Quote from redhead_NURSE98!
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. LMAOSecond 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
So so true that we would actually be able to care for them more and better if they would just let us do our job and not interrupt us every step of the way. Im all for family teaching, but that's not what we're talking about here. And all the complaining! For example, I went into my patient's room. The family complained that it took too long for me to get there, although acknowledging that they knew I was really busy. What did they do? They proceeded to talk to me about their thanksgiving dinner, and the ingredients. All the while all my other patients were waiting for me. WHY WHY WHY do family say that they know I am busy and have other patients but INSIST on continuing to act like their family member is my only patient? I can chit chat while Im doing my work in the room, but as soon as Im done, I need to GO. I know I sound bitter, thats because I am. I deal with it sooo well on the outside, they would never never know how Im feeling on the inside. I have flat out said, I wish I had more time to chat with you, but my next patient is waiting for me. And family members have insisted on telling me "one more thing" before I go. REALLY? I just told you I HAVE to go and you still refuse to respect that?