Ask Katie Duke: “How do you keep calm when dealing with aggressive patients?”

iStockphoto | ThinkStock

iStockphoto | ThinkStock

Got a question about the state of the nursing profession, nurses as they’re portrayed the media or an on-the-job dilemma you need advice about? Well, you’re in luck!

Last week, we asked readers to tweet questions to Katie Duke, our Scrubs magazine cover model and one of the stars of NY Med. Check out her answers below and don’t miss her next Twitter chat if you’re got a burning question you need answered!

@sa_leslie asks:

What do you do to keep yourself calm when dealing with aggressive patients or family members in the ER?

You should always maintain calm authority. And always call security when escalation starts; do not tolerate aggressive verbal or physical behavior, at all. Use your resources of physician backup, security, and charge nurses. Always use the police when necessary.

What drew you into nursing besides your family history of nursing?

My fascination with the human body and what it can and cannot handle.

@Leah_Superspy asks:

Hey Katie, what is your first tattoo? Are you getting more?

My first tattoo was my horoscope sign. I’ll probably get more whenever I get the itch.

@nycnursevikki asks:

After Scrubbing In you were the example of a realistic role model of nurses. Your feelings?

PROUD!!! Scrubbing In was only an example of young adults parting and fighting with each other. That’s fine for reality TV, but being a realistic role model for nursing means: I won’t sell out my professional pride and dignity for 15 minutes of fame, I will be aware of what my personal choices will reflect upon my profession, and I will show that nurses work hard, are highly trained and are also a genuine piece of the healthcare team.

@BGlickstein asks:

Hey #asktheDuke are you excited about @amnurseproject  documentary that opens May 8th @Digiplexdest theaters nationally? I am.

TOTALLY excited–I was pleased to be at the private screening for this doc film and met the director. I am so excited that this film touches on the human aspects of national nursing and taking care of “people”… from jails to rural nursing homes. These stories are endearing.

@HannahDru088 asks:

Advice for new nurses?

Be proactive about getting a job–network, be aggressive and make contacts within hospitals and managers. Get your BSN and get certified–it will always benefit your career. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to admit that you don’t understand something. We have all been a “new nurse” and the way we learn is to embrace the nerves and the uncertainty and take it as energy to move in a forward motion.

@NorthernMurse asks:

How do you feel about hospitals not hiring ADNs? We passed the same exam…

I wish that this wasn’t an issue anymore these days. I myself was an ASN/ADN, but 10 years ago times were different. The fact that more and more hospitals these days won’t hire ASN/ADNs is disheartening because we still have SO MANY programs nationwide that are pimping out these degrees. Where are these capable and qualified nurses to turn? I feel that these nursing programs should either be phased out or facilities/hospitals be required to hire competent qualified ASN/ADNs. This is something that the ANA should stand for. I support the BSN as a minimal requirement for nursing in the future but we need to make sure that the nurses of today’s programs are able to work and find job security.

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Katie Duke


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2 Responses to Ask Katie Duke: “How do you keep calm when dealing with aggressive patients?”

  1. Isis Phoenixx

    Replying to NothernMurse:

    On the subject of hospitals not hiring ASN/ADN nurses;as per what I have gleaned from All Nurses comments,some hospitals hire LPN’s.

    “Kindred Hospitals hire LPNs, as does Norweigan American. Some hospitals will also hire LPNs but only in certain departments (Central DuPage, Provena, St. Alexius/Alexian Brothers) or in their outpatient/ambulatory care clinics (Loyola, Rush). If you have a hospital in mind you would consider working at, go ahead and check their website. They will usually have information on the site as to what type of nursing staff they hire.”

    The fact that hospitals are able to hire LPN’s, who attend trade schools for ten to twelve months,they should also make accommodation for ASN/ADN nurses who have pursued college courses in addition to a two years clinical .Some ADN/ASN nurses also went into nursing with BA,BS,and Diplomas from other disciplines….which I think should be used as a bridge to the BSN program. If LPN’s are being hired,and ASN/ADN are being phased out of the hospital, then that’s an unfair situation which I think NYSNA, The ANA,and other nurses organization need to examine…..surely quite a few ADN/ASN nurses are finding it difficult to find a place in the health care arena. BSN in ten,or as the basic entry is good,but we cannot put nurses with years of experience out to pasture…they should be grandfathered into the BSN program….they need the assistance of nursing organization in order for them to stay in the field of nursing.

  2. Sara

    What is most disappointing to me, is that I have found ADN graduated nurses to be more prepared to work in hospitals, where you will find the greatest numbers of employed nurses. I understand that we are trying to project a more professional appearance to the outside world, and hopefully by virtue of education will gain a more professional standing, but nurses need to have strong clinical skills, something not emphasized in BSN programs. I was originally an ADN prepared nurse and went back to school later to earn my BSN. I found clinical skills to be glossed over and instead theory and nursing history was focused on along with writing research papers. I have precepted many BSN new grads who had had so little clinical experience that they had no idea how to take or give report, give meds or do any of the common simple clinical exercises that make us nurses and is required by their new profession. In fact they thought (and had been taught) that this was beneath them, because they were going to be managers….I don’t know who they thought was going to do it? Our profession should demand that clinical skills be more clearly a part of the BSN nurses education if we truly intend to phase out the ADN Nurses… Our patients deserve it.