No Respect. - page 5

Where did the respect go for nurses and doctors? My nurse friend whom is in her silver years was a nurse many many decades ago and recently has retired. I was telling her a story of a patient... Read More

  1. by   KatieMI
    Quote from FolksBtrippin
    CardiacDork,

    I feel you on the disrespect.

    Reading your post is cathartic for me.

    If families have the luxury of demanding ice and water, it is a credit to you, that you have very successfully seemed calm enough for them to have no idea how precipitous the situation is.

    You would be justified in asking them to leave. I don't know if your supervisor would be okay with it; but morally you would be justified.

    For what it's worth, I respect you.
    The thing is, families behave this way not because they feel comfortable and reassured but because of fear, anxiety and total, complete lack of understanding of what really is going on.

    There is a bunch of research about unhealthy coping mechanisms and these behaviors are studied well beyond healthcare. "Un-doing it", displacing, acting out, trivializing (positive and negative), substitution and aims reduction (momentary, not long term) are just a few of other perfectly human, mostly ineffective stress coping mechanisms. Nurses use all of them as well, and so do doctors, cops, bankers, truckers and everybody else.

    I consider knowing how to effectively fight unhealthy coping while not alienating patient and family and teaching healthy and positive strategies as one of the highest possible achievements in nursing as well as in clinical medicine. And it is indeed possible, but it takes lots of time and patience of a saint. Both of them naturally run rather short when you get a human being belonging to some place right between ICU and ECU under your care with no sensible help and family getting onto your neck right away with ridiculous nonsense.
    Last edit by KatieMI on Dec 7
  2. by   CardiacDork
    There's also the vibe that many hospitals give now. Flat HD screens, refrigerators, family couches, and large windows found in pt rooms. All these things while great for patient and family satisfaction also further push the hotel "feel". I'm not opposed to these nice amenities but I also can't stress enough that as much as these rooms may look like hotel rooms, these are not only hospital rooms but ICU rooms. More people have died here than I can count with both hands.


    Sometimes I wonder how nice it'd be to work in one of those open concept ICUs where every bed is only separated by curtains and the ICU is like one huge arena... sorta military style... lol.

    Wonder how this layout also has any effect on teamwork.
  3. by   canoehead
    I'm in the ER and get similar requests for a drink or a warm blanket in the trauma room. I've got Styrofoam cups and a sink, so they get tap water until I can get organized. I've also sent family in the direction of the kitchen to get it, and they are successful about 30% of the time. But, by the time they get back I've had a few minutes and can usually say, "oh, here, I'll show you." I've also said, "I'll get it the next time I go out."

    I haven't come up with a well accepted way to say that the patient is here for medical/nursing care, and that needs to be completed first. People usually scowl at me. And the stinking warm blankets! EHS bundles them up to increase their patient satisfaction, and nursing has to haul them all off to do the assessment, labs, ECG. We look like big Scrooges.
  4. by   JKL33
    Quote from canoehead
    And the stinking warm blankets! EHS bundles them up to increase their patient satisfaction, and nursing has to haul them all off to do the assessment, labs, ECG. We look like big Scrooges.
    Nah, just adopt my practice. I pile those babies on, and if they already have some I replace them with new ones! Don't unfold them all the way, either, or they lose heat too quickly. I figure if titrating gtts and administering important meds and doing good assessments and staying ahead of the game in prioritizing important care and getting it done quickly doesn't show people that I "care," then here, by all means have some more warm blankets!

    You can entertain yourself with this, my friend. It's a riot what things impress people. Strange times. Have some fun with it and you'll see I'm right!
  5. by   wondern
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Family is not "usually there to help." They are supposedly there to support the patient, but even that is becoming somewhat rare these days. Often, they are there "because I have a RIGHT to see my loved one." If I sent a family member to the nurse's station to get a cup of ice, they'd be back without the cup of ice because NO ONE would give them a cup of ice without checking with me to make sure it was OK for the patient to have a cup of ice.

