Stories of the worst patient going right...


i had a very upset customer that he came and started screaming and yielding at me because a problem.. mmm, it sounds familiar?, what is your best story of how you turn that situation to a happy and productive outcome?

Nurse Netty

10 Posts

Specializes in pediatrics.

umm..have you seen the old episode of ER where the nurse has to run and dive at the escalating combative patient with a shot of haldol?!? I've been in that situation, i was at imminent risk of physical harm as well as my staff CNAs were at imminent risk of physical harm. nothing we tried could diffuse the situation, doc said go for it, and I dove in, he immediately turned on me and chased me down the hallway swinging, I dove into a room and behind a med cart just in the nick of time. 6 or so minutes later, all was well, except my knee and my nerves. LOL

Wow... that is amazing! Thanks for sharing... how time makes us look our crazy situations differently...


68 Posts

Hectic over busy day...

Cue "Irate Mom with 4 Kids"

Mom yells at desk clerk, triage nurse, everyone else.

Irate mom is super irate!!

Cue former barista "RainCity Nurse"

Former barista recognizes irate mom is super peeved about something, sits down (so their on the same level) and just listens, takes an earful, uses open body language.When irate mom finishes her tirade, former barista sees her relax a bit and says"I want to help you, thats why I'm here".

What irate mom really needed was to feel like someone was listening. And a special form.

Problem solved, irate mom thanks former barista (who used to make coffee for the same sort of angry people), relaxes about 60%, and can now see the doctor without being a royal $#%+&!

Cue applause from coworkers!!

i had a very upset customer that he came and started screaming and yielding at me because a problem.. mmm, it sounds familiar?, what is your best story of how you turn that situation to a happy and productive outcome?

what does "yielding at me" mean?

do you mean wielding a weapon or something like that?

i think that some situation s can be turned around and some can't.

the shot of haldol story, for instance - wasn't there a group of people to try to hold the guy while shot was given and to perhaps get him into leathers first or right after the shot?


252 Posts

This sounds like one of those targeted selection interview questions. "Describe a time where an escalated situation had a good outcome, and what you did to resolve it." BLAH!

Nurse Netty

10 Posts

Specializes in pediatrics.

In the perfect nursing world, there would have been an awesome back up crew, however~small town, long term care, night shift, alzheimer's unit...just me and 2 amazing nursing assistants.

Specializes in Critical Care.

The local newspaper published some articles about the sad state of care for people with dementia, mentioning a man with dementia with violent tendencies who was taken by police to various hospitals and county psyche on numerous occasions and how unfair this was. The family was upset about this and with the meds given to calm him such as seroquel because of the side effects and increased risk of death. The experts were up in arms about how this shouldn't be happening. We were supposed to magically be able to handle these violent people if we just took the time and knew how to do it.

I find this very frustrating because these violent dementia patients are dangerous, and it's all very well and good for the family to be upset; but they are not the ones who have to deal with their loved ones 24/7. When they are agitated and violent I do believe they need medication to keep them calm from hurting themselves and others.

Why is it that so many dementia patients are violent? But then again alot of men are physically abusive to their family when they are young and if that's how they've been all their lives they aren't likely to stop when they're old.

Either way, I don't want to be someone's punching bag! It annoys me when the so-called "experts" expect you to be Matyr Mary and just put up with violence because they are confused and can't help themselves. I think that is just wrong!

tokmom, BSN, RN

4,568 Posts

Specializes in Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff. Has 30 years experience.

My last one was caused by a evening shift nurse that told a daughter she didn't know squat about an elderly (dying) gentleman, even after being on shift for 3 hrs. The daughter was HOT and wanted the charge. Of course dumb*** nurse was more than happy to hand me the problem 5 minutes before my shift ended.

I got daughter and her friend, whom tagged along for moral support, into an empty room, so other family members didn't have to watch the lashing I was about to get.

After I got her sitting down and turing on dim lighting, I just let her vent. She called the dumb nurse names (IMO, I was thinking they were tame for what I was calling her, lol), Me (say what? I hadn't even met her until tonight, but was fair game of course) and then the MD for not spending more time with father. (MD spent hours with this family).

After 10 minutes of spewing profanity, and shaking in her business suit, she started to quiet down and then cry.

I gave her a tissue and attempted to just lightly touch her arm. I asked her what I could do at this moment to help her. I would even make a list. I gave her my name again, the station number and we went over her dads diagnosis and I explained labs, etc.. in detail.

Finally, after an hour OT, we hugged and she told me thank you. Of course she was apologetic for calling me names, but not the first nurse, lol.

Her dad was a frequent flyer after that for a few months. He then passed. Her mood would change quickly from tears to anger. I always treaded softly around her. Some days I could hug her and others she gave me the sense she wasn't up for warm fuzzies.