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#NURSESHIFT: Caring for the unpopular patient

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On 1 May 2012, nurses and students got online to discuss ‘caring for the unpopular patient’.

The chat was started off by @AdamRoxby who said he had to care for a suspected paedophile.

@NursingTimesED said: “My view is that all nurses should treat everybody the same. Is this simplistic?”

@Ramck001 agreed and said: “Hey, I’m Ross, a newly qualified nurse in NHS Lothian. It is our job to judge, it’s our job to care and that overrides all.”

@Missjjo looked at things from a different angle saying that “unpopular patients just mean we have to adapt our communications, there may be many reasons for their attitude.”

There seemed to be a consensus that irrespective of what a patient has done, they all deserve the same high standards of treatment.

@AndrewBogg encompassed this view by saying: “You leave your personal opinions aside and have a duty of care to provide treatment. We are on shaky ground by being selective.”

The conversation then turned to the issue of the unpopular nurse thanks to @missjjo. @NursingTimesED responded by saying: “I think nurses can be unpopular was daft but shouldn’t be with pts. Should always find way to reach them?”

The conversation remained on topic with @lipglosselise saying that: “I personally find looking after drunk drivers difficult.”

@Jodieannhart stated: “Working in forensics nurses reactions change entirely one sex offender is admitted. It’s unacceptable, we should not charge!”

@lipglosselise made an interesting statement by saying “anyone injured as result of commiting a crime is a challenge, but I resolve to get them better to face the courts!”

@l_ah_c stated: “I don’t think you can help making snap judgements but you can help it to not affect how you treat people.”

And this week’s #tweetofthechat from @Ramck001: “Our ability as nurses to care for anyone, even people we dislike or ‘hate’ shows just how truly strong we all are :D ”

The discussion went on for over an hour and despite some examples of some very tricky patients bring bought up, the unanimous opinion was that it is irrelevant what a patient does in their own lives - when they are admitted to our wards we shall continue to be professional and deliver high standards of care.

Thank you all as ever for your fantastic contributions! Also, thank you for adhering to the #NMC’s social networking guidelines and remaining professional online.

Adam Roxby @AdamRoxby, standing in for Mikey Whitehead @STNNurse_Mikey

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