    Frankly, I'm doubtful that you've actually worked ICU.
    The secretary wouldn't give a person ice if they specifically said Ruby said to come ask??? Really? Hmmm.
    Yes, Ruby Vee, I've worked in several critical care areas and lots of points in between including the floor to start. This thread was under 'General Nursing'. Is there something so superior about being an ICU nurse as opposed to a floor nurse? I don't think so. We all passed the same boards. We all have a brain, feelings, critical thinking skills and deal with family members. I felt with 20 plus years of full-time RN experience, and just coincidentally with the majority in critical care areas in a large trauma center, I was fully qualified to give my professional opinion on the matter, so I did. It is a message board for all nurses, right?
  6. by   wondern
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Sarcasm, right? I hope it's sarcasm.
    No, I just happened to find more compassion for the patient than the nurse in the scenario. Then I voiced my opinion even though it was different.
  7. by   FolksBtrippin
    Quote from wondern
    No, I just happened to find more compassion for the patient than the nurse in the scenario. Then I voiced my opinion even though it was different.
    Your post was not about compassion.
  8. by   Munch
    Quote from wondern
    No, I just happened to find more compassion for the patient than the nurse in the scenario. Then I voiced my opinion even though it was different.
    Yeah but from the info we got from the OP it doesn't say boo about the patient asking for ice chips. So the patient might not even want the ice chips! Its the family member that decided the patient needed the ice chips. Family members demanding ice chips today will be the first ones to take you to court tomorrow if something goes wrong during those moments you stepped out to get the ice.

    As far as family members go oh boy I had an experience as a patient that ranks as one of the most annoying things to happen to me. I had recently had a craniotomy and a few weeks after the surgery wound up in the ED with a massive headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea/vomiting..I just felt awful. The ED is inner city so it was packed with people that use it in lieu of their PCP. The girl sitting next to me was there for a pregnancy test. I was in excruciating pain and in the ED for literally 24 hours before a bed became available. So finally they brought me upstairs the next night at about 11:30pm. Shortly after they brought up my roommate who had a whole entourage with her. They were carrying on and on loud as heck like it was limelight on a Friday night. They seriously had absolutely no respect or even acknowledge I was in the next bed over trying to rest. Its a hospital after all...I don't know what I was thinking. Visiting hours ended at 9pm but since she had just come up from the ED she fell through the cracks. I just wanted to sleep now that my pain was under control. Finally one of the nurses came in and explained to my roommates 6 visitors(no exaggerating) to keep it down and since visiting hours were over if they could wrap it up. 2 of the visitors just ripped into the nurse stating it was their right to be with their mother and that they would sue her and the whole hospital if they were weren't able to listen and can't you see my mother is hungry can you get her a tray..

    Is that even a feasible thing to put on a lawsuit? Denied the right to visit my mother? It was after midnight for crying out loud and I bet if they weren't so loud and inconsiderate the nurse wouldn't have said anything to them. And the whole demanding a tray thing after the one daughter said that the mother who was the patient even said she wasn't hungry so I think some people just say these things to test the limits. That scenario was when I was a patient. I can't even tell you the demands some family members made to me when I've been working!

    That's what I really miss about oncology. The patients and their family members are there often so you get to build a real relationship with both patients and visitors. You get a feel for what they like/dislike, their habits etc. Now I work Neuro med/surg where most of the patients are recovering from surgery and are there for a couple of days. We sometimes get regular med/surg overflow patients but either way once they are discharged we don't see them again with the exception of a few that have chronic problems that require hospitalization.

    Anyway I digress..OP I do feel your pain! I can't even tell you how many times I've wanted to stuff a patients family member in the closet! But then I remember they aren't worth it and hating my job is not something I want to do!
    Last edit by Munch on Dec 7 : Reason: Spelling
  9. by   SapphireLight
    Hello, I will go by the name SapphireLight and I am a Nursing Student from Canada who is here to learn, understand, and collaborate.

    I read your story about how the patient's family members are disrespectful, and I understand where you are coming from, and I am truly sorry to hear that you have experienced this, but not to worry because you are not alone. A lot of nurses has these unpleasant experiences at some point of their careers.

    I will shed some light and let you know that Nursing will always be a respected profession and you have chosen such a rewarding and meaningful career as a Nurse Why? Because Nurses are brave, compassionate, hardworking, has patience, has empathy, are healers, save many lives, bring lives into this earth, protect patients, promote health, the list goes on. We are there for people in their most happiest moments and hardest moments. Nurses are heros! Do not forget that!

    You did the right thing by putting the patient first. A glass of water can wait because what if after the assessment, you find out the patient has the inability to swallow? Patient safety always comes first and you did the right thing.
    In my opinion, if a family member is being disrespectful, it disrupts the quality of patient care; therefore, the family member should be dismissed due to their disruptive behaviour.

