Families from Hell - page 9

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   GadgetRN71
    I cut patients a lot of slack but the families need to realize that they are "guests" and I don't mean that in a butt kissing way. I mean that IMO, hospitals need to go back to strictly enforced visiting hours. If they "act up" then they need to be told to leave. I don't work the floor, I work in the OR and am "old school" about letting families into the pre-op or PACU. They don't belong there unless the patient is a child or someone with special needs.

    I think most of the nurses here are just trying to do their jobs to the best of their ability and don't really need to be "scolded" because the job is different from how it used to be decades ago. I think it's harsh to imply that someone is a poor nurse because they don't feel the need to kiss a family members fanny. I'm talking about the real obnoxious ones..I have gotten a sandwich on my way to the cafeteria for a man waiting for his wife in surgery. He was afraid to leave in case the doc came out to talk to him. I would do that again, because this guy was polite and appreciative. But, I do not feel it's in my job description to play waitress for some of these nitwits.

    Signed, one of those uppity new nurses with a backbone!
  2. by   Duckyaryj
    The hospital where I currently work at has just sent out about 3 different commercials talking about all the cushy things at home with the ending phrase "You'll like the way we treat you!" This really pushes my buttons!! Then the other day I actually had a family member ask me "where's that latte' that they were talking about on the commercial?" and she was NOT kidding!!!:trout::angryfire She then said something about false advertising as I walked out of the room trying my hardest not to laugh at her.
  3. by   Riseupandnurse
    My father, 85, is a long-time GP. He said that when he saw huge groups of family members gathered around a hospitalized patient making scenes and demands, he (who knew the family) often realized it was because they were afraid they would get cut out of the will if they didn't.
  4. by   JessicRN
    I had the mother of an employee who came to the emergency room at 10pm. The daughter came in demanding we personally call her PCP we told her we will do the tests on her mother and when the results are in we will contact her mothers PCP. She screamed she wanted him now. We gave her a phone and told her she was welcome to call him. She did the doctor then spoke to our staff and said "work her up and call me with the results! Duh.
    I started an IV with 5 people staring at me saying they wanted to go to another hospital all the while and began to draw blood and the mother kept moving her arm. I lost the IV and the daughter yelled that I should go get someone else who knows how to draw blood.
    I luckily got to go home 30 minutes later. I still can't believe that an employee could behave this way. My supervisor said unfortunatley even though they are employee they are family members when they come to the ED and are allowed to act like #&@* holes and we have to take it.
    I can't wait to see that person again. She is a housekeeper something tells me her job is going to be alot more messy
  5. by   Diahni
    Quote from JessicRN
    I had the mother of an employee who came to the emergency room at 10pm. The daughter came in demanding we personally call her PCP we told her we will do the tests on her mother and when the results are in we will contact her mothers PCP. She screamed she wanted him now. We gave her a phone and told her she was welcome to call him. She did the doctor then spoke to our staff and said "work her up and call me with the results! Duh.
    I started an IV with 5 people staring at me saying they wanted to go to another hospital all the while and began to draw blood and the mother kept moving her arm. I lost the IV and the daughter yelled that I should go get someone else who knows how to draw blood.
    I luckily got to go home 30 minutes later. I still can't believe that an employee could behave this way. My supervisor said unfortunatley even though they are employee they are family members when they come to the ED and are allowed to act like #&@* holes and we have to take it.
    I can't wait to see that person again. She is a housekeeper something tells me her job is going to be alot more messy
    Oh my! This sounds like the same woman who caused a friend to switch jobs. The daughter had just been fired as a cna from the very same hospital, but that didn't stop her from making the nurses lives miserable. I don't know what lead up to her screaming "I'll going to get your fired" to my friend. After this, my friend went to the nurses station and muttered, "what a rhymes with witch." The daughter heard it, and went ballistic, and made a stink. The administration told my friend that she must write an apology to this troglodyte. Unbelievable. Well, my friend said you gotta be kidding, see ya later, to the hospital. This is what happens when the administration's attitude is the "customer," which I suppose includes the customer's family, is always right. Even if this person was just fired by the same hospital! Nutty, huh? During the whole sordid affair, the administration reminded my friend that nurses are supposed to suck up any verbal abuse that is heaped on them. What's wrong with this picture? What if you treated an auto mechanic like this?
    Diahni
  6. by   EmmaG
    Quote from Djuna

    I am expected to be pleasant and efficient but I don't have to put up with abusive families. Working in the ER we have been told the family members basically have no rights, the patient does. If they abuse us they get told to stop or they will be removed.
    Our ER had signs posted all over the place informing the public that it is illegal to --- either verbally OR physically --- harass, intimidate, threaten, etc., any hospital employee, and that the police will be called if that occurs. For the longest time, I thought that was a state law specific to ERs. It isn't. But our hospital didn't have the cojones to enforce it anywhere else.
  7. by   EmmaG
    When I first started nursing school, I proudly proclaimed to everybody I was going to be a nurse.

