I am struggling with patient families lately. - page 4

by jennilynn 17,254 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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    was the man her husband perhaps boyfriend etc. there are many reasons that you are unaware of why they are together like that. I don't feel that correcting them as you say was the appropriate thing to do right yet. Unless they were teenagers messing around and being stupid or some biker trying to make it with his chic sorta thing. I am not saying your wrong but going about your business or saying hey you two whats up i'll just be a few etc. woukld have made your life much more pleasant and them happy.Unless of course it got out of hand i would have called the supervisor to handle it. Number one your to busy to have to mess with it anyway . By correcting them that opened the door to defensiveness and the rest of your night will be dreadful. Try never to create a negative atmosphere for instance correcting a pts. behavior like what happened. you can correct that buy using the power of positive energy, if u can do that you will never have pt. relation problems. Like I said previously walk in say something like okay you two I need to check something give her a med and i'm out of here if u need anything just let me know thanks have a goodnight whatever. Every body walks away happy. I would almost bet next time you walk in he will be in the chair and you are their best friend. You set the stage and minded your own business, though of course you keep an eye if things got out of hand. but then call the supervisor thst keeps you out of harms way. Good luck to you and may the "force be with you"! Always keep a positive atmosphere and you will always have control.
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    u know what those family members are displaying symptoms of guilt or showing nana that who is doing for her so when passes she will b remembered families r a trip. but slow down try looking at their behavior from a psychological aspect its very interesting it will also give you insight to why instead of making you crazy. Like they say reason for everything been ther done to many times and then some. check it out though and observe family behavior because it can get down right outrageous its not norma they are up to something or want something and asking for thi and that and scheduling nana meds etc is their way of showing u how much they care for nana its displaying their guilt cause they havent seen nana in years and could care less and they r after something. people are the most interesting creatures on Earth. Good Luck!
    Woodenpug, Nurserton, and lindarn like this.
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    It depends entirely on the family. Often the family is difficult and critical. However, many times the family are actually very helpful to me, and especially to my PCA's- they do a lot of the little things that keep the patient comfortable or informed, or will talk the pt into doing things so I don't have to (i.e. incentive spirometer, c&db, ambulation) once i've taught them how. Sometimes if you give a difficult person one of these little jobs, they will focus on that instead of you for a little while
    lindarn and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    I have to agree with the OP as a former Neuro nurse in particular. Our neuro patients did NOT benefit from the increased stimuli of a room full of people, and I found that more often than not the patient got lost in the commotion of the reunion as opposed to being the center of it. I love when families constantly want to know why their loved one's pain or sleep meds aren't working, why they still have a headache, yet there's five family members in there with the brightest fluorescent lights possible ALL on. I think families can be helpful, but TO AN EXTENT. I think there does come a point where too much family takes AWAY from the patient and does not enhance care. I also think patients are very rarely going to flat out tell their family they want them to leave (although some do), and so they suffer even more with families talking and watching TV and making phone calls and all that. On more than one occasion I've had a patient say, "It was nice to see them for a little bit, but boy am I glad they're gone." Our patients DO need to rest to heal, they get worn out enough with us poking them and checking blood sugars and blood pressures every few hours.
    Everything should be in proportion and there DOES come a point where PFCC must split because what's in the family's best interest may NOT always be the same as what is in the patient's best interest.
    mh356, opossum, and lindarn like this.
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    Quote from Daisy_08
    "you can find that down the hall and to the right"
    Omgggg preach it! I'm not a waitress! Press your call light button and wait your turn!
    canoehead, Daisy_08, and lindarn like this.
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    Dear DoeRN,
    I do not mean to harp on the matter or rekindle my ptsd-like memories, but no, they were not having sex. Nevertheless, a visitor is not supposed to be laying in patient's bed no matter what the relationship. It was visiting-hour, and not 'conjugal visitation hour'.
    Luckily, it did not affect my view of nursing but that of nursing-administration. Whoever came up with the aphorism: 'the customer is always right' must've need the job very badly, 'cause I did not. (I quit).
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    I hear all you guys!

    I work in a very busy ED in NZ and we have no visiting hrs for obvious reasons. We only encourage 2 visitors and quickly ask more visitors to leave or swap out, unless ot is dying etc. We do allow visitors into our resus roms but ask then to stay on 1 side of pts bed so we can do what we need to do. Only 2 chairs per room usually limits the visitors!

    If they are interfering with care we ask them to leave and our wards do have restricted visiting hrs still, apparently they were open until a few yrs and ago and then they have gone back to rstricted, 11am-1130 pm and 4-8 pm.

    NO worries about pt satisfaction surveys here but most people over here are grateful and very patient.
    opossum and lindarn like this.
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    I generally get along with family members, but that isn't to say I never feel irritated by them. I put up with them to a point. I will not tolerate rudeness, be it to myself, my coworkers, and in some cases, to the patients. I gladly do what I need to do and don't have a problem asking them to step out for a short time while I perform certain types of care or procedures. In most cases, as long as they are not actually interfering with my care for the patient or behaving inappropriately, I can put up with their presence and try to work with them. I am not a saint -- I do become irritated but try my best not to let it show.

    However, there are those who ARE in the way. Who refuse to leave, who interrupt you when you are with other patients or demand things of you that they could easily do themselves (if they are there, and know that mom can drink water, they are more than capable of getting mom her water without asking me to leave my task to do it for them). The ones who speak FOR the patient or OVER the patient, and the ones who feel they know their job better than you do, that are the difficult ones to deal with. Best advice for these types is to set boundaries and just get through it.
    Last edit by SaoirseRN on Dec 29, '12 : Reason: spelling error
    lindarn, Savvy20RN, and Nurserton like this.
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    oops, wrong thread
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    Quote from jennilynn
    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 needs her rest and she won't rest with a room full of visitors, please leave and go home. I am very capable of doing my job without you laying there with one eye opened making sure I do what you think I should. These are all things I wish I could say, but damn those customer satisfaction surveys.
    Ah, but you can. You can get away with saying just about anything if you just say it right. Of course every situation is different, but you could say something like "I understand how concerned about Nana you must be. I would feel the same way in your shoes. But I've been doing this for a while, and I promise you I will take good care of Nana. She will be just fine! Why don't you go home and get a good night's sleep and come back in the morning?" Be completely sincere when you say this, and if they seem reluctant, ask them about their concerns. Sometimes just getting their concerns out in the open and having them addressed will go a long way to helping a family member trust you.

    Some people feel like they need permission to leave their loved one overnight. Some people can sense from your nonverbal communication that you'd rather they weren't there, and it feeds into their mistrust.

    And yes, it's true that some people are just jerks and won't respond to any of your most sincere efforts. But it is worth a try. You might be surprised!
    Hoozdo likes this.


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