So, I mentioned that this past Thursday appears to have been Southeast Connecticut Fail Day. The more I look around, the more I think the whole week has been International Fail Week, but I've got enough to rant about.
Dunno why I didn't go ahead and write this yesterday. Did I mention this was a rant? Logic has no place in it. So why was I waiting to be coherent? *shrugs* Though not being incoherent is a reasonable goal, hopefully acoomplished.
The language fail and race fail went hand in hand, as they are often wont to do, when we had our "Intro to Geriatric Nursing" lecture, and thus, there was the age fail to go with them. The size fail appeared to come directly out of left field. Here are some of the comments my classmates were making that had my blood boiling. Did I mention that I ended up stuck with a seat back in the "chatty corner" of the classroom this semester? So most of this didn't filter up to the front to the prof. I wish I could say the same for myself.
Lecture point (and actually, this was in the ortho segment before we even hit geri): The various arthritic diseases have huge health care costs associated with them, and the incidence of arthritic diseases and disorders increase with age.
Classmate: DNRs would fix that.
As someone with an arthritic disorder, can I just say thanks so much for that? While I'm a firm believer in DNRs, I can't say that they're particularly applicable to arthritic disorders in and of themselves. In fact, I can't imagine where in seven hells that comment came from, and I probably don't want to know. What I do want to know is why this classmate is going into nursing at all with an attitude like that.
Lecture point: With the changes in demographics, geriatric nursing is a growing specialty.
Classmate: Something I didn't entirely make out that included "fat nursing" accompanied by a sneer and several giggles
Dear classmate, I'm not sure if your problem is with overweight nurses or caring for overweight patients. Either way, I'd like to point out the numerous times you've thanked me for saving your academic ass. Look back on them fondly, because I'm not all that inclined to give any future repeat performances. Sincerely, your fat classmate who sits two seats away from you
Lecture point: Also, the demographics within the aging population are changing, and there is a growing need for nurses with the ability to speak more than one language. Some statistics about racial demographic shifts. A classmate up at the front of the room shared that one of the computerized med systems automatically gives both Spanish and English drug info.
Several classmates: Various comments about that being "just wrong" and "learn the language" and other crap.
Dear classmates, WTF? No, seriously. I realize the immediate area here is pretty white-bread, at least until you get a bit closer to New London. I remember being hugely weirded out by that when I first moved here from Boston. So I guess I shouldn't be quite so surprised that there are folks still just starting to get used to the idea of not being a 90-something percent majority and resisting like hell. But can I just point out two reasons why, even if that's your attitude overall--which is still in dire need of adjusting, imo, because whether you like it or not, these demographics are shifting and you can either adapt or get left in the dust--it has no place in healthcare? First, when people are hurt or sick, they're going to have a harder time communicating in a secondary language, even if they're otherwise pretty fluent in it. (Never mind that with several dementias, they may very well totally lose a language they were once pretty fluent in.) Second, if a nurse needs to look up a med, and his or her first language isn't English, wouldn't you rather they had the option to read it in their own language to make sure they're not missing some critical nuance? Of course, given the demographics of our immediate area, I'll grant that Creole, Polish, French, and Mandarin are at least as needed as Spanish, if not a bit more.
So there's the race, age, size, and language fail. Then, on to work for the other two.
Client 1: You can't say stuff like that around her. She's religious.
Client 2: What kind of religious?
Client 3: Oh, I'm non-denominational.
Client 2: Then how can you call that religious? You have to be some kind of specific religion to be religious.
Client 4: Hey, everybody has their beliefs, and you have to respect them.
Huge round of applause for Client 4 in my head. So, that bit of fail was interrupted early, and without me or any other staff member having to intervene. I do wish I'd caught what "stuff like that" referred to though.
Not much later, yet another client was commenting on what they had on television. Key phrases included, "They're all gay on there" and "that's disgusting." Mind you, this is a client I've had to have the, "Whatever your opinion of any particular person or group may be, derogatory remarks towards or about that person or group are not appropriate or acceptable, and you've signed a code of conduct agreeing to that" conversation with. Repeatedly. All I had to do was walk into the room to get an apology out of said client for this behavior and acknowledgment that it was inappropriate. Several other clients appeared relieved by this, at least two of whom had probably been trying to work out how to respond to this themselves.
Then I looked at the tv to see WTF they were watching. I'd been thinking probably Will & Grace, with Buffy as a close second (though that would normally have inspired a witchcraft rant from this client either instead or as well). I'm too out of touch with what's on regular broadcast tv to have any other guesses. It appeared to be Tom & Jerry. Yeah, I don't know either.
And of course my fail in all of this is that other than the very last incident, I did nothing but fume and resist the urge to slap people. Not that I could've done much else during class, but there could've been a conversation or two afterwards. Bleargh.