    The other day, I watched as a large group of people thundered up the hall with a purpose, surrounding me to ask if I was Mr ___'s nurse...

    I froze, I swear I froze!

    My mind raced as I tried to think of a response--- IT... No, I was wearing scrubs. Damn. Housekeeping! No, I was holding a chart. Damn again. I started to twitch. Trapped!

    *wince*

    Yes, I'm his nurse.

    It was not pretty.
  8. by   Tweety
    As a charge nurse I deal with families often. Most of the time I appreciate them. I would have appreciated a family member telling me a patient was too confused to push his PCA. Today a family asked about a plan of care and I was able to discover an x-ray done 3 days ago still wasn't read, that was very helpful and would have held up discharge.

    It doesn't kill me to get someone a cup of coffee, or some trivial thing.

    In our high acuity busy lives as nurses we need patient advocated in family members. We do the same when our loved ones are hospitalized.

    But then there are some. I had one every 30 minutes come and ask me the same question "Has the doctor been by, can I take my husband home, he's getting restless." The answer "no, but it's important your husband stay until his x-rays are looked at by the doctor and he's in surgery and I've confirmed with him that he's coming after the surgery" which unfortunately was a complicated and lengthy back surgery lasting many hours. The answer was the same each and every time she came by over the course of 4 or more hours. Those are the ones that drain my energy. Thinking that if they keep asking, keep demanding that the answer they were previously given will change.
  9. by   actioncat
    Quote from Tweety
    As a charge nurse I deal with families often. Most of the time I appreciate them. I would have appreciated a family member telling me a patient was too confused to push his PCA. Today a family asked about a plan of care and I was able to discover an x-ray done 3 days ago still wasn't read, that was very helpful and would have held up discharge.

    It doesn't kill me to get someone a cup of coffee, or some trivial thing.

    In our high acuity busy lives as nurses we need patient advocated in family members. We do the same when our loved ones are hospitalized.
    I agree. For the most part I am very grateful for the extra set of eyes and ears. I find most family members appreciative and often they can give you some helpful hints. I do try to listen to families and I don't like it when nurses believe they are always in the way.
    As for getting coffee, I am usually happy to do this because it is a simple thing that makes people happy. Often we do not have much control over what is going on with a patient, and this is something we can do to make someone happy.

    But as Tweety said, sometimes there are some families...
  10. by   elthia
    Families that advocate for their loved ones are one thing. Families that start off yelling at me the moment I walk in the door and say "hi, my name is..."That really irritates me, but I usually then just keep my mouth shut...let them vent, and then say, "my name is Elthia, I'll be his nurse tonight. I understand you have some concerns, let's see what I can do."

    However, families that:
    expect me to supply all 5 of their kids with sack lunches, and then steal our diabetic snacks because there are no sack lunches;

    that throw a fit because the movies on demand isn't working and little Johnny really wanted to see Superman Returns;

    that go into other rooms and move so many chairs into the pt's room that you literally can't reach the pt (God forbid the pt should crash, she'd die before you'd clear enough furniture out to get the crash cart in.);

    that have the nerve to complain that I ignored them in the hallway as I was running down the hall pushing a big red cart with a defibrillator on it to a room that seemed to have plenty of nurses in it helping that pt;

    that get mad and curse me out because I insist on following security protocol and locking the doors to the unit after hours, even though there is a doorbell/buzzer they can push to be let back in;

    that get mad because I ask them to please turn the tv on mute just for 5 minutes while I listen to the pt's heart/lung/bowel sounds, especially because the pt is a tubefeeder who just vomited, and I'm worried he might have aspirated;

    that complain because I wake them up when I do frequent rounds overnight checking on the pt;

    that scream and curse at me because the pt asked them to leave;

    that scream and curse because the kitchen's closed and the sack lunch, soup, tv dinner, ice cream, milk, crackers, sandwich I offered isn't good enough, I'm sorry I'm trying to find you somethinig;

    that threaten my license because I refuse to physically or chemically restrain their alert and oriented loved one who is not trying to climb out of bed or pulling on tubes;

    that threaten my license because it hurts the pt when I perform a procedure that is painful, I'm sorry but it has to be done, I don't enjoy it;

    that threaten me because the doctor won't order what they think the pt should have, and they were told this in person by the doctor;

    that threaten my license because they are in denial about their loved one's condition,especially if it's self induced;

    that threaten my life because their loved one didn't survive a code;

    that hit on me when their wife is suffering from a postpartum cardiovascular event.

