Bringing the entire family to ER

  1. Why oh why must patients bring the entire family to the hospital's ER? For support? Yeah right, most of the time they are either arguing or chit chatting about who aunt sally just remarried... again. Are they bringing them because they are familiar with their medical condition? Yeah, right.... most of them start telling you about their own medical problems, not the patient being seen. Do they bring them just to take up space and annoy the nurses... yup.. that's it .. that's the one.

    Now, mind you I don't mind patients having family with them. They are useful to both patient and staff. I'm just venting about bringing 15 of them. Often the young children are running around touching things they have no business touching, screaming and disturbing other patients. And yes, I know there are all kinds of childcare issues that may necessitate bring young one, but come on, use some common sense.

    And my final gripe is when the whole fam damily wants to be seen. Mom: I've had a sore throat for 2 hours and I need to be seen. And as long as we are here, little Johnnie has had a cough for 2 weeks and little Susie has had vomiting and diarrhea for 1 1/2 weeks and baby Neil who is 3 weeks old today has had a fever of 102.5 for 3 or 4 days. Now notice, and this is consitent, that mom has had symptoms for 2 hours while the kids have suffered for weeks. And the babe.... let's not have the child seen with that fever on it's own merit.. only when mom can't tolerate her poor little sore throat.

    Maybe they think there will be a group discount or something? Maybe even buy one get one free.

    Oh.. and how about all those unattended children roaming the Er willy nilly.... ugh... that's another thread... I'm done venting...lol
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   Dialyzin' Dar
    The same can be said for the dialysis unit-- people bringing little kids in and letting them wander all over unattended, crawling on the floor, etc. The best one was when a little boy dropped his pacifier on the floor and Mom was about to shove it back in his mouth, UNWASHED, when the Charge Nurse grabbed it and washed it, then told Mom that there's blood on the floor and it's really not a good idea for kids to be in there in the first place! (While the patient may enjoy seeing the cranky grand-kids, the rest of us DON'T!)
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Absolutely true story in my ER - about six months ago: in comes mom, grandma (sitting in a w/c with shawl over her head) and two children. Mom starts off with URI symptoms, two kids with rashes and then mom says "Oh by the way - grandma isn't acting right". You got it - grandma (all 60 pounds of her) was sitting dead in the chair. The poor triage nurse just spit out: "she's dead!" So..we put her in a bed, did a perfunctory round of CPR and pronounced her. Then...no lie guyss - Mom comes back to triage and says "when are we going to be seen!"" I swear - this is true - no one could make up such a sorry story!
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I'd laugh (ok i did, because people amaze me), but that's a weird family roaming free.

    What kills me is when people act SO surprised that they won't be seen for free, just because they accompanied their son to the ER, and all the sudden they themselves have developed some sort of problem.
  6. by   RNin92
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Absolutely true story in my ER - about six months ago: in comes mom, grandma (sitting in a w/c with shawl over her head) and two children. Mom starts off with URI symptoms, two kids with rashes and then mom says "Oh by the way - grandma isn't acting right". You got it - grandma (all 60 pounds of her) was sitting dead in the chair. The poor triage nurse just spit out: "she's dead!" So..we put her in a bed, did a perfunctory round of CPR and pronounced her. Then...no lie guyss - Mom comes back to triage and says "when are we going to be seen!"" I swear - this is true - no one could make up such a sorry story!
    traumaRUs...

    we have GOT to do something about the water in illinois!!!
    OMG!!!

    it is nice to know that some of the crazy people in this state have ventured south of the city!! thought we had 'em all!!!
  7. by   angel337
    in our er we only allow at the most three people in a room at a time unless it is a very sick patient. sometimes those rules get bent a little depending on the situation. when people try to sneak in the whole family to be seen at the same time i tell them " you have to go back out to the waiting room and see a triage nurse" they say "but can't you just see me while you are seeing her/him" "no i can't the policy is that all patients have an individual chart". by then they are frustrated that they may have to wait ANOTHER 3 hours and then they usually are cured within 10 minutes. mind you while all of this is going on no one is really interested in the real patient. today a lady tried to have all ten of her children (yes 10) seen at once because she did not want to get up early to go to her doctors office. the children were fine and were rated a 4 (which is low low acuity) and within 2 hours she wanted to sign AMA. don't you love it.
  8. by   canoehead
    "she's dead, Jim"


    LOL
  9. by   veetach
    why do they bring them??? Because it is a social outing. It is so much better than staying home, maybe they will have an opportunity to see some blood or, even better, see the state police bring (drag) in a screaming bleeding drunk in handcuffs. Why, its better than the movies.

    The ER also has air conditioning and cable tv.
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Not to mention a help-yourself soda and juice fountain (ours does anyway).
  11. by   RNin92
    It does sort of make you wonder what kind of sad pathetic little lives to some people lead that coming to the ED is thier idea of a fun time?!!?

    And LPN2Be2004...your administration is insane...free soda and juice bar?!!?
    Let me just say OMG!!!
    How do you get them all to leave?????

    It's enough I have to feed them ALL, find a volunteer to babysit their kids that are running all over the department, give them starter packs of meds, and a cab voucher home...

    Sheeeeeeeesh!
  12. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Oh but that soda and juice bar encourages the pt. to ambulate! Actually, it DOES help to avoid the nurses (more specifically, the pt. tech that plays busboy) running back and forth to get them something to drink. However, when people are allowed to help themselves, that thing gets drained very fast.

    It's not easy for them to leave when they've got a sugar buzz.
  13. by   missnurse01
    Hey!
    just have to say that we don't give hardly anything to our pts let alone the ones that are waiting. they can have water, or the water fountain-we don't do meals unless the pt is admitted and can't get upstairs...at that we have to fight for the meal. No cab vouchers, although we do meds for overnight once the pharmacies in town close...

    they can only have 2 visitors at a time, and my biggest problem is they have phones in all the er rooms-we (mds included) often walk in and immediately out of the room because they won't get off the phone for eval or tx...
  14. by   ang75
    We have phones in every room too. Then this year they decided to put tv's in everyroom with a dvd player. You know your patient is h bent on abusing the system with they bring in their favorite movie, smuggle in a beer, get all comfy for some mystery rash that disappears every time he gets to the er.

    Humh!

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