How much Verbal Abuse should a nurse take from a PATIENT? - page 3

I have just started a new home health care case. My client is a well to do person and treats the other nurses and myself like DIRT... Constant verbal abuse is a norm from this client. We have... Read More

  1. by   Paprikat
    This reminded me of my first job post graduating. I worked in a group home with 6 quadriplegic men. Three were very nice, the other three were mean, abusive people. The senior staff enjoyed sending a new nurse into this one man, just to see how the nurse's face looked when she left the room. I was called such horrible names and I left the place in tears sometimes. There was one who was so obsessive, there was a place on the table that was circled and it said "cup" Heaven forbid you put his cup anywhere else than that place. If you were busy helping another person and interferred with their set time to get up, which was ridiculous, you were abused. I had sexually inappropriate questions asked of me. The place I worked for knew it went on and never said a word. They basicaly said if you can't move your arms of legs, how would YOU behave? Well, I did my six months "time" there, left and never looked back. Now I get abused by dementia patients, which doesn't bother me that much because five minutes will pass and they come looking for a hug.
  2. by   night owl
    We had a staff meeting the other night and this subject was brought up. I work in a Veteran's nursing home and have many residents with OBS and then we have residents who are on the rehab unit and are A&Ox3 and know exactly what they are saying.
    One solution was to work in pairs this way when you document the incident, you have a witness. When the resident sees two people taking care of him/her their behavior may possibly change. If this A&O resident has many incident reports concerning his behavior, the DON said, "It is at the discretion of the Director of the this facility that the resident in question, after being warned about h/h abusive behavior continues to be abusive, they will be d/c to another facility without question."
    Last edit by night owl on Apr 22, '02
  3. by   All41
    This is a great topic and the answers have been also! I have worked in the Nursing Home with all levels of acuity. We have sent a beligerent patient away to a psychiatric hospital for the same behavior. 0-tolerance!
  4. by   billssisbeth
    :kiss TO all of you.
    Shortly after starting on the case we changed doctors. We found she was on conflicting meds ( Old Nursing Agency gotthe orders!!! UGH!) AND she has been Diagnosed with Alzhiemer's Disease by the new doctor. I informed him that she was on antagonistic drugs and we changed her med profile.
    With in a week she had become a totally different person.
    Now instead of getting rid of me she doesn't want ANY other Nurse to care for her. This is creating a problem because she is still very hard on all the other nurses. I have spoken to her and she is getting better.

    Thanks For Your Support!!!

  5. by   Amy ER Nurse
    I have never been verbally abused at any other place of employment as I have been at my present one. I was twice called a "cracker", which I am told is a derogatory term for white people. When I mentioned this to my husband ( law enforcment ), he told me that when he worked in the jail, he was often called this. Seems to me that they would realize it was a term used for the "overseers" on plantations, and they were most ofter black. HMMMM????
    The family that first called me that was mad because thier drunk father had fallen in the road and bit his tongue. It was no longer bleeding, was only a very small puncture wound, and he was sleeping off his drunk while we were very tied down with a trauma code. I twice explained the delay, and they replied with obscenities, and even told me that "we have an emergency here!". The other time was when a person with a cough and congestion x2wks was pissed off that a legitimate chest pain was taken back before her. She said (in a waiting room full of patients) these slow a** white cracker nurses up in here don't give a s**t if you sit up in here and f**kin' die!! I told the charge nurse, and she laughed it off. I have worked in 2 other ER's here , and never have been treated so ugly by pts or family. I was told that administration here does not support the nurses, so don't even bother. I am hoping that my husband will be getting transfered to another state soon, closer to my family. I think I need a fresh start.
  6. by   nursesteph
    Hi, I'm new here & a relatively new nurse. I work in a dementia unit & we first remove ourselves, next go back with help, & chart chart chart
  7. by   Agnus
    I worked in home health as a CNA. At one time I worked without the benefit of an agency. Never again. I was asaulted by a family member.

    The agencies that I worked for after that had a policy. "If you find yourself in an unsafe situation leave the home and call the agency immediately. They will send someone out immediately and the two of you will re-enter the home together if re-entry is deemed necessary for the safty of the patient."

    No agency I worked for has ever wanted me to put myself at any kind of risk. They understand that many people choose unsafe conditions for themselves however thier right to live as they choose does not entitle them to put you at risk as well.
    The agency has an obligation to you. This is unsafe working conditions. They are liable if they do not respond to your protest.

