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Feel unheard and patronised

  • 04-04-2021 11:56pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi, so I am currently doing DBT Sessions with 2 mental health nurses weekly, over zoom.

    There are 4 other people also participating. I have been doing this for almost a year.

    The issue im finding one nurse (nurse A) so patronising, and a bit egotistic. The other (nurse But) is A 1 with her work. She listens, explains stuff v well and is sympathetic. Having been in and out of mental health care for the last 10yrs u don't come across someone like her too often.

    Iv found the last few weeks when we are trying to connect to the meeting through zoom, 9 times out of 10 there's an issue. It actually frustrates me a lot, that I find I become even more irritated with nurse A kind of laughing things off, that I find it hard to take things in and make the most of my session because of her. Her tone of voice and how she addresses some things are ott at times. For example when we were meeting face to face in groups, we were advised not to use the words should and but. When we did she would bang the table and say "ah ah watch ur words", it was fine at the start but it grated on me a lot that I would actually ignore when she would do it to me and carry on. Others would laugh it off a bit.

    The last meeting, again there was a delay of 40min. I was just so pissed off (again) and was having bit of a stressful day already , I rang nurse A (wanted nurse b but she was trying to fix the problem) I told nurse A how I was finding it frustrating, that I was already feeling stressed and that I wasn't going g to participate as I felt I was not in the right head space, and because a lot of time was already wasted I was getting more stressed and had things to do.

    She over spoke me, didn't seem to fully listen to what I actually said and 4 times suggested the same things, even though I had explained (clearly those 4 times) I knew these sessions are important (I have never missed one before) that I completely am aware I'm letting myself down, thinking in emotional mind but that I had actually gotten time the stage of being so annoyed I just did not want to participate. Tbh I just didn't want to be listening to her aswell.

    Many times iv felt her patronising me and the others. It's like she the head teacher and we're the students. Where it's not. We are all individuals looking and trying to improve our life. We want to feel heard and understood.

    I find a lot of her answers are just text book and what she has read. I don't know her background but I strongly feel that she really doesn't get a lot of issues. She talks as though she knows it all. Twice iv witnessed her speaking to 2 people, unprofessionally.

    I don't know if what to do. I'm sick of acting like this doesn't bother me and feeling patronised.

    I'm not going to send a letter to some supervisor or anything like that, maybe some suggestions on how and what to say to her, in a nice way that I feel she comes across patronising. It's going to be so uncomfortable, I don't know if I'll have the balls to do it, but I really don't want this to be interfering any more with my DBT work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,635 ✭✭✭nothing

    This can happen sometimes when someone who's never had a mental health issue is running a dbt program. One of the important things is that it runs on time, so I can understand getting frustrated when it doesn't. What is unacceptable is a nurse being dismissive of your feelings, or frustrations. It might be worth writing down the problems as you see them, in as plain a language as you can, trying not to blame anyone (yourself or the nurse) and send it to both nurses. She might not realise that she's actually antagonising people. After a year, you should have covered most, if not all, of the skills, use the ones you find most useful to help you through this.

  • Administrators Posts: 12,877 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    I think sending a letter is a fantastic idea. But address it to both nurses. I'm sure you are not the only one who has this issue. And I'm sure nurse B is very aware of nurse A and how she operates.

    A letter to both outlining your problems will highlight this to both of them, and it is then up to both of them to come up with a way of making this program better for you. Talking to her directly yourself isn't going to change her, at all. But if a colleague has a word with her, or a 'team meeting' on ways to improve the service then it might have more of an impact.

    Your post is very articulate and well worded. Think about what you would like to say and send it, to both of them. Often the only way to deal with situations is head on. And I do understand that can seem monumental when you're suffering. But, if you do address this directly with 'the team' then 'the team' will have to discuss it and maybe make some changes.

    Zoom isn't that difficult. It should not be going wrong so often and delaying everything and adding to your stress and anxiety. I know a lot of nurses have no IT skills and that is why there is Admin staff on wards, in clinics etc.

    Address your points in writing clearly. You are very articulate and yoi are more than capable of highlighting this. You should be getting benefit from these sessions. If you're not, and the reason you're not is down to how the sessions are being run then you should (there's that word!) absolutely address it.

    By bringing it to both of them you are more likely to get a response. Nurse B will want to do the right thing by you. Nurse A will likely just dismiss your concerns if you say anything to just her.