I am a first year nurse on a busy med/surg floor. I have had a few families and sometimes a patient or two who were overall just a bit difficult to deal with but up until this week I've never experienced something so entirely frustrating. Over the last week we've had a family that has been especially trying for me (and several other staff members) to deal with. I'm trying to determine the best way to deal with folks like this for the next time. I feel like I dealt with any and all concerns/complaints from this family in a very mature, helpful manner but they were never satisfied with the answers or teaching we gave them. The last day I cared for the patient was the worst of all. The family claimed that they were very upset because they believed the pt. was "sedated so that we didn't have to deal with him/her". These were their words. The pt. had a knee replaced three days prior to this day and that morning the pt. had received two percocets. Overnight the pt. had received an IM of morphine and phenergan. These were the only instances of medication administration that the family was upset about and they claimed that this was putting him/her to sleep all day long essentially so that we didn't have to deal with him/her. Both the LPN and I spent a lot of time talking to them but they failed to believe that we weren't trying to sedate the pt. so I had the charge nurse get involved and she called the house supervisor. The family still didn't believe that we hadn't "sedated" the pt. but they didn't bring it up too much more after that.
There were two other things that this family was also upset about and in general they just sucked the life right out of me this week. I broke down in tears twice in the supply room this week (and I'm not a crier). I'm a pretty strong person with a great way of dealing with almost everyone, but this family was impossible for me. Each time you went in the room they were asking question after question and telling you that they wanted this information because two of the daughters were almost done with nursing school
and they had all these questions, etc. Unfortunately, I have nine or ten other patients on our team to deal with and I can't be spending 10 minutes each and every time I come in the room. I'm always happy to answer questions and help with anything I can and I hear a lot from pts. and their families that I am very caring and take time to answer their question, but this one family took is far beyond normal questions.
I was told that I need to just let it go but I find myself still thinking about how I could have dealt with it better. These folks sucked sooooo much time out of me this week and it's just frustrating to think that it could happen again. I fully expect this pt. to be gone when I return (thank goodness) but I want to know if anyone has any other alternatives or ideas for dealing with truly irrational people.
I know I need to let it go, but I've been hashing it over in my mind and I'm just upset that they believed that we would sedate the pt. so as to not have to deal with them. That is an accusation that I don't ever want to have to hear again. I love caring for my patients and I take a lot of pride in it. Anyone have anything to share with me on how to let it go or how to deal with it better when I have a family or pt. like this in the future?