Families from Hell - page 10

I know that when people are in the hospital everyone is stressed out including the families; but man I can't stand when the families do all the talking for the patient, jump down my throat like a... Read More

  1. by   LiverpoolJane
    Woody, I am so pleased that your experience of the healthcare system has been such a positive one.
    My relationships with patients relatives has been for the most part excellent, I have kept in touch with relatives of people who have passed away on the wards I have worked on, I have had flowers and had acknowledgements in the local newspaper. However this doesn't alter the fact that from time to time you will be subjected to verbal assaults from patients relatives and as has been said in a previous post this is what this thread is about. Please allow these people - who like myself - have been the victims of the low life individuals.
    If you had ever felt the way I did one night when I thought I was going to be physically assaulted you would not be making the comments you are. Thankfully my Trust were very supportive and wanted to ban this individual from entering the hosptial - I asked them not to do that as I didn't want more agro, but I was reassured to know I had their support.
    This is an example of an extreme case but on a daily basis I am having to deal with relatives who demand information over the phone about patients - which is not allowed and no matter how nicely this is explained to them, they think they are allowed to speak to you how they like - I could go on but I hope you get the picture. I don't retaliate but a forum like this gives me the opportunity to let off steam - and I should be allowed to do that without critisism.
    As I said in the outset I am pleased your experience has been so positive but please allow those whos hasn't been as pleasant as yours the freedom to vent their feeling in a controlled manner. Thank you
  2. by   abbaking
    Quote from woody62
    I'm afraid I don't understand your 'rules'. His wife is his next of kin. I am assuming that when he was admitted, he was able to indicate this and authorize her to receive information, so I don't understand your providing her with the answers to her questions, rather then directing her back to her husband and/or his physicians. When I spent twenty-one days in ICU, back in July of 2006, I never talked to my daughter on the phone. And she had no problem getting updates from the staff taking care of me.

    And I'm sorry but I am happy you were not my nurse. Your own attitude just very clearly demonstrates the lack of understanding in today's nurses, for the most part. It makes no difference that she was a physician herself, she was a member of his immediate family. And she was apparently suffering, as demonstrated by her attempts to take control of your actions. Instead of the yada, yada yada, perhaps a little understanding, on your part, would have gone a long way.

    Woody
    HIPAA Laws and telephone usage - Ring a bell?
  3. by   abbaking
    :angryfire:angryfire:angryfire
    Quote from woody62
    Since the family is part of the care of the patient, how can you ignore the family problems? I am not asking you to fix the family problems, just to take them into consideration when dealing with the patient and their family. Surely you have heard the saying 'you can catch more then flies with honey, then you can with vinegar.' You don't have the time to treat the family but you sure can complain about the abuse you have suffered from those families. I have worked in health care since 1965, first as a CNA, then as an LPN, then as an RN. I can count on one hand the number of times I was threaten by family members and the one time I was physically attacked. The young man who attacked me was arrested and prosecuted and served prison time. The patient who showed up at my front door, with gun in hand, was also arrested, prosecuted and served a lengthy prison sentence. He was tried in 1986 and finally released in the year 2000. So please don't complain about the verbal abuse, I was threatened with a load gun, on two different occasions. I was picked up, tossed thru a glass wall, by a patient's son. I have also had two brothers show up, with a load gun, in my ICU room, ask where their sister-in-law was and threated to kill her and me. I can handle the verbal abuse. It is the relative that shows up with a loaded gun that scares the beejees out of me.

    Continue to react in the negative manner, you espouse, because you don't have the time. All this will get you is more negativity from the family. And more letters to the hospital administration complaining about your negative attitude. Then you can come here and vent about all those negative patients and their families and administration backing them, rather then you. Or you can take time out of your busy schedule of caring for patients, and try working with the family. And perhaps you can get the family and administration on your side. And perhaps you will not get called on as frequently by the patient and family for nonsensical requests.

