No Respect.

  1. 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 whom I received from the cath lab. The patient arrived as usual from most operational/procedural suites, a hot mess. Lines and tubing everywhere. Bloody sheets and so forth.

    Well soemhow the family snuck in with her and it was such a busy night with no tech or secretary so instead of the family being told to wait in the waiting area (while I settled her in) they chose to barge in with the patient and began ordering me on what needed to be done!

    I nicely and kindly explained to the daughter what the priorities at the moment were and why, despite my explanations she said

    "well the priority right now is getting her (the pt) water and ice".

    EYEROLL

    Excuse me but that's not the priority and I told her so. I told her that with all due respect I've been doing this for a while and although I understood her mom was thirsty, I had to assess her mom and wait for the fellow to give further instructions.

    She finally settled down and stopped talking.

    I find this behavior annoying, and families are equally entitled acting and rude to physicians. They do not care that you are an expert and there to care for them. We are not the enemies. We went to school and have experience, and before we can accommodate to your every wish we must ensure your safety.

    Anyway, my nurse friend commented how in her early years as a nurse DECADES ago... people respected nurses and doctors more than they do now.

    Guess this is just a rant vent. One more reason I want to leave ICU.

    Also, I'm so done with the elimination of visitor restricted hours and this new fad in "open visitation".
    Last edit by Brian S. on Dec 7
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  2. 125 Comments

  3. by   LovingLife123
    I tell you in one word why people act like this. Internet. Everybody now has their Dr. Google degree and now knows more than those of us who have studied for years and work the job.

    It's not going to end anytime soon.
  4. by   JKL33
    Well, we have collectively enabled it by first accepting (and practically welcoming) general disrespect from within our own ranks. Let's not forget your far bigger problem of the unit not being staffed with a mind to excellent patient care, and some other nurse who has no problem turning over a patient in a state of "hot mess" such as you describe.

    For the most part, families have done nothing more than follow the law of the land, so-to-speak.
  5. by   Castiela
    i don't mind open visitor hours. And I generally feel quite respected by patients and their families. Maybe 1% of my interactions are what you've described, but I find often these families are just scared/guilty that their loved one is in ICU and want to advocate for them, even if they don't know what the need to advocate for in this time.

    It's definitely a different approach. It's less of the authoritative relationship between doctors, nurses and patients which may be why we are "respected" less.

    It is unfortunate the family member entered before the patient was settled, but it sounds like the family member settled once you explained you wanted to ensure her mom was safe first.
  6. by   CardiacDork
    Yes. Sadly. I believe you are right on the money there. Let me tell you something, before nursing I was a very patient and optimistic human.

    After nursing I've become pessimistic about humanity and a slight misanthrope. My tolerance for disrespect or rude people is low. I also despise driving and have grown to dislike crowds or masses of people, not because I'm shy but because after becoming a nurse ... it just feels like the LAST thing I want to do is deal with more rudeness.
    Last edit by CardiacDork on Dec 6
  7. by   CardiacDork
    You are so right about the internet and google MD being a contributing factor.

    Just go on Facebook and analyze how people randomly post their medical questions about their kids or themselves. Then you get the train of comments from qualified trained professionals that graduated cum laude from Google University.

    Yes I've become a sassy and slightly crusty individual.
  8. by   CardiacDork
    Quote from Castiela
    i don't mind open visitor hours. And I generally feel quite respected by patients and their families. Maybe 1% of my interactions are what you've described, but I find often these families are just scared/guilty that their loved one is in ICU and want to advocate for them, even if they don't know what the need to advocate for in this time.

    It's definitely a different approach. It's less of the authoritative relationship between doctors, nurses and patients which may be why we are "respected" less.

    It is unfortunate the family member entered before the patient was settled, but it sounds like the family member settled once you explained you wanted to ensure her mom was safe first.
    Of course it isn't 100% of the time but it's enough that's it's tangible by the nursing staff as a whole. Unfortunately in this case it was a bad combination of the family prancing into the room and no one filtering them coupled with a skeleton crew ... aka me having no help to settle in this patient.
  9. by   Sour Lemon
    Blind admiration and respect are never good, but some people do lack the common sense to make their own appropriate judgements.
  10. by   Castiela
    Maybe you should leave ICU if having an encounter such as this has make you so frustrated? Although I feel that you will encounter these scenarios in any aspect of nursing which you are interacting with concours patients or their families. Personally my concerns in this situation would have revolved more with staffing than a family member demanding water for her mom.

    i would be interested in knowing from some of the older nurses if it has been more of a negative experience with patients treating nurses with less respect? Or if relationships have improved? I have a similar experience level to yours so I can't answer.

    Finally, nothing in that interaction you described really struck me as rude on the patients daughters part. Inconvenient yes. Frustrating sure. I wouldn't have said she disrespected you, she just didn't immediately listen and do exactly as you wanted.
  11. by   CardiacDork
    Quote from Castiela
    Maybe you should leave ICU if having an encounter such as this has make you so frustrated? Although I feel that you will encounter these scenarios in any aspect of nursing which you are interacting with concours patients or their families. Personally my concerns in this situation would have revolved more with staffing than a family member demanding water for her mom.

    i would be interested in knowing from some of the older nurses if it has been more of a negative experience with patients treating nurses with less respect? Or if relationships have improved? I have a similar experience level to yours so I can't answer.

    Finally, nothing in that interaction you described really struck me as rude on the patients daughters part. Inconvenient yes. Frustrating sure. I wouldn't have said she disrespected you, she just didn't immediately listen and do exactly as you wanted.
    This is most definitely the most recent encounter and more on the annoying side. But I can tell you countless stories of doped up family members and methed family members for example that ARE rude and loud. Yelling and cursing. The daughter is an angel in comparison.

    its sad how little security does to eliminate these figures, even in the light of threats.

    Yeah the daughter was an annoyance and maybe not the best example but it was the scenario being discussed with my former colleague.
  12. by   CardiacDork
    Also the families that keep firing attendants and cycle through them like underwear because no attending tells them (family or patient) what they want to hear. It's just incredibly frustrating the amount of disregard for education and experience the general populace has for professionals. Maybe not most, but when you're working at what seems the noncompliance factory, patching up noncomplianct patients that complain about not being able to eat donuts with an open gap and call you a b**** for not giving them donuts, that's disrespect.
  13. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    Based on your post history, you don't seem to be very happy. Maybe it's time to explore something new.
  14. by   CardiacDork
    Quote from ItsThatJenGirl
    Based on your post history, you don't seem to be very happy. Maybe it's time to explore something new.
    Okay. Thanks for your astute analysis. Yes, it's clear I am not happy with the ICU. I know this. I recognize this. Nursing is vast and the opportunities are many. Right now I have about 4 years of experience and my ADN. By the time I finish my BSN I'll have 5-6 years of experience and enrolled in NP school (I'm in a dual degree program).

    But this post wasn't really about my personal unhappiness with the ICU and where I need to take my career path.

    It's about the lack of respect and rudeness that is for some reason especially present when dealing with these chronic illnesses at their worst. Work a few years in the ICU as a full fledged RN and you'll see what I mean. The frequent flyer and their families have a way of chipping away at your morale.


    This isn't the nightingale nursing you learn about in school

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