Frustration - I am sure you can relate

  1. Good Evening,

    Although I have been reading here for quite some time, this is my first post. I have been an RN for almost 15 years, mostly in the areas of ICU and Cardiac Care.

    I had the most frustrating experience the other night at work. I received report on one of my patients (I had three). My post-op patient was confused and would not follow commands. The patient moved all extremities, Vital signs were within normal and all other asssessments were WNL. All of doc's were aware, all pain meds had been stopped and the doc had explained to the family that the patent was most likely suffering from delirium, but they would reassess the situation in the morning, when the pain meds had worn off more.

    About 2 hours into the shift, the patient started answering simple questions, but remained agitated and disoriented and would still not follow commands. One of the family members came out of the room and told me that the patient wanted to go for a walk. I explained that at this time, this would not be a safe activity for the patient and explained why (LOC issues, unable to follow simple commands etc). I did request a sitter for the patient as the family looked as if they were tiring and needed a break.

    About two hours later, I was told that I was going to be taking a different patient because the family member complained that I was too direct and that I was agitating her family member. (My neuro checks were intrusive to her care).

    Another nurse was going to be assigned the patient. However, the other nurse declined to switch assignments because they witnessed my conversation with the family member and said they wouldn't have handled it any differently.

    I ended up keeping the patient, the supervisor again spoke with the family member and I never heard anything else. Oh and this wasn't the first time this family requested a new staff member.

    I am just so frustrated. I was doing my job, doing proper assessments, trying to educate and yet somehow it still wasn't good enough. If my best is not enough anymore, where do you go from there?
    Last edit by 1993RNGrad on Nov 19, '07
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   SICU Queen
    Yeah, I can relate.

    It's very frustrating to be giving excellent care and doing what needs to be done, only to have a patient or family complain.

    I'm sorry this happened to you... please know that you're doing what needs to be done... and kudos to your co-worker for refusing to change and validating your actions!
  4. by   leslie :-D
    there's not a darned thing you can do.
    you already have done what a prudent, experienced nurse would have.
    document family frustrations, that's about it.
    reassurance and education, also.
    other than that, stand your ground.
    there's not a blessed thing you did wrong.

    leslie
  5. by   MAISY, RN-ER
    Unfortunately patients and their families don't like the word "no". You did the right thing. You know if someone else had gotten that patient and allowed them to walk, and they fell "it would've hit the fan!"

    To be honest, I am surprised this is the first time you've experienced this. You must be very patient. It sounds like I'd want you for my nurse.

    Maisy
  6. by   CaLLaCoDe
    Quote from MAISY, RN-ER
    Unfortunately patients and their families don't like the word "no". You did the right thing. You know if someone else had gotten that patient and allowed them to walk, and they fell "it would've hit the fan!"

    To be honest, I am surprised this is the first time you've experienced this. You must be very patient. It sounds like I'd want you for my nurse.

    Maisy
    I agree! I think the trend says it all!
  7. by   1993RNGrad
    Quote from SICU Queen
    Yeah, I can relate.

    It's very frustrating to be giving excellent care and doing what needs to be done, only to have a patient or family complain.

    I'm sorry this happened to you... please know that you're doing what needs to be done... and kudos to your co-worker for refusing to change and validating your actions!
    Thanks! I really appreciated my coworker taking a stand there as well. There were four of us on the unit and two other nurses were standing there during that conversation. The other nurse also told the house supervisor that there was nothing wrong with the conversation.
  8. by   1993RNGrad
    Quote from MAISY, RN-ER
    Unfortunately patients and their families don't like the word "no". You did the right thing. You know if someone else had gotten that patient and allowed them to walk, and they fell "it would've hit the fan!"

    To be honest, I am surprised this is the first time you've experienced this. You must be very patient. It sounds like I'd want you for my nurse.

    Maisy
    Thanks Maisy,

    Not the first time, but it's getting more frustrating. I try and be patient as I can, but I am human and some days I wish for patients that have no family, are intubated and have propofol infusing........
  9. by   ginger58
    Congratulations for coming through that only slightly scraped! You're very lucky to have co-workers that will speak up for you.

    I know this always sounds trite but remember that family thing is about them and not you.

    Best wishes for the holidays.
  10. by   jojotoo
    For some people, even your "best" will never be enough.
  11. by   FireStarterRN
    When you're dealing with the public you get all sorts. Some members of the public are a delight, some are demanding and unreasonable. You win some and you lose some when you deal with the public.
  12. by   nitewarrior
    "Well meaning" families are the bane of a nurse's existance. The other day I had a son complain that I didnt give mama a prn pain medication while she was SLEEPING. How much pain could she have been in?
  13. by   catlynLPN
    Quote from nitewarrior
    "Well meaning" families are the bane of a nurse's existance. The other day I had a son complain that I didnt give mama a prn pain medication while she was SLEEPING. How much pain could she have been in?
    We have a patient at the LTC who talked to the inspectors and told them the nurses wouldn't wake her up to give a pain pill at 4am.
    The inspector asked her, "Is it scheduled?"
    She replied, "No, it's prn."
    Well.............duh.

    The inspector told her, "They don't have to bring it to you if it's PRN and you are sleeping."

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