FIVE family members in a crowded ICU rm all night long!

  1. 8
    Last night I took care of a very young adult patient who is basically donor material now because of a rather unfortunate combination of cocaine and a heart condition.
    The family was approached in ER about the big "D" word and are extremely hypersensitive about any talk of such "things" right now. I had the patient as a 1:1 in the ICU and I was literally TRIPPING over family members in the room. When I discussed the amount of family members in the room with the lead nurse that was on, I was informed that this situation was unique, and we should just let the family stay.
    FINE.
    About half way through my night, I was really busy, as the patient had been rather unstable all night, and the same lead nurse mentioned that I should look less harried around the family, that it was making them nervous.
    I was so busy, that I just stuffed that comment into my "Boy when I get a chance I'm going to be P.O'd about that!" place and kept working.
    Well, I've got that chance now, and I'm PO'd about having to look like a fairy ballerina while I try to save someone's life.
    (I'm still trying to locate the policy that has been quoted to me that we have visitor restriction in the ICU - especially at night!)

    Thank's for letting me vent.
    nrsang97, lananp, oldiebutgoodie, and 5 others like this.
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  3. 22 Comments so far...

  4. 7
    I remember those good old days where people were only allowed 30-60 minutes like 4x day.....ahhh....back when you could concentrate and get some work done. You know instead of make small talk, get warm blankets, and ensure hair/lipstick is still perfect which are REALLY important for that customer service piece.

    5 people is WAY too many for night-time. We allow only 1 to stay overnight. If there is a large group during the day, I give them the "let's keep it brief, etc" speech. Sometimes it works.

    It's really hard to take care of unstable patients, mix and titrate gtts, monitor stuff, etc when you are having to trip over people and get bogged down in all that stuff. And if your lead nurse didn't want to you to seem so harried maybe she could've rolled up her sleeves and pitched in while you got caught up.
    RoyalNurse, nrsang97, anurseuk, and 4 others like this.
  5. 5
    My heart goes out to you as I can empathize. It makes for a very challenging shift. It does sound as if you could have used some assistance from the lead nurse instead of a lesson. I think it is great that you handled the situation the way you did. Very professional, and even if the family didn't know it they were lucky to have you that night.
    nrsang97, anurseuk, SuesquatchRN, and 2 others like this.
  6. 18
    Quote from stressgal
    My heart goes out to you as I can empathize. It makes for a very challenging shift. It does sound as if you could have used some assistance from the lead nurse instead of a lesson. I think it is great that you handled the situation the way you did. Very professional, and even if the family didn't know it they were lucky to have you that night.
    I am still in favor of sending visitors to the nurse managers office or administration, and let them sit in THIER offices all day while they try to get their work done. What is good for the goose in good for tha gander! JMHO and my NY $0.02.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  7. 3

    Wouldn't that be funny? I can just imagine how much the NM would accomplish explaining the basics of running a nursing unit to a group of visitors then the Director breathing down her neck wanting to know why payroll is late?!?!
    nrsang97, lindarn, and SuesquatchRN like this.
  8. 5
    LOL that would be funny. Don't forget about the director telling the manager not to look stressed in front of the family while's she's at it.
    UMAshtangi, nrsang97, nurse_mo1986, and 2 others like this.
  9. 2
    In our PICU we often have to contend with the entire extended family crowded into a room the size of a large closet. And the kid doesn't even have to be that sick! Our management thinks it's totally fine that the nurse has to climb over people, move furniture around and reach across the bed to do things so that parents aren't inconvenienced. What gets me going is those times when I am expected to do my work in the dark so that the parent can sleep on the sofa or stretched out on a reclining chair, while I crawl around trying not to disturb them. About the only assessment that is not affected is the pupil check!
    lindarn and SuesquatchRN like this.
  10. 0
    Quote from janfrn
    In our PICU we often have to contend with the entire extended family crowded into a room the size of a large closet. And the kid doesn't even have to be that sick! Our management thinks it's totally fine that the nurse has to climb over people, move furniture around and reach across the bed to do things so that parents aren't inconvenienced. What gets me going is those times when I am expected to do my work in the dark so that the parent can sleep on the sofa or stretched out on a reclining chair, while I crawl around trying not to disturb them. About the only assessment that is not affected is the pupil check!
    I most humbly retract my complaint. You have me beat by far. I think I would be pretty sour about having to nurse in the dark while under stealth mode.
  11. 7
    Perhaps what you need is this

  12. 0
    LOL!!! I laughed so hard, I almost soaked my diapers with that one!!!


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