My God, these family members!! - page 2

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... Read More

  1. Visit  Ruthiegal profile page
    6
    Was the daughter yelling at you disabled? Let them run and fetch for themselves. If what Mom needs is within her ability to do, not a safety issue etc, tell her she is perfectly welcome to do it, or they can wait until you deal with your patient down the hall who is having a crisis. Don't let them start and it may be better, and she thinks you are a "witch" so be it. Who cares, you have your job to do and if Mom is breathing and is not in a crisis, just say, I have to take care of some other problems first I will be back, end of conversation, and walk out to your other patients. Sometimes family members are more demanding than the patient. Hang in there....
    jellybean_1, ShifraPuah, dhinson45, and 3 others like this.
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  3. Visit  imenid37 profile page
    25
    I don't mind getting someone OOB. But..making multiple trips for coffee, snacks, fluffing pillows, mailing letters, for patients and family mebers is ridiculous. The family members need to do some of these simple tasks themselves. However, think of the message institutions have sent patients. It's a hotel. The ob unit certainly looks like one. My daughter works on a tele unit with muted colours and flat screen tv's. So what do you expect at a hotel?... to be waited on for your every whim. Our PA Dutch culture in my area supports getting your "money's worth." Patients and families know how much a hospital stay costs and so they often ask for everything. Of course, many of their bills are being footed by the taxpayers. The hospital is a place for treatment and healing. It should be clean, pleasant, and efficient. It isn't a hotel where you can dis your caregivers if the coffee was cold. However, institutions decided to make the hospitals "hotel-like" and now we all have to suffer.
    JRP1120, RN, NurseAdida, sevensonnets, and 22 others like this.
  4. Visit  RN1982 profile page
    36
    I have at times told family members that "That's not what I'm here for." for some of the ridiculous things that they ask. I had a family member ask for some soda, I said "For you or the patient"...They replied "for me"...I said "There's a vending machine in the waiting room", then went about my business. I'm not a maid or a waitress and I certainly am not going to start acting like one. That's not what I went to school for.

    Family member has a problem and they fly into a rage, fine, I will call security. Because I'm not going to stand there and take some family member's temper tantrum and neither are my co-workers.
    JRP1120, RN, isthatso?, NurseAdida, and 33 others like this.
  5. Visit  Curious_53 profile page
    3
    Mailing letters? Is that even allowed? At the hospital I worked at (as a receptionist before nursing school) the only mailbox was outside... I wouldn't think a nurse would be allowed to mail letters for a patient?
    Tessaprn, lindarn, and RN1982 like this.
  6. Visit  WoofyMutt80 profile page
    5
    I so wish I could of told the families of my HHA clients, who didnt work the days I was there, and they bossed and ****** me off, "Instead of complaining and ordering me around on your day off, why dont you take care of your mom/dad/aunt/etc?" Sometimes it was because they took care of them for years and got burnt out, but then they would complain while the agency was there! Other families just wanted to take my agency "for a ride"
    Crispy Critter, dhinson45, lindarn, and 2 others like this.
  7. Visit  Nurse_Diane profile page
    15
    I think the "genius" hospital admins who think it's cool to implement terminology such as "customer service" into the healthcare setting should have to play waiter/waitress on the units- which would allow us ALL time to do the job we are supposed to- NURSING.

    Sooo sick of "fetching"...

    -Diane
  8. Visit  GotoGirlRN profile page
    25
    Totally understand where you are coming from!!! I worked 12 hour night shift once, and would have a assignment of 10-12 patients on my own, with maybe 1 tech for the whole floor, sometimes none! See I prioritize, hmmm, turning a patient with impaired skin integrity.... or fetching coffee for the family members every time the light comes on. Getting my patients ready for surgery (bowel preps, inserting large bore Iv's, etc) or heating up a can of soup for a visitor!!!!!!!!! Sometimes I want to say "HELLO- theres a vending machine on the first floor, feel free to use it!! Then, the moment you get to sit down and chart, you feel eyes, glaring at you, look up and it is that family member asking for a blanket, slippers, (something for themselves) and if you don't jump up to get it, what a horrible nurse you are! I have had visitors stalk me down the hallways and then you hear them say "I don't know what is going on, there are 3 nurses sitting at that desk!! What they don't realize is we could be charting, waiting for a Dr. to call us back, looking up action value labwork, but we are just "sitting at the desk" IF THEY ONLY KNEW!!!!!!!!!!!!! :angryfire

