Rude nurses. How to deal with them?

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emt58

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I'm a fairly new EMT and almost all of my encounters with nurses are not good and have me leaving the ER with a bad impression. I can't believe people in such a profession would act this way towards anyone involved with a patient. I understand it could be a demanding job and yeah you know your medical stuff and you're more knowledgeable than EMT's and most medics but none of them seem to have any manners. Each time before being cleared I say 'thank you' I don't even get an 'uh huh' or any sort of acknowledgement.

Like this morning... got the patient in the room and the nurse got hateful with me because the information sheet I gave a few minutes earlier hadn't registered on her CPU yet and then was asking me the vitals and I don't remember the exact numbers so I looked on my tablet (which I'm still getting used to) and she just kinda huffed and puffed which really kind of embarrassed me in front of my patient. Pretty much got the tablet slammed into my gut after getting her signature with no goodbye, thanks, or have a nice day. I don't know if this is egotistical behavior or stress... or something else?

One other thing I will bring up... so far it seems at my EMS job and even volunteering people think they are so high and mighty because they think they are medical geniuses and almost seem to purposely make them self look better/brag when taking about patient care or drug knowledge because they are medically trained. I mean it's good and all and I guess if I was highly trained I'd feel cool too. I don't mean to offend anyone, this is just an observation from what I've seen during my time as an EMT. Sorry to complain if that's how I'm coming off.
 

VFlutter

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I'm a fairly new EMT and almost all of my encounters with nurses are not good and have me leaving the ER with a bad impression. I can't believe people in such a profession would act this way towards anyone involved with a patient. I understand it could be a demanding job and yeah you know your medical stuff and you're more knowledgeable than EMT's and most medics but none of them seem to have any manners. Each time before being cleared I say 'thank you' I don't even get an 'uh huh' or any sort of acknowledgement.

Like this morning... got the patient in the room and the nurse got hateful with me because the information sheet I gave a few minutes earlier hadn't registered on her CPU yet and then was asking me the vitals and I don't remember the exact numbers so I looked on my tablet (which I'm still getting used to) and she just kinda huffed and puffed which really kind of embarrassed me in front of my patient. Pretty much got the tablet slammed into my gut after getting her signature with no goodbye, thanks, or have a nice day. I don't know if this is egotistical behavior or stress... or something else?
There is no reason to be overtly rude or disrespectful in a professional environment but at the same time if you are incompetent it will not hide my discontent.

If you dropped me off a patient and had to fumble around to find patient information or exact vitals then I am not going to very happy. You should be able to give a quick, concise, and accurate verbal report. Not "He was 90ish percent on a few Liters, Blood pressure was 120s over something, uhhh I think he has a history of COPD".

For example, when I respond to a code or rapid response I expect that the primary RN knows basic information such as the patient's history, recent events, and vitals prior to coding. I want this information the second I walk in the the door. I do not want to stand there while they flip through the chart trying to find history or look in the computer for recent vitals. If they do not know any of this then I will tell them they can leave the room, and probably not in the nicest tone, since they are useless to me and now just in the way.
 

Anjel

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The preciseness and smooth reports come with time. The OP is obviously new. No need to be rude period. Cut the poor guy some slack.

Around here all of the nurses are really nice to the paramedics. Not so much the EMTs until they get to know them. But they all hang out with us and go to the bar after work at 7am.

Hang in there OP. You will get the hang of it. Just kill them with kindness.
 

FiremanMike

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Sheesh, really? Exact vitals really aren't that critical, and if you value them that much, they'll be on your monitor in a few seconds when your tech gets your initial set of vitals. If you want my exact last set of vitals and I can't remember them off hand, check the squad sheet because I called report while staring at my monitor. Listening to my verbal report of the overall big picture of scene information, chief complaint, interventions and response to interventions is much more important than differentiating between 142/76 and sats of 93 versus "pressure was 140s over 70s and sats were in the low 90s despite blah blah interventions"..

To the OP, you just gotta suck it up. Keep showing up and showing them you know what you're doing. I find most nasty nurses don't last too long in the ER before they move on to an easier job. Some nurses just never really get over the odd dynamic between prehospital and inside the ER..

It doesn't matter how long you've been doing this, you'll still get them occassionally.. I just had a nurse the other day condescendingly tell me my patient wasn't in trigemeny because there were no group of 3 PVCs anywhere on my strip. When I explained to her that trigemeny was a PVC every third beat, she chuckled and looked away. I just laughed inside my own brain at the thought of her telling her nurse friends later about the dumb medic and them telling her she was wrong. On a side note, I hadn't seen her before and I haven't seen her since..
 
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emt58

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There is no reason to be overtly rude or disrespectful in a professional environment but at the same time if you are incompetent it will not hide my discontent.

