What do you do with them?
We have one patient at my LTC who has a family member there 24-7... they come in shifts. They are ANXIOUS. They call each other constantly with "updates" like "Sarah just ate 3 bites of yogurt!" or "Sarah's temperature is 99.5!!!! I think you need to come down here!!!!"
They want care provided by 2 CNAs (whether or not 2 are needed for the task at hand) at very precise times. If you're 5 minutes late they practically have an aneurysm- they're never hostile but they'll put on the call light and hover in the hallway and flag down anyone who walks by. This is after supper when call lights are going off like crazy and people on alarms are jumping and there are only 2 CNAs on the floor. They seem to think if she doesn't get put to bed RIGHT NOW then something terrible is going to happen to her. They take everything way too literally- like I'm sure when they first came here that someone explained to them why we were repositioning her, so now as a result they think that if we're 10 minutes late turning her that she's going to have a stage 4 decub by the end of the night.
They used to leave the room during care but lately they've been staying in there to hover. It makes things really awkward because the visitor on our shift alternates between jumping up gasping over the slightest little things and cooing from across the room at her family member and saying "I'm HERE, Sarah." Tonight she was hyperventilating over the hoyer lift and how she doesn't trust it. It's a machine specifically designed for the purpose of moving people! Physical therapy would not have care planned it if it wasn't safe!
They are driving me CRAZY! I wish someone would give them a Xanax or 3.
Yeah, I had to deal with a lot of people like these when I worked in a LTC. We had SEVERAL families who acted like that. This nursing home was located on the border of a "Posh" neighborhood. We had people in the hallway having fits because their loved one's pillow wasn't fluffed high enough....while someone was coding in the hall! I even had a family member demand I get salt for her mom while her roomate was coding!!!
Have you tried to nicely ask that they leave the room? I would definately alert the charge nurse about the "hovering". That could affect the quality of care the patient receives as well as it beeing privacy issue. How do you think the patient feels about all the spectatership?
I understand the family probably feels bad that they had to put their loved one in a nursing home. It sounds like maybe they should be a little more pro-active as well. We would try to "educate" these types of families because often they are tracking you down for something so simple..they could do it themselves.
Last edit by asun21ta on Aug 6, '09
Quote from fuzzywuzzy
Last night instead of bringing the hoyer into the room I stood in the doorway with it, while my partner kept having to squeeze around this woman, who was to get things ready and ended up chasing her into a piece of furniture. The visitor was like "umm, maybe I could stand over there? Or there?" and we didn't really say anything in response. I remained standing there with the door wide open until she got the hint to LEAVE. Not only is there not enough room for an extra person in there, but she gasps and startles over every little thing. The other night I'm trying to take the patient's shirt off. It was a tanktop. You know how normally you take the arms out one at a time and then the neck... well I go to take her arm out and she goes, "ahhhh omg!!!!" like I was killing the patient. She runs over there and starts taking the shirt off herself, only she can't do it so she's just fussing for 5 minutes while I'm standing there. Anytime I tried to touch the patient she would gasp. So eventually I just butted in and took it off. I thought she was going to have a nervous breakdown when I pulled it over her head. Hello? It's a shirt. You have to move the person's body to take it off, unless you literally cut it off. It doesn't just dissolve.
For reasons such as this & your above situation, I ALWAYS ask the family member to leave the room while I give care. I nicely tell them it's a privacy and safety issue for the patient. It usually worked. Unless the relative insisted on helping us with a particular task, they had to go. I made sure the Nurse was ready to back me up, and usually they were. This almost aways ends up affecting the quality of care your patients receive. It has a domino effect too. If you spend all night trying to please one family member, other residents end up getting neglected. Then you have bigger issues to deal with.
I strongly encourage you to have a talk with your charge nurse about this family member. Often, these family members have no medical background so they don't understand what your doing is NOT to hurt the resident. There is a medical basis to almost everything we do and often, families will not understand that. That is why it is important they leave. Having them making faces and sounds at your every move makes everyone nervous and it's especially no good for the resident. Situations like this never turn out good.
I understand if you feel the urgency to refuse care to this resident. Because the family members is already beginning to throw false accusations out there, you don't want to put yourself in the line of fire. This is how good CNA's get into serious trouble. CYA
. I hope it does not come to this....but it is a wise decision on your part to ask for a new assignment. This family member could get you in a world of trouble you do not deserve....
Last edit by asun21ta on Aug 10, '09