Families, are they getting more demanding? - page 2

The LTAC where I work has, lately, been getting patients that come with demanding family members attached. I.E. we have one patient that is unresponsive, and the wife insists that he gets morphine... Read More

  1. by   MrsWampthang
    Thanks for the support. I thought it was just our facility. What really burns me is when they are standing at the nurses station right at shift change!!! If their family member has been in the hospital long enough, they all should know when shift change is and know that it is a bad time to be asking "can mama have a glass of ice, or daddy needs another blanket." There is no end to the stupidity. And the nurses are the ones who get the blame, management is never supportive of the staff it seems. Oh well. Guess you just have to grin and bear it while looking for other ways to earn a living.

    Pam


    Hey Leah! Your daughter's pic is cute too! I'll tell M you said hi. We miss you too!
  2. by   bethin
    Ten + years ago I worked in a popular restaurant. Worked there for 3 years. I never had any complaints about customers. They were always friendly and patient.

    Now all we hear about on the news is road rage and people in general who think they are above God. I think it's a virus.

    I have witnessed a daughter ask the RN if she could OD her dying mom because "she wanted to go home and go to work." By all means, just leave. And it doesn't help with medical shows and the advent of the internet. Anyone can go online and deem themselves a dr because they know the side effects of a medication. On the flip side, it is good that people are more aware of their bodies and what they're putting in them but sometimes I just want to
  3. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from TriageRN_34
    I think it is a combination of the public watching the MD shows, fear of 'nursing shortage', the media wave on how horrible healthcare is (but not addressing the REAL probelms), even more on nurse or MD mistakes in the news, and the internet making what I call "net docs" out of any layman! YEAH RIGHT!

    I mean, have you noticed that patients and their families/friends have increased in talking about "their research" on the net, or bringing up excuses because of "the nursing shortage and horrible state of healthcare in the US"? Heck, when I try to find the underlying cause of why a family/friend is being so overly critical..I usually hear a combo of these!
    This is very distressing for me as a new grad. My education prepared me on the basics of nursing practice and we touched on the major points of every body system. But when you or your loved one is in the hospital, you can focus on JUST that problem. Pt's and their families get on websites like
    WebMD and do hours of research, and sometimes they know more about the disease/condition than I do. They ask questions that I am not prepared to answer, they question the doctors, and they are intensely suspicious that the staff is not competent. It can be very frustrating.

    I want my patient's to be informed and health conscious! I want the families to be involved. But sometimes I feel as if they are challenging my knowledge or just waiting for me to make a mistake. I love my patients and I would NEVER do anything to harm anyone or pretend that I know what I am doing if I really need help, but I don't know everything and patients/families need to realize this.
  4. by   GardenDove
    Quote from clemmm78
    It's not just in nursing. People are becoming more and more obnoxious and demanding. Look at the way some parents treat school employees, and I've seen some real nasty behaviour from the public towards waitstaff in restaurants and store clerks.

    I think the demanding families of patients is just an extension of the eroding courtesy and the me-first in our society.

    Very true
  5. by   GardenDove
    Quote from Tweety
    No, I really haven't noticed an increase in family demands. For the 15 years I've been in nursing they have been a pain in the butt the entire time. LOL

    I can completely totally relate to what you're saying. Family's can be a pain in the butt for sure.

    I notice that quite a bit of the family complaints centers around the doctors "when is the doctor coming in?", "when will we get our test restults?", "the doctor hasn't spoken to me yet, she just comes in and out and doesn't say a word?".
    Heh heh
  6. by   Tweety
    Quote from bethin
    Ten + years ago I worked in a popular restaurant. Worked there for 3 years. I never had any complaints about customers. They were always friendly and patient.

    Now all we hear about on the news is road rage and people in general who think they are above God. I think it's a virus.

    I have witnessed a daughter ask the RN if she could OD her dying mom because "she wanted to go home and go to work." By all means, just leave. And it doesn't help with medical shows and the advent of the internet. Anyone can go online and deem themselves a dr because they know the side effects of a medication. On the flip side, it is good that people are more aware of their bodies and what they're putting in them but sometimes I just want to

    Don't know where you worked ten years ago, but 15 years ago I worked in a restaurant, and the customers weren't always friendly and patient. Having to smile in a packed busy restaurant while one customer dominanted my time with imaginary or insignificant complaints was a daily reminder to stay in school.

