Nurses: Why do many of you do this? - page 5

I've been a registered nurse for two years now. Sometimes the nurses in my unit and I get together outside of work and chat. One day, the nurses were discussing about their patient encounters... Read More

  1. by   xoemmylouox
    Many of my coworkers are my closest friends. We vent. We share stories. It isn't to insult patients it is to help us get up and go into work the next day. We have also learned a lot from each other. As long as you observe HIPAA I see no problem.
  2. by   RNFiona
    Self righteous much? Even nurses need to blow off steam. As long as they are not using the patient's names etc or revealing identifying info I see nothing wrong with it. We are all human and all need to vent. You need to climb off of that soapbox you are on and chillax. Seriously, get over yourself.
  3. by   NP Sam
    Quote from paradiseboundRN
    I betcha plumbers talk about the worse toilet they ever unclogged!
    Thank you for that visual.
  4. by   RNFiona
    Perhaps you should learn about HIPAA before you accuse people of violating it.
  5. by   nurseprnRN
    Quote from monkeybug
    What she's doing is highly inappropriate. There is a huge difference in sharing an interesting story about an anonymous person and sharing a particular person's life story. Huge difference.
    Yes indeed. nguyenc77, to answer your question about what to do, you go directly to your clinical instructor and tell him/her all about it. This person needs to get a hard, fast reality check from someone in authority, and the school is just the one to report it to the nursing department at the facility.
  6. by   Dalzac
    This has been one of the most interesting reads. How do I go out with my old nursing friends and not talk about things that have happened like the ancient LOL who told me whle I was trying to put a foley in there hadn't been anything up there since 1969? It will happen as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow. It isn't a HIPAA violation I can't even remember her name or when it even happened. It was just a story of experience that happened a long time ago that was funny as hell.
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from GrnTea
    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 HIPAA HIPAA HIPAA HIPAA HIPAAThis is not a HIPAA issue. It's in bad taste if you go out to breakfast after night shift and the other patrons hear you; it might put them off their feed, and if they can identify the hospital you work in and complain of your unprofessional behavior to the management, it might reflect badly on the hospital, and that could come back and bite you in the butt.AN is anonymous. Unless you were mouthing off here about an incredibly rare or widely-publicized case, like, oh, for example the Octomom or that teenager that lost an arm to a shark, it would be unlikely that people would be able to identify the patient him/herself.
    As long as you're not identifying actual patients in public or destroying the appetites of those around you, talking about your patients is a way to relieve the stress of nursing. It is also a way to teach and/or learn something. I believe I learned as much from after-work drinks with my colleagues in my first year of nursing as I learned on the floor itself! I think the crusty old bats I worked with took me out at least once specifically to get a point across to me without being unkind about it (although I'm sure they must have been tempted!) They did me a tremendous favor that way -- although I'm not entirely sure we didn't destroy a few appetites here and there!
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Altra
    I fully understand that this has been your experience ... but it is not universally true in nursing. Maybe the ED is a different breed, but in every ED I have worked in, frequent socializing of both the organized variety (parties, outings, family picnics) and impromptu happy hours/breakfast-and-beer mornings has been the rule - and it has included not only nurses but physicians and support staff as well.
    All through my career I've socialized with my co-workers. I work in ICU. I'm a lot older than most of my co-workers now, and don't socialize with them as much as I once did -- but most of them are fun and funny people. My husband is a nurse as well -- of the ED variety, and they're even more fun to socialize with. (Plus we're not so much older than everyone else.) I don't understand where this attitude comes from that your coworkers cannot be trusted.
  9. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from hiddencatRN
    I addition to destressing, I actually learn a lot from the stories. Most recently I learned that nitro paste can be used topically to relieve severe constipation but that it can work a little TOO well. My senior coworkers have decades of material to draw on and it gives us something to bond over, gets me through challenging moments of my own (if Betty could keep a calm poker face through X situation, I need to and can do the same now), and after a really rough code or trauma, laughing over silly situations reminds me that life goes on and is often funny. OP, if you don't see the benefit in sharing war stories, it's totally OK to excuse yourself when they start.
    Do tell -- how much nitropaste and where?
  10. by   Glycerine82
    In this profession if we don't laugh occasionally we'll cry.....or worse. It takes a huge toll on me mentaly and physically to give, give, give, give all day long and never bat an eyelash. As long as the venting is not done in the earshot of family members and it doesn't give away any identifiers, IMHO it is totally harmless. That doesn't mean anyone should be making fun of patients, that I won't tolerate. If someone is laughing about a situation they encountered or something funny a patient said, its not a big deal. IMO you will burn out fast if you don't lighten up. Best wishes to you.
  11. by   knightlycomic

    Maybe you should consider a new career path.................... how about with the 'thought police'. Maintaining privacy is important in our profession. However as one of the most stressful professions around nurses have always held the title for blackest humour and the stories that are shared with colleagues. No one sounds as though they are holding a gun to you forcing you to take part.

    If you find this aspect of nursing distasteful find a new career, complain through the correct processes or shut up.

    It's bad enough for the best out there and the therapy that comes from confiding in your peers with the crazy stories you collect in your life is not only stress relieving it to has an enormous educational value more often than not.

    Get a grip
  12. by   brick195969
    As long as it is done with the best intentions, learning, questioning or even relating to, then there should be no problem. If it is presented with the intent to amuse, gross out or demean a patient than it is in bad taste and very unprofessional, but as long as no identifiers are used it is certainly not a HIPPA violation. Like judge Marilyn Millan said one on time "whats in your heart comes out thru your lips" (i am paraphrasing). I am an acute care pediatric & a Hospice nurse so you can imagine there is no room for disrespectful anecdotes.

    Quote from terina66
    I've been a registered nurse for two years now. Sometimes the nurses in my unit and I get together outside of work and chat. One day, the nurses were discussing about their patient encounters (non-medical related). I do not want to write what they discussed, but they were patient encounters that many people would describe as "gross."

    I believe patient confidentiality (even when patients' names aren't mentioned) should be respected during work as well as outside of work. I'm sure patients already feel embarrassed about their condition, and it ANNOYS me when nurses say they will not judge patients when giving them care, but then they go around and talk about their patients conditions.

    If I was a patient, I'd be angry if an RN talked about my condition outsideof work. Patients trust nurses to give them care while respecting their confidentiality. Yes, we may encounter new and different things each day, and some may feel that talking about so-called "weird" conditions helps them "bond"with others from work, but that does not give any nurse the right to talk about patients like that.

    I've noticed there was a thread on allnurses entitled, "What Is Your Most Gross,Yucky, Disgusting Nursing Horror Story?" This is disrespectful in my opinion. No offense to any of the nurses that do this. Thanks for letting me vent...
  13. by   monkeybug
    Quote from Altra
    I agree that what this nurse is doing is highly inappropriate. But before you take on an (older than you?) member of your social circle in what may be viewed as a confrontational way, consider that social norms DO vary quite a bit by region, ethnicity, community size, etc. For example: I've worked in a small hospital where, if you saw a neighbor/acquaintance walking through the halls, it would be considered rude if you did not stop and ask why they were at the hospital -- and you could expect to get a pretty detailed response.
    My first job out of school was at a tiny, rural hospital in the South. I was absolutely amazed to discover that they posted a list of all patients at the door, and that it was very common to have older ladies call and ask for a rundown of every patient there at the moment. And they'd usually get it, if the nurse wasn't too busy. They had to know if they needed to come visit anyone! Of course, this was long before HIPAA.