Complaints vs Safety of the Nursing Staff - page 4

Hello All, Wondering..... Over the many years of patient care I have..... I am seeing more and more verbal and physical abuse of the nursing staff by patients and families in the ED....I am... Read More

  1. by   MrsWampthang
    This thread reminds me of the idiot manager I used to work for in the ER I left. She was way more about being against her employees than supporting them. She even had the tackiness to take vacation time during Emergency Nurse's Week, and got NOTHING for her staff! What a total moron!!!!!!! Can you feel the love?! Anyway, I'm glad I am out of there and away from this #$%&*! Anytime there was a complaint from a patient or family, she never backed her staff up. Very poor manager.

    Pam
  2. by   erjulie
    boy this is a hot button topic for me and the staff that I am lucky to work with...I actually had a patient trip me while I was going to a code because he wasn't getting care for his sore knee ( sore for 6 months)...that was a few years ago. I went sprawling, cut my hand on the epi syringe...now our medical director is so fed up he STRONGLY encourages us to press charges on any assault, verbal or physical, that comes from a patient. However, our NURSING management will ALWAYS side with the patient. For example, a full contentious waiting room, wait times like 3-4 hours, and someone jerk starts REALLY agitating about his son's sprained ankle, so what does the Director (Nursing) do? Whisks him right back, settles him in the room with "refreshments" and expedites his care. So, I am left with a waiting room that now understands that the nastier you are, the quicker you are seen, and the sprained ankle dad has his opinion of me (that I'm a crappy nurse cuz I'm not waiting on him fast enough) REINFORCED. The director still can't figure out why I can barely look at her! I have pushed family members out of the way while attempting to get to the IV pumps to adjust the dopamine for their dying mom, and despite my telling them that I can't talk to them, demand an explanation of what I'm doing. I have seen the survey question that states: Was your Nurse competent? How the *&%$ would most people know if I were competent or not? Then get called up on that crap? If I'm incompetent, I would hope that the management would fire me! Not the general public! These people are suffering from grandiose hallucinations of entitlement: no one is polite, considerate or, dare I say it, respectful anymore. And it's not just us, I've seen people RIP the kid working the cash register at Sam's because of some idiotic crap. It's like road rage all over the place. Management and corporate mentality prostitues themselves to this mentality so that they can "compete". I've worked in a hospital where we were just plain good, and people appreciated it and despite 6-8 hour wait times, were happy to be seen there. So, I know that you don't have to cater to these cretins to get business. Our work is health care, not PR, or babysitting, or worse...
    can you tell this aggravates me?
  3. by   ClaireMacl
    I'm fully expecting a complaint to be thrust at me the moment I go back to work from hols. Had a patient who waited 3 hours, clearly sick and needed admission. At the 3 hours, he asked if he could go to the loo, I said sure, if he could manage it, if not, I'd get a bottle. He disappeared for 45 minutes, in that time the doc went to see him twice and wasn't there, so was discharged. 10 minutes later, the pt and girlfriend come back to the room and I explain they have missed their turn and I could do nothing about it, they would have to wait again. The girlfriend became so abusive screaming that I'd allowed them to leave and it was all my fault and they were in the waitingroom making a call, I asked them to go themselves to book in at triage, she became personally abusive, so I called the shift leader, she was abusive to him, so I arranged a wheelchair for the pt to push him to the waitingroom and told the shiftleader I couldn't deal with the girlfriend anymore.... she then somehow found the Site Manager (nurse in charge of hospital) who came to quiz me. No doubt she'll get an apology. Sometimes I wish I'd put in incident forms when pts and relatives throw water over me (happened recently) or hit me with inanimate objects, I guess I should stop being so nice!
  4. by   canoehead
    Quote from cotjockey
    RNFROG3 - I honestly don't know if presenting articles to our managers would make a difference. RIght now, the management team is on a HUGE "the customer is always right" kick. I don't totally disagree with that statement, but it gets pretty frustrating when we have to put up with verbal and physical abuse just becasue the customer is always right. A couple years ago, when people got out of hand, we simply asked them to go to the waiting room or asked them to either calm down or leave...now we are supposed to try to fix the stiuation, even when there isn't really anything that can be done. "Give the customer what they want, when ever they want, no matter what they want!"
    Administration need to be reminded that for every acting out patient or visitor there is one watching from the next bed that is wishing they would shut up and quit wasting the staff's time so we could take care of their loved one. Except that person is too polite, or too sick to say so. Out of the two, which person's needs should we be paying more attention to?
  5. by   Uptoherern
    i recently had two patients in one room, divided by a curtain. My sick patient is waiting for an ICU bed, and having difficulty breathing, sitting tripod, NRB on, etc. The pt. on the other side of the curtain says "What is she in here for?" as I'm helping the sick one. I told her (after an astonished period of silence) I can't tell you that; it's against the privacy laws. She then spouts out, "oh yeah, I forgot, you're not a lawyer....you're just a low life nurse"

    idiot.

    Took every will I could muster not to play games with her.

    Two days ago, I have a patient in for chest pain. around 40. I go in to assess her and replace the blood pressure cuff that is on the floor. The patient is on the phone with her mom. As I replace the cuff, she tells mom that the nurse is in the room and putting the cuff back on. (which she took off and dropped to the floor). She then tells her mom that "I hate that! The nurses make it go up to like 500 or something, and it HURTS!!" So I set it to go off every 20 minutes instead of 30. bad nurse. I should have told her to get off her cell phone, but I didn't. I didn't even particularily care.

    We have a nurse who's been out on disability for a few weeks now. Man attacked him in triage. The nurse somehow tripped over the guys wheelchair, and broke his tib/fib when the "customer" got him face down on the floor and was choking him from behind.

