Would you call a patient's family at 3 am? - page 3

Trauma pt, bike vs garbage truck, trached, vented, pegj-d, Awake on Diprivan... Plastic surgeon writing strict orders NOT to repostion patient, and to keep room 78-80 degrees (to protect her graft).... Read More

  1. by   jayna
    Vac,
    Did the family said if anything happens to call them?
    You know, she's been taking care of pefectly well. And you follow your guts well. It's not wrong not to call and to call. Judgement is entirely on each of the individual nurse.

    Happy nursing all.
  2. by   mark_LD_RN
    definitely would have called
  3. by   Mattigan
    most definitelty call. if the family chooses not to come, it is their decision.
  4. by   RoadRunner
    Originally posted by Robin61970
    I can't believe the family actually left!!!! Yes I would have called as well........
    There's no shame for family members to try to get some zzz's after a dramatic event like that. From experience, it's mostly when the shock of what the patient have lost and realising what they will have to relearn that the family is the most needed... but often at that point they are sooo exausted.

    I would have called too thought. Since your dilemma was the early hour, why not try to delay to, say, 5am, stating to the patient that you WILL call at that hour, and the reason why you think it's best that way. Sometimes patients don't realize it's the middle of the night and that the family must sleep too.

    In any case, you did what you think was best, don't be too on yourself for this one, we've all been there...
  5. by   RNanne
    Well, it looks like I found some of the refugees---dharma and froggy.

    I think that in each situation, it is easy to say Yes or No I would have called, but when one is in that situation you just have to make some kind of judgement call. And when I have to make a decision like this, I may have second thoughts but I have a rule---I made it, right or wrong and I will stand by it and not feel guilty.

    Everything is a learning process. You made the best call you could at the time. Do not second guess yourself. I think I would have done all that you did and then if the patient is still wanting the family I probably would have called. The family bears some responsibility however. They did leave after all (I wouldn't have) and they never gave any indication of what they wanted as far as any instructions or desires one way or another. One never knows the family dynamics. You just have to do the best you can and know that you are a caring, loving nurse and don't beat up on yourself.
  6. by   adrienurse
    I have called family at 0300 hrs for the benefit of the patient. I have never been criticised for doing so. They are usually pretty greatful. I will continue to due so prn.
  7. by   CATHYW
    Yes, without question! If a patient were to ask once at 3 a.m., I'd remind her of the time, and the fact that the family is likely asleep. If she asked again, or indicated she was upset, I would call. The worst that could happen would be that whoever was on the other end would cuss me out for waking them. At least I would've tried. I am sure this young woman was scared, and badly. If she was my daughter, or if it were me, I would hope that you'd call, or I'm afraid I would have to speak to your nurse manager in the a.m. I know visitors can be a pain in the patootie, but they can also be a HUGE comfort to patients, too!
  8. by   colleen10
    Would have called if the family being in the room would not interfere with the patient.

    Worst thing that could have happened is you wake them up, they decide not to come in, and they go back to sleep.

    I cannot imagine being in that patient's position and crying for my family. Heart Breaking.

    God Bless her and God bless you,
  9. by   thisnurse
    i too would have told the pt what time it was and if she still wanted me to call i would.
    first thing i would say on the phone is ...after identifying myself...this is not an emergency.
    i cant believe none of the family members stayed either.
  10. by   nrw350
    I can not imagine being a patient in the ICU and crying for my family, and then being drugged. I would think that the drugs would make me feel worse as they are a form of a depressant. Does anyone have any insight to this question of mine?

    Thanks in advance.

    Nick
  11. by   colleen10
    Like Nick, I too wonder if the drugs could make her more, for lack of a more technical term "loopy", could it make the situation worse. If she is allready distressed and crying uncontrollably could they make her worse - maybe out of control.

    Can that possibly happen in other situations like this, depending on what drug is given?

    I'm sure the ideal would for the drugs to calm her down and maybe even let her sleep, but do some people react to them differently?

    Just curious on what any of you may have experienced.
  12. by   prmenrs
    I would call--because sometimes a pat has a premonition of impending death--and it turns out to be true!!!

    When I was a night supervisor, that actually happened--a lady was admitted to CCU after the neighbor brought her to the ER for chest pain. I called the son, he asked me if I thought he should come in, I told him I couldn't make that decision for him, but that if it were MY mother, I sure would want to come and check things out.

    Well, don't you know she coded about 2-3 hours later--Thank God he DID come in and saw her before she died. Imagine the guilt if he'd turned over and gone back to sleep!!!

    Imagine YOUR guilt if she had passed before the family came in the next day! Even when ICU pts seem "stable", they still have the potential for sudden and unexpected events!!

    Bottom line, call. If the pt asks for it every night, confer w/family to see if someone can stay w/him/her. I'm a big believer in involving the family, altho I know they can be a PITA.
  13. by   live4today
    Ya darn tootin' I would!

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