    Road rage is a term coined in the 80s, which started on LA freeways.

    Perhaps the world and people in it aren't really changing, but we take notice because we are so tired, and our rose colored glasses get smuged from daily degradation from families and patients.
  7. by   GardenDove
    I think 50 years ago pts and their families were undoubtedly more obedient and docile. When I was a kid children weren't allowed to visit until they were age 12, let alone allowing 10 family members and putting up with taco bell and KFC parties, kids running in halls etc.

    Because society has become more lawsuit happy over the years, I do think the pts and their families feel more empowered. That can also be good in some instances, but negative when people are jerks by nature.
  8. by   Tweety
    GardenDove, absolutely for sure the world has changed in 50 years. But since most of us weren't nursing 50 years ago, that's not the perspective I was talking about. But from a time perspective, I have to admit families are getting more demanding. I just don't think it's a very recent thing, because from my experience, they've been getting on my last nerve for 15 years. :hatparty:

    There was a lot of things wrong with America 50 years ago and I don't long for that time. However, people were a bit more respectful and had a place and they kept it.

    Remember the "QUIET PLEASE!" signs around hospitals? What happened to those?

    Also, hospitals were a lonely place back then. Imagine not being able to see your kids if you were in the hospital for a long time? Imagine pacing a waiting room while your wife gave birth? Imagine a nurse whisking away your newborn and not letting you see him until "visiting hours".
    Last edit by Tweety on Jan 15, '07
  9. by   Pepper The Cat
    Families are definitely getting more demanding. I had a visitor strip her freshly made mother's bed because she (the visitor)didn't like the colour of the spread. We've had visitor walk in at midnight and get angry when the nurses tell them to go away. One walked in anyway when our back was turned, woke up their mother, visited for 5 minutes then left, telling us on the way out the their Mother 'needed a sleeping pill now please".
    I could tell more, but my message would get too long!
  10. by   wooh
    Quote from TriageRN_34
    I have actually asked people the old "A/O" questions when they start ordering me around like I was a maid/hotel employee. They are shocked when I start asking them to tell me the date, president...and I say "oh, I was checking on your orientation because I thought you weren't aware you are in a hospital for a moment there"....
    :roll[banana]ROTFLMAO!!![/banana]
  11. by   Tweety
    Families are for sure exhausting. I was listening to a mom's tirade (heavy Long Island accent included, which made it wonderful) about "it's so rediculous us having to wait on MRI results....blah blah blah....". Sucked the life right out of me.

    As I discharged her son, she says "by the way I stopped by your manager's office and told her what a wonderful nurse you were, very patient and very smart". I was stunned. Guess I'm too Southern to figure out a New York Mom. LOL
  12. by   GardenDove
    Quote from Tweety
    GardenDove, absolutely for sure the world has changed in 50 years. But since most of us weren't nursing 50 years ago, that's not the perspective I was talking about. But from a time perspective, I have to admit families are getting more demanding. I just don't think it's a very recent thing, because from my experience, they've been getting on my last nerve for 15 years. :hatparty:

    There was a lot of things wrong with America 50 years ago and I don't long for that time. However, people were a bit more respectful and had a place and they kept it.

    Remember the "QUIET PLEASE!" signs around hospitals? What happened to those?

    Also, hospitals were a lonely place back then. Imagine not being able to see your kids if you were in the hospital for a long time? Imagine pacing a waiting room while your wife gave birth? Imagine a nurse whisking away your newborn and not letting you see him until "visiting hours".
    Precisely my point, Tweety. I also wouldn't want to go back to the days of 'Doctors as God' model. Yet people were more respectful in those days.
  13. by   Sue Damonas
    There was a patient on my unit scheduled for a cardiac cath. It was delayed because the cardiologist had an emergency with another patient. He was literally working like hell trying to save this patient's life. Do you know that the family walked up to the nurses station and complained loudly and insisted that he pay for dinner for all of them because he made their family member wait??!! Just when you think you've heard it all!!

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