Maintaining a Professional Attitude?

  1. How do you maintain your professional attitude when faced with a difficult situation, such as a verbally abusive patient/family?

    Unfortunately, I am a super-emotional person, I become defensive very easily and have naturally short patience. Keeping my "happy face" on results in me crying later and holding on to the situation instead of leaving it alone and moving on. Lord forgive me, I am only human.

    I would like to work on this aspect of my personality, as I would NEVER want to be in a situation where I act unprofessional. I take pride in my work and I want to provide the best nursing care I can. But lets face it, not everyone appreciates it. How do YOU deal with it???
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    About KayceeLeeRN

    Joined: May '05; Posts: 105; Likes: 13


  3. by   incublissRN
    This is hard for me too since I'm a new nurse, young, and haven't had a lot of experience with verbally abusive individuals. Once I had a patient that was pissed off at me. I calmly told him what I was trying to do for him, that I wouldn't tolerate him talking to me in an abusive way, that I was leaving the room for 10 minutes so that he could calm down and I'd be back to discuss his concerns. Luckily his family was present and they were on my side. I let my charge nurse know about the situation. If it becomes too emotional I would get my charge nurse and/or management involved.
  4. by   CaLLaCoDe
    one thing i learned early on is to confront the rude behavior head on immediately with a comment such as....sir/mam, this is inappropriate need not use such language in this hospital!!
    one time this lady was so rude to me, treating me like a slave or maybe even worse than a anyway, i said to her that i'm a profesional and that that deserves some dignified treatment on her part! boy, from then on it was all politeness...sometimes folks just need to remember that good healthcare is a priveledge and not a right...or i would hope they would view it as such!
  5. by   KayceeLeeRN
    Thank you for your responses...anyone else???
  6. by   NurseCard
    Nope... I think the other posters have said it all quite eloquently.
  7. by   lauralassie
    Ahh, hang in there. Thats part of what makes good nurses good....they care. I know how you feel. I just had this discussion the other day. I told my husband that if people treated MacDonalds personel like they treat ER nurses , they would asked to leave and not return by the manager or the police would be called. I usually leave the room with a stern face, focusing my attention to the pt. (ignoring the family totaly). If the pt is rude I try to just be pt. smile kindly and use a soft touch to the shoulder to let them know I care (depending on how abusive they are --that is!) If they are very abusive I give them the same treatment as the family. I've told them "I am here to keep you safe, provide treatment as prescribed , but....I do not have to take abuse or fluff your pillow. and say no more and turn around and leave. Write up an unusual occurance, notifie your supervisor of the incident. At a last resort , find a Dr. that is human and have them go in to talk to the family. Some times a figure of athourity helps. (which is a joke on the family any way, they actually think because the intern has a long white coat on that they have any authority in the ER or ICU....HA)
  8. by   SouthernLPN2RN
    I have once told a pt that "I am treating you with respect and I deserve the same from you". Completely changed his attitude.
  9. by   GardenDove
    I usually say "I'm so sorry you're feeling this way". It diffuses the situation without agreeing with them. I don't argue with people. But I don't get intimidated either.
  10. by   nuangel1
    Quote from GardenDove
    I usually say "I'm so sorry you're feeling this way". It diffuses the situation without agreeing with them. I don't argue with people. But I don't get intimidated either.
    well said gardendove i agree .i try to diffuse the situation if possible .i am very calm explain i will not be spoken to in that way but i am glad to try and rectify situation .if that doesn't work and situation escalates i stay calm and get reinforcement nurses md and security as needed .itreat my pts and family with respect and i expect the same i don't back down.