making fun of patients - page 4

i am currently doing an externship on l&d and maternity and often hear the nurses making fun of the patients. such as " omg shes 23 and on her 4th" or " wow shes too young to have children, she... Read More

  1. by   TeresaRN2b
    Wow! Not sure what I think of this. I have unfortunately seen my share of people (including nurses) prejudge me and my family due to my age and family size. My husband and I are expecting our 5th baby in April and I have heard my fair share of unwelcome comments. All of our children were planned, we own our own home, and we support them all without government assistance of any kind. My schooling is being paid for by us not pell grants (not that I'd mind getting them, but we don't qualify).

    I can see both points of view on this because I honestly and truely feel people should not be having children when they can't financially and emotionally support them. However I have also seen people make assumptions without knowing the facts. I don't really think that this about age and family size as much as it is maturity and socioeconomic factors. I don't think nurses in general come to these conclusions just because. Anyhow, not sure exactly where my rambling is going other than I can see both points of view on this.
  2. by   HazeK
    I am guilty of all three BUT NOT IN FRONT OF PATIENTS or VISITORS!!!!

    I have strong opinions about unwed mothers, 'no prenatal care' moms, women who use drugs while pregnant, women who use abortion for birth control, and on and on, ad nauseum! I suspect most of us who work in a hospital have opinions on many things from HMOs to MDs vs DOs, etc.

    But the opinions stop at the door to my patient's room!
    At that point, the patient becomes my sister or brother, my mother or father, my son or daughter...I would no more be hurtful or unkind to my patients than I would my own family, even perhaps kinder! Patients should not be able to telll if my opinions or preferences differ from theirs, by the words out of my mouth or by my actions!

    an old saying: "There is a place for everything...
    and everything should be in it's place!

    Hopefully, we can vent our opinions, preferences and relax in our nurses' lounges ... and here on the "Threads"... but not in front of patients OR in public places!!

    Without 'venting', who could handle the stress of nursing????

    Haze :-)
    Originally posted by
    Ok Shay. At least I'm skinny
    Ummm.... excellent use of therapeutic communication PSYCHnurse.

  4. by   RNMom1969
    My turn!! My turn!!!
    Heather......I'm right there with you! Had my first child at 18, my second at 20 (I have 4 all together). Yes, the first was an OOPS! But the rest were planned.
    I could hear the nurses (and Dr for that matter) talking about me and I will never forget how it felt.
    DIFFERENCE here.......I got my act together! We paid for it all ourselves, took responsibility and grew up FAST!
    I look at some of my patients and get so darn frustrated and angry. Do I have comments to make? Bet your @$$ I do!! Do I make them directly to them? Nope! Thankfully we have an internal "working corridor" where our nurses station is.....where patients or family can't go. This is where we all vent!
    And, when I'm through venting, I take a deep breath, go back in that room and hope to touch that young person's life, even for a minute. I DO try to reach each and every one of them. Does it get through? Probably not.....will I stop trying? Probably not.
    Many of these young moms bring in their teen friends to be their coaches. I try to reach out to them too......we can only keep trying right?
    Guess I'm in an optimistic mood tonight......get back to me in a few days.....getting ready to go into a long work stretch!
  5. by   angelbear
    I was pregnant with my first when I was 15. I dropped out of school when I was 3mos and then married the dad when I was 6mos. Dad was a construction worker and lost his job the day our son was born. Our second we lost a yr later and our 3rd was born disabled when I was 18. Is that enough to judge me on.. NOT.. Let me back up I was raised in a very abusive home, Molested by a relative from 12 to 14 yrs of age and pretty much left to my own devises when not being beatten or molested. Pretty much didnt have respect for myself let alone anyone else. Now update The man who I got pregnant with recieved the lord as his savior when I was 5 mos preg the first time. We got married he worked hard at any job he could get and we did not take welfare. It has been a rough way to go but 19 yrs later we are still happily married and our boys are absolutely awsome. I went back to school for my HS diploma when I was 25 and have now been a nurse for 3.5 yrs. My point...Noone should judge anyone without walking in the others shoes Ever frustrated or not. I dont like supporting bumbs who wont help themselves either, but I dont know the whole story so i will try not to judge. Sorry so lengthy
  6. by   fergus51
    Angelbear, that is an excellent thing for you and your family. Your story isn't too different from my birth mom's. What it shows is that anyone CAN change for the better. The venting I have comes when I look at moms who aren't even interested in trying. They might have all had terrible childhoods beyond my imagination. The point is: NONE of that is the baby's fault and the mother has a responsibility to clean up her life for that baby. Period. If a woman has no interest in caring for her child, there are lots of infertile couples waiting and I don't know why a woman will keep a baby she obviously doesn't want.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    EXACTLY fergus! The situations are different and we are not complaining about those that try to make good for themselves or their babies. ANYONE can SEE that here.
  8. by   shay
    Originally posted by fergus51
    What it shows is that anyone CAN change for the better. The venting I have comes when I look at moms who aren't even interested in trying. They might have all had terrible childhoods beyond my imagination. The point is: NONE of that is the baby's fault and the mother has a responsibility to clean up her life for that baby. Period. If a woman has no interest in caring for her child, there are lots of infertile couples waiting and I don't know why a woman will keep a baby she obviously doesn't want.
    Exactly. I'm sorry you were raised in an abusive home Angelbear. But you know what? So was my dad. Beat over the HEAD with 2x4's as regular punishment. REGULAR. He never used his ubringing as an excuse to screw up. Using one's upbringing as an excuse to screw up is a weak argument. I'm sorry for your circumstances, and glad you got it together, but the "victim" excuse is a tired one. There are lots of people who grew up with abuse and/or hardship, but CHOSE not to further their hardships by bringing unplanned pregnancy into the picture. If they made a mistake once, they surely didn't do it 2,3,4 more times. It is a matter of CHOICE. You CHOOSE to have unprotected sex or you don't. You CHOOSE to drop out of high school or you don't. No one forced your hand.

