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Trigger Warning!

Nurses   (6,954 Views | 108 Replies)
by hppygr8ful hppygr8ful (Guide) Guide Writer Expert Nurse

hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and specializes in Psych, Addictions, Elder Care, L&D.

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emmjayy is a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU, CCRN.

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On February 16, 2019 at 1:07 PM, morelostthanfound said:

I tend to agree.  While I understand that importance of not offending people's sensibilities, I feel this trend has really gone sideways.  My personal pet peeve are 'euphemisms'.  I realize that some of these may be from a bygone era and are now considered objectionable, but what happened to just calling things by their well known, and often simpler, names?  personnel department (Human Resources), housekeeping (Environmental Services), being poor (economically disadvantaged), glasses (prescription eyewear), cough drops (throat lozenges).... 

I'm getting my BSN right now and I have to cloak every sentence I write in useless euphemisms to satisfy my professors' relentless need to be politically correct. If I write a paper about the problems of homeless people, I'm better off if I talk about "the challenges facing housing-impaired subgroups of economically disadvantaged populations" than if I just say "being homeless is a struggle and here's why." It's nauseating. No one talks like this in real life. I like to read my professors' discussion post writing prompts to my boyfriend (who does not have a medical background) and we laugh heartily at them. Every prompt reads like an exercise in stringing as many PC-sounding buzzwords together as possible - the end result is an unintelligible mishmash of garbage.

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

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37 minutes ago, emmjayy said:

I'm getting my BSN right now and I have to cloak every sentence I write in useless euphemisms to satisfy my professors' relentless need to be politically correct. If I write a paper about the problems of homeless people, I'm better off if I talk about "the challenges facing housing-impaired subgroups of economically disadvantaged populations" than if I just say "being homeless is a struggle and here's why." It's nauseating. No one talks like this in real life. I like to read my professors' discussion post writing prompts to my boyfriend (who does not have a medical background) and we laugh heartily at them. Every prompt reads like an exercise in stringing as many PC-sounding buzzwords together as possible - the end result is an unintelligible mishmash of garbage.

"Boyfriend"?  Now isn't that a bit triggering?  Don't you mean your temporary --possibly-permanent-companion-who-currently-identifies-as-male?

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Emergent has 25 years experience.

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7 minutes ago, TriciaJ said:

"Boyfriend"?  Now isn't that a bit triggering?  Don't you mean your temporary --possibly-permanent-companion-who-currently-identifies-as-male?

Yes, the word boyfriend is a social construct of the 20th century transition from earlier norms of strict courtship rituals. It was, however,  an era of strict gender roles and assignments,  where alternative sexuality was strictly taboo.

We are now in the 21st century,  and have put those barbaric times behind us, as evidenced by our stable, tolerant, and peaceful society. 

I believe the term 'partner' is considered inclusive of all...🤔

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WestCoastSunRN has 20 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CVICU, MICU, Burn ICU.

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On 2/17/2019 at 8:38 PM, Emergent said:

@WestCoastSunRN What's wrong with shopping on Amazon? It's a convenient and useful way to shop. One of my sons is working for then and the wages are decent, the hours flexible and benefits excellent. 

I don't know.  Maybe because it's a big corporation stealing business away from mom and pop stores, or other retail in general?  They sell stuff from China on Amazon?  It's a monopoly?  Honestly these are just guesses -- I did not further engage in the conversation about Amazon to find out.  Maybe I should have, but I don't like opening Pandora's box at work unless it's for the benefit of a patient.

Yes, I have heard they are a good employer.  Good for your son!

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I am currently in graduate school with other NP's CNS's,PhD's,  etc. During orientation and in every class syllabus they hammer in the trigger warnings and other 'insensitive' topic's. If someone is 'triggered' or offended they are supposed to stand up and say "halt!" and we are supposed to have a discussion about why the statement is offensive.... 

I have a huge problem with the trigger warnings. We, as nurses, are trained health professionals who will get a variety medical problems thrown at us in an unpredictable way. You have NO IDEA when a patient is going to want to talk about something that may upset you and as health professionals (and yes, as much as we don't always like it, it INCLUDES mental health) we have to have the coping skills to deal with this.  

During orientation, they had a trigger warning when they were discussing sexual assault/abuse and a number of people got up and left.  I realize that it is an enormously sensitive and difficult topic, however, as a rape survivor myself, I understand perfectly how difficult it is to to sit through.  Having said that, I know that sitting through it is exactly what you need to do.  It isn't easy, in fact it is miserable, but you have to learn to be able to sit with it.  You have to let yourself be uncomfortable and learn how to move through the world again.  Everyone deals with their emotions differently, but we all have to learn to cope.   