    ***Our managers didn't do anything about it, we were to provide customer service to the family members, because our patients weren't patients they were our "customers" FREAKIN glorified waitress is what I felt like!
    WeepingAngel, JRP1120, RN, isthatso?, and 22 others like this.
  9. Visit  mama_d profile page
    19
    Quote from psalm
    ...what about setting limits? there are times when i have to tell a family member that i will get to a nonessential when i have the time. this is different from a needed prn med or treatment.

    we do not need to fetch all night long. set limits and then stick to them. i think we all have to have a night where we go thru it...trying to keep a family happy. but it isn't good nursing care, when the fam thinks they have to demand everything. i remind them that i have other patients and will be happy to come by after my assessments, etc are done, that i have the priorities for their mother's care on my schedule.
    i've gotten reprimanded for reminding patients/families that i have others to care for. it doesn't go along w/management's pov that each patient should be treated as if they are our only patient...god forbid they know that i have more on my plate than just their needs, and that i have to prioritize.

    my favorite was when my nm told me that i "could have handled it differently" when i had a patient complain b/c their pain meds were fifteen minutes late. my response to the patient: "i'm so sorry that it was delayed, we were coding a patient and all of the nurses were tied up in that room." nm's response: "that tells the patient that their pain was not the most important thing." well, pardon me, but it wasn't, and anyone with half a ml of common sense would understand that.

    we've got one now we can't get rid of. family thinks that there is something wrong, despite weeks of being in the hospital and all tests now being just peachy. doc won't discharge b/c family is threatening to go to the news station and complain about care if she is. then the family complains b/c we're drawing labs and the patient is a hard stick..."the doctor says there's nothing wrong, so why are you doing that?" arrrgh!!!!! unfortunately i'm one of the only ones who has been able to get her blood the last few times i've worked.

    i had one whose wife was so bad one time that i told the daughter "your mother has got to understand that her attitude and actions will eventually impact your father's care. i've been around for a while, i don't care if she's screaming at me, i'll still go in there and take care of your dad. but there are nurses who don't have as strong of a personality as i do, and who will be intimidated, and who will be unwilling to go into his room unless it is absolutely necessary." daughter apologized and went in and talked to mom, who toned it down a little bit. i was sure that i was going to get written up over that one, but the daughter seemed to realize how bad her mom was acting and didn't say anything to anyone, thank goodness.
  10. Visit  Penguin67 profile page
    31
    As a nurse, I have been on the "other side" when I spent one week in the hospital with my mom following heart surgery. I can say that I did way more than any family member should have been expected to do, and I did it because no one else was there to do it. She was having frequent, loose stools as a result of some of the meds (that I had to ask to get d/c-ed). Because she was post-CABG, it took her aome time to get to the edge of her chair, stand up, and walk to the BSC that I put as close as possible to her. She wasn't even able to wipe herself, as she was not to stretch her arm behind her, so I got to do that as well. If I had used the call light to ask for help with any of this, I know she would have soiled herself as we waited for the nurse or NA to arrive. No, I didn't mind, and we even joked about it just to get through it.

    On the other hand, I didn't like that I was *expected* to pretty much do her ADLs with her 24/7, because I was in the room with her for 24/7. Since I was the one doing the transfers from bed/BSC, chair/BSC and bed/chair, I was beat. Also, the heart monitor alarm kept me awake more than I wanted (hers, as well as the many at the station that was right outside of her room), so I was somewheat sleep deprived, and frankly wanted to rest a bit sometimes. While I wouldn't have minded giving her a bed bath or changing her linens, I did not feel like I had to be super nurse/daughter and do everything. When they handed me the bed bath items, I just asked when they were planning to do the bedbath. I had to be direct. (I honestly don't think that they really knew how much I really was doing when I didn't call anyone to help.)

