Content That MAtoBSN Likes

MAtoBSN, BSN 4,342 Views

Joined Apr 14, '11 - from 'PA'. MAtoBSN is a RN Staff Nurse - Ortho/Spine Med/Tele Unit. She has '17' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Ortho/Spine, Telemetry, SNF/Rehab'. Posts: 94 (22% Liked) Likes: 39

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  • Sep 23 '16

    I try at least to arm myself with enough knowledge about their case, their problems, what the treatments plans are, etc, so that I can discuss with them the plans. If I go in "blind," I ask them for time to review their case, explain to them that I just came on, dont' know their case, etc. MOST people will understand and give me time to get caught up. Then I can investigate, find out what's wrong, try to help, etc. With most reasonable people, it works.

    I also don't get too friendly lately, EVER. I am professional, friendly, but not a "friend" to families. I am their nurse, try to be their advocate, but I'm not their friend. I have been burned from being too friendly with those who simply turned on me in a flash when things started not to go well.

    With some who get unreasonable, I will try to politely reason, try to politely provide explanations, and often I can turn them around and get them to calm down. I will try to listen to them as much as possible, see their point of view, etc.

    The ones that TOTALLY get me are the ones who complain about the food. I mean -- it's SO childish to me to complain about a hot meal -- who CARES if it's not restaurant quality -- most of it is edible, at least -- and if they are well enough to complain about it, IMO, they aren't even sick enough to be in the hospital in the first place. Just my opinon -- just grinds my gears to no end.

  • Sep 23 '16

    Quote from TheCommuter
    Unfortunately, I haven't found the universal answer to dealing with difficult or demanding family members and visitors. To be perfectly honest, they remain one of my biggest challenges in the workplace. The only thing I know is that there's no "one size fits all" approach to handling them. In addition, management seems to back them up, regardless of how unreasonable or abusive their behavior is toward the staff.

    I prefer to work night shift so I can avoid as many of these difficult families as possible.
    When is the nursing profession going to hold administration accountable for adding to the stress of bedside nursing? We do not need a clueless administration backing abusive family members and patients. No other profession puts up with "customer abuse" like nursing.

    If you behaved the way families and patients do when they are patients in a hospital, in the local Walmart, or shopping mall, you would have security and the local police department called to drag your sorry @$$ out of there to the local jail cell. No doubt in my mind.

    So again I ask, when are nurses going to hold administration accountable for their lack of support with these imbeciles? Put together a staff meeting, and address this with the nurse manager, and inform them in no uncertain terms, that when patients act up you are calling security and the police and having them arrested. And you will follow up by pressing charges. There is no reason for anyone to have to put up with this nonsense. You can always escort them to the office of the hospital CEO, and let the big wigs sit and listen to the complaints for a change. Especially since they are the ones with the power to change the poor staffing, etc, that seems leads to most of the complaints. JMHO and my NY $0.02.

    Lindarn, Rn, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington

  • Sep 23 '16

    Unfortunately, I haven't found the universal answer to dealing with difficult or demanding family members and visitors. To be perfectly honest, they remain one of my biggest challenges in the workplace. The only thing I know is that there's no "one size fits all" approach to handling them. In addition, management seems to back them up, regardless of how unreasonable or abusive their behavior is toward the staff.

    I prefer to work night shift so I can avoid as many of these difficult families as possible.

  • Sep 23 '16

    Daughter of Pt : I would have been here at 2:00pm to talk to MD but I have to WORK for a living you know.

    Me: Outside voice: yes - it is so hard to be here when the doctor makes rounds. If you give me a phone number.. (etc etc)
    Inside Voice : Yeah, well, duhhhh... I'm not exactly here for the joy of dealing with people like you! And yeah I work for my living too!!

  • Sep 23 '16

    I once had a sister of a brain tumor patient follow me down the hallways calling me a murderer because her sister was dying from said brain tumor. As if I could do anything to change that.

    Once had a sister of another patient call every member of our board, the president of the hospital and the directer of our organization for kicking her out of her dying brother's room. Ofcourse, she left out she had spent the last 3 days of his life terrorizing the mans wife and it was HER request that I make the woman leave. She told me when she was leaving "you haven't heard the last of me yet, this is the biggest mistake of your life." I don't know, lady. I have made some pretty big ones, lol.