    These to me are families from hell, and the type of stuff that I should not have to put up with. There is dysfunctional grieving and altered family process... and then there is just plain entitlement behavior and being an @ss.
  11. by   ktwlpn
    Quote from woody62
    I am well aware of the fact that patient care and acuity has changed. I may be sixty-two years old but I am still capable of looking, listening, observing. I didn't just suddenly forget about the responsibilities of providing care. I hate to tell you this, nursing has changed since I first started working as an LPN in 1968. But apparently attitudes haven't changed. Anyone who disagrees with the general take on patients and their families, either doesn't know what she is talking about. Or she is looking thru a rosey mirror, at nursing.
    You are correct, no one has any right to expect anything of their nurses. They get their medications and perhaps a dressing change. they should be satisfied. What right does nay patient have to expect any thing more. Of course you are too busy to educate patients and their families. Just give them those printed handouts. And if they have any questions, they can get their answers from their physician's M.A., who calls herself a nurse. And it is too bad if she gets it wrong, it isn't the hospital nursing staff's problem.
    You are so right. Patients and their families should be satisified with what you give them. And if they expect more, let them hire a private nurse. The nursing staff is too over burdened with their high acuity patients. Jep, you are so right. So correct.
    Woody
    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. My sister and I also spent many nights at our loved one's bedside-some nurses gave us washclothes,towels and coffee in the morning and some did not.I did NOT expect it-I saw what else was going on at the time on that unit. I was capable of going down the street for my own coffee..Today the line between the patient and the "consumer" has blurred and this can have a negative effecton the patients outcome... Again-we are talking about the extremes on this thread-the same kind of people that will verbally attack a cashier or a mechanic....There are 2 sides to every story-I too have worked with nurses that clearly just did not have time for courtesy and they set themselves up to be reported -I have been in a few situations that I could have handled better and for whatever reason did not do so..
  12. by   woody62
    You know, I must be really Lucky. I have been in the ER at Mercy Hospital, San Diego, Albany Medical Center, New York, Roosevelt NYC, St Joes, SW Florida, to name a few of the ER's I've had to visit over the past seventeen years. Funny, the only way a patient could get access to the treatment area, in any of these hospitals, was to be buzzed thru the door. And the number of family members allowed back in the treatment area, was restricted to, at the most, two. And the nursing staff, up on the floors thought nothing of telling a patient's family, there are too many visitors, you are disturbing the other patient, and asking, telling several of them, they had to leave. And if they refused, calling security to escort several of the family members off the floor.

    And the only time my daughter got 'special privileges' from the nursing staff, was when I was in ICU, July of 2006 and January of 1989. The first time because she worked evenings and nights and was allowed in to see me at 2AM when she got off. And other time before she reported to work, I guess because she is a county employee. And I have a hard time remember anytime when a roommate had so many relatives visiting I couldn't have anyone visit me.

    I can understand why some people complain but it seems like every nurse that comes to the board has an hospital administration that is more worried about maintain a public image, then they are providing good nursing care. And it seems like everyone has a tale about too many visitors, or too many expecting meals served to them, or just being too demanding of the nurses staff and time.

    Feel free to vent. And I will feel free to post that I have not had the experiences that you all are seem to experience every day. Not as a patient and not when I was working. Heck, not even when I was doing my clinical time, in my N.P. program. And I do know one thing, if I was not being supported, as a nurse, by my hospital's administration, I would be long gone from that facility. Not only is the administration putting me in jeopardy but they are also putting the patient in the same situation. And no sane administrator puts his hospital in any type of jeopardy.

    Woody
  13. by   Tweety
    Woody you've hit the nail on the head on two counts.

    One is we all should feel free to vent about our experiences, which are unique to us as individuals and we should respect and allow those vents. Sometimes it's not necessary for us to judge the person venting, comment on what is wrong or right with their vent or to say we've never heard of such a thing or to offer advice. Sometimes it's best to keep our mouths shut and just listen and allow the vent.

    The other nail on the head, is that administration is moving more towards a so-called family friendly and "customer service" oriented way. In some ways this is good, because it's these kinds of policies that have allowed husbands into the delivery rooms and families into procedures and codes with much success. On the other hand it has created a bit of havoc for floor nurses who must now incorporate this into our routine.

    Our ER is much like you describe, they are a whole other word from the floor. On the floor when we try to clamp down on families and visitors, they complain and management clamps down on us and isn't as supportive as the ER.

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