Snide Comments From Family Members

  1. How do you all deal with snide, sarcastic comments made by family members?
    •  
  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    If I can, I let them slide. If they are directed toward me, I will firmly defend myself.
  4. by   catlady
    Depends on what they are.

    Sometimes I will point out the error of their ways. Sometimes they're not worth dignifying with a response, and just a raised eyebrow and a pointed turn on the heel will do.

    Never do I apologize for the object of their rudeness.
  5. by   Tweety
    I try to clarify what they meant. Usually when confronted "what did you mean by........" they say "oh nothing, nevermind". Sometimes however, you can get to the bottom of some frustration or anger that is masked as sarcasim.

    If it's really uncalled for sometimes I don't give the the power to bother me and I pretend I didn't hear them and ignore them completely.
  6. by   CaseManager1947
    Again, I'd like to know the context... snide about patient care issues, getting personal about staff (size, race, etc.); what kind of snide comments are these?? Sometimes its ok to gloss it over, and sometimes it should be tactfully and assertively addressed. Imvolve your manager if needed. More info would be helpful
  7. by   leslie :-D
    could you be more specific?
    are they directing the comments at you, or talk to someone else, knowing you will hear it?
    is their loved one new to the facility?
    little more info would be helpful, in order to reply applicably.

    leslie
  8. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from earle58
    could you be more specific?
    are they directing the comments at you, or talk to someone else, knowing you will hear it?
    is their loved one new to the facility?
    little more info would be helpful, in order to reply applicably.

    leslie
    With the most recent case, yes, the loved one is very new to the facility and her family suspects that her medications and updrafts aren't being administered. The patient in question is about 80 years old and three of her granddaughters are surgical nurses at local area hospitals. The grandchildren are always making sarcastic comments to me such as, "It's so nice to see you; I thought you wouldn't come back." They expect grandma to be monitored every five minutes when, in reality, she is a stable patient in a nursing home with a predictable outcome. They are always on the phone with the facility DON or ADON about different issues. They have also questioned the validity of our claims that their grandma is confused and forgetful.
  9. by   Midwest4me
    Quote from TheCommuter
    The grandchildren are always making sarcastic comments to me such as, "It's so nice to see you; I thought you wouldn't come back."
    I'm curious as to what your response was to that question. Mine would have been something like: " Oh??? Please clarify why it is you didn't think I'd be back."

    I see no sense in potentially worsening the situation by feeding into the snide comments(but then I suppose my comment above could be interpreted as such by some). Probably the best thing to do is to say: If my efforts aren't resolving the concern to your satisfaction, then perhaps you'd like to discuss it with my manager AND me. We make every effort to provide the best of care to all patients here." or something like that.
  10. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from TheCommuter
    With the most recent case, yes, the loved one is very new to the facility and her family suspects that her medications and updrafts aren't being administered. The patient in question is about 80 years old and three of her granddaughters are surgical nurses at local area hospitals. The grandchildren are always making sarcastic comments to me such as, "It's so nice to see you; I thought you wouldn't come back." They expect grandma to be monitored every five minutes when, in reality, she is a stable patient in a nursing home with a predictable outcome. They are always on the phone with the facility DON or ADON about different issues. They have also questioned the validity of our claims that their grandma is confused and forgetful.
    there is often alot of ambivalence and anxiety when their loved one is admitted to a snf.
    furthermore, there is often behavioral change by the new resident. she might be agitated, confused/disoriented, frightened.
    w/o a doubt, new residents and their family members need a good month for this major transition.
    allow for 'acting-out' behaviors from either or both parties.
    i would ignore their comments.
    if it starts to become abusive, then there is nothing wrong with reassurance of care delivered followed by assertive and polite limit-setting.
    make sure your nm is aware of any untoward interactions.
    i'm sure you'll handle all of it quite well, commuter.

    leslie
  11. by   anne74
    Consider that Grandma's granddaughters are surgical nurses, so they don't understand the demands and priorities of a floor nurse. All of their patients are zonked out.

    I work on a step-down med/surg unit, and once had a patient whose wife was an ICU nurse. She didn't get that with a patient ratio of 4:1, her husband was not going to get the same attention that she gave her patients on a 1:1 ratio. Not to mention the fact that her husband was totally stable. She would get upset when the apple juice didn't come fast enough. But once I engaged her in conversations and explained things, she toned it down a bit.

    I like the "kill them with kindness" approach. Then they usually feel bad for being a jerk. If they don't feel bad, then I have no respect for them and actually feel sorry that they're such a sad, rotten human being.
  12. by   Lurksalot
    I prefer to ignore the comment if possible, or if it is something I can turn into a teaching opportunity, I do. Most of the ignorant comments I have heard have been based on lack of knowledge about the situation. I sit down, clarify what the family knows about the current situation, and offer them an opportunity to ask me any questions. I make sure they know my name and how to reach me with concerns. So far this has worked very well for me in a busy ER where families are often waiting for hours and hours....and hours.
    I think a lot of times the rude comments come from fear and lack of education about the situation.
    Of course, there are those who are just ignorant, and alerting the NM about the situation before it gets out of hand is usually a good thing.
  13. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Consider that Grandma's granddaughters are surgical nurses, so they don't understand the demands and priorities of a floor nurse. All of their patients are zonked out.
    Consider that before they were surgical nurses, they had clinicals in nursing school in various depts. And perhaps they worked on the floor before getting into surgery, so maybe they knew/know the demends of a floor nurse. And in surgery, not all of the pts. are "zonked out."

    Maybe the family members aren't understanding of the OP's side of things, but the above quoted rationale for it is very uninformed (not to mention dismissive).
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Aug 29, '06
  14. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    The grandchildren are always making sarcastic comments to me such as, "It's so nice to see you; I thought you wouldn't come back.
    I would try therapeutic communication techniques. "You are saying that you thought i wouldn't come back. Is there anything you would like to talk about?"

close