What to do in family emergency situations? - page 2

Two weeks ago at the beginning of my shift when I was passing meds, my husband called crying because his Dad coded twice in a hospital and was transfered to ICU. He wanted me to come up immidietely... Read More

  1. Visit  echoRNC711 profile page
    1
    I am so sorry that this was your experience. It must have felt hard not to feel you let your husband down. My mum died in ICU before any of us had a chance to get there, While like you I had no control of the situation but a deeper part of me had always hoped that as a nurse I could be their for her when her time came and also make it easier on my dad.

    I completely understand the anger you feel. In an emergency 45 mins probably felt hrs. I like earlier post suggestion to bring it up at staff meeting with view to creating a plan that may help in the future.

    I hope your husband was understanding when he learned the details.
    Blackcat99 likes this.
  2. Visit  JZ_RN profile page
    3
    The manager was too slow in finding coverage and the report did take too long, that much is true.
    SHGR, xoemmylouox, and Blackcat99 like this.
  3. Visit  StarryEyed, RN profile page
    1
    That's awesome that there is amazing teamwork on some units to divide and take over the pts of the nurse in crisis. However, in California, we have staffing ratios and it is absolutely ILLEGAL to have more pt's than ratio allows. I would NEVER do this unless i had empty beds, nor would anyone expect anyone else to do this. We had an RN that had to leave d/t illness and the Charge RN immediately took over until they were able to get someone from the night shift to come in early and take over.
    anotherone likes this.
  4. Visit  DizzyLizzyNurse profile page
    2
    Wow that is ridiculous. When I did LTC, there was only me and another LPN for our pts. Her grandmother unexpectedly died on another unit. It's probably easier in LTC since I already knew everyone, but I took the keys and just started passing her meds along with mine. Eventually the supervisor came to help me.

    That just sucks. I'm sorry for your loss and for what happened at work. I've always found it ironic that nurses take care of sick people and are expected to be compassionate and empathetic but a lot of the time we're given grief if we get sick or need some compassion or empathy ourselves.
    anotherone and Blackcat99 like this.
  5. Visit  trai1971 profile page
    1
    I am sorry for your loss. As woo said above, trying to coordinate staffing can take some time and I don't believe 45 minutes is that long, but I know if you're in a family emergency, it feels like an eternity. When we work with human lives, we can't just leave. I've lost 3 family members in the last 2 years, so I understand how you're hurting. Maybe when you've had a chance to grieve and feel calm, you can discuss this situation wih the charge nurse, especially if you truly do feel like she was dawdling and taking her time. That being said, considering we're in nursing, I do see where it could be 45 mnutes to get things together. Sending thoughts & prayers to you & your family.
    anotherone likes this.
  6. Visit  studentmalenurse profile page
    2
    Quote from treeye
    Two weeks ago at the beginning of my shift when I was passing meds, my husband called crying because his Dad coded twice in a hospital and was transfered to ICU. He wanted me to come up immidietely because he is afraid his Dad won't make it.

    I was emotionally too. I talked to my boss. She said they will try find someone as soon as they can so I can leave. In the mean time, she told me to finish my med pass. With my coworker's help, I finished med pass in about five minutes, then I sat at the nurses station and wait for the charge nurse to tell me what to do. She walked down the hall twice for something else like nothing happened. She eventually came up to the desk and told me that the rest of the nurses will take two extra pts of mine. When I gave reports to the charge nurse, she grilled me about the pt I just got for one hour. For example, I have to check in the computer for her what type of dressing the pt has for his cellulitis.

    Anyway, I finally left 45 minutes later and by the time I got to the hospital, my father-in-law has already passed away.

    Now the more I think about it, the more I became angry. There were no other emergency in the unit that day, why the charge nurse has to take so long to take my report? Why she can't look for the dressing information in the computer herself?