    And one more thing. Without those patients, even the nasty ones, you would not be needed. It may be your unit, your hospital but without patients, it would nothing but a big empty building. But then you wouldn't have to deal with demanding, nasty patients and families

    Woody
    We are being worked to the breaking point with higher acuity patients, understaffed units, HOURS of paperwork and documentation, Press-Gainey/Gallup customer service crap, unreliable and ancient medical equipment, and a degenerating society that views us nurses similar to Osama Bin Ladin. We simply do NOT have the time to be doing Nursing care like it was in the old days. I am just sick of people showing HATE at nurses for every little thing they can't control and using their antisocial behaviors as a justification for "Poor Quality Care" or some other lame excuse.
    Last edit by Tweety on Dec 16, '07 : Reason: edited
  4. by   EmmaG
    There's a big difference between a families that are acting out because they're stressed and those that are simply being rude, hateful PIAs. I guess the trick is in knowing the difference and where to draw the line. It's quite the balancing act...
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from ktwlpn
    this thread is about "those families" not "all familes"...we are venting-no need for personal attacks.-we are all entitled to our opinions and we have all had horrible experiences with irrational people.i'm willing to bet that just about everyone on this thread tried every therapeutic communication technique they knew with these people-they didn't just throw their hands up and walk away-they still had jobs to do..and i have "been there" too-i have waited and waited and waited for answers.in my opinion anyone that opens the door to the or suite demanding answers should be taken out of the hospital by security.
    [font="comic sans ms"]i agree -- this is a vent thread about families from hell, not about families in general. this is a nice, safe place to vent for the most part, although there are those self-righteous few who would admonish us for any venting at all. i have always wondered why anyone would feel the need to step all over a vent thread and tell us what horrible people we are for having negative feelings about someone who would verbally or physically abuse us. i've always suspected that they were being defensive, having been verbally or physically abusive to nursing staff, customer service professional, wait staff or airline staff in their own pasts.

    and you're right -- anyone who opens the door to the or suite demanding answers should be escorted firmly out of the hospital by security.
  6. by   lpnstudentin2010
    when I am in the hospital my family is usually pretty good. the only time my mom has freaked out on a nurse is when I got transfered from ICU to the floor, I asked for pain meds, and it was 2 hours later.

    I have also had a bad experience with family of a patient. In my surgeries back then the incisons were made across the top of my head from ear to ear (cant remember the name of this type of incision). My roomates family was always loud. the patient had one tv going, a family member had second one going, 2 family members were talking on phones, and the patient was always wailing (which I do not blame her, she was a child in pain i realize). my mom got me transfered to a private room so that i could recover in peace
  7. by   DeLana_RN
    The most horrible family member I encountered was the husband of a very sweet dialysis pt in the clinic where I used to work. For some reason, he hated me (no exaggeration). He accused me of trying to kill his wife with the machine (!) and of total incompetence (the closest I ever came to figuring this out was that I had suggested that he should not adjust his wife's O2 settings but let me do it. That must have been the horrible offense, I have no other explanation. Except maybe he's psycho). :angryfire

    He finally demanded that I not be allowed to touch his wife's machine (although I might have been the only nurse closeby when an alarm went off). My spineless manager let him get away with his demands (rather than kick his as* out of the unit) and I felt very humiliated from then on whenever they were present.

    This was years ago, but I still feel awful just thinking about it. How can people treat those who care for their family members so horribly?! And believe me, I was never rude or disrespectful to him (the pt herself was very embarrassed by all this, indicated to me that she did not agree, but also did not speak up for herself).

    DeLana

    P.S. Now we need a "patients from hell" thread
  8. by   Martinette
    Woody,

    I think that the majority of "bad care" happens when the nurses are overwhelmed rather than incompetent or just plain nasty. I currently work on a 30 bed med surg unit that won't staff anything with more than 1 RN and a few volunteers. A family member may know their loved one well but I don't. I have just come on duty to be responsible for 30 people I have never seen before with nothing but a flimsey rushed handover from the previous shift. The UK hospitals are having money problems and are getting rid of nurses left and right and intentionally short staffing the wards. There is also a nation wide recruitment freeze and they will not hire. How do they get away with this dangerous practice? People like you. These managers know that they can save a few bucks but giving the nurse way more patients than she can handle with no help and folks will blame the nurse.

    The most caring, most wonderful, most hardworking and competent nurse in the world will flounder big time if he/she has too many patients. The standard of nursing care will be horrendous. This is a well researched and proven fact.

    I have seen pregnant RN's on my floor work 14 hour shifts without stopping for a glass of water and food working their butts off for all of those 14 hours because they are so dedicated to trying to do an impossible job for too many patients. And they get nothing but abuse from family members who want one to one care and don't understand the dynamics of one nurse caring for 30 acutely ill totally dependent patients.

    Do these irate family members run screaming to administration regarding the appalling level of staffing? 80% of our new nursing grads in the UK cannot find jobs and yet the hospitals are not hiring and leaving one RN with a dangerously high number of patients. But do they run screaming to admin for staffing the wards like this? Nope. This just allows these managers to keep thinking they can get away with it because the nurse will be the one to take the fall.

    And remember that plenty of research has proven that the best nurse in the world is completely screwed with too many acute patients.

    Nurses want to work hard and give good care but it is very unreasonable to expect the nurses to give decent care and have a good handle on all of their patients with these kinds of staffing levels and acuity. A nurse could bail out the atlantic ocean with a teaspoon more easily than provide good care to too many acute patients at one time. It is just not going to happen.

    If my father was a patient on a ward where the nurse was overwhelmed with too many sick patients I wouldn't expect his care to be good and I would be in a managers office screaming and threatening the manager and wondering why my dad's nurse is being made to work in such overwhelming conditions when there is no need for it. This would be the best way to stop my dad from suffering via poor nursing care.

    Back to my pregnant colleague who worked for 14 hours non stop with nothing to eat and drink and happens to be one of the most caring and hard working nurses I know. She managed to keep her 10 critical care patients (who should have been in ITU) safe and alive for those 14 hours by running her ass off and not stopping and the daughter of another patient complained and got very abusive with her for not giving dad a back rub and sitting with him all shift. Same nurse had asked the managers to send her another RN or at least a care assistant because patients were suffering and she was ready to collapse and was told to f*ck off.

    If the public wants good nursing care they need to get off their asses and demand that hospitals are staffed safely and well. I don't believe for a second that they really care for their loved ones if they won't do this. I instead see them as a kid having a tantrum who gets off on abusing a nurse. If they abused those that intentionally short staff instead of abusing the nurses we wouldn't have so many problems with bad nursing care.

    Admin and the managers sit laughing at the money they are saving by staffing the wards like this knowing full well that the nurses will be the receivers of the wrath of an ignorant and unrealistic public. I know this for a fact. I have seen it with my own eyes. Then they get rewarded by their bossed for doing it.

    Let's give every nurse safe staffing levels and resources and back up and then we can weed the bad nurses from the good.

    Hope I have clarified things for you a bit Woody.
  9. by   Martinette
    By the way most of the nurses I work with were nursing back in the "good ole days" and they are hardworking, caring but also distraught regarding the terrible nursing care.
  10. by   banditrn
    Quote from Martinette
    Woody,

    I think that the majority of "bad care" happens when the nurses are overwhelmed rather than incompetent or just plain nasty. I currently work on a 30 bed med surg unit that won't staff anything with more than 1 RN and a few volunteers. A family member may know their loved one well but I don't. I have just come on duty to be responsible for 30 people I have never seen before with nothing but a flimsey rushed handover from the previous shift. The UK hospitals are having money problems and are getting rid of nurses left and right and intentionally short staffing the wards. There is also a nation wide recruitment freeze and they will not hire. How do they get away with this dangerous practice? People like you. These managers know that they can save a few bucks but giving the nurse way more patients than she can handle with no help and folks will blame the nurse.

    The most caring, most wonderful, most hardworking and competent nurse in the world will flounder big time if he/she has too many patients. The standard of nursing care will be horrendous. This is a well researched and proven fact.

    I have seen pregnant RN's on my floor work 14 hour shifts without stopping for a glass of water and food working their butts off for all of those 14 hours because they are so dedicated to trying to do an impossible job for too many patients. And they get nothing but abuse from family members who want one to one care and don't understand the dynamics of one nurse caring for 30 acutely ill totally dependent patients.

