I guess I'm a florist now too.... - page 3

Hey all, The other morning, I was in the hallway at work when I noticed a family member coming down the hall looking puzzled. I right away asked her if I could help her with something and she said... Read More

  1. by   Luv2BAnurse
    while I "love to be a nurse" I don't love being treated only as a servant. Most times, I wouldn't mind doing "extra" things at work. Most nurses that I know already feel overburdened by tasks and documentation, not to mention emotional stress. Whenever I've not had time to do an "extra" request, you better believe patient relations hears about it from the patient or family STAT. AND of course their side is taken, in the name of good customer service. I get a lecture on "Don't you realize that person may have been very stressed about their family member being in the hospital" and so on.
    WELL...
    I have a life too, pathetic as it may seem to others. When I go anywhere for any type of service, I don't ALWAYS get everything that I want. And guess what? I may have someone in the hospital too. In other words...just because someone is in a hospital is no reason to be so demanding. Everyone has stress. I only wish the patient relations team would offer stress management to staff and visitors instead of coming down so hard on the nurse who really didn't have time to look at the great aunt's cousin's nephew's new wife's sister's scratch on her piggy toe, who wasn't EVEN the patient.
  2. by   rn in 3 years
    Quote from jkaee
    Acutally, sometimes I think you make more of a mountain out of a molehill if you don't do something like that once and a while. No, we're not florists, and no, I wouldn't do it if I absolutely couldn't get to it....but sometimes taking that extra 5 minutes or so to do something like that makes a world of difference with a family member who's on the edge of a breakdown, so to speak....or someone who is just having a really hard time dealing with everything that's happening.
    In my case, it was a 70 ish woman who was coming in to visit her 93 year old mother. A lot of history, and a lot of histrionics. Doing that for her, while I was busy and didn't get a chance to eat yet, did a lot for her and gave us a chance to chat a bit about mom's condition and history....seeing if we could come up with a way to solve mom's "problem" (which we did, in an amazing feat of theraputic communication on my part, if I do say so myself....:chuckle ). Sometimes, these little "servant" requests can open the door to something else. Sometimes it helps build a relationship. But that's just my opinion.

    Of course, I work in acute rehab, so it's a different ballpark when compared with L&D and an ICU setting. So I agree with what nurses say when working in those fields.
    I may be wrong but I don't think the point was that she didn't have the time to do it but rather the TOTAL LACK OF RESPECT that person showed.
  3. by   flashpoint
    I'll never understand what some people expect. So many people think that nurses are supposed to be at their beck and call for every little thing that pops into their mind...it is nice of them to find us something to do when we are bored with menial tasks like monitoring EKGs, starting IVs, and doing CPR. I know that often it is just that people are too stressed to realize how busy we actually are or sincerely believe that we really have nothing else to do. I honestly wish we could get away with educating the public about what a nurse's job truly is...but I don't see that happening any time soon...and unfortunately, that is not what people are going to remember or care about when it is all said and done.

    Would I have arranged the flowers? Probably, yes...for one thing, our administration expects it...they would much rather pay us to skip lunch and have the patients and their families happy than not...I also know what a difference things like that can make to someone. When my mother in law died, the one nurse my father in law talked about in a positive way was the one who neatly arranged her flowers, stuffed animals, and balloons in the window sill...I remember the one who was sweating up a storm after spending hours titrating drips, calling doctors, giving an amazing bed bath and backrub, and doing the most effective chest compressions I have ever seen...
  4. by   Nurse Ratched
    Memories.....

    One of my numerous jobs when I was a CNA at the local nursing home was dividing up the periodic funeral flower deliveries into individual vases of less tacky arrangements to be placed in residents' rooms. I enjoyed it but was definitely no floral designer lol.

    I will note that yet another advantage of working psych is that on the rare occasions flowers show up, the thorns and wiring generally preclude their presence .

    Anyway, back to topic - at one time I likely would have reacted as the OP just because I was so completely shocked at the gall it would've taken me a moment to realize I'd been bulldozed .

    With my patient populations, very few bizarro requests throw me off now lol. Although, from what I read here daily, it wouldn't surprise me if most nurses who refused such an absurd request would still find themselves getting reprimanded by their NM.

