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Patient - RN Sexual Harrassment


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Has 3 years experience.

There are always going to be old perverted men out there. sometimes you just have to straight up tell them there comments are completely unprofessional and hope he gets it. In a dr's office this happened to me and the manager had to confront him about it ( when his wife was there he was perfect). When he came in for his follow ups he wouldn't even look at me b/c he was so embarrassed. After a few months later he finally apologized but it was still completely inappropriate.


Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 45 years experience.

"Oh, he's harmless" Comment meant to diminish the concerns of a co-worker and indirectly give you the message that you don't know how to handle people and they do. Really a pernicious little stab in the back. I think the best thing to do initially is to keep a poker face, look at them straight in the eye and use simple, direct language. These guys LOVE to get you angry, embarassed, or shocked.

you wrote above: "psych facilities ...are occupied by pervs"--i say yeah and that's just the staff!(no kidding.)

it is dangerous to work psych--at our mental hospital we've had staff beaten(to the point of having to send staff to the local hospital), verbally abused, and, worst of all, raped by patients!:devil::eek: somehow it's we staff who are always to blame for the actions of those patients. "leave the job", you might say...and go where? in this economy there aren't many jobs out there...very sad....

:eek:raped by patients?where was everyone else?i thot the deal was always to have someone watch your back?and what did said staff do in response.sue the pants off the facility i hope.


Specializes in Med/Surg, Tele, Critical Care.

I completely agree... they just want to get a reaction and they get really amused when it's anger and they push and push. I have only been a nurse for 4 months but I experienced a lot of harassment while working in customer service type jobs. I usually try to brush it off and not acknowledge it at all (unless someone actually made a real pass or threat at me) because then they don't get their goal of making you upset and they have no point in doing it.

It is hard too, to watch what you say when you are trying to be casually friendly and lighten the mood a little with your patients. Sometimes even having that attitude opens the door for them to walk all over you with requests and could be taken out of context.

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

I find that most can be shut down by simply responding with "Ya know - that's super inappropriate"

Ivanna_Nurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in CCU MICU Rapid Response. Has 18 years experience.

I used to get lots of patients like that... my canned response is now something along the lines of.."if you do not stop talking to me inappropriately, I will call security. They can sit with you. They arent pretty at all. Please be appropriate."

mamamerlee, LPN

Specializes in home health, dialysis, others. Has 35 years experience.

These patients are attempting to control a situation that they know is completely out of their realm. It is okay to say that you are the nurse, and that you are uncomfortable with this behaviour, and you will have to chart everything he says.

Years ago, there was a patient on my floor who always seemed to be grabbing the nurses' breasts. He had had a stroke, and the nurses were dismissing his behaviour as stroke related. When he reached for me, I gently grabbed his wrist, looked him directly in the eye, and said 'NO'. A few days later, there were 5 or six of us transferring him, and he waved his arm around. He started to reach for me, and I said 'NO', and he simply grabbed the other nurse's breast. No one believed me when I said he already knew not to touch me, and everyone needed to tell him 'no'.

I had another patient who would walk up behind the nurse who was at the med cart, and start a shoulder massage. (O FOR THE DAYS WHEN SOME OF THE PATIENTS WERE AMBULATORY!!!) When he touched me, I told him that I was married, and didn't want other men to touch me. He backed off, but later when I was doing the med pass, he commented to other patients "Here comes the Ice Queen". They did not know exactly what he was referring to, but they all disagreed.

We need to set firm limits on inappropriate behaviour of every type, no matter who it initiates it.


Specializes in ER, L&D, RR, Rural nursing. Has 15 years experience.

I am with those who said to be direct, firm and have the expectation that you WILL be treated with courtesy and respect. I also choose to ignore the comments, when that doesn't work I tell them to stop.If you don't engage, some of the time they get the message, especially when there is that look of don't mess with me.