Networking with patients' families

  1. I really hit the jackpot the last two days. I started working my dayshifts and I'm really enjoying it. I'm getting more contact with patients' families, which is my biggest strong suit. The last two days I had the greatest families! They loved me. I consider patients' families an extension of the patient, and they really respond to the TLC.

    One of my patients was an endstage MS lady in her sixties on a ventilator. She had two daughters, and an ex-husband, plus his wife. One of the daughters is a mortgage broker and pre-qualifies people. She's going to help me sell that house that I'm want to sell after this eviction is done! The ex-husband lives in Northern Idaho, close to Schweitzer ski resort and the Silverwood themepark. They gave me an open invitation to stay at their place, where they have lots of spare room. His current wife has granddaughters the same age as my girls, and they have horses. They really liked me!

    My other pt's family was fantastic too. They were the most wonderful and attentive people. I really loved them too! I think their son was fishing around for a date, but he's in the middle of a divorce so I didn't pursue that conversation, although he seemed really nice and has a 300 acre ranch.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   firstaiddave907
    thats great to hear that i hope your house sells ok.
  4. by   canoehead
    Gardendove, it's great that you are getting along with the families, but watch your boundaries. They should not have contact with you for anything other than health care. They should not feel any obligation to do things for you outside the hospital. I know that's not what you meant, but sticky situations can come out of those relationships.
  5. by   GardenDove
    Quote from canoehead
    Gardendove, it's great that you are getting along with the families, but watch your boundaries. They should not have contact with you for anything other than health care. They should not feel any obligation to do things for you outside the hospital. I know that's not what you meant, but sticky situations can come out of those relationships.

    I was wondering about that. However, one thing is that I live in a small town where it's hard not to run into your pts. The other sister, daughter of my pt, owns a furniture store where I have purchased furniture. These people were very high-functioning people, yet not terribly medically saavy and really appreciated my setting them at ease regarding the ventilator. One or the other was always at the bedside and we had a lot of time to talk.

    They were such a nice family. Anyways, the ex-husband of the patient lives 200 miles away, in Idaho. He told me that they love to have different people come stay at their house, such as a bicyclist who was treking across America, and some missionaries who were in the area. It seems that they like meeting different people. He was a super genuine intelligent person, and his wife appeared to be extremely down to earth.
  6. by   canoehead
    I also work in a small town. During the admission I'll say things like "that sounds nice" or "we'll have to do that." But after they are discharged I let them make the first move, phone call etc. If I plan on hiring them for something I don't do it until the patient has been discharged. I wouldn't want them to give me freebies so I would do x, y, and z for them.

    Sometimes too, when the family knows you personally they ask for more than you are able to give as a nurse. Like medication administration at home, or a peek in the chart for results the doc hasn't looked at yet. Don't put yourself in the position of being obligated to do extras, then anything special you do will feel good.

    Good luck- lots of advice, but only you can actually say whether you needed it.
  7. by   clemmm78
    I guess it's a personal thing, but I wouldn't want to have business dealings with a patient's that were originated by contact in a patient/nurse relationship. First of all, I rarely talk to the families about enough personal business that it would get to that point.
  8. by   GardenDove
    I actually wasn't going to have a business dealing. She was merely going to send people my way as a favor, since she pre-appoves them. She informed me that the lower cost houses are still being snapped up. This will help me avoid a realitor.

    I went and helped out at work for four hours today. Her mom was extubated and the family will not re-intubate. She's on bi-pap and will most likely not make it. The family is very kind. Very special people.

    Thanks for the advise canoehead.

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