vent--angry patients--your input


  • Specializes in ER. Has 13 years experience.

I just need to vent and am looking for some input! I had an angry patient this am who was only in the er to get another work excuse---at least this is what I could submise(?) from him anyway, he wasn't very forthcoming with any answers and rolled his eyes alot! He had been in the ER 3 days earlier and was currently being treated, he stated he couldn't work and wasn't better(VSS, etc). Asked him to please get into a gown(short off only) and md would be in to examine him(MD on requires pt to be in gown or he doesn't go in). This pt grabbed the gown out of my hands quite abruptly put it on OVER his clothes and started swearing at me. I remained calm and told him to stop yelling at me, continued with explaining why he needed the gown on, blah, blah, blah, needless to say this pt kept on and on. I began to walk away but the volatile beast within me let a comment slide that I shouldn't I pulled the curtain, I said "You know sir, I wouldn't come to your place of employment and treat you like that".:banghead: What was I thinking---at least I wasn't rude or snotty about it! The doc that was on said I handled the situation very well. The pt eventually left without being seen-----I told my director as LWBS are automatic call backs! Now I wonder, what "punishment" is coming my way? What do you guys think???????/


658 Posts

Specializes in CMSRN. Has 9 years experience.

You are still human, not a robot. Comments can be said to some degree. Since you were not snotty in your tone, I do not think it was horrible to say. Maybe not the best but not bad either.


658 Posts

Specializes in CMSRN. Has 9 years experience.

LWBS=Left without being seen (I think)


7 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 13 years experience.

LWBS= left without being seen

April, RN, BSN, RN

1,008 Posts

I don't necessarily think what you said was wrong. The patient was being rude and you said something to let him know that.

Specializes in Travel. Has 25 years experience.

Patients who are in pain or out of work are often irritable and act out toward staff. This is part of a nurse's life. It may have been more therapeutic to say "you seem frustrated, can I help?". This can be difficult to do, I understand, but the situation will usually play out much differently if you help the patient by remaining therapeutic.

Specializes in forensic psych, corrections. Has 7 years experience.

I don't think it was inappropriate at all. There's no reason for a patient to be verbally abusive, regardless of your specialty or what their medical problem might have been.

Thankfully I work in corrections so I don't have to deal with that. If an inmate did half of what you described our interaction would have been terminated and he probably would have gotten a ticket and a free trip to lockup.

crb613, BSN, RN

1,632 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg/Tele/ER. Has 7 years experience.

I don't think you did anything wrong. You were much nicer than I would have been, and I really, really try.....but when the cussing, and yelling starts....I am done. I would have & have told pts like came here requesting medical care.....these are the things I need to know/what you need to do in order to get that care.....its up to you.

You have two options.... leave or do as I ask & cut the crap or the next person you see will be the police. How would you like to proceed? I am really a nice person & I love what I do & give the best care I possibly can....I just am not a good doormat!

Specializes in Family Practice, Mental Health. Has 32 years experience.

I believe that your response would be considered an appropriate use of "limit setting".

You do not need to be someone's whipping post in order to be seen as being a "good nurse".


317 Posts

Specializes in dialysis (mostly) some L&D, Rehab/LTC.

In Texas...shooting annoying people is considered self-defense.....:smokin:

Mr Ian

340 Posts

Specializes in mental health; hangover remedies. Has 15 years experience.

I liked what you said - a lot.... and if I was your boss I'd ask if we could use your comment for the new "zero-tolerance to violence in the workplace" poster.


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