Families from Hell - page 5

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   NJNursing
    Quote from ruby vee

    i think we ought to take her to the er for mental status changes and let them admit her and work her up. but i'm in the minority . . . .

    meanwhile, nurses are feeding her, giving her money and blankets and letting her wander around our enormous hospital.
    wow, i agree with the above poster that she should be referred to social services. this should have been taken care of after the first incident and the son forced to come and take her away lest social services or the police be called for elderly abuse. i'm sure he'd move his md butt quick enough with that. stuff like this burns me up. it's like people get old and they're disposable. :angryfire

    she certainly needs an advocate as her son nor husband are willing/able to do it.
  2. by   Diahni
    Quote from ruby vee
    timely thread, this. we have a patient in the icu who has been here for the past three weeks. his son is a physician who lives about an hour away and rarely visits, and his wife never leaves the hospital. we believe she has some form of dementia, a short term memory deficit and some health problems. she stays in the patient's room most of the day, wearing the same ankle-lenth quilted down coat buttoned up to her chin all the time. if you ask her to leave, for whatever reason, she goes out to stand by the elevator and cry and wail. some visitors called security on her because she was sitting on the floor rocking and shrieking "i have to get to xyz hospital because my husband is there," over and over and over. (she was at xyz hospital.) security took her away for a short while, but she was back before morning.

    some of our charge nurses, who felt sorry for her, were letting her sleep in an empty patient bed. that wasn't the best idea, but when other patients started complaining that they woke up and found her hovering over their beds, sobbing and staring at them, the surgeons (not management) put a stop to staying overnight in the icu. now she sleeps in the 24 hour cafeteria, or so i'm told. her son came to get her once, but left without her. so the poor lady lives at the hospital and doesn't really seem to have a clue what's going on.

    i think we ought to take her to the er for mental status changes and let them admit her and work her up. but i'm in the minority . . . .

    meanwhile, nurses are feeding her, giving her money and blankets and letting her wander around our enormous hospital.
    the nurses are being so sweet, but i am amazed that the hospital doesn't deal with this? where i live, doesn't matter which hospital, that lady would have a state case worker on her in no time - i know because my husband does this kind of thing for the mass department of mental health. she needs somebody keeping tabs on her, definitely.
    why don't your colleagues agree with you? the er is exactly the place where this kind of situation gets dealt with.
    diahni
  3. by   graysonret
    It's a product of our society these days. "It's your fault, never mine". Instant gratification. I said years ago, that some people don't see white lab coats and scrubs, they see dollar signs.
  4. by   cdm.rn2006
    We have a family on my floor right now that is completely overbearing. They come up to the desk every 15 minutes, follow the nurse and/or nursing asst. into other patient's rooms, and are completely inconsiderate of the patient in the next bed. They want a private room that we can't offer and private care that we also can't offer. Although the patient is one of 8 in the district of heavy orthopedic patients, the family wants her treated as the only one. The family also writes everything down that we do and questions us whether or not we know what we are doing constantly. The patient has 2 broken legs but nothing wrong with her upper body. The family refuses to let her do anything on her own...eat, take a drink, blow her nose. The patient is lovely...the family....UGH! She's been with us for approx. 3 weeks and will be with us for the foreseeable future.
  5. by   k1968mm
    Hi everyone,
    I am not a nurse. I'm just an aide. I went to nursing school and had to drop out during my senior year when I lost 10 year job caring for a sick woman. My weekend work allowed me to provide for my kids (I've been divorced for 11 years). I started working at hospitals in the end of 2006. I work second shift, 3 nights per week - sometimes more.

