Please Help - I have no where else to turn

Nurses Relations


Specializes in Telemetry, Med-Surg, ED, Psych.

In a nutshell, I am so fed up with nursing that I will do anything to avoid it. 10 minutes into my shift it was a madhouse. I didnt ever recieve any report yet and The call lights were going off like crazy. I went into a room 12 to check on the lady in the second bed since she had called for something. I could not even get to her because the lady in bed one (whom I have never met before) began to verbally and physically attack me. This is only some of what the crazy lady in bed one said (replace with curse word in your mind since i cant post them on here) :

"Knock on the door you fat jerk. Are you a nurse or an idiot. Your a fat piece of lard. I have rights. I pay your salary and I dont care if Obama was here you will do what I say. I will find where you live and have you TAKEN CARE OF".

The patient began to throw the meal utensils at me and anything she could grab. I backed out of there.

In 10 years of bedside experience, I have NEVER seen this much verbal abuse and aggression directed towards me - EVER!!

And in 10 years of bedside experience i have never lost my cool - except tonight. I SCREAMED back at this vile lunatic of a person as loud as possible to back, relax, and not give me any crap cause I will not tolerate it. I told hee I have feelings too and she will not abuse me. My stress and anxiety boiled over and I lost my cool by screaming at her (although I must say, she did deserve it).

The lunatic called the house supervisor and demanded everything under the sun. At this point i was outside my body watching myself react. My adrenaline was in full swing, I was shaking uncontrolably and i was on the verge of a hysterical breakdown. I gathered my backpack and I left. I told the team leader the entire situation and she said to go home and relax. She said that I was not fit to work in the condition i was in being a nervous wreck.

Before I left i told the house supervisor my side of the story and email my boss. I am now home.

Regardless of how "I could have handled the situation differently", I want to make it very clear that this patient was beyond out of line. Nobody - NOBODY deserves what i experienced tonight.

I am in a deep state of shock right now. I am severely depressed and i have awful anxiety. I am so streesed. I am on one hand happy that i stood up for myself and put this lunatic back in her place. On the other hand I feel like an ass.

Regardless, I realized that I cant do nursing anymore. All the deliberate short staffing, terrible hours, bad working conditions, and stupid people all served as the backdrop for my breakdown tonight.

I dont think I can even go back to work. I am thinking about going to my doctor tomorrow and asking for emergency FMLA time (work induced stress/depression). I think I am going crazy.

If anyone can offer any advise or words of encouragement - I need it now. I am home crying and just feeling terrible

I would take a bit of time (away from work) before making any real decisions. Give yourself time to recover from this incident.


I am sorry you went through this.

That being said...this is why it is so important to stay professionally neutral, not get emotionally involved, and treat the resident's room like it is their home.

You should feel sorry for the resident, she obviously has problems and is most likely coping in a negative fashion. Feel blessed that you have a home to go to where you can sleep in a room by yourself.

It was wrong of her to verbally and physically assault you, it was more wrong of you to react unprofessionally and sink to her level and yell back.

When a 2 year old yells at you do you scream back?

Everyone has a breaking point, sounds like you reached yours. I think we all know we are going to have a moment like that at some point. You need t learn to walk away next time. Yes, you handled the situation poorly, but even nurses are human and we have limits to how much abuse we can take. I think you really should see your md and see if you can get a little time off to get yourself back in the game. How long have you been a nurse? What kind of nursing? Sometimes a toxic job can sour you, you need some time off, and a change of venue. Try a new type of nursing.

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.


I hear you, hon. I just posted something along a similar line, because I too am fed up with the way nurses are treated despite all the warm-and-fuzzy Johnson & Johnson ads and the polls listing us as the most-trusted profession. Most trusted, maybe; most respected.......not in my lifetime, anyway!:madface:

Do whatever you have to in order to put these feelings away for the night, whether it's relaxing in the tub with a nice glass of wine or venting to a friend on the phone. Tomorrow things will be a little clearer, and they will hurt a little less. Be good to yourself, and remember: "tomorrow is another day".

Gentle hugs and thoughts coming your way. Take care.


Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

Here's a hug. ((((((HUGS))))))

You're in California, according to your profile. Back in 2004, when I was living in CA, I went to the first psychiatrist I could find and went on state disability for stress-related issues. The state paid me 2/3 of my gross pay, and I was able to decompress from all of the emotional turmoil that had been going on in my life during the time I was out on stress leave.

It is hard to be nice to a repulsive patient who is talking to you as if you are dog poop. I cannot blame you for screaming back at her.

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty.

I'm so sorry this happened. I can recall several years ago when I had a meltdown, too. The planets can all just line up in such a way that it becomes the perfect **** storm, seemingly out of the blue. Take the time you need to de-compress and know we value your participation here and sending support across the miles. (((abbaking)))

it was more wrong of you to react unprofessionally and sink to her level and yell back.

When a 2 year old yells at you do you scream back?

Have a little compassion. While screaming back was not the ideal response (which the OP recognizes), the OP did not do physical violence like the patient did - you are going too far by saying she was 'more wrong'. She's had an awful day and needs support, not to be kicked when she is down.

Everybody is human and has their breaking point. You will find no criticism from me because you reached your point. By all means, visit your doctor tomorrow and get put on medical leave. Then rest. You will have time to deal with the work and career situation once you are feeling better and better able to think clearly and cope. Best wishes.

Specializes in retired LTC.

No criticism here.. Just a lot of hugs.

Specializes in ICU.

Hugs to you. That is a terrible start to the shift, and I'm glad that you were able to go home. See how you feel in the morning, see your doctor, and take care of yourself. Tomorrow will be better.

Specializes in CT ,ICU,CCU,Tele,ED,Hospice.

i am sorry this happened.sending hugs your way.

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