A few weeks ago, my 89 year-old grandmother fell at her home, resulting in a bleeding gash in her arm (and later discovered, a broken hip). My mother took her to the emergency room. I wasn't there, so everything I write here is what was told to me by my mother.
After my grandmother was brought into the ER and placed into a room, arm still bleeding, she and my mom waited an hour and was still not seen or treated by a nurse or doctor. My mother goes out into the hallway to find someone to see what's happening and why no one has seen them yet. I don't remember the exact events, but there was one nurse who was extremely curt with my mother. She stated, "We literally
having patients dying right now", using her hands to emphasize, and added that it's okay for bleeding to occur for a certain amount of hours, her justification was that infection won't occur until hour 6 of bleeding. (Which really is not in the best interest of my grandmother, who has anemia and frequently requires blood transfusions, but I can give the nurse the benefit of the doubt because how was she supposed to know that?)
I just feel like the nurse was very rude about the situation, and could have handled it better. I understand that nurses need to prioritize patient care regarding acuity, but just bluntly stating that she "literally
has patients dying" invalidates both my mom's right to be concerned for her mother and my grandmother's need for treatment and care.
It is possible that my mother could have been bothersome to the nurses, I wouldn't know beause I wasn't present to witness it, but couldn't the nurse have calmly explained the situation and why no one has seen them yet?
I am experiencing some cognitive dissonance from this situation, because I have been on both sides of this. I am angry at this nurse for being rude to my mother and inattentive to my grandmother, but I also know how irritating family members of patients can be, unaware of the fact that nurses have several patients for which to care. (So far in my hospital experience, dealing with family members is my least favorite part of nursing.) I'm trying to justify the actions on both the part of my mother and of the nurse, and I just want to know your thoughts on this.