Stress is no reason to be abusive....yesterday, I relieved a nurse who was about to crack from family pressure so she could have a break. The minute I got there, they started. Why, why, why, why...? Fill in the blanks, then proceded to cry, lay on top of the barely breathing man, and just be in everyone's face. About 10 minutes went by, and I'd had it! I explained they were upsetting the other patients, they needed to stay in their chairs and not look over by shoulder (violating hippa), they needed to take it down a notch
and stay off of this barely breathing man, they needed to stop asking why he wouldn't live to over 100(like his grandparents), and then I called the Rabbi. I explained the situation and sent him into speak to them and comfort them. Later, they came out and thanked me and were much calmer. Their nurse came back, was told what happened...then, she hugged me. This is an extreme case of needy family and not having the time due to multi-patient acuity.
Others, I enforce the visitation rule, call the patient rep, call security, stop them
dead in their tracks if they talk for the patient, make them leave the room when I examine the patient, and a million more. I like people, and try my best to be informative and pleasant. However, I haven't always been a nurse, I was in business for years and know how to handle "bad" customers...and I do.
By the way, my PG are usually great, have never had a negative. Even with our frequent flyers, they know how much I'll put up with....they never get to that level a second time.