Limit Setting

Something that has been both a struggle for me in my personal and professional life is setting limits with people. I have a very hard time saying no, especially when it is someone who is in pain or is in the hospital. 99% of people are in the hospital because they need to be, not because they want to be, but every once in a while there is a patient that is there because they want to be and are seeking medications or other services they could not otherwise obtain.

Saying no is a skill I am still learning, but setting limits is something that I needed to learn early on in nursing. I remember the first time that I needed to set limits with a patient I failed miserably. Fortunately my instructor was with my so she was able to give me some pointers, but I remember feeling like such a doofus that I was unable to steer the conversation the way I wanted to and that I allowed the patient to walk all over me. I had never had to assert myself before so this was totally new and foreign to me.

Now I am better at setting limits with my patients, but I still have a long way to go before I feel comfortable doing it. I still struggle with it every time I have a patient that is difficult, but I am getting better at it.

How do you guys handle setting limits with difficult patients? Or any patients for that matter? Was this something you struggled with? Let me know in the comments below.

 

~Niki

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