How honest are you? - page 2

Venting on another thread got me thinking about this. In our ED, all the rooms including the trauma bays are private, with both curtains and doors that close. Because of this, it's very easy for the patients, in their private... Read More

  1. 5
    I vote for honesty without breaking HIPAA. I've never had too much trouble with visitors or patients, but some auxiliary staff have complained about certain things not being done. Once in particular we were involved with an extensive code with utter chaos coming from the rest of the patients. The head of the housekeeping department had to cover the med/surg floor that day and was complaining that we didn't have things done to make things easier for her. I looked at her and said, "Would you like us to stop CPR to finish stripping that room?". She shut her mouth and didn't say another word.
    shhhh, talaxandra, tvccrn, and 2 others like this.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 1
    I have been known to tell an acutely ill patient, when thanked by them or family, to tell people what we are actually doing that kept us so busy the next time they hear someone complain about the wait in the ER.
    ~*Stargazer*~ likes this.
  3. 3
    Quote from ~*Stargazer*~
    She said "Oh, my grandson was really sick once. He had a really bad cold. We took him to the doctor and got him some cold medicine.", then went right back to complaining.
    Sounds like something is not quite WNL upstairs...or maybe she is a true narcissist??

    I think people are misguided as to what the ED is for and how it works; hospitals that boast short wait times are not helping the situation, either.
  4. 2
    some ppl are just oblivious. Back when all our beds were semiprivate, we were in the process of coding bed 2 while bed 1 was raising caine that we weren't "paying attention to me and I'll be telling my husband about this!!" She was just that self-absorbed. In cases like that, it doesn't matter what you say or do. They believe they should be the most important.
    Altra and ~*Stargazer*~ like this.
  5. 9
    If we receive a trauma or code that is going to suck all of our resources into a trauma bay (because we are a small facility, and such an event, which does happen often on nights, will bring other workups to a halt), we inform the waiting room and other patients to expect a delay. We just usually leave the explanation rather generic. Usually they're good with it ... those who aren't, never will be.

    I had a patient recently who (somewhat adamantly) asked to see the ACNP who was her provider for the visit because she was "ready to leave," and I explained that I'd be happy to pull her IV and let her walk because we can't force her to stay, but that her provider was busy putting a tube down someone's throat so they could breathe. She apologized and waited patiently. Really, she was more concerned about getting her kids home to put some food in them, so I brought them a snack and some juice, and they were happy campers. Sometimes it's a simple thing that can make the difference, and I don't mind doing that at all.
    sharpeimom, AJPV, MinnieMomRN, and 6 others like this.
  6. 4
    I do not offer any more than a generic explanation that patients are seen in order of medical priority. Occasionally I pull out my old joke, "you don't want to be the patient we're rushing to, because it means you might be dying." When I'm able to use that, it is generally effective in at least ending the toe tapping, standing in the hallway with arms crossed behavior. I offer to bring another chair, and place it in the room facing the patient, not the hallway.

    I also utilize the electronic tracking board to rein in the "we've been waiting for hours" complaint -- if gentle reassurance doesn't work, I can refresh their memory that they first crossed the threshhold of the ED 38 minutes ago.
  7. 0
    edited because I responded to the wrong thread! lol

    I am usually very honest..." ER's go by the acuity of the patient, not how long you've been waiting. The people who are trying to die get seen first."

    I sometimes will add, "I am not saying you do NOT need to be's just there are some patients who must be seen quickly/first because of how sick they are."

    I also get that some people will never be happy no matter what. I'm ok with that.
    Last edit by TeresaEDRN06 on Nov 7, '11
  8. 2
    Yes, I've used the "It's actually a *good* thing you don't see doctors and nurses hovering over you right now" one on several occasions. It does help get the point across in a humorous way.

    Funny, when I first thought of it years ago, I thought it was something I had thought of myself! Come to find out, it's not original at all!
    Altra and talaxandra like this.
  9. 3
    The ones who are complaining the loudest are usually the ones who have no business being in the ER for their non-emergency. I remind them that they are free to leave at anytime and to "just sign here, please." Our ER is too busy and too crowded for me to even waste my time trying to point out what is plainly obvious to anyone who's head is not firmly implanted into their own ass.
  10. 1
    I'm not in ED but I think this is an issue that's hospital wide so I'm butting my med-specialty head in

    I, too, explain to patients who are unhappy about waiting (for radiology, surgery, medical review) that this is a good, if frustrating thing: "The best thing about being here is that you've got the best staff looking after you. The worst is that we've got some of the sickest patients in the state, and they'll die if they don't go first. If you're ever told you're going for a test and they take you straight away, either we're quieter than I've ever known, or you're really not well. I hope you always have a wait!" It usually gets a smile.

    And when patients complain about a long wait, especailly for an unvital thing, and the delay was something critical elsewhere, I'll start with "I'm sorry, we've got a very unwell patient." But I've gone as far as "There's someone who's trying to die on the other side and your nurse is doing CPR. I'm sorry you've had to wait but their life comes first."
    ~*Stargazer*~ likes this.

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors