Dear Family Members - page 2

by TheCommuter Asst. Admin

13,458 Views | 31 Comments

Forewarning: this is an open letter that contains explicit material with which not everyone will find agreeable. However, these are my inner thoughts. Dear family members and visitors, Let me start by saying that I know you... Read More


  1. 9
    Lol, some are inspired!

    I figured heck, you just can't beat nurses, so I joined them.

    There's nothing like that family member- especially the young ones, when it just "clicks." I wanted a stethoscope sooooo bad at 12 years old-when I saw the Nurses working with the patients, the friendships, and the other vague positioned whitecoats! I wanted one so bad that day

    As I got older I noticed common traits in Nurses(as a family member), they were like an elite club in my eyes.

    I couldn't wait to finally come home, and tell my parents I had decided what I wanted to major in my senior year of High School! You can also bet as the surprise wore off their faces that their son was going to be a Nurse, my excitement was just beginning to feel real.

    So when that aggravating, loud, ADD, and wide-eyed child looks up at you and announces,"I want to be a Nurse too!" Don't forget the time you were inspired-ever how small and quick, that finally grew into an RN Degree. And,... all because she gave me a small used disposable plastic and aluminum stethoscope- that I loved and treasured much more than my Littmann ...and I still have it after all these years. Now, her nursing care lives on through me- who was just a family member.

    I want to pass her own to the next generation wide eyed child, which may take 5 minutes at most- and I bet you didn't know you were a "superstar!"
  2. 5
    What bothers me most is not the family but the (use your professional words) in management who decided that this behavior is tolerated and in some ways encouraged. But the facility has a zero tolerance to work place violence. Go figure an oxymoron would not be tolerated at all from another staff member.
    lorirn58, echoRNC711, monkeybug, and 2 others like this.
  3. 7
    I'd like to add the poor mothers who are wailing in pain who have their own mothers berating them! "No, you don't need an epidural! I did it, your sisters did it, don't be a p**** just suck it up" or the ignorant baby-daddies who say "if you get that your cheating!" Or the one I wanted to haul off and punch....post-epidural the lady was having very nice contractions and finally moving along , after the delivery dad said "almost made it, but you had to wimp out." OMG can we add this to the "you are horrible" list?!?!?!?
    dbscandy, teeniebert, SwansonRN, and 4 others like this.
  4. 0
    Lol... I don't have so much of this drama anymore. Cause I work in a procedure area. But yeah, there were some good stories of this variety from my time as a neuro med surg nurse.
  5. 3
    I had this weird experience during the break between my first and second semester of nursing school where I was the rude family member. It felt surreal, like I was out of control of myself. I felt terrible about it and promised myself that I would remember how I felt and the way it happened so that I can be more empathetic when I am in that nurses shoes in the future. My mom was in the process of dying from liver failure. It was the most gnarly thing I've seen before or since and I think I was just not capable of even simple social considerations.
    dbscandy, teeniebert, and echoRNC711 like this.
  6. 2
    Thank you for sharing this. My most challenging situations are with family members, and many times, internally, I became angry with them and have even become avoidant of patient's rooms when family is present. Your words rang so true when you said you weren't capable of simple social considerations. Thank you for that reminder.
    teeniebert and Barley like this.
  7. 1
    Quote from VICEDRN
    Your article is well-written and I agree with the sentiment with one exception. I have to say that I disagree with the idea that the bulk of these visitors are visiting because they love the person in the bed. I know this is cynical but I honestly have come to feel that many of the visitors are really here for one of two reasons: a) they love a good drama and this one is no exception or b) they are curious about the ER world they saw on tv and want to stop by to check the scene out.
    LIKE LIKE LIKE! I totally agree with this statement. So many times when I was at the hospital with a laboring patient, the room would turn into party central with everyone ignoring the poor laboring woman, who usually just wanted a rest. I really miss locked units!
    lorirn58 likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from itsnowornever
    I'd like to add the poor mothers who are wailing in pain who have their own mothers berating them! "No, you don't need an epidural! I did it, your sisters did it, don't be a p**** just suck it up" or the ignorant baby-daddies who say "if you get that your cheating!" Or the one I wanted to haul off and punch....post-epidural the lady was having very nice contractions and finally moving along , after the delivery dad said "almost made it, but you had to wimp out." OMG can we add this to the "you are horrible" list?!?!?!?
    And don't forget the mothers that tell their daughters that they cannot have an epidural because mother wants her to endure the pain so she won't get pregnant again. In our state if you are 14 and pregnant you can consent for yourself, but not if mama is telling you that if you get an epidural you will find all your things on the lawn when you get home (true story).
  9. 4
    Quote from monkeybug
    And don't forget the mothers that tell their daughters that they cannot have an epidural because mother wants her to endure the pain so she won't get pregnant again. In our state if you are 14 and pregnant you can consent for yourself, but not if mama is telling you that if you get an epidural you will find all your things on the lawn when you get home (true story).
    Hey well, their awesome parenting didn't keep their kid from getting pregnant, I'm sure the pain of labor will do the trick!!
    teeniebert, brillohead, Altra, and 1 other like this.
  10. 4
    Quote from Sirius Squint
    Thank you for sharing this. My most challenging situations are with family members, and many times, internally, I became angry with them and have even become avoidant of patient's rooms when family is present. Your words rang so true when you said you weren't capable of simple social considerations. Thank you for that reminder.
    I haven't been a nurse long enough to be jaded by family members but I still am. They are very taxing on your time. I can't think of a diplomatic way to tell them that if I didn't have to argue with them for 20 minutes at a time maybe I would have more time to care for their family member and my other patients.

