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Patients talking politics to me...

Nurses   (4,405 Views 34 Comments)
by MsBruiser MsBruiser (Member)

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You are reading page 3 of Patients talking politics to me.... If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

SlightlyMental_RN specializes in chemical dependency detox/psych.

6,162 Visitors; 471 Posts

Smile and respond, "Hmm...yes, interesting." Then, redirect, redirect, redirect. After being a mom for many years, I've honed that skill. ;)

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

15 Followers; 135 Articles; 186,962 Visitors; 20,744 Posts

I don't discuss politics, religion or sports because I know nothing about any of these subjects - lol.

I also don't listen or tolerate racist/sexist comments. I give one warning and then I'm outta there.

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5,663 Visitors; 198 Posts

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

Like that response I'm going to try it.

To be honest I sometimes I wiill say I agree with what the person is saying even if I don't. I tend to do this when I really like the patient, I try to look at it through their perspective.

But if its a really mean nasty patient who treats the staff like dirt I have a real problem with agreeing. I remember one such patient who was a racist and said derogatory remarks about anyone of a different race than himself. I don't feel I should be made to agree with that type of hateful destructive remarks. So I told the patient I did not agree with him, he proceded to call me nieve and stupid.

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hiddencatRN specializes in ..

29,080 Visitors; 3,408 Posts

I don't discuss politics, religion or sports because I know nothing about any of these subjects - lol.

I also don't listen or tolerate racist/sexist comments. I give one warning and then I'm outta there.

What exactly do you say? I haven't been in that situation yet, so I'm sure I'd be caught off guard.

I was asked by a patient once if I believed in god. I lied and said yes. I think saying no would have made her uncomfortable, and she wanted to reflect on her life and the good things and the bad things in a "thanks be to god/god's will" kinda way. This was during a clinical where my main job with her was just to sit and spend time with her, so I'm glad I chose to be the kind of listener she needed.

Politics though....I like the "I hear you" response.

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ohmeowzer RN specializes in ob/gyn med /surg.

19,789 Visitors; 2,306 Posts

i thought this was about politics ? we are getting into other issues .. i would never agree with calling nurses the N words or being mean or talking potty talk to nurses.. thats a whole different thread... i don't agree with that at all.. i've been a nurse almost 26 years now and i put my foot down on nonsense...

but something as simple as politics .. just politics .. i just play along .. i just want to not get them upset over nothing... yes we had a nurse who got a pt all upset like week because the nurse liked Obama and the pt thinks Obama is a waste of space... i told the nurse to knock it off..and the pt would not let that nurse in the room... the patients are not there to get upset and not get the care they deserve.... i am talking politics only !!! not worth it !!!

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pagandeva2000 is a LPN and specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

25,684 Visitors; 7,984 Posts

I'm not comfortable agreeing or disagreeing with sensitive issues like politics and religion, because even if we 'agree', sometimes, this leads to a patient thinking that they have an ally in their entire hospital stay...preferential treatment such as extra attention, etc... I had that happen to me once years ago. A patient and I agreed with many metaphysical ideas. Well, her attitude was no longer that way after that! Demanding that she should be seen first, wanting to dominate the time I spent with her, asking for special favors, etc... No more.

I tell them as kindly as possible that those subjects are off limits and that is it. I'd rather remain neutral.

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1,920 Visitors; 91 Posts

I don't know. Do you always assume the extreme even though it's not stated? I'm pretty sure just about everyone said the nod and agree with the pt or stay silent unless the view point is extreme. No one said anything about getting into "fights" with patients.

I'm sorry, but if I have an awake and oriented person, who's telling me he's glad he doesn't have "one of those N***** for his nurse, and that those [blank] should be sent back to Africa, etc, etc" I'm not going to smile and nod. I'm also not going to argue with him, but I will NOT let him think that I agree with him.

If you're fine with that, then that's on you, I guess.

I don't want to get into a fight/argument here, but I will just say that there is a big difference between a patient talking politics, and a patient being abusive toward staff (whether it is racially or otherwise). In which case I would just tell the patient that sort of behavior is not appropriate and report it to my supervisor. You are describing a case where the patient is abusive toward staff, which was not even the topic until now.

IF the patient was just saying vaguely racist statements about a politician or media figure in that case I would just smile and ignore and finish whatever procedure I was doing. You are not going to convert a racist in a medical stay.

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BluegrassRN has 14 years experience.

21,553 Visitors; 1,188 Posts

Likewise, there's a big difference between saying something benign or redirecting, and "getting into a fight with patients". Per your previous post. I think that's what Fribblet was pointing out.

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8,104 Visitors; 979 Posts

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...
It might be novel to you, but being Asian, all my life I've had members of every imaginable group complain to me about every other imaginable group, so I merely see it as an attempt to connect. These days, whatever anyone says, I nod and say, yep, hard times, hard times. And they feel I'm on their side. That's what I'm talkin' about right there.

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bagladyrn specializes in OB.

1 Follower; 18,373 Visitors; 2,286 Posts

It's not something I would discuss with patients, except that if something demeaning or derogatory is said about a group or person I simply reply "I'm sorry, I'm not comfortable listening to that." Repeat as necessary, do not discuss.

I have more difficulty when it is coworkers who are espousing certain views in such a way that they seem to assume that all present share their belief. Depending on my mood on any given day it either annoys me, or brings out my "ornery" streak leading me to make statements carrying the opposite view to extreme just to mess with their heads. (I've honed my "left wing radical liberal feminist yellow dog Democrat treehugger" bit to a fine art!)

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