what do u say to pts when they ask where u live?

by JadeRN722 (New) New

I actually live in the same city where I work and I almost always get asked where I live. When they realize I live in the same city as them, they want to know what street. I never give this information but does anyone have any good responses to this personal question?

ChristineN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg. 3,464 Posts

Pt's ask me where I live frequently too. I never given the exact street/house number but I will tell them what community or near what train station. Most pts don't press beyond that, and I believe most people's motives to be pure and just curious as how long my commute is, especially in bad weather.


78 Posts

Like Christine, I give a vague answer; Over by _____ school, on ____ street. Never an exact address. They are just trying to make conversation and "place" me in the community. I often get asked my husband's name, too. We don't have a listed phone, so I'm comfortable doing that and quite often they know him.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 30 years experience. 163 Articles; 21,073 Posts

I live in a rural community but work in several locations and I just give the city and that's it.

I then turn around and ask how long they've lived in XYZ city and that almost always gets the conversation redirected.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 16 years experience. 224 Articles; 27,608 Posts

I live in a large city with more than 700,000 people.

When patients ask where I live, I'll tell them the name of the city. If they continue to fish for more information, I'll tell them that I live in the southwest part of town. No one has ever asked for more specific information, such as the name of the street.

ocean waves

Has 35 years experience. 143 Posts

Hello. I agree with the posters who say "give a vague answer" and "ask patient a question to redirect the conversation". Though patient questions about where nurses live may be well intended "curiosity about your commute", it is wise for nurses not to disclose personal information for two reasons: (1) patient centered professional care---the goal is to focus on the patients' medical needs; (2)self protection--some risks of telling personal info include that in some rare instances a patient might end up calling you at home for patient education issues or a mentally off patient might end up stalking you. Best wishes!

SummerGarden, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 14 years experience. 3,341 Posts

OP: If they really really keep fishing and bugging you (I had ONE patient do this because I think he had a crush on me), then tell that patient or family member that it is against policy to discuss personal information with patients or families. We work in a high risk profession, where not everyone is nice. There is a nurse at my work who has a stalker! So, if they feel hurt by your response, then tell them about the stalkers.... They will stop fishing if they have any sense.


251 Posts

How about saying i live in Happy Meal and someday I'm moving to Big Mac. Wanna see a confused resident's head spin try that one. Really i just tell them i live right here in town and i leave it at that. These are my thoughts use them as you wish. May i add what's ruff is when you meet family members outside of work like at Walmart or the movies or even out to eat. And they want to know how their loved one is doing and if your working that night or day. I have to be polite with out sounding stand offish or rude. I never know what to say because i don't want to get slammed by Hipaa. Ok I'm done These are my thoughts use them as you wish...

linearthinker, DNP, RN

Specializes in FNP. Has 25 years experience. 1,688 Posts

I live in a community with about 4500 people. Most of the neighborhoods have names, "blah blah creek," and " such and so pines," etc. I am comfortable naming my subdivision. It's familiar to everyone here. Not a big deal to me. I'm not in the phone book, and the gate is guarded 24/7. It isn't as though weirdos could get in to stalk me.

littlemammanurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in PP, Pediatrics, Home Health. 1 Article; 185 Posts

I usually just give the name of the town and that I live near the fair grounds, or near a school that's close to my home, usually I have patients that don't ask much more than that.


1,459 Posts

With a smile, "I live around." And it ends there,unless I choose to divulge further.


Has 14 years experience. 1,188 Posts

If you don't want to give out any info, with a friendly smile on your face you say "I'm sorry, for the safety of our employees it is against hospital policy to give out our home addresses."

If you want to remain vague, you can say "I live near downtown." It easy to follow up with a deflection similar to "I love living near downtown. I thought the traffic and parking would be a nightmare, but actually it's been great. It's so close, I can usually walk if the weather is decent. I only wish there were a grocery store nearby, I have to drive all the way out to 39th and Chrome for a good grocery store. In which grocery store have you found the best produce selection?"