If you dropped me off a patient and had to fumble around to find patient information or exact vitals then I am not going to very happy. You should be able to give a quick, concise, and accurate verbal report. Not "He was 90ish percent on a few Liters, Blood pressure was 120s over something, uhhh I think he has a history of COPD".

For example, when I respond to a code or rapid response I expect that the primary RN knows basic information such as the patient's history, recent events, and vitals prior to coding. I want this information the second I walk in the the door. I do not want to stand there while they flip through the chart trying to find history or look in the computer for recent vitals. If they do not know any of this then I will tell them they can leave the room, and probably not in the nicest tone, since they are useless to me and now just in the way.
I understand but I think being incompetent and being new to EMS while gaining experience running calls are two very different things. All of the negative attitude starts right as I walk in, I can sense it, it's not just after fumbling around for vitals or whatnot. To them I may seem incompetent since I'm so new still learning the ins and outs of my duties and that's ok but it's still no reason to be rude. I'm sure most of us have had jobs where we wanted to scream at someone/customer but we all have to maintain professionalism... working at a hospital or ambulance service shouldn't be any different, although we should be held to a higher standard. We all have jobs to do but to me the most important thing is patient care and good manners. Being a nurse shouldn't make you better than anyone else.
 

VFlutter

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The preciseness and smooth reports come with time. The OP is obviously new. No need to be rude period. Cut the poor guy some slack.
Agreed however it sounds like the OP is just assuming that everyone else is the problem and that RNs are just rude for no reason when in reality it may very well be how the OP interacts with them.

There are two sides to every story.
 

Anjel

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Agreed however it sounds like the OP is just assuming that everyone else is the problem and that RNs are just rude for no reason when in reality it may very well be how the OP interacts with them.

There are two sides to every story.
I completely agree.
 
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emt58

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Thank everyone for the reply. I just have to suck it up. I'm going to move on and try and get better with time. This has taught me to be more accurate and on point with a verbal report so I will do a better job of jotting down vitals, patient history, and brief report of the call and interventions. If I can get better with the tablet while managing the patient I can multi-task better with PH care.
 

Tigger

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I understand but I think being incompetent and being new to EMS while gaining experience running calls are two very different things. All of the negative attitude starts right as I walk in, I can sense it, it's not just after fumbling around for vitals or whatnot. To them I may seem incompetent since I'm so new still learning the ins and outs of my duties and that's ok but it's still no reason to be rude. I'm sure most of us have had jobs where we wanted to scream at someone/customer but we all have to maintain professionalism... working at a hospital or ambulance service shouldn't be any different, although we should be held to a higher standard. We all have jobs to do but to me the most important thing is patient care and good manners. Being a nurse shouldn't make you better than anyone else.
If you expect the ED staff to be mean to you every time you come in, you are going to perceive everything they do as rude. I'm not really sure what you are "sensing" but everyone I've ever worked with that had issues with the ED staff was always looking for reasons to prove how nasty they were when in reality little if any of it was happening. Even if they are truly being rude for no reason on every encounter, if you walk in with the right attitude it won't matter as much to you. Eventually the staff will learn you're plenty competent but until then take some time to practice getting it better.

Take a step back, think about what the staff wants from you and what you can do to get better at that. If you can, go through your report in your head before you even step through the doors. Think about how you are going to transfer the patient and whatnot. Some planning and practice will go along. As others have said, if you get lip, just kill em with kindness. No other solution is going to help in the long run.
 
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emt58

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Agreed however it sounds like the OP is just assuming that everyone else is the problem and that RNs are just rude for no reason when in reality it may very well be how the OP interacts with them.

There are two sides to every story.
How should I be interacting? Please explain. I'm a very nice person and easy to get along with. I'm still learning, that is the problem, not a nurses or anyone else. I'm not assuming anything. Not all nurses have been overly rude to me or my partner however a good majority have.
 
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emt58

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If you expect the ED staff to be mean to you every time you come in, you are going to perceive everything they do as rude. I'm not really sure what you are "sensing" but everyone I've ever worked with that had issues with the ED staff was always looking for reasons to prove how nasty they were when in reality little if any of it was happening. Even if they are truly being rude for no reason on every encounter, if you walk in with the right attitude it won't matter as much to you. Eventually the staff will learn you're plenty competent but until then take some time to practice getting it better.

Take a step back, think about what the staff wants from you and what you can do to get better at that. If you can, go through your report in your head before you even step through the doors. Think about how you are going to transfer the patient and whatnot. Some planning and practice will go along. As others have said, if you get lip, just kill em with kindness. No other solution is going to help in the long run.
I will do my best to get better. I never want to be an annoyance or nuisance and make someone else's job harder.
 

FiremanMike

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Agreed however it sounds like the OP is just assuming that everyone else is the problem and that RNs are just rude for no reason when in reality it may very well be how the OP interacts with them.