    What I want is a police substation in the ER. I want police dogs. I want cameras. I want locked doors. I want a big stick in my back pocket, and a tazer on my belt.

    I agree...not only have people become more violent, they also have become so much more RUDE. No manners. No appreciation. What they DO seem to have is a huge sense of entitlement. They want what they want, and they want it NOW.

    I also don't think patients should be called "customers".
    Last edit by Uptoherern on Mar 2, '06
  6. by   sanctuary
    Patients are patients to me, forgive my antiquated ways, but I refuse to call someone whom I am nursing a "customer," as that makes me feel like I'm selling myself, and there is another word for that. I won't call them "consumers", as that makes me the consumed. I won't call them "clients" as that makes me feel like a real estate agent. I'm an old war-horse nurse, and I take care of patients. Why is that such a horrid name?
  7. by   DusktilDawn
    Quote from sanctuary
    patients are patients to me, forgive my antiquated ways, but i refuse to call someone whom i am nursing a "customer," as that makes me feel like i'm selling myself, and there is another word for that. i won't call them "consumers", as that makes me the consumed. i won't call them "clients" as that makes me feel like a real estate agent. i'm an old war-horse nurse, and i take care of patients. why is that such a horrid name?
    patient isn't a horrid word. my mother, who is not a nurse, find the term "customer," or "client," offensive as a patient. i had clients when i worked as a cosmetologist. i have patients now as a nurse.

    i'm also a firm believer in boundaries. there should be a standard of behavior for our patients and there families. there is a standard of behavior for us nurses. there needs to be a standard of behavior for the people that use health care facilities.

    [font="arial black"]no shoes, no shirt, no service
    most of us have seen this sign at almost any convenience store locally. this is a standard for customers that choose to use their store.

    [font="arial black"]abuse of any kind will not be tolerated
    this should be a minimum standard for the patients and their families/visitors. it is one of many standards we as nurses adhere to.
  8. by   sanctuary
    All of that, of course. Glad I'm not alone.
  9. by   LilPeanut
    Quote from ClaireMacl
    I'm fully expecting a complaint to be thrust at me the moment I go back to work from hols. Had a patient who waited 3 hours, clearly sick and needed admission. At the 3 hours, he asked if he could go to the loo, I said sure, if he could manage it, if not, I'd get a bottle. He disappeared for 45 minutes, in that time the doc went to see him twice and wasn't there, so was discharged. 10 minutes later, the pt and girlfriend come back to the room and I explain they have missed their turn and I could do nothing about it, they would have to wait again. The girlfriend became so abusive screaming that I'd allowed them to leave and it was all my fault and they were in the waitingroom making a call, I asked them to go themselves to book in at triage, she became personally abusive, so I called the shift leader, she was abusive to him, so I arranged a wheelchair for the pt to push him to the waitingroom and told the shiftleader I couldn't deal with the girlfriend anymore.... she then somehow found the Site Manager (nurse in charge of hospital) who came to quiz me. No doubt she'll get an apology. Sometimes I wish I'd put in incident forms when pts and relatives throw water over me (happened recently) or hit me with inanimate objects, I guess I should stop being so nice!
    Maybe I'm reading this wrong....Are you saying that you had a very ill patient who needed admission who had to wait for three hours, was discharged as a no-show (did anyone look for them?) because they were in the bathroom/lobby for a phone call and despite that person being very ill and needing medical care, they were going to be sent out to the waiting room again for another three hours?

    I have to admit, if it was my child, husband or loved one, I would have been very upset too.
  10. by   DusktilDawn
    Quote from LilPeanut
    Maybe I'm reading this wrong....Are you saying that you had a very ill patient who needed admission who had to wait for three hours, was discharged as a no-show (did anyone look for them?) because they were in the bathroom/lobby for a phone call and despite that person being very ill and needing medical care, they were going to be sent out to the waiting room again for another three hours?

    I have to admit, if it was my child, husband or loved one, I would have been very upset too.
    I do see your point, however, who discharges patients....that would be the doctor. It also doesn't take 45 minutes to use the BR (at least I hope) and the patient wasn't alone if a phone call needed to be made, he had someone with him who could have made a call for him if necessary while he returned to the department. The nurse may not have actually been able to do anything about this. Alot of times we are put in the middle. This may have been an issue with the doctor.
  11. by   traumamomtx
    I know this is a huge dream but it would really be nice to see supervisors, managers, and the big wigs who carry licenses to do some hands on nursing care; I mean a 12 hr shift with a full load of patients . I know 95% of them wouldn't make it an hour and then the other 5% would fake it like they were making it for an additional hour and then crumble. I think they have all forgotten where they started and what it is like to be at ground zero.

    I had a family one time so demanding that they told the nurse that she was an "idiot" and that they were paying the bill and would talk to her anyway they wanted . Unfortunately, that nurse was so mild mannered and sweet she just cried instead of putting those people in their place. By the way they were mad because it took her, in their words "10 minutes" to bring medicine for vomiting. Actually it took 5 minutes because at the time she was giving phenergan to another vomiting patient. We know it took 5 minutes because the call system banked the time that she called to report nausea. The management did nothing except change the nursing assignment and try to console the nurse. Nothing was said to the family!

    The country is in a bad way with the nursing shortage and it is only getting worse. It is situations like this that are driving nurses out of the field and scaring away potential nurses from joining the team. I hope management can do what we do when no nurses are left to do it.
  12. by   esc_ernurse
    I agree - I see it too - abuse of staff by patients and their families/visitors - and yes management does take their side not their staffs :angryfire
  13. by   sanctuary
    Is it not a part of the overall societal issue of rudeness and arrogance first seen when "spare the rod, spoil the child" became child abuse? No one knows better, for heavens sake. Thats why management know not how to respond, as there are no longer core values to fall back on.

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