    For the most part I love my job, but every so often I get home completely drained physically and emotionally. The issue with families from hell is part to blame. Even thou I work night shift I too see some really bizarre things coming from families. Some nights I barely walk, I run! because families will ride the call light as if their relative is the only sick person in the entire hospital. A lot of times a family member stays in the room with the patient, then they call us to fetch things for them. We use a phone/pager system that allows us to answer the call from a room anywhere we are. I'll be right in the middle of cleaning up a patient, or helping someone whose back has been broken to the bathroom, or drawing blood for lab, and family members push the call light literally within seconds after I've told them "It will be a few minutes before I can get to you, but I'll be there". Then once I get in there they tell me they want a blanket because THEY are cold! (not the patient, THEM!). I do the best I can to keep my cool but sometimes I can't help it but curse at these people in my head. Sometimes I want to tell them that if they behaved like civilized people their experience (and ours) would be a lot better.
    Most of the time my coworkers (nurses) are supportive of us the aides, but I have to say that many still add to insult to injury by taking sides with the patients when they gripe and bi*ch about everything. I am very lucky in that there are only 3 nurses in our team that do this.
    I look up to my nurses as I know that their job isn't easy, as well as I know that going thru nursing school is not a piece of cake, but my respect is gone once a nurse starts to treat others in the team as sh**y as some patients do. I will never forget an abusive young man who yelled obscenities at us all night long. As soon as I answered the call he started by called me a lazy piece of ___. By 3 am I was in tears and some of the nurses tiptoed around him. This one RN, a woman who is 62 years old and has been a nurse for almost 40 years, calmly walked in his room and told him to stop the nonsense and respect the staff otherwise she would call security and request that the doctor send him to the Hawthorn unit (psych.). We didnt hear from the guy the rest of the night. "Marjie" is one of the nurses I will never forget for always supporting us the aides, and for not allowing patients/their families to stomp us to the ground.
    I don't know if I will ever be able to go back to nursing school. Maybe when my girls graduate from high school and can help a little. I watch Marjie all the time because she is a role model to me.
    OOps I digressed (sp?) .... sorry!
  6. by   niecy_nurse
    I am a travel nurse who presently works ICU. I have been in nursing for over 20 yrs and boy do I have the horror stories to tell regarding rude families. Over the years, I have learned to be very polite and let them know that I am not the enemy. I am there to take care of their of loved one and I WILL NOT tolerate them disrespecting me. I also tell them to not mistake my kindness for weakness. I find that once you let them know you are not going to put up with their BS, they back down!!
  7. by   CseMgr1
    We have our share of "families from hell" in home care, too. We currently have a client whose family expects us to do everything for him...yet won't lift a finger to help him, when we are not there. I warned my Manager when I admitted him several months ago that his daughter was a certifiable nut case and he was not appropriate for home care. As a result, he is being neglected and APS is "investigating" (yeah, right!). We just found out last week that this is not the first time this family has been reported for neglect...and his referral source failed to tell us that. :angryfire
  8. by   LoveCharts
    I agree that it is completely inappropriate and rude for people to badger, overly question, or talk down to their nurse. Why be mean to someone who takes care of you?? I also understand that there are bad nurses out there, but for the most part, those are few and far between. Whatever happened to the days when the nurses received respect? Patients and families did what they were asked by the nurse because they had respect for her, her knowledge, and her profession. Did those days ever really exist, or are the older nurses just pulling my leg?
  9. by   Kanani_Ikike
    Quote from LibertyBellPN
    I just hate that 'phone. It rings constantly and how am I supposed to do my job if I am always answering the phone!!
    Oh, I am so glad you brought that up. The nurse manager got on our case the other night about not answering the phone for a patient. He said that a family member had called and complained because their HOH father couldn't hear the phone ring. They wanted to know why the nurses cannot just go down and answer his phone for him.

    We explained that while we are rounding or in the med room, we cannot hear phones ringing. I thought we came to work to actually take care of patients, not operate the switchboard. Well, he said that we should do it because it's things like this that makes a difference. Oh, I guess getting the patient's medicine to them on time doesn't matter as long as the Press-Gainey is good. Oh, just forget about seeing the patients, just answer the phone. I asked him was he serious? He looked at me like I was crazy and just left.