    Highlights of this week were arguing with a daughter in law (in law's are the WORST) of a pt in for stroke workup about 1) NPO pending swallow study:
    "She's already HAD all those tests, she can swallow just fine."
    "Ma'am unless that was in the last 24 hours we won't be feeding her until we have our speech therapist in to test her again."
    "AM I GONNA HAVE TO CALL THE DOCTOR TO GET HER SOME FOOD? SHE NEEDS NOURISHMENT, SHE HASN'T EATEN FOR 4 DAYS!"
    "She's been here for 6 hours, so I can only control the last 6 hours. But I can call the doc-"
    [doctor steps into the room from hallway] "Ma'am I thought I explained all of this to you. Is there something I said or that the nurse said that you don't understand?" (this is the first time this doc has ever backed me up for anything!)

    2) same daughter in law tells her mother "Don't you feel better with that oxygen on? Why is it so far down there, we need to turn it up so she can breathe even better."
    "Doesn't she have a history of COPD? Not a good idea. (explain why)"
    "Yeah well whatever."

    I suspect Ms. Know It All probably turned it up at the nursing home and caused the low sats and confusion that we're blaming on a stroke. Oh, all of this while pt has documents of DNR-comfort care, and they refused stroke workup, which was the only reason she was transferred to us from small town crappy hospital. I tried to get out of them why she was even taken to the hospital in the first place but couldn't seem to get two sentences out of them without more kvetching about how none of us know how to do our jobs. (Woman is a teacher - we all know they know everything about everything.)

    I got a good lol because she stayed overnight with the pt and apparently none of our fabulous night shift told the woman that the chair was a hide a bed, she laid all curled up in it, I found out the next day. LMAO

    Second was 30 minutes of the last hr of my shift last night with a son accusing us of "giving his mother something," saying she is confused and "she's never like this." Even when being admitted to the hospital. I busted out the chart: "EMS report: family says pt hallucinating, seeing things." "History of dementia." "Admitted for UTI-confusion." Also had the satisfaction (thank god) that not only had we not given her anything but her home meds which weren't anything horrible, but we didn't even have Ativan or anything AVAILABLE ON THE MAR to give her! "My brother said you just gave her something!" "Yeah, a Lasix, which I told them and explained when I was giving it. It's a "water pill" that she takes daily at home according to whoever filled out the home medication list. Not sedating. Not confusing." ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
    dbscandy, SleeepyRN, sugarwahine10, and 1 other like this.


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