Patients who abuse family members-How do you handle this?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Tina Gee Tina Gee 1 month ago.

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  • #73677

    patients who abuse their family members



    I’m a nurse and I work in a nursing home. I’ve been here for over ten years and been a nurse for 15. I used to love working here, but lately, I’ve become tired of working there because there seems to be an influx of patients who treat their family members like dirt and I just can’t handle this.

    There is one quadriplegic¬†patient that we have and he recently had the injury which caused his disability. He is in his 30’s, so I understand and have empathy for him because it must be absolutely awful to go through what he has gone through and know that you will never be able to do for yourself anymore.

    But he treats his wife like dirt. He yells at her and calls her names, verbally abuses her and she is just the sweetest girl to him. I’ve told him several times to appreciate her because she obviously loves him, but he continues to berate her, order her around and expect her to do everything for him right away.

    How do other nurses deal with these types of patients? I’m becoming depressed because this is what I have to deal with all the time now and it makes me a little bitter about being a good nurse to them when they’re so hateful to their spouses. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

  • #73678

    I agree that there are some patients that are nearly impossible to deal with. But it’s really not our job to get involved with their personal affairs. It’s our job to take care of their needs medically.

    We cannot allow ourselves to become bitter and judge people based on the way they act *or have acted in the past). Any correctional nurse will tell you that it’s not easy to put the patients’ personality to the side and do your job the same way with every patient.

    There are patients who are horrible people. Think about the patients that are rushed to the hospital after shooting up a bunch of people and murdering. Think how hard it would be to actually try to save this person’s life. But it’s our job and we decided to become nurses, so we have to accept that aspect of the job.

    You have to treat everyone equally and just like you would want your own family to be treated, regardless of how they treat their families. They need medical help, that’s why they’re there and they are relying on you to give them that.

  • #73679
    Tina Gee
    Tina Gee

    PPRN- I completely disagree with you when you say that she should ignore the personal problems they’re having. It’s our job as nurses to pay attention to the whole person and not just the disease or dysfunction they have.

    This patient has undergone an extremely traumatic experience and by the sounds of it he’s in need of some psychiatric attention and possible couples counseling, which you could look into and help them with.¬† We can’t even begin to understand the damage this does to your mind when something like that happens.

    I’m not condoning his behavior, but I’m saying that we must work together and collaborate with other medical professionals to sort through the care plan for this patient and do what is best for him. If that means you should call for a psych consult, or contact his physician so they can do this then so be it.

    We should judge and we do judge. It’s important to judge. By judging you have observed problems that should be addressed immediately. This couple worked together in a certain dynamic and now, since this injury the dynamic has changed and there will be problems adjusting to their new life. Help them.

    When you help, them maybe you won’t be as affected by his behavior. When you understand what is really going on it helps you to become a bit more empathetic.

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