My God, these family members!! - page 19

by SoundofMusic

50,522 Views | 235 Comments

They are just killing me. Why is it that so many of them feel so entitled to sit in their aging parents rooms and just boss us nurses to HELL and back, while they sit there, fully able to do much of what we're doing for their... Read More


  1. 1
    Quote from LouisVRN
    I'm sorry, but honestly if the most I can complain about at the end of my day is someone asked me for 20 cups of coffee last night, I'd consider it a good night. I like having family around even if they are a PITA, but seriously? They are there, in their hearts they are trying to do what is right. I work on a busy med/surg unit, yeah sometimes they have to wait, but if I tell them this they are understanding.
    I don't expect family members to get my patients up, feed them, bathe them, etc. That is my job. That is what I am paid for. They are there to be moral support not my help. The only time I have an issue is if their presence is distressing to my patient, at which point I have no problem telling them to shape up or leave. Maybe I've just been been brought up with thinking of the family as an extension of the patient but I have no problem getting drinks and making beds for the family when all my patients are taken care of.

    I find families are more than happy to help out their loved ones and most offer to feed and do the things that they can do to help out. If I am busy and they are hanging out in the room watching Springer, I hand them the tray and let them help. I would not ask family members to walk a fresh heart or do things that could cause harm to the patient. Sometimes as a nurse we must coordinate care and that requires we use whatever resources that we have. If my patient is trying to get oob and our facility cannot provide a sitter, I call the family and have one of them help keep the patient safe. The bottom line is that the patient is taken care.
    carolmaccas66 likes this.
  2. 1
    I only read the first post, but just wanted to extend my sympathy. that seemed like it really needed to come out, and I hope you feel better for getting it off your chest!
    carolmaccas66 likes this.
  3. 1
    Quote from abbaking
    I still dont get this mentality. I am a human and I need some water do quench my thirst. I am a large guy and I sweat alot. I keep my H2O bottle there (lid and all) with my name clearly printed on it. NO manager will tell me when and where I can have my basic human needs. Its not to far distant, that we will not be allowed to use the A/C or heater - I BET MY BOTTOM DOLLAR IT WILL HAPPEN

    It's not a matter of basic human needs, it's a matter of infection control regulations.

    So, when a manager tosses out your drink when it's not located in a break room, it's not a matter of that manager being a PITA, it's a matter of following reguations.

    Carry on.....
    carolmaccas66 likes this.
  4. 1
    i think water is allowed...at least where I have worked as long as it is lidded
    carolmaccas66 likes this.
  5. 9
    Quote from flipper911
    i find families are more than happy to help out their loved ones and most offer to feed and do the things that they can do to help out. if i am busy and they are hanging out in the room watching springer, i hand them the tray and let them help. i would not ask family members to walk a fresh heart or do things that could cause harm to the patient. sometimes as a nurse we must coordinate care and that requires we use whatever resources that we have. if my patient is trying to get oob and our facility cannot provide a sitter, i call the family and have one of them help keep the patient safe. the bottom line is that the patient is taken care.
    i think a lot of it has to do with where you work. no, not the icu vs. med-surg vs. er, but in a small community hospital in the midwest vs. a large teaching hospital on the east coast. some communities just have different cultures than others, and a part of that culture is whether or not they are friendly, polite to strangers, etc.

    when i worked in small community hospitals, rural hospitals, in the midwest or in the northwest, i, too found families more than happy to help out their loved ones, feed and help as much as they could. now i'm working in a large, inner city teaching hospital. rather than hardworking middle class folk, most of my patients and their families are unemployed able-bodied but nonworking folk who have lived on welfare and/or disability most of their lives and expect that the world -- or the hospital at least -- owes them a living. rather than help feed their granny, they lounge around her room complaining about the channel line-up, demanding that i find them the big game (not because granny wants to watch it, but because they do) and expecting constant drink service. rather than being interested and participative in any teaching i can do, they lie back and expect us to "make them better." i'm not saying all of my patients and their families are like this, but the local inner-city culture tends in that direction, just like the culture in a semi-rural midwestern community tends toward hardworking folk who genuinely are grateful.

    you cannot judge other nurses on the thread and their experiences with family members by your own. maybe you get along with family members and enjoy them so much because you're a genuinely kind, compassionate, giving and helpful person -- much more so than the rest of us. and maybe it's because the culture in your community is different than the culture in mine. and maybe -- and i don't mean this is true of any one individual on this thread or on this board -- you've just drank the medicated koolaide and see everything in a happy light.
  6. 1
    I want to know where to find that koolaid. I will take in in grape, please.
    carolmaccas66 likes this.
  7. 1
    I can't stand family members during the day shift, it's one of the main reasons I work mostly nights! Always questioning everything, asking for this...asking for that, no thanks for any of it! How about the family members take care of their mother or father instead of dumping them off at a hospital so they don't have to care for them at home and ruining their blessed summer vacation! Ugh!
    carolmaccas66 likes this.
  8. 1
    Quote from ruby vee
    i think a lot of it has to do with where you work. no, not the icu vs. med-surg vs. er, but in a small community hospital in the midwest vs. a large teaching hospital on the east coast. some communities just have different cultures than others, and a part of that culture is whether or not they are friendly, polite to strangers, etc.