    It is all in the nature of the refusal, however. Smile sweetly, "Aren't they lovely! I'm sure Mrs. X will appreciate them, and if I had time to take care of that I would, but my patient care has to come first. You're welcome to borrow my (always at the ready) bandage scissors; the sink is in the room."
  5. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from Luv2BAnurse
    Whenever I've not had time to do an "extra" request, you better believe patient relations hears about it from the patient or family STAT. AND of course their side is taken, in the name of good customer service. I get a lecture on "Don't you realize that person may have been very stressed about their family member being in the hospital" and so on.
    I, too, get very tired of this much over-used cookie cutter answer from the butt-kissers that be. Everybody is stressed, not just the family member that is throwing a fit. Why should we reward the fit? Since when (and, while we are on the subject, under what other circumstances) does being stressed make it acceptable for you to mistreat other people or behave like a spoiled child??
  6. by   jkaee
    Quote from rn in 3 years
    I may be wrong but I don't think the point was that she didn't have the time to do it but rather the TOTAL LACK OF RESPECT that person showed.

    No, you were right about the point of the OP's post. I was simply referring to my instance, and the fact that even though a request may not be part of what our job is as a nurse, it can sometimes be benefical to the nurse-pt-family relationship.

    Once again, this is only the way I see it....others may have a different point of view.
  7. by   sjrn85
    Unfortunately, in this "customer service" driven climate, many nurses who would refuse to do this would find themselves sitting in an admin's office being reprimanded.
  8. by   mercyteapot
    To tell you the truth, I think I'd just rather be reprimanded than to be expected to accommodate some bossy woman's orders. It isn't that I would never go out of my way to find a suitable vessel for the flowers, because I know that would ultimately benefit the patient. Who doesn't like receiving flowers in a pretty arrangement? It is that I am not at the beck and call of every person who walks through those hospital doors, and the less I behave as though I am, the better attention I will be able to devote to my patients. (Assuming I ever have any, which I don't given my current workplace).
  9. by   Joeknee
    I would've been so tempted to say: "Sure, if you'll give an enema to the patient in room 22 for me..."

    The visitors where I work are generally very well behaved, but when people do this sort of thing they are directed to the patient kitchen where they can find empty vases.

    I'm soooooooooooo glad hospital admin in Canada doesn't discipline staff for not catering to "the customer's" every little whim.
    Last edit by Joeknee on Oct 21, '05
  10. by   rn in 3 years
    Quote from Joeknee
    I would've been so tempted to say: "Sure, if you'll give an enema to the patient in room 22 for me..."
    I almost shorted out my keyboard spitting out my water over that one!
  11. by   sjrn85
    mercy: Hey! You can't have Goren...he's mine!

  12. by   hipab4hands
    Quote from meownsmile
    That wouldnt fly where i work. We dont keep vases on the unit, I guess i could have sent her down to cafeteria for a paper cup. But i sure wouldnt have done it for her.
    My response: "Gee, I would love to do it, but I'm highly allergic to flowers and can not have contact with them. " (which I am)
  13. by   RN34TX
    Quote from RN4NICU
    I, too, get very tired of this much over-used cookie cutter answer from the butt-kissers that be. Everybody is stressed, not just the family member that is throwing a fit. Why should we reward the fit? Since when (and, while we are on the subject, under what other circumstances) does being stressed make it acceptable for you to mistreat other people or behave like a spoiled child??
    Since family members in hospitals have become "customers," that's when.
    I hear you all complaining about it but nurses are encouraging it, every day.

    I've seen so many nurses bowing to every physician and family member temper tantrum because for some reason, they seem to think that it would be the end of the world if they were pulled into administration's office and given a lecture, or possibly even fired.
    So what?
    Nurses will continue to be abused as long as they allow it to go on.

    I've been undermined so many times by my own co-workers when I refuse to reward such behavior.
    They will attempt to "rescue" the distraught family member from me, the big bad nurse, and kiss their butts left and right for the sake of damage control.
    So many nurses complain about being abused yet they continue to encourage and foster the behavior every day.

    The "Ineffective coping mechanisms" care plan label gets thrown around so often to make excuses for family member psychotic behavior.
    It's as if anyone has a sick loved one in the hospital, they are no longer responsible for their own behavior.

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