    I came to be with her from 400 miles away, and did not know my way from her house to the hospital, so I wasn't able to leave for about a week. Also, it was snowing and freezing outside, so just leaving for a walk wasn't an option. I was told that they only had one rollaway bed, and that someone else was using it. I was there for a week, and really wonder if this highly respected and huge hospital in Pittsburgh really could only find one rollaway bed. So, I got to sleep in a recliner that didn't recline much at all, because cardiac patients can't recline in the recovery phase. So, I was sleep deprived, not sleeping well with nosie, and sleeping in a very uncomfortable position as a result of the chair that I was given to sleep in.

    To top this off, she began retaining water and I/O monitoring became very important. So, I started keeping track of it myself, as I knew everything that she put into her mouth. Dayshift asked for this information, but there were 2-3 nights where no vital signs were taken at 4am and no I/O were measured at the end of the shift. When the MD was perplexed about the I/O on the chart, I pulled out my list and told him that no on had asked for it on PM shift lately. My numbers were not anywhere near what was charted, and mom could have been treated earlier with Lasix and the resulting chest tube, had I/O been charted correctly.

    Another thing that I did was call the nurse in the middle of the night for the wheezing that mom was doing. When no one responded, I had to get up and go to the desk to ask them to get respiratory there STAT as whe was audibly wheezing and having trouble breathing. Again, regular shift rounds could have caught this, as you could have cracked the door and heard her wheezes.

    So, when I see a family member not directly aprticipating in the care of their loved one, I remember my mom's situation. It is my job to do for the patient, not the fmaily's. It is their choice if they want to help or not, unless the MD specifically writes an order for family to be doing certain interventions. Also, I have to remember that the family is often doing more than I'll ever know, and often they are exhausted and stressed, so I need to consider that.

    I think that we need to involve the family as much as they want to be involved, at a level that is consistent with the request of the patient, as some patients do not want a family member giving them a bath or doing personal care.

    Sorry for the long post, but I did learn alot about what family members go through by being there in those shoes myself. Big lesson learned for me that will always impact my future nursing care.
    AngelfireRN, Crux1024, DalmatiaRN, and 28 others like this.
  11. Visit  Nurse_Diane profile page
    7
    Quote from GotoGirlRN
    we were to provide customer service to the family members, because our patients weren't patients they were our "customers" FREAKIN glorified waitress is what I felt like!
    Ridiculous...customer service should be something you get at a restaurant or a hotel, NOT a hospital. :angryfire
    doesn't it just drive you nuts?? We can thank our "wonderful" hospital admins for it!
    sevensonnets, ShifraPuah, nrsang97, and 4 others like this.
  12. Visit  fuzzywuzzy profile page
    22
    Quote from Penguin67
    As a nurse, I have been on the "other side" when I spent one week in the hospital with my mom following heart surgery. I can say that I did way more than any family member should have been expected to do, and I did it because no one else was there to do it. She was having frequent, loose stools as a result of some of the meds (that I had to ask to get d/c-ed). Because she was post-CABG, it took her aome time to get to the edge of her chair, stand up, and walk to the BSC that I put as close as possible to her. She wasn't even able to wipe herself, as she was not to stretch her arm behind her, so I got to do that as well. If I had used the call light to ask for help with any of this, I know she would have soiled herself as we waited for the nurse or NA to arrive. No, I didn't mind, and we even joked about it just to get through it.

    On the other hand, I didn't like that I was *expected* to pretty much do her ADLs with her 24/7, because I was in the room with her for 24/7. Since I was the one doing the transfers from bed/BSC, chair/BSC and bed/chair, I was beat. Also, the heart monitor alarm kept me awake more than I wanted (hers, as well as the many at the station that was right outside of her room), so I was somewheat sleep deprived, and frankly wanted to rest a bit sometimes. While I wouldn't have minded giving her a bed bath or changing her linens, I did not feel like I had to be super nurse/daughter and do everything. When they handed me the bed bath items, I just asked when they were planning to do the bedbath. I had to be direct. (I honestly don't think that they really knew how much I really was doing when I didn't call anyone to help.)

