explained that if that is how he feels that he should remember everything he just said and to repeat it to his doctor. All I am doing is carrying out his orders and I did explain to you that I will be in a 2 to draw some more blood and by the way I will be back in 4 hrs for some more. He was a lot nicer at 6

    I never take anything personnal when it come from a confused pt.
    Some people though should just no better
  9. by   MollyMo
    Originally posted by perkines
    I never take anything personnal when it come from a confused pt.
    Some people though should just no better
    That would depend on what was said. I had a confused patient call me everything Black from A to N***** and back again. His daughter excused him saying he was from the South and that was how he was raised. I went to visit in a nursing home. A white female resident was sitting at the desk quietly humming to herself. When she saw me and my mother she began singing " Eeny,Meeny,Miney, Mo. Catch a n***** by the toe." Some things cannot and will not be tolerated.
  10. by   nimbex
    I play DEAF "excuse me, what did you just say?" with a sweet smile. anyone who repeats the obsenity or becomes more challenging needs the "I certainly would never speak to you in that tone and you sound VERY upset (pull up the chair, let them get it out now & quickly) so I'm all ears and you need to tell me what is upsetting you so we can fix it.......The the food, tests, waiting you name it comes up and you just repeat and clarify.."your dinner was unacceptable, can I order you a new tray? You've reached the last straw with waiting for test after test and not knowing results... how frustrating for you... what do you want me to do to help?" that therapudic communication stuff.

    Should they make the eye contact I am getting at and back down and be less obnoxious, not daring to repeat themselves exactly again, I place them in the "I just need to have some control " group and kill them with kindness, if it isn't working... you'll see the manipulative behavior immed., then I limit set.

    "why are you raising you voice at me? (said in a soft calm voice). This makes them identify they are loud.

    or my name is Carol not Bi**h, when you are calm and able to address me as Carol I will be back to meet your needs, call me when you are ready.

    When you are able to make your needs known without insulting me, press the call bell.

    My presence seems to upset you, I'll step out for 10 minutes and we can try again.

    You seem to be looking to argue with me, I have no intention of arguing back at you. Are you able to lower your voice and eliminate the swear words so we can continue to talk?

    LIMIT..... SPACE.... TIME.... REATTEMPT...

    failure = patient relations, manager, supervisor.... VALIUM!!!
  11. by   Fgr8Out
    I will admit to taking more than the acceptable amount of crapola from patient's and their families.... But then, I have an inordinate amount of patience, too.... Doesn't make me a hero by any means.... I DO try to remind myself that, "I'm not the person in the bed, or the family of the person in the bed." There but for the Grace of God, n all that....

    But I definitely appreciate seeing all the positive ways posted here to address rude people for those times when my patience has run out.... and even some of the NON positive ways (heck, I'll admit to wanting to b**** slap, wring the neck, of a few people in my day too )

    We certainly shouldn't allow ourselves to be bullied.... we're making ourselves available to patient's to HELP.... not serve as punching bags.

    Peace to all
  12. by   perkines
    What I find that is amazing are the people who, you know are SICK, SICK,SICK, yet know matter what you do or how many times a night you wake them up--they smile and say thank you. I am personally not a happy or nice sick person lucky for the guy taking care of me I just keep my mouth shut. Except when giving birth lol.:stone
    Last edit by perkines on Sep 18, '02
  13. by   illya
    rachael, you know the respones, " i m really sorry, you re upset" etc etc but honestly i told this like situation to him and he put me on celexa it really works , i m serious. i m been a nurse for 12 years and work i with alzheimers/dementia and am certified in gerontology. please dont quit nursing. god bless