Quote from HurricaneCasRN
...Mom never complains of Angina until the family convinces her that she is having it. Mom doesn't want ice cream until they wake her up and tell her she does...
The best solution is to do what I did- move to an ICU where most of the patients are sedated and can't eat ice cream
But in all seriousness, dealing with families is most of what makes our job so hard. In the 16 months or so that I have been a nurse (and two years of nursing school that doesn't really count), I've only had two or three patients that I had a difficult time dealing with. Families are another matter, as there is usually at least one a week that really grates my nerves, for the same reasons you mentioned above.
In the ICU environment, we stress the importance of rest, calm, and a haeling environment. It really irks me to see family members run in at visiting time (we have 30 minute increments every three hours) and try to talk to an intubated, sedated patient...
But thankfully, for every family like that, there is usually at least one that is understanding and gracious, and those are the ones that make it all worth while.
I am thankful though, that I can leave my work at the hospital and don't have to bring it home with me....
Edit: realized I didn't answer your question at all- my solution was to focus on the patient.
Its hard to realize that even though it can be annoying, families do what they do because they care about their loved one. It helped me to cope by thinking that I made a difference for that loved one, and if having to answer the same question 12 times made the family feel better about the care the patient was receiving
, I could get through it