    This is my point. Joyce, I wouldn't have breathed a bad word about you. Nor you Teresa. What gets my goat are women/men who:

    1. play the "victim" and milk it to the extreme as a cover/excuse for their poor lifestyle choices, and expect me and the rest of the country to pay for their mistakes.
    2. refuse to learn from their mistakes the first time, and perpetuate the cycle of failure and mediocrity and do it with the 'I can't help it...I didn't win life's lottery' attitude. There ISN'T a "life's lottery." Life is a series of events and choices. We are not puppets controlled by destiny. You DO have the ability to control, somewhat, your circumstances. Those who get angry about that comment obviously prefer to play victim rather than take responsibility for their life.
    3. think it's "judgemental" to say it's a bad thing to bring a child into a family without a mother AND a father and a supportive family. It may not be p.c., but it's the truth. Don't like it? Too bad. It's reality. Kids need a supportive family to be raised in. They need stability. They need continuity. None of these things can be achieved in a homeless shelter or living on the county dole while reproducing with a string of different men who are merely sperm donors and amounting to nothing while spending your days watching "the stories" and getting your nails done.
    4. believe they are "entitled" to my tax dollars because THEY screwed up. NO, YOU'RE NOT. I WORKED FOR THAT MONEY, I KEPT MYSELF OUT OF HOCK AND OUT OF TROUBLE, AND I SHOULD BE THE ONE TO DECIDE WHERE AND TO WHOM THAT MONEY GOES. Not the government by use of force. You are entitled to nothing more and nothing less than the basics: speech, religion, thought, the right to bear arms, and equal protection under the law. Nothing more.

