So... how do you deflect family members when you're busy? - page 3

by nenabee 9,659 Views | 68 Comments

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... of course it's an adjustment. ... Read More


  1. 7
    Half 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?"
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    Family 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
  3. 2
    Quote 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.......
  4. 3
    Quote from kah5209
    Have 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.
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    Yes, 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.
    Ayvah, Altra, enchantmentdis, and 3 others like this.
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    In 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
    caregiver1977 and walkingrock like this.
  7. 5
    If it's someone else's patient and not a quick fix (or I'm busy) I tell them to go back and ring the call bell and their nurse will know they need something.

    If it's my patient and I'm in the middle of something I say I'll be right there "as soon as I finish this" and try to get back within about five minutes.

    My pet peeve is when family stands at the desk and informs the first person who makes eye contact that he/she (referring to the patient) needs meds. I have no idea who he/she is, or what meds they can or can't have. Everyone has a call bell, use it and you'll be talking to someone who knows something. Even worse when they walk into the nurses' station and tap their preferred doc or nurse on the shoulder. Arghhh.
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    Quote from 2011nursingstudent
    in 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..." the call bell will get the person least busy/most knowledgeable about the patient.

    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. anytime is usually ok, unless we're speedwalking by with an armload. unless the question is specific to your family member, then you need to ring for someone who would know.

    something i'm going to try to remember when i make it through
    Ayvah and DroogieRN like this.
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    this is true. and as a cna, i should know this. for some reason, when it was my son in the bed though and i was in mommy-mode, i would just hit the call bell for urgent things, and if it was something minor, would go and ask. i don't know why - frankly i think it was because the bells made such a racket, i didn't want to feel silly having made so much noise/flashing lights over needing something minor.
    Esme12 likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from resumecpr
    I had a family member walk into another patient's room WHILE WE WERE CODING HIM, to demand a glass of water for his mother in the room next door.

    Families do not understand our job, nor will they try when their loved one is your patient. All that matters to them is the care that is (or isn't) being given.
    I got reprimanded for not getting someone water when we were in the middle of a code with another patient. The thing that made this even worse? The person who complained was a nurse.

    I usually say something like, I will be right with you as soon as I am finished with another patient. And I keep moving before they can pin me down with more conversation. (But I always smile when I say it.)


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