So... how do you deflect family members when you're busy? - page 2
Hello all. I've been a nurse for almost 4 years now, and during that time I worked night shift... but for family reasons I had to switch to days. So now here I am, a few weeks into my new shift...... Read More
Feb 15, '11Have any of you ever had a family member in the hospital? Especially before you were a healthcare professional. These people are scared and their only priority is their family member. To you, getting grandma's water is pretty far down on your list, but to the granddaughter all they see is grandma being uncomfortable and they want to fix it. They don't know the way the hospital works. I know when you are in the middle of something HUGE the last thing you need is a family member asking you questions, but please remember how vulnerable these people feel. You are the only one they feel they can go to, look at that as an honor rather than a burden.
Feb 15, '11If someone stops me in the hallway when I am on my way to another patients room, meds or supplies in hand I simply tell them I am on the way to another patients room and I will get back to them in five minutes. A lot understand. However, some just ignore what I said and carry on with "but Mom needs............." Then I tell them they must put on their call light. Some family members just won't understand I'm afraid.
So long as you are polite, they can tell who they like that you didn't jump when they told you to. As to the posters who have said family members interrupt codes, those people need to be banned from the hospital.Last edit by StNeotser on Feb 15, '11
Feb 15, '11Quote from nenabeeProbably not. "I'll get to that as soon as I can" is about the best thing you can say at that point.What i can't stand are the FAMILY MEMBERS!!!! Yes, some of them understand you are busy but for the most part they walk up to you at any time and expect instant answers. Pestering me about nonurgent things delays me from patients who, I don't know, NEED MEDICATING/NEED ASSESSING/NEED TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE ICU/etc.. I tell them that I am busy taking care of other patients but they don't care! So i just spend the whole day dealing with people who are unhappy that I didn't get grandma's diet changed in time for lunch, although I was off the floor transferring a critical patient. (This family SAW what I was doing, I TOLD them where I was going, and still I get complaints!!)
Is it okay to actually say "I need some space?"
Quote from nenabeeI should not take these things so personally.... I know all I can do is my best and if grandma has to wait 10 more minutes to be discharged because I'm dealing with a guy that needs to go to dialysis ASAP, so be it. But it's frustrating when you get no gratitude or understanding.
Well, here's the deal: family members are not going to go away, they are not going to change-even if you get one family trained, they'll leave and be replaced with another family just as annoying. So really the only control you have is over your own attitude and reactions. If you truly find that you just cannot deal with everything that comes with day shift without losing your sanity or your good attitude, then you may need to switch back to nights. Because there is no miracle response, no clever comebacks we can give you which will cause family members to become patient and understanding. That's just not going to happen, ever.
Feb 15, '11I know that most patients have a white board in their room. Why can't you just write on the board, If you need anything, put your call light on for faster service! or a sign in the room and see if that helps. Just a thought, being on both sides. (I know it won't for the older crowd that can't see)
Feb 15, '11I wouldn't say 'I need space'! lol
I agree with the rest, families are going to be there (can't get away from them). I try to be understanding. Just be honest and tell them "I am taking care of another patients needs right now and will get to your request as soon as (humanely...?) possible."
I have been known to say (especially if it is a non-urgent request), "I am sorry you have to wait, unfortunately, there is only one of me and I am trying to do multiple things." I say it nicely. They usually understand.
Feb 15, '11Family members--they are never gonna get it. You may be running around like a chicken with your head cut off, and they will wonder why you can't take care of just their relative. So stupid and immature they are, really.
Feb 15, '11But it's frustrating when you get no gratitude or understanding.[/quote]
Lol, it ain't gonna happen in nursing. If i had dentures i woulda laughed 'em outta my head. Gratitude or understanding for nurses?
Feb 15, '11Half the time they don't even care about "Grandpa Joe" and the massive heart attack he just had.
They are too busy describing the watery diarrhea they had after eating Sushi, the night before, and asking what I "think about it?"
Feb 15, '11Family attitudes and understanding have rapidly fallen since patients became "customers". The lack of respect to those in the medical field has declined and will continue to do so as long as this continues. Family as well as patient behaviors have hit an all time low over the past decade and there will be those that you just cannot appease; reward good behavior and apologize when you can't meet their unreasonable standards for water, ice or some other nonurgent but "life threatening" need
Feb 15, '11Quote from Flo..Sometimes family members just suck.
I get it and they can be a real pain in the a**. But remember......they love that PERSON in bed 2. To them....they don't give a cat's patootie about anyone else and what the other persons problem is.........they want their loved one better and maybe they think that the changed luch will be the cure to get them home.
Take a deep breath and try to answer that family in the manner you would like to to answered with if your positions were switched..........
Families......all of them for all the patinets are the evil of days and evenings.......along with the many extra bosses around and MD's. A reason I worked nights for most of my career.......
Feb 15, '11Quote from kah5209Have any of you ever had a family member in the hospital? Especially before you were a healthcare professional. These people are scared and their only priority is their family member. To you, getting grandma's water is pretty far down on your list, but to the granddaughter all they see is grandma being uncomfortable and they want to fix it. They don't know the way the hospital works. I know when you are in the middle of something HUGE the last thing you need is a family member asking you questions, but please remember how vulnerable these people feel. You are the only one they feel they can go to, look at that as an honor rather than a burden.
Very well said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Even after being a nurse for 30 years. When my Dad was in the hospital (not my hospital nor my state) You are still EXTREMELY vulnerable, maybe more so then the average joe, (trust me......ignorance IS bliss ) .......
you are very dependent on the staff for information and communicating your loved ones needs.....it was a very lonely and helpless position to be in especially as a control freak nurse.
Feb 15, '11Yes, I've had a family member in hospital. I didn't need to be told the same thing 5000 times by 3 different people - before I was a nurse.
Feb 15, '11In defense of family members though, what are they supposed to do? I recently had a child in the hospital and had to ask for a couple of things, very politely... the nurses did give me a look like "WHAT????!" whenever I would say "..Excuse me, but if you get a chance..."
Really, there's nothing else the family members can do but ask, and they have no way of knowing when the nurses are busy or when would be a good time to ask.
Something I'm going to try to remember when I make it through