I'm here for the patients

  1. Today I was just about to walk into my patients room with a hand full of meds and getting ready to do a bath, wound care, and turn when some random visitors stop me and ask for some water because they are really thirsty. I redirected them to the cafeteria/ vending machine. What is it about our job that makes people think that we are the waitress/ personal servant for anyone who steps foot in the hospital? I am here for the patients. That's priority number one! (Just venting for anyone who can't see that already )
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    About EaglesWings21, ASN

    Joined: May '12; Posts: 377; Likes: 671
    RN; from US
    Specialty: Medical Surgical


  3. by   Here.I.Stand
    Perfect response.
  4. by   purplegal
    When I have time, I actually don't mind helping out visitors. When I'm busy like you were in this situation, I probably would have said the same thing. But unless they keep on making requests, I usually don't see them as expecting us to be maids. They're probably just lost or confused, and since we work where we do, they feel we're probably good people to point them in the right direction.
  5. by   RNperdiem
    You are training the visitors, who might be new to the hospital environment, on how to take care of basic needs. Now when these visitors are thirsty again, they will know what to do.
    Sometimes visitors don't know what is available, what they are supposed to do, or what nurses do. A little basic training makes life easier for everyone.
  6. by   KatieMI
    I honestly do not believe that so many visitors are actually confused. They have needs that are, according to them, legitimate and important. VERY inportant, much more than anything else in existing universe, that is. They have no idea
    of other people's needs. They see someone who, according to them, should be able to satisfy their needs. And, they are customers and therefore always right. So they act accordingly, and they see an easy target for their efforts because they hear that ubiquitous responce of "I will let your nurse know". They just do only one thing they know, much like they would ask any uniformed person if they lost in a large international airport, for example (while more experienced travelers would know whom exactly ask for what).

    There was a recent topic by a Canadian family member who really thought that life in hospital where his ailing father was at the time must be going accordingly to optimistic pictures plastered on walls, to the point that apparently he was sitting on his butt for good 30 min waiting for someone to go and close the door in isolation room because of "teamwork" and etc. Despite on concerted forum's efforts to unite him with reality, he was still convinced that, since nurses are there to care and that he dutifully paid his taxes, then the care must be absolute, 110% and non-questionable, up to the point that he was upset about nurses having days off. God bless someone who ever accepts private duty for this guy's father.

    I found out that early and repeated explanations of who does what, given as a fact of life and no exclusions allowed, eventually work for most cases. Ridiculously, people usually buy the shortcut of "I am not allowed to do that", whether it sounds like truth or not. But explaining that you need to complete one thing hardly ever works. So what if you have a dying someone in there - he could wait, ma' mother needs her iced water and pillow fluffed, and she's already waiting for whole 5 minutes
  7. by   TheCommuter
    My mother recently received care in an ICU. As visitors, my father and I brought our own bottled water/drinks from home to sip at the bedside.

    Perhaps my logical nursing mindset compelled me to not bother the nurses with tasks that were unrelated to her direct care. After all, I was fully aware of the importance of the work they did. Fetching drinks and snacks comes secondary to addressing a plummeting blood pressure and maintaining oxygenation.
  8. by   sevensonnets
    Fetching drinks and snacks is not even on my list of job responsibilities. We let families know up front where the cafeteria, soda and snack machines are and that we cannot and will not leave the CVICU/ Open Heart to get those things.