One of my favourite columnists writes about the "Price of Admission" for being in a relationship. In order to be happy, you have to accept their faults. I think a similar principle applies to nursing. 
I currently have a bruise on my arm about4cm (2inches) in diameter. This was given to me by a patient I was trying to insert a foley into. He had been peeing blood for a few days before coming to the hospital, a CBI had been running, and he pulled it out. He had advanced dementia and didn't speak English. In his mind, he was defending himself. He punched and pinched me as I was inserting the foley. There was already two other staff members trying to stop him from doing that, but, as I've learned, people can be incredibly strong when they think they are fighting for their lives. When it comes to that, I generally don't have a problem with it. I've been called some pretty horrific names by confused people, and I can shrug it off, because they don't mean it. Either they think I'm trying to hurt them, or they have some head injury that takes away that filter most of us have. They just say whatever comes into their heads. I accept this as the "price of admission" for being a nurse. 
What I can not, and will not, stand for, is when people are rude or ignorant to me on purpose. I have been whistled for, snapped for, had suggestive comments made, been  yelled and screamed at and more. This type of abuse would get you banned from a restaurant, arrested on a plane and kicked out of  a store. This does not just come from the patient, either. This comes from the family as well. I have made it clear to families and visitors what kind of behaviour will not be tolerated on my ward. I have actually gone so far as to have visitors removed from wards I've worked on in the past. 
There is the price of admission, and then there is abuse. Nobody deserves to be abused in their workplace. 
 


03/15/2012 7:38am

Have I told you lately that I love you? I like this idea of the "price of admission". I have taken some pretty crazy threats and statements from people in the courts, I am often asked how I don't lose my cool. Many of these people have mental health issues or very very serious drug addiction issues (probably hiding more mental health issues). Sometimes you have to learn the difference between that which is controlled and that which is not!

It takes a very very very special person to be a nurse and I am so glad to know that you are one of them!

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Amy
03/19/2012 6:41pm

You are nothing short of awesome. I really enjoyed reading this post and many of your others. Your combination of wit and insight make them a great read...can't wait to read more!!!

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Chantil
03/28/2012 1:22pm

Good for you to stand up for yourself. Many people wouldn't for fear of the consequences. Nobody deserves to be treated like crap (on purpose like you said some people are not in the right mental state) regardless of their job. Love you. Xoxo

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03/29/2012 1:53am

i agree with amy, great post!

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