  • Sep 23 '16

    I had a good one the other night. New admission in observation, calls and says:

    "Can you call the doc and let her know about the boil behind my testicles? You wanna see?"

    At 2:30 in the morning.

    Needless to say, I passed that one on to day shift.

  • Sep 23 '16

    Here's one. Let me set the scene for you.

    LTC rehab unit...20 residents are mine and all my beds are full. It's a weekend, so no unit clerk to answer the phone at the desk (now partly my responsibility).

    I've got one with Alzheimer's who I'm in with, who is projectile vomiting all over his room, two aides helping me to soothe him/clean up. Phone is ringing at the desk. Call bells like crazy, middle of my med pass, trying to get a call back from this persons doctor, one IV beeping because the ABT is get the idea.

    A family member has the nerve to stand outside this mans door until I walk out and begins to scream at me because his mothers call bell has been ringing for fifteen minutes and when I finally get him to talk to me like I'm a human and not a servant, the bell was hit because he wanted the facility wifi password.

    I do not know how I didn't lose it that day.

  • Sep 23 '16

    Quote from canigraduate
    LOL!! This used to happen to me all the time, although for a different reason. The patient wasn't answering the phone on purpose, because she was annoyed with the annoying family member. After the third time of "she's resting and doesn't have to answer the phone if she doesn't want to," I finally got blunt and told the family member "she said she doesn't want to talk to you and to please quit calling so she can sleep."

    It did not stop.

    The entire day.

    It did not stop.

    And then, after getting a shift change code blue in the ER (that amazingly I was the ONLY non-ICU nurse that bothered to show up to, and ICU only sent their charge....), the family had the nerve to tell the PM charge nurse that they had "concerns" with how the day went. They felt we weren't with her enough. Honest to god, if I wasn't with this patient, I was on the phone ABOUT the patient, and the person with "concerns" managed to show up coincidentally the only time I left the floor that day.

    ......which was to pound on the chest of a woman whose heart was going on and off like a switch each and every time we thought she was either done or coming back......

    I was their mom's advocate this whole entire day. I saw what they saw. I worked my butt off for her - got med changes, got tests and labs ordered. If I hadn't been on it with this woman, I would have only been able to tell them, "oh, she's just fine." But no, she was my most unstable patient and she had my undivided for so much of this day.

    This day. This ridiculous day. How do you politely tell someone, "I'm sorry I wasn't in the room to tell you for the 300th time your mom isn't getting morphine like you asked, but I was trying to save a woman's life." Ugh!

    To those who decry the purpose for threads like this, it is because we need a place to lament the days like this one. Not once would I (or did I) minimize their concerns (still wouldn't and won't), but surely a reasonable person would realize I would actually have MORE time for their loved one if my phone weren't ringing off the hook.

    Okay, rant over. Sorry for the hijack, but I'm spent. And frustrated.

  • Sep 23 '16

    Quote from diamondp17
    Thank you so much for understanding!! It's like you post things for fun and there is always someone who has something negative to say...If it bothered me I would have said so she actually made my night in a good way not bad so please stop taking things so serious for the ones with the negative comments.

    One thing my patients love about me is I am guaranteed to answer their light in a timely manner I'm not the kind of nurse who sits around the nurses rolling my eyes and complaining every time a patient turns on their call light I'm a busy girl and I love to stay busy so before you judge what people post you have to understand their mindset and you really can't do that over the Internet.
    You will find on this site that any attempt at humour or just to vent will bring out the Goody-Two-Shoes. Their job is to point out that sick people are sick and need your compassion. Because of course you never figured that out on your own. Any attempt to laugh at yourself or the situation you find yourself in will be seen as laughing at the poor patient. Tsk tsk.

  • Sep 23 '16

    We all have the confused patients. One story that a secretary told me makes me realize we always need to confirm what the confusies are saying...
    A patient (female) was confused and pressing her call light, once the nurse or tech arrived she would say there is a naked man in the closet. They would turn the light off and say "no, it's ok there's no one there" get her settled and leave. She would call again and after about 7 times of this the nurse finally went to the closet (our has doors) opened it and low and behold there was a naked patient (male) just standing there looking even more confused than the patient in bed!

