Frontline Fury

  1. The other night I was doing a clinical rotation (one of my last, YIPPEE) and had a patients son blow up on me. I was standing near the doorway getting ready to leave the room when he comes through the door an blasts me. He demanded to know "What the **** is wrong with his mom." "What the **** am I doing." and "What the **** are we going to do to fixe her." ....And that was just the introduction. I thought the guy was going to rip my head off. The look on his face was like steroid rage or something. I didn't say anything (therapeutic silence, HEHE) and just let him vent. I started to tell him the things we where doing for her. He then saw my student name badge and demanded to see a real RN. I got the "real" RN and we both entered the room and let him vent some more before talking him down. Basically he was just mad at the situation because his mom is getting cycled in and out of ERs without any definative dx. She told me in her hx that she had lost #50 of weight in the past 4 months, intractable vomiting, and her labs weren't looking to good. Lymphocytes down to 2% (25-45% normal). I think she probably had AIDS.

    Anyway, to make a long story short.....I WISHED WE ALL GOT A LITTLE MORE R-E-S-P-E-C-T
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Mike RGN
    Well Handled
    You have my respect
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    You Did Super!
  5. by   mattsmom81
    We get this more and more don't we??? Sounds like you did well. What troubles me is when familes demand explanation while taking us away from asessment/intervention...happens all the time. Worst part of our job. And managers don't support US in doing our REAL job.Our management of FAMILY takes us away from our PATIENTS.
  6. by   nekhismom
    Good job of handling the situation, and of handling yourself! I know many students who would have broken down under similar circumstances. Yay to you!
    Last edit by nekhismom on Feb 16, '04 : Reason: smiley disfunction
  7. by   Tweety
    Usually these family members come in way after doctors hours, say 11pm and act like then, when there is no way we're going to get ahold of an MD at that hour. Do did very well. My response also includes something like "can you please call the doctor, who can give you a plan and/or diagnosis during normal business hours, please?" duh.

    People like that sap your energy and waste your time, but usually they just want someone to talk to.
  8. by   GPatty
    HA! The other day, I JUST walked in the door and had gotten report, when I was jumped by 2 separate family members!
    #1~ After confirming a strange order for insulin with my nursing supervisor, I gave the correct dosage to a res, who's daughter has made it VERY clear she is an RN at our local hospital, and who blew up asking why her Dad was having insulin at that hour and so on and so forth(right before supper)...demanding the DR be called immediately and blah, blah, blah....

    #2~ Another nurse daughter comes in (another pt) and wants to know if the Dr had called back yet about her Dad. Well, no, not to my knowledge, he hadn't. She yells, "WELL, WASN'T IT TOLD TO YOU IN REPORT?" No. Nothing was said about it, but I will check on it for you. She walks away as I am speaking, throws her hand in the air, shaks her head, and says, "Just forget it."

    Where do these people come from? Aaarrrggghhhhh! :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire
  9. by   ratchit
    You handled it well, Mspring. When someone is that angry and frustrated, nothing you can say will work.

    We had something similar happen the other day. My patient coded (not totally unexpected, but we expected a respiratory failure requiring a vent, not a VT arrest.) We call the family, say dad's not doing well, had to do CPR, he's on a vent, yes you should come now. Not later, now.

    They show up, dad's vented and hasn't seen a BP north of 80 in a couple hours despite 3 maxed out pressors. We tell them we've consulted everybody and we're doing all we can- what would dad want us to do? Of course, the answer is "he never said, but we want everything done." OK, we'll do our best. But then they got irritated with us...

    "Well, I don't understand why the cardiologist isn't here right now." Well, ma'am, he isn't in the hospital at 3:00 Sunday morning. We called him, did all the tests he wanted, the results of many aren't back yet, and he's coming in from home because we can't figure out why this person arrested with no EKG changes and negative cardiac enzymes (pre-arrest, but after 2 days of being ill.)

    The cardiologist arrived within 90 minutes of being called. That wasn't good enough. I know they were under stress but come on! We had pulmonary, CT surgery, renal, and cardiology consults at the bedside within 2 hours of the arrest, in the middle of the night. I thought we did darn well. Must have, he made it.
  10. by   traumaRUs
    It sounds like you handled a bad situation very well - congrats!
  11. by   RNPATL
    Quote from mspringer
    .....I WISHED WE ALL GOT A LITTLE MORE R-E-S-P-E-C-T
    You have my agreement and also my respect for the way in which you handled the situation. Family members tend to drive me crazy and have little understanding of what the role of the nurse is in providing care for the patient. But, providing the family with an open ear and listening to their concerns tends to work in calming an otherwise difficult situation. Bravo to you on the way you handled it!

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