    when i worked in small community hospitals, rural hospitals, in the midwest or in the northwest, i, too found families more than happy to help out their loved ones, feed and help as much as they could. now i'm working in a large, inner city teaching hospital. rather than hardworking middle class folk, most of my patients and their families are unemployed able-bodied but nonworking folk who have lived on welfare and/or disability most of their lives and expect that the world -- or the hospital at least -- owes them a living. rather than help feed their granny, they lounge around her room complaining about the channel line-up, demanding that i find them the big game (not because granny wants to watch it, but because they do) and expecting constant drink service. rather than being interested and participative in any teaching i can do, they lie back and expect us to "make them better." i'm not saying all of my patients and their families are like this, but the local inner-city culture tends in that direction, just like the culture in a semi-rural midwestern community tends toward hardworking folk who genuinely are grateful.

    you cannot judge other nurses on the thread and their experiences with family members by your own. maybe you get along with family members and enjoy them so much because you're a genuinely kind, compassionate, giving and helpful person -- much more so than the rest of us. and maybe it's because the culture in your community is different than the culture in mine. and maybe -- and i don't mean this is true of any one individual on this thread or on this board -- you've just drank the medicated koolaide and see everything in a happy light.
    i absolutely agree with this. where i work on the edge of a large city, family member do not in general stop by to "help out". they stop by to say that they stopped by. the ones that stop by because they genuinely want to be of assist are few and far between but never under appreciated.

    eta while i can understand and try to accommodate both of these groups of family members while they are covering every surface in the room with mcdonalds bags in hands watching the big game and forcing me to squeeze around them to do an assessment, vitals, administer meds whatever. i picture tim gunn from project runway standing there saying "make it work!" and smile.
    carolmaccas66 likes this.
  9. 2
    Quote from LouisVRN
    I absolutely agree with this. Where I work on the edge of a large city, family member do not in general stop by to "help out". They stop by to say that they stopped by. The ones that stop by because they genuinely want to be of assist are few and far between but never under appreciated.

    ETA while I can understand and try to accommodate both of these groups of family members while they are covering every surface in the room with mcdonalds bags in hands watching the big game and forcing me to squeeze around them to do an assessment, vitals, administer meds whatever. I picture Tim Gunn from Project Runway standing there saying "Make it work!" and smile.
    Why is it you have to 'squeeze' around them?
    In Australia, in this situation.... I would ask them to stay out until I had sorted the p't.
    I would approach this by saying something like ' just let me sort out Dad....I 'll get all the admission stuff done at once .....meanwhile pls help yourself to coffee and a comfortable chair over there....I'll call you when I'm done and then you can can in and spend some quality time with Dad with fewer interruptions'
    Wondering if I would be fired if I worked in the US
    carolmaccas66 and canoehead like this.
  10. 4
    Well, i work at the big east coast hospital, and we get a lot of the inner city disability folks. They can either be really great, or at times the WORST in terms of wanting to be supplied w/ constant drinks, ice cream, whatever drug they are demanding for their "mysterious" pain and what have you. Their family members are usually never demanding ...but just sort of in the way. What gets me is that they check themselves into the hospital for whatever reason, and then just complain about the food for the rest of their stay -- or they seem to have some "connection" to food that gets brought in by some mysterious person. I don't know how they do it -- but they do. A lot of times, if you just play and joke w/ these families, they are ok w/ you as the nurse.

    We do get a lot of highly educated and it just seems, high maintenance type city folks as well. Those that ask the constant, CONSTANT questions. At times it's like a game for me to see how many of them I actually CAN answer ...and the longer i work, the more I can. It almost gets humorous to me at times, to hear their question and to see their crazy silly anxiety.

    I know one thing -- I've really learned to hate snobs. Those who come in and DEMAND to talk to the doc, who name drop, mention their "connections" or whatever. I have seen too many human beings, too many behinds, too many people in their birthday suits, etc. to KNOW that we are all human beings and we all put our pants on one let at a time. Snobs to me are just silly at this point.

    One particular breed of family member is the MOTHER of a special needs or disabled child/ young adult, or perhaps older adult who has been through the mill w/ doctors, hospitals, etc. These are some of the most dfificult family members to deal with -- they KNOW and have a lot of hospital expeirence and are super demanding and judgemental of nurses. I get mad, because for one, I also have a special needs child, and two -- I am NOT the reason for their child's disability. I bust my butt for these people, but it's usually never enough. Many are just sad and angry -- and for good reason -- but it's really not fair that they take out their anger on the nurses. I literally had to confront one of these mothers because she was giving me the evil eye all day ....we had a "talk" and it was all about a wet diaper and me not changing her daughter fast enough .... nothing I did was going to make her happy, though -- she was a very sad woman. Still, not my fault. All I can do is pray for these people.
    carolmaccas66, Altra, JacknSweetpea, and 1 other like this.


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