Wow, Thanks everyone. Great helpful responses. I will be using a little of all the above in the future.
Below, I have tried to add a bit of clarity to the situation. Any further responses would be much appreciated.
Quote from Vito Andolini
I would need to know more, some particulars. Were you courteous? rushed? Did you come across as impatient? What changes did they want? Easily accommodated stuff or the moon?
The way this stuff is handled at Batman's place - now that's the way to fly.
As you know, when our loved ones are sick, we show our bad side - a lot of us do. But abuse and threats should not be tolerated. I don't know, like I said, I'd just have to know more about the particular situation and how you were behaving/sounding. I am NOT saying it was all on you - I'm just saying I don't know.
Hmmm, thanks for the questions Vito.
This helps me to go back and rethink. Now then, I was busy with another patient at the time the second family member called. Honestly, I was also annoyed at having received a second phone call from same family because I had already told the first person that I would speak to the patient about the concern. I never talked to the second family member. Said person called the floor twice and neither time did I talk to this person. I dealt with the patient and the spouse only.
The CNs took both phone calls with the second family member.
As far as speaking with the patient and spouse, I may have been short; I was definitely direct. I don't think there was anything wrong with me requesting that the patient's spouse relay all messages to their family members. I did not explain the HIPPa thing to the patient and spouse though. This I should have done.
Quote from CaseManager1947
I think the issues mentioned by other posters are excellent... we must adhere to HIPPA guidelines, and require that the caller provide that code word... of course you do get the deal where everybody in the world gets the code word passed around. I agree, the patient's spouse or DPOA for health care advocacy should be the spokesperson. I do agree, though, that when calls get "turfed", rather than dealing with issues head on, people feel as though they are not being listened to. Our standard mantra for changing attending is that the family member/spouse or DPOA must find a physician who is willing to assume care, and they must notify the current attending... we stay out of that.
Quote from Pepper The Cat
I'm certainly not pointing fingers - but perhaps this was not the best approach.
"turfing" the call to another person makes the family feel that they are not being heard. Perhaps if one person had taken 5 minutes to say "I know you are worried about Pt X, but there are rules and regulations that we must follow.
I turfed the phone call twice. Once because I was busy with another patient. After I finished I went to talk to the patient and spouse. We have the exact same mantra: we do not get involved with MD changes. The patient/dpha is required to do this. That information was told to both the first family member then the patient and dpha.
I turfed the phone call the second time because, I got the impression from the patient and spouse that this particular family member can be "the boss". I also turfed it because I had already spoken with both patient and spouse. Family is not on contact, info release list. Still very glad that I did. From CN who took the call, family member sounded inappropriate.
In the future I want to transfer over into the ER, ICU, or pediatrics anyway. All information will be very helpful for this transition-which is coming soon . . . soon . . . soon. This is one of the first times that I can remember actually getting really
upset in a situation like this. Usually, I am more of the doormat person who thinks that I am causing all the problems. Over the last 2 years, I've grown alot. I'm no longer taking the blame for everything everyone else does. Somewhere along the line I started standing up for myself. I began making me responsible for me and others responsible for themselves. I think when I put the responsibility of the patient's desires back into the hands of the patient and spouse, then made their family their responsibility, things went downhill. Next time, I will simply start off the conversation with the HIPPA mantra.
The two things I didn't do this time were start off the conversation with the HIPPA mantra and let a patient's family bully me. The first a lesson learned. The second, I'm kinda happy for me.