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Pet Peeve

Nurses   (3,117 Views 20 Comments)
by MadNursePa MadNursePa (New Member) New Member

MadNursePa works as a ER.

613 Visitors; 12 Posts

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You are reading page 2 of Pet Peeve. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

DogWmn works as a Patient Sitter.

1 Like; 10,522 Visitors; 575 Posts

I've live in the south for too long and I address the elders with Mr. or Mz. First Name, if I'm around them alot, othewise it's only respectful to address them by Mr. or Mz. Last name.

One of my elderly neighbors was Mz. Joy vs Mz. Smith.

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madwife2002 has 26 years experience and works as a Director of Nursing Services.

3 Likes; 1 Follower; 74 Articles; 120,016 Visitors; 4,777 Posts

Before I know the pt I use Mr, Mrs etc but I am afraid I do call patients by pet names I dont think I am offensive but I will from now on try to refrain from using them as I did not think I was offending anybody!

Oh I treat everybody the same it really doesnt depend on their age.

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OttawaRPN has 5 years experience.

3,818 Visitors; 451 Posts

I had a patient whose first name was Honey. And so I called her.... Honey.

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ObtundedRN has 6 years experience and works as a Medical ICU bedside nurse.

7,520 Visitors; 428 Posts

I live in the south too, and hear people do this often. But I personally can't stand it. I get irritated by it when someone says it to me, and I am young. In fact, I just had someone this morning call me "young man" and I'm still not sure how I feel about that, lol. For me, Its not that I think the person doesn't have the time to learn a name, but I find it to just be condescending. I personally use Ma'am/Sir when I don't know the name. Otherwise I usually call them Mr./Ms. and last name.

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ebear has 37 years experience and works as a RN, BSN.

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"M'am" is fine....unless you're Barbara Boxer. :lol2::lol2:

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5,789 Visitors; 242 Posts

As several have suggested, the use of these pet names is very contextual.

The answer as to whether you should use them is probably, "It depends."

However, one has to look at the usual contexts in which we use these terms.

-- Waitresses (and some other service personnel) sometimes use these terms

to address their customers in very informal situations. Even, some customers

really resent the terms. Others like them or don't care.

-- We sometimes use these terms to address our significant others and or

spouses or lovers.

-- We often use these terms to address children.

These are the most common contexts for these expressions in our

culture. Some elders may either not mind those terms, tolerate them,

or approve of them. Some will consider them too informal for the particular

context, especially if you haven't established a relationship with them.

The larger danger, as I see it, is the third common use of these expressions.

Some elders may perceive that they are being talked down to, regarded as

a child. I surmise that this isn't an uncommon perception.

The point, from the patient's point of view, is not the intent. It's how they

perceive the intent. I doubt any nurse intends to insult or demean the

patient with these names. They may even be terms of endearment. But how

the patient perceives them can be tricky. The focus should be on perception,

not intent. The pet names should be used with care.

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41 Likes; 10,235 Visitors; 1,372 Posts

To the OP, I'm the same way. However, I've worked with this one lady who had an incredible rapport with dementia patients and she spoke things I would never say, much less using "sweetheart." If the patients were any more with it, I'm sure they would've been offended. But because of where they were at mentally, it worked.

Example, one day she was taking a resident with advanced dementia to the bathroom. Normally, the resident would kick and scream all the way to, on, and back from the toilet. But the lady just said in her cheerful voice, "Ok, *insert term of endearment here*, let's go drain the lizard!" Oh gawd. I just about died listening. But it worked. The resident was smiling and laughing all throughout.

I guess it depends who you're talking to. I still usually don't because I just couldn't make it come out right.

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canesdukegirl has 14 years experience and works as a OR nursing.

2 Likes; 8 Articles; 36,785 Visitors; 2,543 Posts

When you first meet your patient, you can assess rather quickly what their demeanor is. If I am meeting an older patient, I will of course address them Mr./Mrs./Dr. X. If I am meeting a child, I will ask the parents what they like to be called. If I have been taking care of this person for a while and I have a rapport with them, I will throw in an occasional "sweetheart"...("I will come back and check on you in an hour sweetheart.") I was raised in the south, and have also been a patient. I loved it when the nurses used terms of endearment, but only if we had a rapport.

It is one thing to have respect for addressing a pt by their formal name, and another thing altogether to finagle an "instant familiarity" with a pt that you just met. It can come off offensive and condescending to some. It really just depends on the scenario.

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