Families!

  1. Why do some families look for things that are wrong (I use the term wrong in the loosest possible way? Today a family complained that mothers room was too cold, I went in wearing substantially less and was roasted alive. The other day an aggressive resident was going out with her family, she was that aggressive that when she was incontinent minutes before the family came we managed to change everything but could not get fresh socks on her - what does the daughter notice straight away (by lifting mums trouser legs up I amy add!). My gran is also in care and I believe the staff should be rewarded for the good they do not slandered for minor events that I know cannot be helped (unless nurse looks good with two black eyes!). Is it guilt, is it blame, is it that we are all just moaners, do we naturally focus on the negative nowadays????

    Here's an idea, give a nurse a pat on the back (gently though as we all have bad backs!)
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   RN1989
    It's guilt. The families feel guilty for not keeping their loved ones at home. Then they feel guilty for not visiting as often. They want everything to be perfect, as if Granny was living at home and had someone at her beck and call 24/7 without any other duties to perform.

    Then too, so many places really are bad, that the families feel like if they don't nitpick to death, then the place might fall apart and get REALLY bad.
  4. by   marjoriemac
    I know but when you know your place is real good you wish you could get it into the heads of these families that some places are real bad!
  5. by   mauxtav8r
    This comes up lots of times. There's an old saying after someone passes . . .

    "There's a way of telling,
    by the amount of yelling,
    who did the least,
    for the deceased."
  6. by   CapeCodMermaid
    One thing my staff has told me is that even if the families are giving them a hard time about everything, they feel okay as long as management backs them up. I have confronted family members if they have treated the staff badly. I listen to what they have to say and try to fix any problems, then I remind them that they are not allowed to be rude, demeaning,demanding, threatening, or swear at the staff. I'm only 5'3" but if I get mad or protective of my staff, even the biggest family member knows I mean business.
  7. by   marjoriemac
    Had a family today whose mother play acts when they come in, no doc so far has found anything wrong with her. Daughter phones today to complain she is still in pain (only when family are in!) and then phones a doc to visit without telling us. Incidentally he found nothing too.
  8. by   Blackcat99
    Yesterday, a resident complained that she was missing a pack of cigarettes. I thought I would be helpful so I called the daughter to find out exactly where she had put the cigarettes when she brought them in. The daughter said she left them by the nurses desk with a note on them and then start yelling and screaming about how the staff must have stolen the cigarettes and how she was going to call the administrator first thing this morning etc. etc. etc.:trout:
  9. by   TheCommuter
    My job at the workplace would become substantially easier if all of the abusive family members gathered like lemmings and jumped over the Brooklyn Bridge into the waters, never to be seen again. I'm totally serious, because I think these people are absolutely disgusting.

    They obviously cannot take care of their beloved elderly ones at home due to time constraints or other reasons, so I think they should exercise other options if they really feel that the care being provided is not up to par. They can take their loved one home or have them transferred to another facility, but they do not have to feel compelled to scream at the overworked, underpaid staff.

    I appreciate the family members who compliment the nursing staff for all that we do. It is important for all of us to never forget the good family members who realize that we are doing what we possibly can with so very little time, staff, and supplies on our hands.
  10. by   nightmare
    I blame the poor press and adverse TV documentaries for some of the things families come out with.They come in looking for things that are wrong and are not happy till they find something!I had one couple who came in,took out aunties teeth and proceeded to scrap them with a penknife because they were stained!!How's that for privacy and dignity? They open wardrobes and drawers looking for stained clothing(which they do find if resident is a hoarder and refuses to part with clothes that need washing).There is a lot of guilt there as well and some of the worst are the once a year visitors that breeze in upsetting everyone and then are not seen for another year.I just wish that TV would make documentaries about the many excellent care homes and not keep focusing on the horror stories.
  11. by   LoveCharts
    I totally agree that this is a guilt thing--especially if one family member has ANY kind of medical background. One of my colleagues says that the out-of-town family is worse. She calls them pigeons--"They fly in, crap on you, then get the heck out of town." Then the genuine, concerned family memebers have to try to make ammends for the others behavior.

    As a nurse, I know how hard this can be for families. So when my loved one is sick, I try extra hard not to be looking for something "wrong." I try to make the staff feel comfortable.
  12. by   lovingtheunloved
    I must say, I have some truly wonderful families who are so very kind to us. They more than make up for the ones who swear at me about mother's missing socks.

    The ones we tossed because they were had more holes than swiss cheese, and the fact that "mother" flossed her butt with them.
  13. by   CoffeeRTC
    Yes..guilt and the tv lawyers make things aweful.

    We seem to get a lot of pts with families who know everything. Found out this last one was a registrar in a cardiac unit or maybe it was a unit cleark:spin:
    Another one of my favorites....pt has two daughters who are nurses. One in an OB nurse (total different world than LTC) who has only worked OB. Another one is an instructor in a nursing school. Yep....she new everything. LOL. One of our nurses was getting enough of her instruction and respond. "Boy that is nice that you are a teacher...when was the last time you did any clinical work?" Umm...it was at least 15 yrs.
    It is all in the approach. You always get more bees with honey. This same family with the nurses were wondering why staff would avoid them. Duh?
  14. by   Rexie68
    my favorite complaint was from a family member who said "your ice cream melts when it's left out"! maintenance said they could fix that problem, but other patients might not be happy with the room temp.....

    sometimes it's laugh or cry...and i'd rather just laugh. i could take care of any patient, but the families can drive me insane (er)! :trout:

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