Dealing with nosy family members.

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    I work in the ER and it seems like patient's family members are always wondering around curious about what's going on with everyone else. They walk around and look into other patients rooms, listen to report from medics/fire, and are especially curious when we get a drunk or out of control patient. How can I deal with this without sounding rude? It's a violation of privacy as well as incredibly annoying!
  2. 10 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    I would say to them they need to co back to the pts room they are there with or go to the waiting room, if not, you can call security(if it gets to that point). It's a HIPAA and safety issue for them to be snooping around.
    GrnTea and sapphire18 like this.
  4. 0
    Same. Where I work, family members are allowed to go up to the desk to speak with the nurse, but not walk around since it's a HIPAA violation. In another unit I've worked in, family members weren't allowed to be in the unit at all ; there were outside doors to the patients' rooms which they exited and entered through, and if they wanted to speak with the nurse, they had to push the call light.
  5. 1
    Could you say something along the lines of "For the privacy and safety of other patients guests must return to the waiting area when they are not in-room with their family member" It's right .... and give directions.... :-) Would that be allowed?
    Ginger80 likes this.
  6. 0
    Oh heck no ...

    Looking into other patients' rooms? Why is this not dealt with?
  7. 2
    You could just let them know that if security personnel find people wandering around or peeking into other patients' rooms, they have orders to escort them to the waiting area.

    You don't have to say that it is you who will be calling security to report them.
    brillohead and VivaLasViejas like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from pinkstethoscope
    I work in the ER and it seems like patient's family members are always wondering around curious about what's going on with everyone else. They walk around and look into other patients rooms, listen to report from medics/fire, and are especially curious when we get a drunk or out of control patient. How can I deal with this without sounding rude? It's a violation of privacy as well as incredibly annoying!
    I work in med surg and a few times had some of these types follow me around. i shut the patient's door, right in the visitors face a few times. Oh well, how can anyone think it is ok to just walk into the door way to listen in. If the other pt is very unruly or there is a rrt or soem other dramma, it is inevitable to sometimes have these people standing around so the other staff asks them to get out of the way
  9. 0
    I tell them it is a privacy violation and please go back to their room. I might also add- Would you like strangers looking in on your family member?
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    It seriously boggles my mind. I couldn't imagine just wondering around an ER looking to see what other patient's are doing. I don't get why people think it's ok to do that.

    Whenever we get an ambulance in, it always gets people's attention. Without fail there is a family member of someone out of the room listening to what is going on, report, etc. It drives me CRAZY!!!!!

    The thing that gets me is that I am the only one that seems to be bothered by this. Since no one else seems to give a ****, I feel awkward saying something.

    I like this though:

    Mar 22 by cstatic Could you say something along the lines of "For the privacy and safety of other patients guests must return to the waiting area when they are not in-room with their family member" It's right .... and give directions.... :-) Would that be allowed?

    It is polite yet to the point
  11. 0
    Not to play devil's advocate, but the drama of the ER, and the never boring days are what drew me to the ER. Human Curiosity is a very strong driver.

    I don't think there is anything really that can be done besides the insightful things already mentioned before my two cents, but I think hospital design is EXTREMELY HELPFUL.

    I mean does the ambulance entrance come by the waiting room like at my facility, or behind closed doors, where only the one family member per patient has to be dealt with.

    Sometimes we can just minimize the ears and eyes pointed our direction. I just always try to keep all doors shut, and all curtains pulled. We are only Human, and so are they:uhoh21:"Is that man screaming and cussing ok, is he on drugs??!!?"


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