I have strong feelings about this and I know some people may disagree, but in a lecture hall full of aspiring health providers, I think that it is important that they be able to cope.  How can we expect our patients to have coping skills when we don't?  

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OldDude specializes in Pediatrics.

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"Here, hold this puppy, and here's a coloring book..." 

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WestCoastSunRN has 20 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CVICU, MICU, Burn ICU.

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Very well said @buttercup9 .  I have been through trauma in my life as well, I would not be able to do the work I do if I had not figured out how to cope with it and through it.  Going around it and avoiding it is not an option for healthcare providers.  If you have to go around and avoid, you need to make sure you are not in a position to come across those "triggers" when people are counting on you.  Personally, I think this has got to be true for humans, in general.  But some professions -- nursing is one of them -- does not allow us to get triggered and say "halt", and then discuss why we are triggered.  I can only imagine how this would look at work.  

 

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Bonstemps has 10 years experience as a EMT-P and specializes in Disaster, Conflict Mgmt.

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Spoken like a bunch of folks who don't really seem to understand trauma. 

I understand your being upset and mystified, but when it does no harm to say a single sentence, why complain about it? It's for those who truly struggle, not for you who sits there and rolls your eyes.

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Emergent has 25 years experience.

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6 minutes ago, Bonstemps said:

Spoken like a bunch of folks who don't really seem to understand trauma. 

I understand your being upset and mystified, but when it does no harm to say a single sentence, why complain about it? It's for those who truly struggle, not for you who sits there and rolls your eyes.

Said like a person who doesn't know much about me or the others here. I'm sure there's plenty of trauma to go around. 

BTW, you should have given us a trigger warning at the beginning of that comment. 

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8 minutes ago, Bonstemps said:

Spoken like a bunch of folks who don't really seem to understand trauma. 

I understand your being upset and mystified, but when it does no harm to say a single sentence, why complain about it? It's for those who truly struggle, not for you who sits there and rolls your eyes.

I think the issue here isn't being sensitive nor is it saying a single sentence. As you can see by reading the comments, there is a time and place for saying "trigger warning". I have no problem accommodating someone who genuinely needs this, but the difference between someone who genuinely needs a trigger warning and people who need to be coddled is this: People who actually need trigger warnings work with people to identify triggers, face them, and then eventually, they are able to identify and cope with triggers.  

Saying "trigger warning" before saying something that could possibly hurt feelings or giving constructive criticism is not an appropriate use of "trigger warning". It desensitizes people, and makes people who actually need trigger warnings look unvalidated. When all you do is say "trigger warning", but then don't teach these students how to address certain triggers, you're building a future where people just say "Trigger warning!" and then do absolutely nothing past that. What's the point of saying "trigger warning" then? What are we supposed to do for these students if they are triggered? How are the students supposed to respond to these trigger warnings?

I am all for trigger warnings, but use them appropriately and with an action plan. 

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Bonstemps has 10 years experience as a EMT-P and specializes in Disaster, Conflict Mgmt.

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3 minutes ago, JollyBug92 said:

I think the issue here isn't being sensitive nor is it saying a single sentence. As you can see by reading the comments, there is a time and place for saying "trigger warning". I have no problem accommodating someone who genuinely needs this, but the difference between someone who genuinely needs a trigger warning and people who need to be coddled is this: People who actually need trigger warnings work with people to identify triggers, face them, and then eventually, they are able to identify and cope with triggers.  

Saying "trigger warning" before saying something that could possibly hurt feelings or giving constructive criticism is not an appropriate use of "trigger warning". It desensitizes people, and makes people who actually need trigger warnings look unvalidated. When all you do is say "trigger warning", but then don't teach these students how to address certain triggers, you're building a future where people just say "Trigger warning!" and then do absolutely nothing past that. What's the point of saying "trigger warning" then? What are we supposed to do for these students if they are triggered? How are the students supposed to respond to these trigger warnings?

I am all for trigger warnings, but use them appropriately and with an action plan. 

I agree with this. Its overused and people now associate it with something "weak" and "bad".

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4 hours ago, WestCoastSunRN said:

Very well said @buttercup9 .  I have been through trauma in my life as well, I would not be able to do the work I do if I had not figured out how to cope with it and through it.  Going around it and avoiding it is not an option for healthcare providers.  If you have to go around and avoid, you need to make sure you are not in a position to come across those "triggers" when people are counting on you.  Personally, I think this has got to be true for humans, in general.  But some professions -- nursing is one of them -- does not allow us to get triggered and say "halt", and then discuss why we are triggered.  I can only imagine how this would look at work.  

 

I've been "triggered" at work, if that's an appropriate use of the word. It sucks, yes, but you have to learn how to identify your feelings, address them, and not let that carry over into your patient care. 

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