When Your Patient Wants To Talk Politics

Updated | Posted
by KC,RN Member

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I guess this could apply to any part of life, but just curious how everyone handles it when your patient wants to talk about politics. I typically try to redirect the subject back to the care I am providing, but sometimes you have to stay in a room for one reason or another and they just won’t stop. So does anyone have any good tactics since this is a topic that just won’t go away?

CharleeFoxtrot, BSN, RN

Has 11 years experience. 834 Posts

I used to lean in close (before Covid LOL) and say in a low voice "we aren't allowed to talk about this" and give them a wink and loudly change the subject.  They thought I was agreeing with them and would usually go with the re-direct.

KC,RN

34 Posts

26 minutes ago, CharleeFoxtrot said:

I used to lean in close (before Covid LOL) and say in a low voice "we aren't allowed to talk about this" and give them a wink and loudly change the subject.  They thought I was agreeing with them and would usually go with the re-direct.

I love this! Perfect way to handle it! I’m going to use this, thanks!

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,483 Posts

1 hour ago, CharleeFoxtrot said:

I used to lean in close (before Covid LOL) and say in a low voice "we aren't allowed to talk about this" and give them a wink 

Thanks for my first truly LOL this morning, CharleeFoxtrot!

 

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JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 1,941 Posts

Luckily I'm in the ICU so I tell them "we aren't allowed to discuss politics in here because it raises people's blood pressure, right now no one in here is stable enough for that (even the staff)." That usually just makes them laugh and I can change the subject. 

EDNURSE20, BSN

Specializes in ED, med-surg, peri op. Has 5 years experience. 451 Posts

Personally I let them rant on, and get on with what I need to do. Generally they talk so much, there isn’t a chance to say anything back. Once I’m done I swiftly interrupt them and leave. 

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,878 Posts

I just tell them it is against policy for staff to discuss controversial topics, to include politics. And then if they keep going (and they sometimes do), I walk away and tend to other patients.

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU. 536 Posts

I usually listen somewhat absent-mindedly for a few minutes and then change the subject and move on. I do the same with my friends and family when politics become exhausting for me 🙂

Sour Lemon

Has 12 years experience. 5,015 Posts

I usually let them rattle on while I give vague, dumb, non-committal, "I was just born yesterday" types of responses. If they insist on pushing me for an opinion, then I'll let them know it's an off limit subject. Most people just want to talk about themselves, though.

Rogue1

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience. 26 Posts

I just laugh and say "unfortunately I am way too busy working all here the time to be able to know anything about the news/politics" and change the subject to how awesome the hospital food is, LOL.

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 30 years experience. 9 Articles; 4,328 Posts

I happen to work in an area that politically swings very liberal so much so that everyone assumes that employees and patients all share the same convictions. I see comments about current events being openly shared here.  It is actually those in the minority of opinions that I feel bad for when they become our patients because they seem apologetic about their beliefs like this one instance when an elderly female patient asked if Fox is even offered in our TV channel selections because she wanted to watch a show.  

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 29 years experience. 2 Articles; 3,860 Posts

I had a fun conversation with a 92 year patient today about President big mouth 😆