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to put this in my reply?

(232 Posts)
creampie Wed 04-May-16 18:57:28

At the risk of outing myself I've changed a few details but the jist is the same.

I teach med students. One of their projects is a tutorial in which they interview real patients in a class room setting. This week is dementia week and I had a gentleman patient and his wife attend.

One of the female students arrived wearing an outfit that looked like she'd just come from the gym, Lycra leggings and neon racer back vest. They are more than aware that these are real patients, not actors, and that a degree of professionalism is required.

I should have turned her away but these are mandatory and she would have been in trouble with her tutor so I let it slide.

When it was her turn to interview the man made a few inappropriate comments. Nothing awful, no swearing, but along the lines of "you'll never drown" and "I can almost see what you had for breakfast"

I intervened and sent her back to her seat.

She has now formally complained about the patients attitude and that I embarrassed her in front of the class. I simply said, let's call it a day there, you can return to your seat. Nothing more.

I am livid. The formal reply I've written is along the lines of sorry you were embarrassed, but what the fuck do you expect if you have the disrespect to turn up dressed like that. Only in flowerier terms, obviously. I can't believe she's got the audacity and lack of insight to complain about this.

I really want to send it. However, I'm concerned some PC person in HR will accuse me of victim blaming. Would IBU to send this? What would you do?

creampie Wed 04-May-16 18:58:22

Oh, and I've got a class now but I'll be back later to canvass opinion (sorry I know it's really annoying when OPs disappear)

Smellyrose Wed 04-May-16 19:00:40

Could you talk to someone unofficially before submitting a formal reply to get a feel for their attitude toward it?

TealLove Wed 04-May-16 19:01:07

I don't know what you should do. But that patient was out of order.

creampie Wed 04-May-16 19:01:41

Yes, you lot!

No, I'll run it by a colleague but I've only just seen it and wanted to vent

Buggers Wed 04-May-16 19:02:31

YANBU I'm not sure why she complained about you for?! The man probably said those comments as he felt she wasn't taking it seriously and she had lack of respect. Not sure I'd send the email maybe just take her aside next time you see her and ask her to dress appropriately next time your doing interviews.

creampie Wed 04-May-16 19:03:05

Just by the way, dementia reduces people's inhibitions. It wasn't really his fault as such, it's part of the illness. The students knew it would be a dementia patient and that this is part of dementia.

OurBlanche Wed 04-May-16 19:03:47

That patient has dementia... out of order would be his normal, some or all of the time - which is the bloody point, Teal

Cocacolaandchocolate Wed 04-May-16 19:04:52

Write to apologise if she felt embarrassed. Offer her a time to meet you to discuss further. Use that time to talk about appropriate dressing

whatnoww Wed 04-May-16 19:04:55

She complained about comments made by a man with Dementia? She sounds lovely hmm

ChicRock Wed 04-May-16 19:05:05

She is a cheeky mare.

You should have sent her away.

The patient was out of order.

I'd perhaps arrange a chat with her, rather than do it over email.

x2boys Wed 04-May-16 19:05:20

Was the man that made the innapropriate comments the one with dementia? If so the student has a lot to learn I worked in dementia care for years I, m an RMN I got all kinds of comments I,m quite big ,and I got lots of comments about my size obviously inappropriate but it was all part of the job so yes she will get innapropriate comments ,I think you should have said something when she turned up but she needs to learn that not all patients wiil be nice and how to dress appropriately.

Cocacolaandchocolate Wed 04-May-16 19:05:24

Oh abd I would get advice from higher up the chain too

Windsofwinter Wed 04-May-16 19:05:59

Surely as a future doctor (?) She should expect that she might have to deal with difficult patients, particularly if dealing with dementia? I think her inability to do so is more concerning than what she wears. However, did you actually give her the opportunity to handle the situation professionally before jumping in??

Husbanddoestheironing Wed 04-May-16 19:06:41

I would discuss it with your line manager before you send anything- preferably get some help in drafting the response. My feeling is that med students need some guidance before this type of event to understand that dementia patients may make comments that are inappropriate and need to learn to deal with it. The patient might well have been horrified themselves before the onset of dementia.

Squiff85 Wed 04-May-16 19:06:47

I think when people have dementia you have to accept strange comments - I used to work in care and they'd forever tell me how big I was (as if I was HUGE, I was only a size 16, but am tall too) but I'd laugh it off. People complain about everything nowdays!

creampie Wed 04-May-16 19:07:03

No I didn't really give her much chance to defend herself. She looked really flustered and I thought it was getting out of hand so I sent her back to her seat

isupposeitsverynice Wed 04-May-16 19:07:19

Hang on, the patient presumably has dementia - he can't really be held accountable at this stage! I thought it was common for dementia sufferers to behave inappropriately and as a medical professional, don't you have to expect that and just get on with your job? I love a bit of political correctness but really, this is about a lack of professionalism, not victim blaming. I think YANBU, OP.

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 04-May-16 19:07:27

TealLove, that patient had dementia. I've seen it mentioned on here before by MNers dealing with their patients that one sign that alerted them to the dementia was the inclination of thoughts going straight into words with no filter. He was not 'out of order', his reaction to the unprofessional student was typical of a patient with dementia.

Shelby2010 Wed 04-May-16 19:07:44

Surely part of the lesson is for her (as the 'professional') to learn how to handle this kind of remark from dementia patients. At the same time she might learn to dress appropriately for the occasion.

Buggers Wed 04-May-16 19:08:20

Exactly what I was about to say. She should know enough about the basics of mental health to know not to take it to heart..

confusedandemployed Wed 04-May-16 19:08:43

I would respond totally refuting that I embarrassed her. I would remind her that the patient is demented and therefore his inhibitions are reduced. I would further advise her that if she wants to continue to be taught by me then she should take care to dress appropriately in future.

BettyApplewhite Wed 04-May-16 19:08:44

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

WorriedOrStressed Wed 04-May-16 19:08:45

Agree his comments were attributable to his condition. Strikes me this student lacks professionalism and sensitivity to the clinical situation albeit in an artificial environment. Can you discuss with her personal tutor OP? Is she struggling with the course?

OurBlanche Wed 04-May-16 19:08:56

creampie on reflection, why not raise this with their tutr/mentor? She has made quite a serious error in judgement, or three:

1) the way she was dressed was in no way appropriate

2) she has failed to reflect on the matter and seen that she is in error

3) she is showing, quite clearly, that she is not yet able to show good judgement and/or ematahise with those she is supposed to be treating (or learning to)

She needs to be shown that this, all of this, is not showing her in a good light, now, whilst she still has time to make a change... or decide that she is not cut out for patient centred medicine!

I think, not knowng all the cicumtsnces, that you might be doing her a disservice, long term, if you did not make this a real life learning curve for her.

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