How do you deal with angry family members in the Nursing Home setting? - page 2

by LTCNS 5,568 Views | 16 Comments

Say you are the supervisor and have a family member come to you, obviously angry, and state that her mother hasn't had her shower today and that she pays good money for her to get the care she was promised her mother would get.... Read More


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    I don't think it's admitting neglect because someone missed a shower. Just apologize and try to make sure it doesn't happen again.There is the distinct possibility that the resident DID have a shower but forgot it.Frankly it's an odd question to ask in an interview. The only really wrong answer would be to ignore the complaint and the complainer.
    ktwlpn, Dezy, and VivaLasViejas like this.
  2. 0
    Quote from itsmejuli
    I can't help but wonder why you asked "is there anything else I can help you with?"

    This statement can come off as condescending if you're not careful, its almost like getting blown off. Also, if the client's family had other concerns they would have raised them without you asking.
    I see your point although I didn't answer that way in the interview. That was just a sample answer to pick some brains on here.
    I suppose I was thinking it would let the daughter know I was interested in hearing any other concerns she might have. Didn't think about it sounding condescending and I would never want to come across that way.
    In my many years of experience conducting care plan conferences, most family members always seemed to appreciate it if they were asked if there was anything else we, as an interdisciplinary team, could help them with. I had my care plan hat on.


    Quote from CapeCodMermaid
    I don't think it's admitting neglect because someone missed a shower. Just apologize and try to make sure it doesn't happen again.There is the distinct possibility that the resident DID have a shower but forgot it.Frankly it's an odd question to ask in an interview. The only really wrong answer would be to ignore the complaint and the complainer.
    I agree it was an odd question. She really put me on the spot and when I didn't answer the way she thought I should I was reprimanded. She did make the statement that she realized she put me on the spot and wants to give me another go at it. I can only hope that question doesn't come up in the next interview. All I would know to say is "There really is no *right* answer since different managers would handle the situation in the best way they see fit. The best I can do is make sure the issue is resolved and let the daughter know I do care about her concerns, and will make sure her mom gets the care she needs."

    The interviewer put me through a lot of scenarios but that one had me completely stumped. No matter what I said about how I would handle the situation, it was wrong in her eyes.
    Last edit by LTCNS on Sep 28, '12
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    I am honest and try to validate their feelings to build trust. Then I apologize and let them know the situation will be corrected. I never throw my co-workers under the bus but I also let them know how it must be frustrating or whatever. I am not too proud to say Im sorry it was a busy day and an urgent situation came up that prevented me from doing the bath or whatever.
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    Patient/families want to hear 'I am sorry " 'I hear you" 'How can I make this better for you "
    At an interview they may want you to uncover the root of the problem and address that person directly.
    I have never been a supervisor but in this role you are expected to place your own feelings in your pocket.
    Is the problem really how it sounds or is the family responding to a cumulative affect of feeling ignored up until now.
    Pt act out from fear and the solution is to re establish trust. After assuring that you will correct the issue. Engage with the family to re establish a connection and atmosphere of trust. Reassure them you will return to make sure its done. On return be warm, maybe introduce a little humor.
    Bare in mind an interviewer is looking for how you would respond ideally and that is the answer they want.
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    It seems strange but did she want to hear " I'm sorry let me grab whoever should have done it?"
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    So if you get a second interview, find out what the "right" answer is and let us know.
  7. 0
    Quote from CapeCodMermaid
    So if you get a second interview, find out what the "right" answer is and let us know.
    I will. I'm very interested to know because I have responded to family members in this same scenario on multiple occasions and usually respond with "I completely understand your frustration as I would feel the same as you in the situation. I will get right on it and make sure your mom gets her shower before the end of the shift."
    99% of the time that has been enough to satisfy the family member. I always follow up, even giving the family member a phone call if he/she has left before mom could get her shower, to let them know it was taken care of. I have had family members tell the Administrator and DNS I was the only nurse, in all the years mom or dad had been at the home, who actually took the time to call and follow up with them.

    I'm definitely not too proud to say I'm sorry as I have said it many times to family members and residents, so maybe I need to add that in should the scenario be played out in the second interview.


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