    I came to be with her from 400 miles away, and did not know my way from her house to the hospital, so I wasn't able to leave for about a week. Also, it was snowing and freezing outside, so just leaving for a walk wasn't an option. I was told that they only had one rollaway bed, and that someone else was using it. I was there for a week, and really wonder if this highly respected and huge hospital in Pittsburgh really could only find one rollaway bed. So, I got to sleep in a recliner that didn't recline much at all, because cardiac patients can't recline in the recovery phase. So, I was sleep deprived, not sleeping well with nosie, and sleeping in a very uncomfortable position as a result of the chair that I was given to sleep in.

    To top this off, she began retaining water and I/O monitoring became very important. So, I started keeping track of it myself, as I knew everything that she put into her mouth. Dayshift asked for this information, but there were 2-3 nights where no vital signs were taken at 4am and no I/O were measured at the end of the shift. When the MD was perplexed about the I/O on the chart, I pulled out my list and told him that no on had asked for it on PM shift lately. My numbers were not anywhere near what was charted, and mom could have been treated earlier with Lasix and the resulting chest tube, had I/O been charted correctly.

    Another thing that I did was call the nurse in the middle of the night for the wheezing that mom was doing. When no one responded, I had to get up and go to the desk to ask them to get respiratory there STAT as whe was audibly wheezing and having trouble breathing. Again, regular shift rounds could have caught this, as you could have cracked the door and heard her wheezes.

    So, when I see a family member not directly aprticipating in the care of their loved one, I remember my mom's situation. It is my job to do for the patient, not the fmaily's. It is their choice if they want to help or not, unless the MD specifically writes an order for family to be doing certain interventions. Also, I have to remember that the family is often doing more than I'll ever know, and often they are exhausted and stressed, so I need to consider that.

    I think that we need to involve the family as much as they want to be involved, at a level that is consistent with the request of the patient, as some patients do not want a family member giving them a bath or doing personal care.

    Sorry for the long post, but I did learn alot about what family members go through by being there in those shoes myself. Big lesson learned for me that will always impact my future nursing care.
    I don't think anyone is complaining about family members who don't provide nursing care. Most of the gripes are about families with unrealistic expectations who are on the bell for the nurse to wait on THEM too.
  13. Visit  flightnurse2b profile page
    19
    we all just got lectured about "customer service" because the patient satisfaction scores are down a bit. sometimes i wonder if my NM remembers what it was like to be a staff nurse, have 7 to 8 patients on tele with drips going, and have family members bombarding you the second your rear end hits the chair to finally do your chart checks, because you're sitting there doing "nothing".

    every time my family members are in the hospital, if i'm there, i help out however i can. if i'm sitting there watching TV, and my nana has to go potty, i know good and well i can help her walk to the bathroom and not put the call light on. my arms and legs are not broken.

    what really drives me batty is when you have a family having a big old party with buckets of food and making all kinds of noise and taking chairs from other rooms to fill up the half of the private room they are in, and out of 10 of them, not one can feed grandma? not one person can pull up her blanket? and when you answer the call bell, the bed is so crowded around with people, you can't get to the pt, and then they snort at you like you're in THEIR way when you try to manuever yourself around to get to the bedside.
  14. Visit  lpnflorida profile page
    4
    I love when family members assist with their loved in meeting some of their needs. I do not expect them to do everything, but then again neither do I expect the loved to stay 24 /7 either, unless it is a pediatric patient there really is no need for it. First off family sleep better away from the hospital as most hospitals are not set up for 24 hour guests. I also try and tell family, now is the time for you to get your rest as your loved one is being taken care, once they are home is when they will need you 24/7 not now. Most families are relieved to hear this and do take the time to be away and do the things they need to do such as have a fun day, or rest taking a day off from the long hours they keep in the hospital.
    philanurse74, nrsang97, Hekate, and 1 other like this.


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