    It is the first time this happened to me. I know I can't just leave because it counted as abandoning pts and my license can be suspended. However, is it common practice to expect you to stay 45 minutes when your family memeber is dying? and I'm not even talking about the grandparents.
    Stuff like that makes me really really angry...Im not just mad at your charge nurse but also your other co workers, who werent helping you to be able to leave right away. I would proffessionally remind the charge nurse that if you had left earlier you may have seen him. And I would constantly remind her in a proffessional way, and I would also proffessionally remind the staff that worked there that day.
    However at the same time..this is an opportunity for change for the better for all and I hope you take advantage of it. You have the opportunity to use your situation, to get staff and union and go to management and ecourage them to establish a practice for family emergencies, where an individual can leave right away in a family emergency.
    You can use your situation to benefit many more future nurses and staff to come. Please try to take advantage of it, so nobody else would have to go throu what you have experienced.
    DizzyLizzyNurse and Blackcat99 like this.
  7. Visit  BelgianRN profile page
    6
    I remember a few years ago a colleague called around 22 pm she wouldn't be in for the nightshifft. She came home found her husband drowned in the tub together with her 1 year old. As she called us the EMTs were still coding her child. I'm still amazed she called in at that time. Long story short I stayed for her nightshift. Even though I had morning shift the day after, we decided the morning shift would do with one person less. I got chewed out by my manager even before asking how our colleague and her child were doing. Some people have just lost all compassion.
    GrnTea, nursel56, anotherone, and 3 others like this.
  8. Visit  schoolnurse09 profile page
    4
    I have to comment on the poster who said that teachers, etc. have similar issues when leaving in an emergent situation...no, they don't. Teachers have no issues with being absent, leaving school during the day, or otherwise being treated like a human being. The attitude this nurse has encountered is the primary reason that I left floor nursing, and have never regretted it. Educators treat their own much better than nurses do.
    DizzyLizzyNurse, SHGR, cbsncmom, and 1 other like this.
  9. Visit  cbsncmom profile page
    4
    [QUOTE=JZ_RN;6958545]Although that sucks and I feel for you, that's the reality when your job is to be responsible and care for others. If you were a teacher and had a family emergency, you'd have to wait for a sub to get there or something until you could leave. What if you were a police officer, can you just leave your job? A surgeon?[/QUOTE

    The Principle at a school takes over in any emergency. My husband works at an Elementary school.
    hiddencatRN, DizzyLizzyNurse, SHGR, and 1 other like this.
  10. Visit  xoemmylouox profile page
    2
    That's awful. My father passed away recently and I had to leave work more than once due to an emergent situation with him. One of my co-workers even let me drive her car and strand her at work so I could rush to the hospital. Coworkers are supposed to stick together and help out when we can.. I am sorry for your families loss.
    DizzyLizzyNurse and Blackcat99 like this.
  11. Visit  Blackcat99 profile page
    3
    I had 2 family emergencies when I was working at LTC. I was told to just give them the keys and to leave immediately. Thank God that I had such wonderful nurses working at that time.
  12. Visit  SHGR profile page
    3
    Yesterday, a staff member had a family emergency (ambulance/daughter involved), was freaking out and needed to leave stat. She saw me first (I was not in charge)- I said, go. leave, go do what you need to do. I told the charge nurse immediately and coverage was found. No big deal. That is how we do, where I work. That is how I've been treated in the past and seen others treated.

    Hugs to you, (((OP))).
  13. Visit  anotherone profile page
    0
    Quote from treeye
    Two weeks ago at the beginning of my shift when I was passing meds, my husband called crying because his Dad coded twice in a hospital and was transfered to ICU. He wanted me to come up immidietely because he is afraid his Dad won't make it. I was emotionally too. I talked to my boss. She said they will try find someone as soon as they can so I can leave. In the mean time, she told me to finish my med pass. With my coworker's help, I finished med pass in about five minutes, then I sat at the nurses station and wait for the charge nurse to tell me what to do. She walked down the hall twice for something else like nothing happened. She eventually came up to the desk and told me that the rest of the nurses will take two extra pts of mine. When I gave reports to the charge nurse, she grilled me about the pt I just got for one hour. For example, I have to check in the computer for her what type of dressing the pt has for his cellulitis. Anyway, I finally left 45 minutes later and by the time I got to the hospital, my father-in-law has already passed away. Now the more I think about it, the more I became angry. There were no other emergency in the unit that day, why the charge nurse has to take so long to take my report? Why she can't look for the dressing information in the computer herself? It is the first time this happened to me. I know I can't just leave because it counted as abandoning pts and my license can be suspended. However, is it common practice to expect you to stay 45 minutes when your family memeber is dying? and I'm not even talking about the grandparents.
    does charge have her own patients? or other duties ? i do when i am in charge and picking up 2 more pts in the middle of my shift would be a nightmare. in 2 years i never saw a nurse leave in the middle of a shift. call offs plenty but not leave. it does suck


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