There are two sides to every story.
This is true and needs to be considered, but it also needs to be said that there are RNs with a chip on their shoulder just like there are medics with a chip on their shoulder. No way to really tell what happened here with only 1 side.
 

CALEMT

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From what I've read I'm assuming that you're fairly new to EMS (no offence). When I first started the nurses came off like a holes to me. Then a couple weeks down the road after they have seen my face and saw how my reports improved they warmed up to me. I has never rude back I slapped a smile on my face said thank you and have a nice day... Like everyone else is saying I pretty much killed them with kindness and it woked. Also in that time frame I worked on my turnover reports and when I need to glance at the tough book I already have it ready just in case. Just keep improving on the things you need to work on, be kind and it will be all good.
 

Remi

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I find most nasty nurses don't last too long in the ER before they move on to an easier job.
My experience has been the exact opposite. Most of the crotchety nurses I've worked with or encountered as a paramedic were the crusty old ones who'd been doing it forever.

A busy ED is a really tough place to work. A new ED nurse is usually even more intimidated and lost than a new paramedic or EMT, and folks in that position are generally not aggressive.


Being a nurse shouldn't make you better than anyone else.
Of course it doesn't, and you won't find many people who think that it does.

Being rude is not a "nurse thing". It is an individual issue. There are plenty of individual EMT's, paramedics, cops, firefighters, doctors, etc who are rude.

If the rudeness is really that intolerable then you should go to your management and have they try to deal with it through official channels. If it is as bad as you say, then I'm sure you aren't the only one dealing with it and it shouldn't be hard for your bosses to find enough examples to make a good case to the ED administration.

However, I would first reflect and make that you aren't exaggerating the issue. Perhaps it is as bad as you say, but I've encountered few people who were as blatantly disrespectful as what you describe.
 

Tigger

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I will do my best to get better. I never want to be an annoyance or nuisance and make someone else's job harder.
As you start to improve you might notice that the nurses start to soften a bit, if not that's when you know you're dealing with someone you can't please. Sometimes it's worth asking what they think you are doing wrong, other times just smile and leave. You can't please everyone.
 

VFlutter

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How should I be interacting? Please explain. I'm a very nice person and easy to get along with. I'm still learning, that is the problem, not a nurses or anyone else. I'm not assuming anything. Not all nurses have been overly rude to me or my partner however a good majority have.
Be confident and concise. Honestly, I could care less how nice you are or how easy you are to get along with. I want the pertinent information I need so that I can get my job done. This goes for all transfers to higher levels of care. I do not care if you are an EMT, Medic, or RN as long as you know what you are doing. I frequently get report from all of them. Like others have said it is not a certain profession it is an individual thing.
 
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emt58

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Be confident and concise. Honestly, I could care less how nice you are or how easy you are to get along with. I want the pertinent information I need so that I can get my job done. This goes for all transfers to higher levels of care. I do not care if you are an EMT, Medic, or RN as long as you know what you are doing. I frequently get report from all of them. Like others have said it is not a certain profession it is an individual thing.
I would agree that's what I would want if I was in their shoes. My confidence level is low at the moment with barely any experience and I know I keep bringing this up but it's true. Maybe that's why I get the stink eye from RN's when giving a report. I'm not very comfortable doing things I'm not used to doing and book smarts really don't mean much. One thing about my NREMT class was that we didn't get very much hands on experience, and I knew after I got through the course and passed the exam and practicals that I wasn't going to feel alright at first. But I want to get better. I suffer from social anxiety, slight speech disorder, and ADD. It's a shame, and I know I know, some of you will probably say I don't belong in this field but I love helping people and I want this to be my career. I'm no idiot, I just have a lot to work on and things to get over. But I'm doing my best.
 

Akulahawk

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I would agree that's what I would want if I was in their shoes. My confidence level is low at the moment with barely any experience and I know I keep bringing this up but it's true. Maybe that's why I get the stink eye from RN's when giving a report. I'm not very comfortable doing things I'm not used to doing and book smarts really don't mean much. One thing about my NREMT class was that we didn't get very much hands on experience, and I knew after I got through the course and passed the exam and practicals that I wasn't going to feel alright at first. But I want to get better. I suffer from social anxiety, slight speech disorder, and ADD. It's a shame, and I know I know, some of you will probably say I don't belong in this field but I love helping people and I want this to be my career. I'm no idiot, I just have a lot to work on and things to get over. But I'm doing my best.
Although the book is a little "old" I suggest you read certain parts of "The 60 second EMT" as there's a pretty good section there about giving verbal reports for medical and trauma patients. Once you've got the general format, all you have to do is "plug in" the specifics and you're off and running. Also, while some other info is a bit "old" as well, you still can learn from it, particularly things to keep an eye out for.
 
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