    See, a huge part of family behaving unacceptably is because management caters to them and doesn't educate them on their loved ones purpose for being at the hospital. We are not there to provide room service and we don't deserve to be treated like crap, either.
  10. by   Pbelle
    Quote from Kunzieo
    My favorite are the families that stay over-night and complain in the morning that they didn't get any sleep because the RN went in ~midnight to do vitals and assesment, I peeked in at 2 for our "clinical rounding," at 4 to do vitals, and at 6 to do weight/i+o's and blood sugar. (our trays come at 6:50!!!)

    I just want to ask them which is more important: their sleep, or that their loved one receives good medical care?

    Where on earth do they think they are?

    I worked on a tele unit and had a patient who had two daughters that stayed w/mom the entire time she was on our unit. We figured out fairly quickly that this was a case of 'kid-guilt', since according to another sibling, these two had had nothing to do with mom or her health for years. One had a notebook with her, and she'd record every.single.vital. One time the NA was taking her temp, and told me the temp in Celsius, to which the daughter said, in a very demanding tone "interpret". The NA and I looked at each other, and I said, "she's fine, her temp is normal". Then I walked out of the room. I just wouldn't put up with that BS demanding behavior.

    The kicker was when mom had a blood transfusion, and due to the fact the the daughters kept piling blankets on mom, her temp went up a bit, but nothing to think she was having a reaction. They starting literally screaming "She's Dying! Get the doctor". The other patient in the room rolled their eyes at me and said "Either they go or I'm going to call the DoM and get them kicked out!". I asked them both to calm down, since they were disturbing both their mom and the other patient. You'd have thought I had a horn growing out of my head. Somehow we got them off the unit to the cafeteria, stopped the transfusion and lo and behold, mom was fine, since once we removed the extra blankets, her temp went back to normal. These women thought they and their mom were the only people on the unit, and really made me rethink if I wanted to stay on the unit as a hospital nurse. Where did they think there were, the Hilton?:angryfire
    Last edit by Pbelle on Dec 4, '07 : Reason: really poor grammar!
  11. by   Pbelle
    Quote from Kanani_Ikike
    Oh, I am so glad you brought that up. The nurse manager got on our case the other night about not answering the phone for a patient. He said that a family member had called and complained because their HOH father couldn't hear the phone ring. They wanted to know why the nurses cannot just go down and answer his phone for him.

    We explained that while we are rounding or in the med room, we cannot hear phones ringing. I thought we came to work to actually take care of patients, not operate the switchboard. Well, he said that we should do it because it's things like this that makes a difference. Oh, I guess getting the patient's medicine to them on time doesn't matter as long as the Press-Gainey is good. Oh, just forget about seeing the patients, just answer the phone. I asked him was he serious? He looked at me like I was crazy and just left.

    See, a huge part of family behaving unacceptably is because management caters to them and doesn't educate them on their loved ones purpose for being at the hospital. We are not there to provide room service and we don't deserve to be treated like crap, either.

    Press-Gainey is a joke.
  12. by   Pbelle
    Quote from Emmanuel Goldstein
    Oooo. I hate when families answer for the patient (comments are fine, but you know what I mean). When that happens, I look directly at the patient and talk to them. I know it ticks off the family, but frankly I don't care.
    I've noticed that the older a couple is, in many instances the wife answers for the husband, even if he's A&Ox3 and fully able to speak for himself! What is the deal with this behavior?
  13. by   Diahni
    Quote from LoveCharts
    I agree that it is completely inappropriate and rude for people to badger, overly question, or talk down to their nurse. Why be mean to someone who takes care of you?? I also understand that there are bad nurses out there, but for the most part, those are few and far between. Whatever happened to the days when the nurses received respect? Patients and families did what they were asked by the nurse because they had respect for her, her knowledge, and her profession. Did those days ever really exist, or are the older nurses just pulling my leg?
    LoveCharts: Sadly, I don't think many people get respect these days. Look at how politicians try to dig up the dirt on each other. Maybe patients and their families are thinking ahead - they don't want to be too friendly just in case they can think of a reason to sue. Am I becoming just an old grouch, or is society going down the toilet? I can't believe the things I see on tv. I think nurses used to get respect when we had a civil culture.

    Diahni

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