A lot of questions can be answered by using body language. Make yourself available to the family, as they do have a lot of valuable information about the patient and most of them just want to help.
Some of them really can. For instance, they might know that Aunt Sally always gets weepy and confused when she's sick, even before she gets a temp, so you'll have a heads-up on a possible infection from her behavior.
When they ask a question that's way over your head or out of your area of expertise, DONT say, "Gee, I'm a brand-new nurse and I just don't know the answer."
Some answers are too complex to give people without giving college credits along with them. So you go home and practice giving a one-line down-and-dirty answer. Like, "Aunt Sally cannot have fluids even though she's thirsty because her body is not processing them right." If they press for that complex answer, refer them to the doc.
Not that you couldn't answer, you probably could. It's just that you have a million things to do and you simply don't have an hour to spend gabbing in the hall with anyone about anything, catch my drift?
If they know a little bit and want to impress you with their knowledge, and then have a question, just look at them like they're the most brilliant mind since Einstein (never mind that you learned this stuff in Nursing I) and say, "Wow, that's a great question to ask the patient's DOCTOR. Let me know what he says!"
Repeat prn with other questions that you can't answer.
You can answer some of the med questions by saying something like, "We try to warn patients and families that sometimes the doctors will change meds or dosages while the patient is in the hospital. Because obviously since the patient is here, something wasn't working right, was it?"
But be open and be cautious about this, and make sure that they're not trying to tell you that Aunt Sally takes Lasix 20 mg TID, not daily. You want to clarify that the home dose at least starts out as correct between the family and the doctor.
Offer to write down their phone number in a note to the doctor that explains that the family needs to talk to him/her.
I recall one extremely aggressive family member who literally followed me to the nurse's station to ask all kinds of questions--that sounded more like demands--and had me completely rattled, so it can happen to the best of us.
In a case like that, offer to have the family wait in the Lounge until you gather the necessary data, and then have your Q&A session.
A lot of families have been reading books that tell about the terrible hospital care, and they are just trying to assert and reassure themselves.
Bottom line: Get the patient comfy and cared for first! Then answer questions or refer to the doc.