    Wugh. Off soapbox.
  9. by   babynurselsa
    well jax, I believe you opened a can of worms.
    I work in a public hospital. Probably half of the moms we care for have recieved no prenatal care outside of a pregnancy test. I have seen many many 19yo G5P4 moms who have no teeth left due to the meth they smoke. They do not have custody of any of the other babies for that reason, or because of neglect or abuse at their own hands or some guys.
    Just last week we had a woman who birthed her baby on the sidewalk in about 25 degree weather. when the ambulance arrived she and the baby were both just laying there on the sidewalk. She was sooo coked out I wonder if she even knew she had given birth. Now we get to listen to this poor kid withdraw. Last month we had the baby who spent about 3 weeks with us while it withdrew from mom's methadone, nw that is probably the most miserable thing in the world for a baby to go through. Note that the mom has gone on methadone during the last 3 pregnancies because then DHS will allow her to retain custody of her children. In between she rusumes her heroin usage.
    Do I sometimes get a little angry that I work to pay my own salary, YES.
    I do provide care to these patients and their assorted families as non-judgementally as possible. Do I vent to my co-workers, YES.
    After you have taken care of the 2nd dying baby of a lady who uses so much coke that she blows out her placenta, then tell me if you will resist the urge to vocalize some feelings of ill will about this persons lifestyle choices.
    I think we all feel a little idealistic in the beginning, until we observe the unlimited capabilities of people to astound us with their completely selfish choices, or just pure irresponibilty.
    I have no ill feelings towards someone because they have a baby young. I do have reservations about someone who feels like society (you and me) owes them the right to spawn out multiple innocent children that they have no capabilty to provide or care for in a reasonable manner.
    I too was a young mother. I married at 16, had my first child at 17. Dropped out of school because then it was not politically correct to be pregnant and in high school. It was not until my children were in school did I get my GED, go to college and become a nurse.
    I was also abused as a child, spent time in foster care, molested by a family member. Have I used those situations as an EXCUSE to expect that the world owes me anything? NO!
    I accept responsibilty for my life and my children and my choices.
    I choose not to smoke meth, or crack, I choose not to have sex with any man that looks at me cross eyed. I choose to work long hours to pay my own bills.
    Last edit by babynurselsa on Dec 28, '02
  10. by   shay
    Lisa, you rock, woman. :kiss Very well said. Excellent.

    I want to reiterate Lisa's statement that YOUNG MOTHERHOOD ALONE, FOR THE FIRST TIME, is not a bad thing and I do not begrudge any patient in that situation for the first time.
  11. by   angelbear
    I could not agree with all of you more. Obviously I do not play the victim and I cant stand those who do. We make our lives what we choose to make them. I am just saying that you cant always judge a book by its cover. I am sure to an outsider I did not appear to have any business having a child at 15 and I didnt. But I was determined to make the best of it and I did. Actually my mother was the best possible help to me and I have told her so often. When she found out I was pregnant she told my husband and I that we had made our bed and now we could lie in it and then she stuck too it. I beleive that she forced us to depend on each other with no way out and that strengthened our relationship to the wonderful point that it is at today. I know this is not the norm. I guess I just wanted all to know that there is hope even for those that appear hopeless. I know you all arent being critical just venting I do that too just wanted to add my story Thanks for letting me I will stop beating that dead horse now.
  12. by   mark_LD_RN
    PSCHYNURSE were the hell you get off insulting someone is that some new therapeutic communication style you learned?

    remember venting is not judging.

    and yes people do make leaving of the goverment a lifestyle, there is plenty of it in my area just come down here and seei t for yourself. i will be glad to show you around and introduce you to some people that do it.

    I do not have to walk in their shoes to know it. I have plenty of compassion for people in general, but people that abuse the sytem is what gets me. I have no problems with young girls giving birth if they and or their family can raise them or if it is their first one and did not know better, but you going to have a hard time convincing me that all the 21 and 22 yr old medicaid patients i see with 3,4 or 5 kids did not no better or could not help it. pleeeze help on that one.

    we had kids young, had no insurance no medicaid,no goverment assistance, no family and i was able to make it work with hard work at minimum wage jobs, why can't they do it to?
  13. by   LilgirlRN
    While I do not work IN L&D or post partum, we do see pregnant women in the ER. Like many of you I am too appalled at the number of pregnancies some of the women (most of them should still be considered girls) have had. I recently went out to triage to get a patient that I thought most likely had a kidney stone. She didn't mention that she was pregnant until I asked when her last period was. 5 months ago she says, I asked if she were in labor, she said yes I think so. So, while mom and dad were getting her registered I took her up to L&D. I came back down and went out to the waiting area and got her parents. I said I'm going to take you to your daughter now. We walked through the ED and out the back door, got in the elevator. The dad says, we're going to the 3rd floor, that's where she had "that" baby last year. She's pregnant again isnt she? I said you'll have to ask her yourself, even though the CHILD was 15, I couldn't tell her parents what was going on because of her right to privacy. Anyway, she delivered at 22 weeks, had had no prenatal care and of course the baby died after having about 20000 dollars worth of care. Very sad. Anyway, I just wanted to say that you don't have to work in the pregnant woman realm to appreciate what you nurses go through, society as a whole goes through it too.