    I can't imagine any agency allowing you to return to this home without a second person with you.
  8. by   mother/babyRN
    Before I accepted an assignment for this person, I would approach the person and inform them I have been assigned as their care giver and intend to treat them with the same amount of respect they intended to treat me. If some or any verbal abuse ensued, I would step back and calmly announce that, as I did not speak to him/her that way, I would not accept being spoken to in such a manner. I would not ask, beg or plead. I would set limits and stick by them, WITH exact documentation and NO tolerance for any physical abuse...They can be sued too and battery is a crime in most areas......
  9. by   Agnus
    We have a patient who has been with us a month or so. He will be discharded this week.

    He has a habit of being very abusive. In the beginning he was both verbal and physical. I told him out right that he would not speak that way to me. He stated That he "could see I would take not take "c$%^ from him." (his words) and he did not not give me any.

    He is often abusive to his wife. His wife and adult daughter feed him and dote on him continually. Mind you this man is perfectly capable of feeding himself.

    I was in the room the other day when he began to abuse his wife. She ignored it and when on. I stopped him and said "you do not speak to a lady like that. " She said "will you please let me handle it. " I waited she did nothing. So I told her that "I do not care who he is speaking to her or me or anyone else that I will not put up with that. "

    She is in her late 60's or early 70's I did not feel I could reeducate her about co-dependent enabling behaviors. So, I did not try.

    Here is the laugh. She said that "he never talks this way at home. " "It must be his medication. He was on some pain med before that make him like this." Well he is not on it now. He's not been on it for weeks and still trys this with those he know he can get away with it. He understood and stopped when I called him on it.

    If you stand up to this guy he respects you and talks VERY nice. If you don't he treats you like sewage. He is cognizant and very with it.

    The other day a CNA brough his try and he told her to set it aside his wife would feed him. She said "If you don't start doing something for" himself he "would not get better so he could go home." He told her "I don't want to go home I like it here. I like being waited on by all of you." He has been known to call for some one to hand him something that was easily with in his reach and line of site. His has EXCELLENT upper body strength.

    He has told CNAs and Nurses that it was thier job to do every little thing for him. Fortunately we have an edudated staff who tell him otherwise.

    Some people think nurse are thier personal handmadens to hop to every little demand and curtsey deeply when doing it. They think we think "oh, poor baby" and mean it. That when they tinkle that little bell we are obligated to jump. They feel they are royalty and we are their slaves to do with as they please. This is a distorted picture of nurses that has been protrayed by media.
    I have spoken to nurse who even thier own husband think that this is what we are supposed do. So when hubby is sick he tries this garbage. Usually these spoused are stopped short, but they still think she does this at work and is only standing up to him because he is family. poor babies.
    Last edit by Agnus on Apr 23, '02
  10. by   Lulu
    No one has mentioned talking to the patient or family about the situation. This might be remedied by telling the patient if he/she does it again they will be given the pillow treatment while they sleep.
  11. by   SOCRATES SOUL
    I think that BURDEN OF PROOF hit the nail on the head!!

    Yes I agree that hospitals are all too consumed with delivering the best 'customer service' from ailing near nurseless institutions whilst failing to provide full support for staff in the event of such occurances which unfortunately are not isloated....and they wonder why the nursing crisis has reached the epic cresendo it has......

    We are educated, gifted, intuative, thoughtful, selfless humanitarians that should not tolerate any abuse in any shape or form.... if they snap at you due to pain or something yes you can let that slide as most times they will apologise, but to take an A&O patients CRAP NO NO NO!! But lets look on the bright side......when you encounter those selfless patients after a load of rotten apples it reinforces why you are there.......

    Management seriously needs to reckon with the abuse we encounter and stop dismissing incidences as 'part of nursing'....... And I CANNOT and WILL NOT tolerate a relative or friend who is stuffed with self importance dare utter anything nasty, derrogative or outright insulting to me under any circumstances.... especially those ones that look like they have never worked a day in their miserable lives or just dont have a miserable life of their own fullstop!
  12. by   gypsigirl
    Socrates go girl!
    I think I would be tempted to give him a big dose of ex-lax right before I left. ha If we don't stand up for ourselves, who will? Abuse is wrong.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I would say, none, in most situations. Ya got to set limits and stick to them. I learned that in nursing school and believe it today.