    Do these irate family members run screaming to administration regarding the appalling level of staffing? 80% of our new nursing grads in the UK cannot find jobs and yet the hospitals are not hiring and leaving one RN with a dangerously high number of patients. But do they run screaming to admin for staffing the wards like this? Nope. This just allows these managers to keep thinking they can get away with it because the nurse will be the one to take the fall.

    And remember that plenty of research has proven that the best nurse in the world is completely screwed with too many acute patients.

    Nurses want to work hard and give good care but it is very unreasonable to expect the nurses to give decent care and have a good handle on all of their patients with these kinds of staffing levels and acuity. A nurse could bail out the atlantic ocean with a teaspoon more easily than provide good care to too many acute patients at one time. It is just not going to happen.

    If my father was a patient on a ward where the nurse was overwhelmed with too many sick patients I wouldn't expect his care to be good and I would be in a managers office screaming and threatening the manager and wondering why my dad's nurse is being made to work in such overwhelming conditions when there is no need for it. This would be the best way to stop my dad from suffering via poor nursing care.

    Back to my pregnant colleague who worked for 14 hours non stop with nothing to eat and drink and happens to be one of the most caring and hard working nurses I know. She managed to keep her 10 critical care patients (who should have been in ITU) safe and alive for those 14 hours by running her ass off and not stopping and the daughter of another patient complained and got very abusive with her for not giving dad a back rub and sitting with him all shift. Same nurse had asked the managers to send her another RN or at least a care assistant because patients were suffering and she was ready to collapse and was told to f*ck off.

    If the public wants good nursing care they need to get off their asses and demand that hospitals are staffed safely and well. I don't believe for a second that they really care for their loved ones if they won't do this. I instead see them as a kid having a tantrum who gets off on abusing a nurse. If they abused those that intentionally short staff instead of abusing the nurses we wouldn't have so many problems with bad nursing care.

    Admin and the managers sit laughing at the money they are saving by staffing the wards like this knowing full well that the nurses will be the receivers of the wrath of an ignorant and unrealistic public. I know this for a fact. I have seen it with my own eyes. Then they get rewarded by their bossed for doing it.

    Let's give every nurse safe staffing levels and resources and back up and then we can weed the bad nurses from the good.

    Hope I have clarified things for you a bit Woody.
    Martinette - OMGosh, do I feel bad for you. Those working conditions sound awful.
    Why do you suppose it's so awful over there for nurses? Does it have anything to do with the National Health Service?
  11. by   Martinette
    My belief is that yes...it is a result of the way our health service is run and meddling by politicians. The people who make the decisions have no clinical knowledge.

    It is bad but there are no jobs anywhere else and we have mortgages and they know it.
  12. by   Tweety
    Quote from Emmanuel Goldstein
    There's a big difference between a families that are acting out because they're stressed and those that are simply being rude, hateful PIAs. I guess the trick is in knowing the difference and where to draw the line. It's quite the balancing act...
    If they are acting out because they are stressed it's still not acceptable. Understandable yes, but acceptable no. Either way it still needs to be dealt with.

    Those who are acting out because they are truly rude mean people are probably in the minority, but there are those who think that's how they get what they want in life. They need redirection.

    But those who are just at the end of their rope and still are mean and exhibiting bad behavior need redirection as well....with compassion and understanding on our part of course.

    You are definatley right that it's can be delicate.
  13. by   EmmaG
    Quote from Tweety
    If they are acting out because they are stressed it's still not acceptable. Understandable yes, but acceptable no. Either way it still needs to be dealt with.

    Those who are acting out because they are truly rude mean people are probably in the minority, but there are those who think that's how they get what they want in life. They need redirection.

    But those who are just at the end of their rope and still are mean and exhibiting bad behavior need redirection as well....with compassion and understanding on our part of course.

    You are definatley right that it's can be delicate.
    I wasn't referring to abusive behaviour; I agree that is unacceptable regardless.

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