I'm trying really hard NOT to be the type of relative we all complain about.....

  1. My dad's in a tele unit tonight, with CHF. I had so many requests of the staff that I finally told the nurse "I really am not trying to be a pest but...." My dad is 75 years old and part of the problem is that he doesn't remember things when a staff member is in the room. The other part is that he doesn't know what he's "allowed" to ask for. I've caught myselff stopping and mentally asking "Do I need to do this now or can it wait until someone comes to check on him?"
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   jennyfyre
    I'm sorry to hear about your dad... and will say a prayer for him! Try not to worry about being a pesky relative too much. Right now you're the daughter, not the nurse! Your dad sounds like he needs an advocate right now to look out for his needs, or he may forget he needs something! I felt the same way a while back when my daughter had her tonsils out at 13, and had to stay overnight because of sleep apnea. She was a patient on the floor I work on, and with my co-workers as her nurses! That was pretty weird for me.. especially since I KNOW how busy they are. Luckily she didn't need much, other than company... and what she did need besides meds, I could just go grab myself.
  4. by   nursemary9
    TazzRN

    I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad. I will be praying for him & your whole family.

    tazz, don't worry about being a pest now. Sometimes you need to be pesty. When my dad was dying, his Hospice Nurse told me--"Your not a Nurse now, you're a Daughter". It does sound like he needs an advocate now & maybe that should be your role.

    I hope all goes well for you. I hope you'll let us know how he's doing.
    I hope he gets really good care.

    My thoughts are with you all

    Mary Ann
  5. by   Hoozdo
    Quote from TazziRN
    My dad's in a tele unit tonight, with CHF. I had so many requests of the staff that I finally told the nurse "I really am not trying to be a pest but...." My dad is 75 years old and part of the problem is that he doesn't remember things when a staff member is in the room. The other part is that he doesn't know what he's "allowed" to ask for. I've caught myselff stopping and mentally asking "Do I need to do this now or can it wait until someone comes to check on him?"
    That's a tough, tough, situation. The last time it happened to me was a couple of weeks ago when my Dad, (77 years old), had a knee replacement in the hospital I worked in. I kept a low, nice, profile.....but wish I didn't. Bottom line, they sent him home and he wasn't even capable of putting his own underwear on.....much less take care of himself :trout: I thought it would be OK to remain low-profile because a knee replacement is a relatively low risk thing to be in the hospital for.

    On the other hand, I have had numerous episodes of my Mom being in the ICU.....peritonitis w colostomy, sepsis twice, ARDS once. For serious situations, I spend as much time as I can at the hospital advocating for my parent. If that means having to get ******, then so be it.

    So, I guess my advice for you is be aggressive if it is called for. Sometimes IT IS CALLED for to get your parent what they need. If the nurse doesn't have time to advocate for the patient, then you will have to do it.

    Keeping you and yours in my thoughts.
  6. by   Hoozdo
    A couple of other tips that I learned the hard way on parent hospitalization.

    1. Always have them make you the Medical Power of Attorney. If you don't, you will have to deal with HIPPA violations just to ask questions. Very frustrating!

    2. If you are having problems getting info from the nurses or doctors, have one of his doctors write an order that you can read his chart. That eliminates going through nurses or doctors to get the info you need. You can cut right to the chase in the chart.
  7. by   Soup Turtle
    When my husband was in the hospital, I was there for pretty much the whole visiting time every day. I hated asking the nurse for anything, but my husband asked me for everything while I was there! (he hated asking the nurse, too) They finally just showed me where some stuff was and let me get it on my own. (towels, sheets, shampoo, that type of thing) I'd also try to write down things he needed and ask when the list built up a little bit instead of asking for one thing every 20 minutes. If I knew he was going to be using the items frequently, I asked for a LOT at once. He was allowed nothing by mouth for close to a week and went through lots of glycerin swabs, for example.

    It is hard not to feel like a pest, but we want our loved ones to be as comfortable as possible, so what can we do?
  8. by   DDRN4me
    (((((Tazzi)))) prayers for you and your Dad.
    I spent alot of time in the same situation with my Dad, and his Cardiologist told me once that i knew more about my dad than he did himself. Allow yourself this time to be his daughter not his nurse... hard to do, but necessary... you dont have to carry all of the burden right nowumpiron:

    I kept a list as turtle soup suggested. I also found the unit aide and said, just show me what i can get myself so i dont have to be a pest... they appreciated it and would go out of the way to see if we were ok.
    i also agree with the Health Care Proxy/ POA. makes a difference to some of the staff. Hope all goes well and your Dad has a speedy recovery . Mary
  9. by   GardenDove
    You'll never regret being an advocate for your Dad, but you might regret not having said enough, in my opinion and based on my experience in the past where I had regrets.
  10. by   sissyboo
    Definetly bug them!! Maybe try to find an Aide when you're after things she can get. I'm a CNA and I try to handle getting all those personal care items and whatnot for pts...so the busy busy nurses don't have to! The nurses already have plenty to do without doing my job as well! *Prayers for your Dad Tazzi*
  11. by   ICU_floater
    I don't know that you can seperate the daughter from the nurse, but instead of using your nursing knowledge for a negative (staff hates to be bothered), use it for knowing how you can help.

    ask to be granted access to linen and basic supplies. Start a list of needs and questions, ask dad to let you know when now has been to long to wait, then call. you can learn about his meds as their administered and talk to him about them. you can ask more informed questions and decipher the doctor talk. You get to be the daughter AND nurse if you can keep it in check. I'd assume he'd be very proud of you to be there for him, help in loving daughter ways and run the more complicated questions and help him understand their meaning.

    Please just be sure to rest yourself as he'll need you healthy when he returns home and never hesitate to speak up as the daughter just because you understand "how things happen"- you just know how to communicate your concerns better.

    wishing him a speedy recovery.
  12. by   Tweety
    I'm sorry you dad's in the hospital.

    Drop the "I don't mean to be a pest, but........." part. Just ask for what you need without apology or explanation.

    It's great that you do stop and think "can I wait?". It's great you're there for him. I hope he gets well soon.
  13. by   SK-222
    ((((Tazzi)))) I don't even know you, but prayers from my end for your father. I doubt you're being a pest, but instead looking out for his best interests.
  14. by   TazziRN
    Dad's fine!!! Turned out not to be CHF, but COPD exac. The cardio can't explain why his XR showed fluid, since his BNP was normal. The echo was normal and the stress test was normal. No cardiac involvement at all! The doc thinks the chest pain was actually chest wall pain from his resp effort. He's much much better today, breathing easier, and pain free. He's allowed to roam the halls today and will probably go home tomorrow.

    Thank you for your good wishes for him!

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