[QUOTE=casias12;6835705]What you are feeling is very normal. It is good to come to a site like this and share that. After 25 years in healthcare (18 as a RN), I can tell you that a lot has changed in the profession.
Patients and families expect more, and have less appreciation. Years ago, families respected visiting hours, visitor limits, age limits, and quiet times for patients. Patients seemed to appreciate what you did for them. Nursing is often a thankless job, but occasionally you left after a positive interaction with a patient and felt good. With the barrage of news articles about risks of being hospitalized, hospital negligence, and the recent patient as a customer campaigns, and the internet, there is a much higher degree of uncertainty, and much more paranoia in the patient/family population. It has also created an atmosphere in which patients and families aren't afraid to ask for anything, and expect it. Open visiting, as a result of attempts to improve patient satisfaction, have created conflicting abilities to take care of the sick.
Recently, I had a teenage girl show up to the ICU with a baby (3 months maybe), and lay the baby on the bed with grandma, who was on isolation for VRE. I tried to give a quick education on why this wasn't a good idea, knowing that we can no longer ban children from the ICU like we used to. The girl looked straight at me and said "can you get me a couple of diapers for my baby? The other nurse did."
So what is my point?
Don't let them get to you. You can't live their lives, and you didn't make them the way they are. A healthy detachment is, well....healthy. It used to be much better work than it is now. I wish I could tell you differently, but I just can't.
Take care of yourself.SCOTT/QUOTE
It was interesting to hear you say that after 18 years as an RN a lot has changed in the profession. I would like to offer my experience as a family member and a nurse. My experience is different from yours. I have been an RN for 17 years. I do not currently work as a nurse, but close family members have been hospitalized multiple times over that time period, including very recently, and I have camped out at the bedside or in the hospital lounge and have witnessed the care given and compared it and the hospital environment that I observed around me to when I was a new nurse. One hospital in particular (where I did some of my training) used to allow a visitor to stay the night on a cot 17 years ago; 12 years ago this was still the practice; only this year they announced the end of visiting hours in the late evening - my husband was hospitalized with sepsis and acute renal failure and I had to plead to stay with him overnight (the charge nurse was very accommodating). Perhaps the people you refer to who are requesting open visiting are just trying to take care of their loved ones. I was afraid my husband would die before the doctor saw him. As family members we know the staffing is short and that if we do not stay to help and advocate for our family members they are very likely to receive poorer care as a result - this has been borne out in all of my family members hospitalizations.
I think you are right about the negative news about the risk of hospitalizations/hospital negligence having an effect on the public, but these are not myths, they are realities, and the public knows this and is responding to what they perceive as a threat. As far as causing paranoia, I would also say that I think HIPAA, for all it's good intentions, has not helped bridge relationships between family members and nursing staff. When my husband was being admitted, the floor nurse asked him if she should let me stay or throw me out (verbatim). But apart from HIPAA in the main, everything else I have seen and experienced regarding staffing, sufficiency of working equipment, politeness of visitors, visitor expectations, seems to be about the same as it was 17 years ago. Both I and my family members are very respectful and appreciative when we are patients; however we have experienced some poor quality nursing (not the majority), and some very poor attitudes from nurses (again, not the majority).