    So now everytime they say there's a little boy staring at me from over there or any other creepy confused thing, I check

  • Sep 23 '16

    I'm ashamed. Feel better? No? Then why post stuff like that? If the answer is yes, you got problems that I can't solve.

    Are you ashamed for shaming? No? You should be.

    There isn't much on this thread that's shame-worthy. Now, if the OP and subsequent posters had said something like they took away the call light and told the patient to get over it, that would be worth a good tongue-lashing. Or if they told the CNA to ignore the patient. Or let the call light ring because they knew it was frivolous. Or did anything that was about controlling the patient and not responding to the patient's need. Did any of that happen? Nope.

    Obviously, as another poster said, the call lights were answered or they wouldn't have been able to post the reason for the button push.

    Just because people come on here to vent it does not make them shameful. Being able to vent is one of the most wonderful reasons for the website's existence.

    ETA - This does not apply to the cautionary tale, although I think that it is aimed at the wrong audience. We all know to check the light.

  • Sep 23 '16

    Quote from Susie2310
    My family member pressed the call button when, one night, a couple of days after surgery and newly transferred from ICU to med-surg, they somehow got stuck in a position in bed in which they could not breathe, and could not re-position themself. Fortunately, the nurses answered the call light quickly, and rushed into the room to help (my family member was able to say to the person who answered the call light, "Help me, I can't breathe"). My family member was very shaken up by the experience. I had only just (probably within the previous 15 minutes), left my family member's bedside.

    I think it is good for us all to keep in mind that mixed in with the less serious reasons for pressing the call button (for which I know there are many) there are some serious, life threatening reasons patients press the call button too, and that it behoves all of us to answer the call buttons as rapidly as possible.
    We know about legitimate reasons for using the call light and why we should answer promptly. Does that mean this thread shouldn't exist and we shouldn't try to find the lighter side of a frequent source of job aggravation?

  • Sep 23 '16

    Quote from Been there,done that
    Exactly. Troubleshoot the cause.. treat as needed. Describing a" list of reasons" is belittling any patient's needs. I am embarrassed for the OP and the responders that do not understand this.
    Ok, I get it. Judgmental Nurse is being Judgmental.

    First of all, I really don't think that any competent nurse here would go to a room, listen to what the patient has requested, and then just walk away and add it to a list.

    Of course weird patient requests are evaluated for possible cause. Is the patient having a reaction to pain medication? Are they sun-downing? Have they been awake for 36 hours and hallucinating? Have they mistaken the big "H" on the front of the building for "Hilton"? Have they watched too much Naughty Nurse porn? Are they entitled brats? Etc, etc.

    Sometimes, if you don't laugh, you'll cry. I really worry about nurses who never smile, who can't find humor in an absurd situation, and who look down on those who can.

    Do I advocate yukking it up at the nurse's station or going over it in the elevator packed with civilians? Of course not. THAT is rude and disrespectful. But here? We deal with death, suffering and all manner of crises during work time. You have to be able to decompress, or you will never last.

    This should be a safe zone for stuff like this. If it offends you, as long as no TOS are being violated, just keep on scrolling-you'll soon find something more to your liking. But please don't think you're somehow better than the rest of us. Many of you are desperately looking for ways to desert bedside nursing. Humor like this is one of the things that has kept those of us who have dedicated their careers (and I'm talking decades here) to staying at the bedside.

  • Sep 23 '16

    Quote from RN403
    It is a pet peeve of mine when fully capable patients ring out so that I can hand them an item that is totally within reach.
    One of the nice things about working in a SNF is I am able to say "it is part of my job to encourage you to improve your mobility, you can reach that yourself" and expect them to at least try. I am glad to help them if they actually need it, but a few rounds of get it yourself usually does the trick if they are ringing to just ring.
    On the other hand, I have no response other than picking my jaw up to "10. My legs are really pretty what do you think" much less wanting to sit at the nurses station..maybe? NAKED??? Um, no!

  • Sep 23 '16

    1: can you straighten the straw in my cup (no)

    2: can you scratch my ear (no)

    3: can you move my O2 tubing so I can blow my nose (no)

    4: can you move my leg (no) Because you can do all that yourself