When you're a nurse (in hospital anyway), basically, everyone you take care of is your boss. Not only do you have to do your job, but you also have to please the boss. This can be very difficult, as I'm sure you can imagine. Sometimes in the course of doing my job, I have to do things that do not please my bosses!
I always try to respect every person I meet as a human being (if for no other reason), but sometimes, I am required to take care of people who I would, for my own safety or comfort, cross the road to avoid!
I've had to take care of more than one jail or prison inmate. I took care of a person who was so abusive to one or another ethnic group that I've had to tell my co-workers not to enter the room.
I had a patient who was a very wealthy person. A sibling (probably also very wealthy) once came out into the hall and said "Oh, nurse." with a snap of the fingers in the air as if she were addressing a servant. Oh Man! Did that go up my nose!
Taking care of drug-users is always interesting. Never very fun, unless you like someone trying to manipulate you all the time, but interesting.
There was the family who requested another nurse because I didn't "Care" enough about his/her lactose-free milk. Mind, this person had been in hospital for two days without receiving the proper milk, but also without receiving the milk that would have made him/her ill. This was the first room I entered, and I was plunged into the lactose-free milk ordeal before I'd even met my other patients. The special milk was actually delivered with her breakfast tray, but I didn't get any brownie points for that.
This person knew that I had five other patients, and that I was trying to meet them and give them their morning medications. But this milk was more important, and the fact that I didn't *BLEEEP*ing CARE was important enough to him/her that he/she required the nurses' assignments to be shifted around. This caused two nurses to have to trade rooms, and walk farther between the rooms all day long.
There are patients who take pleasure in hurting the nurse. I ask people to squeeze my fingers so I can assess their grip strength. I've had men purposely squeeze and twist so hard that it hurt. And then laugh about it. I've been hit by men who didn't know what they were doing, and I would never get angry about that. But I've been hurt by people who did it on purpose.
There was a patient whose mother stayed in the room pretty much all the time. This person was incontinent and we put an apparatus on the "privates" that catches the urine and takes it to a bag. Mum kept removing the apparatus, and the patient repeatedly sprayed the bed, the floor, walls and even one unsuspecting nurse with urine.
Our IV pumps have a "beep" alarm. If there is air in the IV line, or the IV bag is empty, or any other problem occurs, the machine "beeps" for help. It's difficult to track this beep down sometimes, and I go from room to room, opening the door to see if the beeping is coming from that room. I opened the door of the room, and heard the pump beeping. I went into the room, asking in a rhetorical sort of way "Are you beeping in here?" The family said (almost as a chorus) "No" and pointed to the pump and said, "THAT is!"
I haven't seen it yet, but I suppose that some day I WILL find a room full of people who are beeping.
One patient fell and broke a hip in the mental institution in which he/she was living. He/she came to our hospital, but refused surgery to replace the hip. He/she was not mentally ill enough for someone to say "well, this person doesn't know what he/she's doing" and do the operation anyway. He/she was within his/her rights, but then, there we were! He/she couldn't go back to the mental institution, because they couldn't take care of someone with an unrepaired broken hip. And the nursing homes couldn't take care of him/er because of the mental illness. We had difficulty taking care of this person! He/she would need to be repositioned in the bed, but you can imagine how painful that was. Because of the mental illness, he/she was very off-putting. We understand that but it doesn't make it easier to deal with!
Another thing that's difficult to deal with is the family that takes copious notes. Well, that's not exactly true. I've had families who take notes and I have absolutely NO problem with that. As a matter of fact, I've suggested it, sometimes, to people who were having trouble remembering things. But if a family takes notes in a way that makes me feel that they are looking for some mistake to report to someone, that makes me nervous!