I did a search and couldn't find any advice.
I learned in nursing school
that taking care of family members while working in the hospital is a conflict of interest, (and understandably so. I myself would show favoritism to a family member in my care if in that situation).
My story goes like this: I received report from a nurse in the ER who was sending her Grandfather up to a Med/Surg unit after she had been taking care of him. I knew right away this was a conflict of interest. This nurse also said these words to me in a hostile (or frantic it was difficult to tell) manner "I'll be up to check on him tonight. take good care of him" Her report was detailed yet she sounded stressed out/hurried on the phone and was very curt towards me.
I took report but was at a loss for words about what to say to this nurse about the concern I had for the others she was looking after while he was there.
What would you do/say in that situation? I don't have the policy/procedure manual of my hospital here. Do ER nurses have different policies in this situation? (figuring that they all rotate the triage, walk-in, Trauma areas, they'd eventually HAVE? to take care of the loved one?)
thanks for advice
Jan 18, '05
Wow, you guys are tight!
We take care of each other's relatives, friends, and neighbors all the time. We give our best to each of them. It's the same if we get some famous/notorious person at our hospital--which has also happened more times than I care to count. We are in a touristy area of Florida, after all.
Of course, we like some folks better'n others, not because of who they know but because of who they are.
It's more a matter of necessity than conflict of interest. Do you think I'm going to send a relative to a faraway hospital where we don't know anyone to get properly treated? Not! Then why would I expect another nurse to do that?
I couldn't think of a better compliment than to say, "Here, I trust you to care for my family member. I trust you to do your best."
That's what all of our patients' relatives are saying, is it not?
Last edit by UM Review RN on Jan 18, '05
: Reason: pronoun agreement
Jan 18, '05
You are using words like unprofessional and ethically accountable... I think that you are coming on too strong here.
Let us suppose that she is not the only nurse in the ER (which would make the whole dilemma a moot point) I would guess the whole department knows about this nurse's limited dual relationship with her patient/grandfather. I would also guess that this is not the first situation of its kind in the ER. Let the people who have first-hand knowledge give her counsel. How well do you think that a "monday morning quarterback" opinion will be received? Is it our place to request that this nurse be ethically responsible to you, me or any other RN. when we have one snapshot of the whole progression of events?
Another comment...this nurse/ grand daughter did not originate the patient's diagnosis nor admit this patient to your floor, the physician ordered your department's care and sometimes patients are later moved to other units more appropriate.
this does make for an interesting discussion.............
Last edit by ageless on Jan 18, '05