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8 Things You Should Never Say to a Patient

Nina Kim, Georgia Price | NursingLink

August 05, 2009

You don’t get to choose your patients. So your relationship with them can range anywhere from “match made in heaven” to “your worst nightmare.”

Any appointment can be a potentially difficult situation, mainly because when patients come to see you, they’re probably already anxious. They may be concerned about what’s ailing them, be uncomfortable with the sterile atmosphere, or have a general distrust of medical practitioners.

Regardless, proper patient care requires utmost clinical professionalism and good communication.

But “good communication” doesn’t necessarily mean “tell all.” While transparency is important, there are certainly things nurses should never say to their patients. Ever.

To help you keep your patients at ease, NursingLink came up with 8 things you should never say to them. We’ll also offer suggestions for what to say instead.

Next Page: #1 “This won’t hurt at all.” >>


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    Geoffery

    about 3 years ago

    52 comments

    Thanks for sharing this information with us. I am a big fan of reading, thanks for sharing this wonderful information.
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    Alwaysanurse1

    over 3 years ago

    20 comments

    I think that if you place yourself in your patient's shoes and think how you would like for your nurse to treat you, then you cannot go wrong. I know that I have to remind myself to keep my mouth zipped and not blurt out every thought or reaction. It is not necessary and like the article said, could come back to haunt you. We just need to be professional and remember the golden rule.

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    susanthomas1954

    over 3 years ago

    6 comments

    The ER doc told me three hours into my ER stay (I had gone in for excruciating post op pain.) "Oh, I wrote your pain med orders on the wrong chart." My response was, "I hope they're happy." He responded, "Oh, he didn't get it either." (I am a "she.") mmmhm, and that's with them knowing I'm a nurse. This happened last week.

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    laursaurus

    over 3 years ago

    4 comments

    LOL This is stuff you learn in school from the beginning. When I cross-trained to work in Surgery, it was quickly drilled into our heads to never say "Whoops!" in the OR. The surgeons even know this rule. But they don't always give you something to say instead. State the word, "there" instead of blurting out an expletive.
    Knowing what not to say is just half of the picture. Knowing what to say instead is just as important to maintaining a professional re pore with patients and co-workers.

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    SaraCWhiteaker

    almost 4 years ago

    8 comments

    when I have been told "its probably nothing serious" I took it as "Don't worry unless there is something to worry about & when it comes to that we will deal with it accordingly" so I guess it just depends on the person & how they generally take things they are told. It does sound like a good 'rule of thumb' not to use that phrase just in case someone comes back with something bad and decides to hold you accountable for saying that lol.

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    gemini52981

    about 4 years ago

    8 comments

    I had went to the ER at my local "band-aid station" with what was diagonosed as pneaumonia. I asked the doc what was wrong and he said. "I dunno, what do you think?" WTF!!!!

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    beth8115

    about 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Yeah, it could always be worse. I had the worst when I had AF back in January in Vanderbilt University Hospital with a pulse of 250. I had to be defibrillated 3X and was unconscious for 2 weeks, but I never heard this comment.

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    kd_aman

    about 4 years ago

    72 comments

    "I doubt it's anything serious." I've heard that one before at work lots of times....I think even from Dr's!!!

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    umapathy

    about 4 years ago

    180 comments

    the instinct can raise anything but professionalism should work at there

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    crash_n_bang99

    about 4 years ago

    2 comments

    You always have a better perspective if you have unfortunately been a patient yourself..... When you are told in school to put yourself in the patients position, I think it is impossible for some people unless if they have experienced it

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    cxg174

    about 4 years ago

    50 comments

    Unfortunately I think sometimes patients need to know thay you are not ignoring them but are actually very busy. I think it should be said in a nicer way though, such as "I am sorry it is taking so long, we have not forgotten you, we are just very busy at the moment and we will be there as soon as possible" or something like that.

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    harleyone

    over 4 years ago

    10 comments

    And may I add one that drives me crazy. When Nurses are speaking to a pt why do they say "I need you to...."? Isn't the treatment about the pt? It's not about what I want/need/think etc. Just for perspective I'm an old ER RN. What I ask pt when giving an injection for example, "I have your pain medication, it goes in your butt/hip/right there (whatever is appropriate for pt understanding), which side do you want to roll onto or do you want to stand?"

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    ebradd

    over 4 years ago

    18 comments

    that would scare me

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    mjohnson

    about 5 years ago

    18 comments

    I have found that honesty is the best policy. Every one has their own level of pain tolerance so never promise something that you are not 100% sure you can deliver on.

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    aidah

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    you know what you are absoulutely rightb but i here it all the time, no bed side maner.

    SLPN Gwen

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