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Patients talking politics to me...

What's a good way to put an end to a patient wanting to talk politics? At present, I just ignore whatever they say. The silence always does the trick...wondering if there is a better way to handle this.

FLArn specializes in Hospice, LTC, Rehab, Home Health.

If I agree with the person's views, I will sometimes have a short conversation. If we differ on politics, I will just say "I don't discuss politics at work" and redirect the conversation to a safer topic.

ohmeowzer RN specializes in ob/gyn med /surg.

i always agree with them .. i always say how right they are .. and i voted for the same person they did .. ectra.. it's not worth getting into a argument with them and you will make brownie points with them... you can take better care of a person when there's no tension... it dosen't hurt to agree..

i always agree with them .. i always say how right they are .. and i voted for the same person they did .. ectra.. it's not worth getting into a argument with them and you will make brownie points with them... you can take better care of a person when there's no tension... it dosen't hurt to agree..

Very mature and wise response. I just can't do it! But I can't argue with your logic...

I do the same thing. Just agree with them; it enhances rapport.

I do not go along though if the politics turns overtly homophobic, racist or some other offensive view point. They can think whatever they want, but I will be clear that I do not share those views.

juliaann specializes in ICU.

I do the same thing. Just agree with them; it enhances rapport.

I do not go along though if the politics turns overtly homophobic, racist or some other offensive view point. They can think whatever they want, but I will be clear that I do not share those views.

Exactly. If it's not something I can bring my self to nod and smile along with, I ignore it. It's not appropriate at work to correct a patient for being ignorant and rude (out of the workplace, maybe ;) ), but I'm not going to agree with them!

OCNRN63 specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

It doesn't matter if I agree or disagree; I politely but firmly let them know I won't discuss politics or religion. Saves a boatload of misery down the road.

ohmeowzer RN specializes in ob/gyn med /surg.

my logic.. who cares what politics they support.. they are not there for politics .. they are there for care.. you will never see them again.. if you get them mad or they don't like your views , you are more likely to have them not trust you and not like you.. people don't sue people they like.. also you have a common ground with that patient which gives you a human connection with pt... something to talk about .. then you move on and they are comfertable with you ... i don't believe in lying to people .. but i believe in trying to find a common ground with my patients so i can care for them... it's hard to put in writing but politics is not something worth getting a pt upset over

they need to know you are on their side .. they are already stressed out .. why make it worse for them... give them a break and be able to give good care...usually they say what is on their mind and we move on ... it's not like that's all they talk about... they get on with their care.. that"s what they are there for... i agree and send them to their CT scan ... they come back and complain about the food.. we moved on... if you disagree they will keep up the conversation and you need to keep explaining your views and it lasts forever.. ugh

you agree and move on ... then you wave goodbye when they are discharged home the next day ..

What about saying a generic "I hear you"? Not agreeing but it shows you are listening...

I do the same thing. Just agree with them; it enhances rapport.

I do not go along though if the politics turns overtly homophobic, racist or some other offensive view point. They can think whatever they want, but I will be clear that I do not share those views.

Same or I just tell them straight out that "I do not feel comfortable talking about politics while I am at practicum." I had a patient once who had values I do not share; I made the mistake telling him that I do not hold the same values and afterwards there was an awkward tension between us. What I said was not bad but I really did not like being preached at. There's always place and time for those types of discussions just not in the hospital setting where one is trying to work and/or learning.

I like it. It means they're trying to connect with me.

I had a patient today say "Obama ****** on the constitution...he doesn't know this is a Christian nation." That is a connection I can do without...

OCNRN63 specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website.

This is exactly why I steer clear of these conversations. The climate has gotten so overheated on both sides that I find it is much better to be neutral and steer the conversation to something less likely to cause controversy. I have had people hand me all sorts of political propaganda. I politely accept it but it doesn't mean I read it. I'll thank them for thinking of me but that's as far as the conversation goes. Same thing goes for religious conversations. I'd rather spend what little one on one time I have with a patient trying to do education than getting embroiled in controversy.

AprilRNurse specializes in Med/surg, rural CCU.

I just chuckle with a bright smile and tell them I've learned politics are not a safe topic until I know someone better. Then I follow up with "that doesn't mean I disagree though".... they always seem to assume I agree.. but I didn't say that.

I usually just redirect the conversation to their health. I'm in acute care, so that's probably a bit easier than in a less acute setting.

If they are referring to someone on TV or the radio, I just usually respond with something along the lines "I don't watch TV/listen to that station. Are you having any chest pain, shortness of breath, or cough?"

I don't want to discuss politics with patients, whether I agree with them or not. The only time I say something is when they've overstepped the bounds of decency, and I'll set some boundaries there whether their comments are political in nature or not. I'm not going to listen to sexually harassing, homophobic, racist, or other completely unacceptable, disrespectful comments.

Same or I just tell them straight out that "I do not feel comfortable talking about politics while I am at practicum." I had a patient once who had values I do not share; I made the mistake telling him that I do not hold the same values and afterwards there was an awkward tension between us. What I said was not bad but I really did not like being preached at. There's always place and time for those types of discussions just not in the hospital setting where one is trying to work and/or learning.

Yeah, it's awkward. I, personally, wouldn't even want to discuss politics if I was in the hospital, but, then again, I'd refuse to be an inpatient unless I was on death's door. ;)

Zookeeper3 specializes in ICU, ER, EP,.

What's a good way to put an end to a patient wanting to talk politics? At present, I just ignore whatever they say. The silence always does the trick...wondering if there is a better way to handle this.

"I'm sorry, but I don't discuss politics at work, Is there anything else I can provide for you right now for your comfort?"

end of story, never, ever do it.... especially if they seem to be on my same page... learned that one quickly.. Now we have a conflict of interest and it gets ugly.

politics are NEVER EVER discussed at work, unless at break time with a peer that you are sure, sure has the same as you, and that is slippery at best.

Simply ... "no, I can't discuss that". end of story

Zookeeper3 specializes in ICU, ER, EP,.

I like it. It means they're trying to connect with me.

Lol, I'd love to hear the conversations that ensue that are not acceptable to forming a relationship with your patient.

To me... I can get this at home, at work, gets my assignment changed at best, a complaint against me, more likely. I stay clear of it... but you have your fun. You'll pay for it. There are many more appropriate ways to interact with my patients than politics. You may find that.

Nursing isn't about you its about the patient. No matter what the patient says I always frame the conversation in a flattering light (agreement) if I can. If I personally agree with waht the patient thinks/says I will be more emphatic (e.g. if the topic is say, 80s music then I will be more lively than if the topic is something I dont give a **** about like sports)... but I always give feedback that I agree, nonverbal or verbal. If you don't agree with your patients political views find something about them you do agree on. If he's ridiculously right wing just nod in agreement that taxes are too high (they are, aren't they) and if he's ridiculously left wing you can agree that there isn't enough support for the people or whatever it is ...

Basically don't be so literal, find an aspect of the conversation you DO agree with. Nothing is absolute, even if you hate our president there must be something you don't like about him... even if you hated the previous administration there must be something about it that was positive, focus on what the patient thinks.

I mean don't lie and pretend to think things you dont... but the patients room is totally not the place to get into a debate. Part of your job is to make them feel good, supported, safe... argument is hostile and threatening and completely inappropriate.

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