    I found a youtube video by EnpowerRN who talks about dealing with disrespectful family members
    How To Deal With a Rude Patient or Family Member - YouTube

    I hope this helps. Do not give up!
  10. by   wondern
    Quote from FolksBtrippin
    Your post was not about compassion.
    Yes it was.
  11. by   NickiLaughs
    It's getting bad in most departments. I did IcU for 5 years and wasn't my cup of tea. I get verbally abused way more in ER but most of those patients get b52, escorted out or security standby with a quick attitude adjustment.
  12. by   NurseSpeedy
    After 16 years of working as a nurse I will say that you will encounter rudeness no matter which type of nursing you are working. I've worked hospital pool and agency so I've seen anything from the floor to the unit, from psych to rehab/skilled and you will get these patients (and even more so the families I think).

    In the ICU, these patients are SICK. The families are often scared and when someone is scared the worst of their personality can show because let's face it, by this point they don't give a crap what kind of an ass it makes them look like at that moment. Let it roll off your shoulder and don't take it personally. If you don't, the career will eat you alive (been there and learned-not fun). I've also noticed that taking the time (I know, WHAT time???) to answer their questions calmly, make sure they know you're working to get them what they are requesting and updating them frequently, and most of all not seeming rushed or stressed when doing it goes a long way for getting them to treat you with respect the next several hours and possibly DAYS that you will be assigned to them.

    These same patients usually later get downgraded to the floor and now you have not just one or two crazy families but potentially 6-8 (assuming dayshift here). Now their family member is stable but to them it's just been one heck of a long time in a hospital which scares the heck out of them. They're wondering if they will need rehab once they get discharged, how are they going to pay for it, etc (and this is weeks before they will be ready to leave). A day with the drama of a group like that will drive you to do SOMETHING after work. Seeing what drinking has done to so many patients I choose cardio. By the time I've worked out my frustration at the gym I'm to worn out physically now to match the mentally that I just crash and feel better in the morning (the pleasure of making my own schedule-don't book the second day until I know how the first one goes).

    Home health has its own set of unique quirks and don't even get me started on LTC. Nothing like being the only licensed person in the building for over 100 residents when you have one vomiting outside on the patio who just moved in the day before, another in the locked memory care ward on the floor in the bathroom and yes, they hit their head on the sink going down, and CP that you just KNOW is the real thing when the resident tells you they've felt this way for the past few hours, has a long history of clots, and is now gray and takes convincing to take an ambulance to the ER (was a STEMI)....only to have an irate family member hunting you down over missing laundry! Did they write the name on the inside like we urged them to do in case of a mix up? No. Well, after I send out an MI and a possible subdural hematoma to the ER and then see what to do with my vomiting resident I will be sure to educate the staff about laundry services.

    Even the insurance or quality assurance aspect of nursing will have rude people. Trying to get off the phone with them can be fun, especially 8 months pregnant after over an hour and really needing to pee!

    Anything that involves other people is going to have nut jobs to deal with who lack the social skills to make life more pleasant. Maybe the morge would be calm and quiet but I don't see them needing us by that time. I'm sure if I asked someone who worked their they'd have a unique perspective to share.

    I think remembering that this is a career and at the end of the day we get to go home and leave the chaos behind is important. We make a living doing what we are doing and while having respect from those we care for would be great, it's not something that we are going to get each day. Same thing goes for the IT service specialist, the waitress, the cashier, or the drive thru worker. Unfortunately, even if something is not your fault (sorry, we don't have butter pecan ice cream-I actually got that one yesterday but it could apply to some of the other jobs, too. I have dilaudid. But I get my butt reemef over ice cream flavors) since you are the one there at the moment, the customer (the patient/family) will take it out on you. After all,you work there and can't hand it right back to them and they know it. Best to just not let it get to you. After many years, trust me, you grow a thick skin to this kind of stuff. I've been told by many that I have seriously "mellowed out" over the years. It has made me a much happier nurse and human being.

    Please excuse typos-sent from my iPhone.
  13. by   Farawyn
    Quote from wondern
    Yes it was.
    It was so "off" we thought it was sarcasm.
    There are other ways to show compassion.
    Triage correctly, Nurse.

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