How to be a nurse when the pt's family is around.

  1. I've been working for 3 weeks now and i dread it when i have admissions with family members who hang around. I can work better when I'm one on one with the pt. When the entire room is filled with family, i feel so claustrophobic and appear like an incompetent nurse. Is this a normal feeling? I'm not very talkative and loudspoken and i sometimes want to kick myself in the foot. Does this feeling go away with time and experience?
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   agent66
    You just have to put your foot down and get them to leave. I usually let one person stay if they are the closest to the patient. Ask the patient as well if they mind so and so staying while you do their assessment and history. Suggest to the family that they go to the cafeteria for half an hour or to the lounge while you get the patientj "settled". It helps to close the door to after they depart. The patient usually does not want to answer all those questions on the nursing history anyway with 10 people lurking in the background. I find the visitors will leave if suggested, they just need to be told as they are usually a little frazzled also at this point. As for visitors after admission, our hospital policy is two at a time on the units so unless a private room I have no issues shoo shooing them out to the lounge. And at end of visiting hours I have our unit clerk go on the intercom to "remind" them it is time for them to pack up and head home. You are not looked at as the meany by telling them to leave the room, when people are in crisis, such as the admission of a loved one, that is exactly what they need, to be directed as they are unsure what they should be doing. Hope this helps!
  4. by   november17
    I feel/felt the same way!! I used to hate it when there was family for the same exact reasons.

    Just try to relax. Introduce yourself to everyone when you walk in. Once you've been doing this over and over day in and day out it will get way easier. Memorize some funny hospital jokes as an ice breaker for the appropriate times. It doesn't really matter if you tell the same ones over and over, since it is always a different audience. Most families are usually pretty cool (although I've had the odd ones over the past few months...I even had the husband of one family member threaten me for no reason except I don't think he liked the way I looked...I called security)

    I usually ask the patient's family to wait outside during the admission process. It usually only takes 10-20 minutes tops. After that I let them in. I've had family members complain about me kicking them out though (the proper tact to ask someone to leave is something that has taken me practice to get right).

    Don't worry, it does get easier. I'm so used to family members now that I don't even think twice about it anymore. I just acknowledge them, chitchat with them while I do patient care, etc. Explaining what you are doing and why you are doing it is always something you can get them interested in (as long as the patient is cool with it).
  5. by   mom2michael
    You just smile and say....I need to get Ms. so and so all tucked into bed and some questions answered. I would love to have you all stay....but it will go much quicker and smoother if just 1 person stays behind (or you can always say....if everyone leaves for her privacy). If you give me 20-30 mins I'll have her tucked into bed and ready for some company. Besides, the cafeteria has fabalous (insert something here) and I'm sure you all would like a chance to get away for a bit and relax and have some great (insert the something again here).

    The whole time keep a smile on your face.....and as soon as they are out the door...shut it.

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