When Your Patient Wants To Talk Politics

Updated:   Published

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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?

Has 12 years experience.

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

1 Article; 10,195 Posts

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 44 years experience.
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

4 Articles; 2,363 Posts

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 11 years experience.

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

451 Posts

Specializes in ED, med-surg, peri op. Has 6 years experience.

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

20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 26 years experience.

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.

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

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

5,016 Posts

Has 13 years experience.

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

37 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 7 years experience.

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

9 Articles; 4,338 Posts

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 31 years experience.

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

2 Articles; 4,065 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

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