I am struggling with patient families lately. - page 2

by jennilynn 17,301 Views | 146 Comments

I am fed up with patient families treating the hospital like a family reunion site. I am tired of the family members that insist on staying the night, why? In some cases I get it. But when your boyfriend has the flu or your nana... Read More


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    Quote from cienurse
    Whatever happened to the good old days of "visiting hours?" The job is hard enough without family members (who don't speak to one another!) interrupting the nurse's med pass several times with complaints, observations, and requests for information. I'm all for family visits but there's a reason why the doctor feels the patient needs hospital care. If a person doesn't feel they can trust the care the hospital or LTC facility is giving without having a family member there 24 hours a day, then it would be cheaper for them to bring Mom or Dad home and pay for 24/7 nursing care there!
    Testify!
    maelstrom143 and opossum like this.
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    Whenever a family member complains to the administration, the administration invariably sides with the family member, no matter what the issue is. I found a male visitor laying in bed with my female patient in a compromising pose. I politely corrected them. To make a long story short, I was written up.
    janhetherington and Blackcat99 like this.
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    You were written up? No wonder people are leaving the profession in droves.
    opossum, LDRNMOMMY, VivaLasViejas, and 3 others like this.
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    Quote from ALMERCHANT
    Whenever a family member complains to the administration, the administration invariably sides with the family member, no matter what the issue is. I found a male visitor laying in bed with my female patient in a compromising pose. I politely corrected them. To make a long story short, I was written up.
    You were written up because you caught a patient in a "compromising position" or having sex in the hospital. They complained because you interrupted them having sex and you got in trouble? Did the patient warn you that she was going to be having sex and not disturb her?

    I can't wait to leave this field. As a matter of fact I'm going to apply for school over the weekend. I wanted to start in March/April for an online program. I need to do it ASAP. Sorry you were written up over some BS.
    canoehead and Blackcat99 like this.
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    We had a lady stalking the desk the other night because she wanted fresh coffee at 3am. We had 4 nurses, 2 CIWA, new admissions, bed alarms, etc. sorry sister, your coffee is gonna have to wait! She was offended because we didn't drop everything for her.
    Or when the pt is NPO for whatever reason, visitors request a drink, you tell them the pt is NPO, they reply that it's for themself. Then get ticked off when they are directed to the nearest vending machine.
    Or when family "knows better" than we do. Example: nana is NPO for dysphasia, which is absolutely tearing the daughter up. So she has another family member bring in KFC and sneak nana bites. Well, guess who is flipping crap when nana chokes?
    Or the granddaughter that wants times written on the board for pain meds and wants nana to be sedated for sleep, then proceeds to wake her up every 3 hours to ask her if she needs pain meds. If she's resting comfortably, she's ok. Let ME do my job.
    I do believe that visitors are a therapeutic part of recovery; however, in most cases, it is not necessary to camp out in the room, try to outwit the nurses, block access to the pt with the cot. And for god's sake, don't sleep in the bed with the pt!
    I wish that when the visiting hours are over announcement plays, people would simply abide by it.
    I love my job, but lately it seems that it is more about keeping the visitors comfortable and appeased.
    UMAshtangi, mh356, maelstrom143, and 10 others like this.
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    i understand u
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    There have been times that I have had to stay with my husband, mostly when he was in ICU. I went out of my way to make sure that I stayed out of everyones way. Heck, when he needed emergency dialysis, they did it in his room and there was no where for me to even stand with all the equipment in the room. I gladly stood outside. Although the nurses appeased me, they did think I needed to go home. But considering that he was in Acute Renal Failure, had a non-STEMI, lungs filling with fluid and severe edema.... I was staying. And he was so out of it that he could not give consent for anything. I was the family member though that would change the sheets, clean him up if needed, and keep him calm. From what I heard, he was quite the turd when I wasn't there to explain that he needed everything that was being done. Once his kidneys started working again, I did not need to stay throughout the night because he was completely alert & oriented. One thing that the nurses did that was great was just giving me a quick run down of where I would not be in the way and also alerted me to the fact that it could change at any time because of how serious his condition was.

    I know that there will always be visitors that are less than desirable. I have seen them in the hospital... and it is ridiculous! Those visitors should be reminded of the reason that the patient is there... Nurses are there for the patient.
    Daliadreamer, maelstrom143, opossum, and 1 other like this.
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    I realize that the hospital has changed a lot in the last 16 years, but the reason that I never leave a family member alone can be summed up in a few short experiences.

    1996: My sister had a hysterectomy. She had pain, not at her incision site but from a full bladder. Something I still can't explain was wrong with her catheter, the nurse would come in and strip it, she would empty at least 1000 cc of urine, and she would feel better for some time until it hurt again. The third time, the nurse said, "I really don't have time to do this every time you call." My sister apologized. I told the nurse, "Show me how to do it and you won't have to come in again." She did, and we didn't see her again until shift change about five hours later.

    1998: Mom in the hospital with pneumonia. No real benefit to me being there that time other than the fact that her 02 sats stayed >90 when I slept there and <85 within 3 minutes of me walking out of the room.

    2000: My dad had open heart surgery and was so constipated he couldn't stand it. No prune juice anywhere in the hospital, per the nurse. I went to go buy him some. On the way back in, stopped at the refreshment station for some jello to go with it. No less than 36 little juice containers of prune in the fridge, all cold.

    2002: Had my gallbladder out. Had those nifty sequential compression cuffs to prevent blood clots. Pushed the button to go to the bathroom. Told the lady who answered I needed to go to the bathroom. Waited another 10 minutes. Had the cuffs off, went to the bathroom, and was in the process of putting them back on when someone finally came to untie me, then chastised me for going to the bathroom by myself. A total of 45 minutes had passed since I buzzed - they would have needed to change the bed by then.

    So it's not because I think you don't do your job - it's because in my own experience, a family member can do some of the same things a CNA can, and help keep their family member comfortable/safe without pulling the nurse away from someone who is sicker or in more need.
    Last edit by SCSTxRN on Dec 28, '12 : Reason: ETA - I was a teacher for this, only a nurse the last few years.
    friendlyjane and maelstrom143 like this.
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    i'm not even a nurse yet and i'm already thinking of leaving healthcare completely!!! Sick of families that think that their loved one is the ONLY patient in the hospital and i had better jump when they need anything! also sick of management that plays favorites among the her employees! I am 39 and the other techs are all in their 20's...just because they are constantly running here and there the nurses and nurse manager have decided that i am the lazy one.... not taking into consideration that my patients have all been offered a bath and if they wanted one have had, the rooms are clean, trash empty, laundry empty and meal trays picked up, and patients are turned q2 and changed when needed. I believe in gathering everything you need before going into a room not running up and down the hall and in and out of the room 14 times because you forgot something...so yes i have a few minutes more to sit down and chart or ....yikes even go to the bathroom!! Sorry for the vent just very very disgusted with healthcare right now!!
    applewhitern likes this.
  10. 0
    Dealing with family would really be tough at times (many times, they’re harder to deal with than the actual patient), but we don’t have a choice because they come together with our client...just more patience=)


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