My God, these family members!! - page 22

by SoundofMusic 50,847 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. 0
    RandeeN...you are scary....a "Stepford Nurse"!!!
  2. 4
    Been spending some time going through these posts as I'm having some trouble dealing with demanding family members. Some good tips here...setting boundaries, good delegation. Here's a story that I would love some feedback on:

    I work on a busy med-surg unit that is oncology focused. We have a 1:5 ratio (usually) but on a particular weekend, 2 RNs called in sick, the NM took a vacation day and while we had 3 CNAs on the floor, 2 were doing 1:1 safety watches. This left 4 RNs and 1 CNA to care for 30 pts. Within 30 mins of eachother, we called 3 codes...everyone was scrambling. During this time, a pt's wife came to the nurse's station to say that her husband was on the commode and needed help getting back to bed. It was explained to her that staff was actively involved in SAVING PEOPLE'S LIVES and someone would be available to help her as soon as possible. She then proceeded to go from room to room looking for someone to help her finally arriving in the room where a CODE BLUE was in progress and stepped in between the RN doing chest compressions and the doctor ordering meds and DEMANDED that someone help her husband off the commode.

    Ok nurses.....is this the absolute worst you've ever seen or heard of?
    And how would you/your unit/your hospital have dealt with this?
  3. 4
    Quote from cmccoy6
    Been spending some time going through these posts as I'm having some trouble dealing with demanding family members. Some good tips here...setting boundaries, good delegation. Here's a story that I would love some feedback on:

    I work on a busy med-surg unit that is oncology focused. We have a 1:5 ratio (usually) but on a particular weekend, 2 RNs called in sick, the NM took a vacation day and while we had 3 CNAs on the floor, 2 were doing 1:1 safety watches. This left 4 RNs and 1 CNA to care for 30 pts. Within 30 mins of eachother, we called 3 codes...everyone was scrambling. During this time, a pt's wife came to the nurse's station to say that her husband was on the commode and needed help getting back to bed. It was explained to her that staff was actively involved in SAVING PEOPLE'S LIVES and someone would be available to help her as soon as possible. She then proceeded to go from room to room looking for someone to help her finally arriving in the room where a CODE BLUE was in progress and stepped in between the RN doing chest compressions and the doctor ordering meds and DEMANDED that someone help her husband off the commode.

    Ok nurses.....is this the absolute worst you've ever seen or heard of?
    And how would you/your unit/your hospital have dealt with this?
    I would have called security and had her removed from the unit. No excuse.
  4. 3
    Quote from Jo Dirt
    They don't put up with crap like that where I work. The DON tells them with a quickness that if we can't meet their needs Mom or Pop can be hauled out of there in a heartbeat. This doesn't mean we nurses have the easy road, we're expected to stay hopping, but not on account of some unreasonable family member.
    Lucky you. It would be nice to have the management have your back when you are being walked and insulted by some of these jerks. It sure isn't like that where I work.
    sevensonnets, lindarn, and Altra like this.
  5. 2
    Most Dons pander to family members and patients and do not care one damn about the nursing staff. If a sign says 2 visitors at a time, family members never honor it, and management doesn't back you up when you want to enforce it. Most family members think we are slaves--blame television, doctors, and management for perpetuating the mistreatment of nurses. Our country is also way too liberal--patients and family members can verbally abuse the staff, all in the name of the first amendment. There is no respect for those who have higher education--family members and patients interrupt doctors and nurses when they are speaking to each other. I wish i could clobber them and tell them, "shut up you cry-baby, how dare you interrupt two professionals, go back to school--then you can interrupt us. You are insignificant and all we are doing is babysitting you and your relatives. How dare you interrupt a doctor."
    GQGomer and lindarn like this.
  6. 2
    Quote from moonischasingme1
    I feel you. For the most part, I just smile and fetch whatever it is that someone wants (cups, juice, crackers, blankets), but then sometimes it is so ridiculous. For instance, I bring a family member in a blanket and as I bring it in, they ask for cups. As I retrieve the cups for them, they remember they want a pillow case. It's like DUDE MAKE A LIST OR SOMETHING!! I don't have time to run around all day being a waitress, but that is unfortunately part of the job it seems.

    I actually had an odd experience a few weeks ago. I work on a tele floor, but one week the hospital was full and they needed rooms for hysterectomy patients. So, I had this hysterectomy patient and the gynecologist/surgeon came in to remove the packing. He was an older doctor from Italy. As he was leaving, he said, "Now, I want you to get the tech to do peri care...i don't want YOU TO DO IT, I WANT THE TECH TO DO IT~"
    I said, "I can do it, it's not a big deal."
    "NO, no, no, no. When I came to America from Italy, i was SHOCKED to see nurses carrying trey's, delivering food, and doing the work of a tech. THAT IS NOT YOUR JOB!"
    I told him that I am not above doing anything a tech does. He said I need to be doing other things, like communicating with the doctors and meds, etc. I told him yes, but I don't always have a tech to do some of these things. He was like, "THEN THEY NEED TO HIRE SOME MORE!"

    DUHH~!!!!

    I was just kind of shocked by this since usually it seems a lot of doctors only think of us as the jobs that techs do. It was kind of refreshing, but I was still taken aback by how adamant he was that I DO NOT DO PERI CARE!
    So, did you kiss this doc as he was on his way out? I would have!
    OCNRN63 and lindarn like this.
  7. 5
    Quote from enchantmentdis
    Most Dons pander to family members and patients and do not care one damn about the nursing staff. If a sign says 2 visitors at a time, family members never honor it, and management doesn't back you up when you want to enforce it. Most family members think we are slaves--blame television, doctors, and management for perpetuating the mistreatment of nurses. Our country is also way too liberal--patients and family members can verbally abuse the staff, all in the name of the first amendment. There is no respect for those who have higher education--family members and patients interrupt doctors and nurses when they are speaking to each other. I wish i could clobber them and tell them, "shut up you cry-baby, how dare you interrupt two professionals, go back to school--then you can interrupt us. You are insignificant and all we are doing is babysitting you and your relatives. How dare you interrupt a doctor."
    Yes, but how do you REALLY feel?

  8. 2
    Personally, I don't want family members doing things like taking their loved ones to the bathroom or giving them their baths…that is my job. I get paid to do it and it provides me an opportunity to do assess skin , ADL skills, etc. If family members are always flushing the poop, how can I tell that it is black and tarry? I also don't want family members running around our kitchen or digging around in the ice machine? They aren't allowed in the kitchen at all (and we don't have a pantry type thing for patient snacks) and I always wonder of people using the ice machine have washed their hands or are dipping the drink mug right in the machine (we don't have an automatic one…have to scoop the ice out).

    I do, however, expect families to step out when they are asked. I also expect them to be independent enough to be there alone…I am not a fan of taking my patient's visitors to the bathroom and helping them with peri-care, getting dressed, etc. I expect them to understand when we are with a more critical patient and to wait when they have to. I hope they know enough not to walk into another patient's room and to understand that we have to take time to chart, review labs, and call the doctors. I get annoyed when they knock on the door of the staff restroom and yell through the door that mom wants her channel changed on the TV. I also hope that they have enough faith in us and the doctors to trust us to do what is best. I really wish that all unreliable sources of medical information could somehow be banned and that old wives tales would somehow disappear.
    lindarn and RNSC like this.
  9. 1
    Would of been told it is all in the day on the job, and to just suck it up! The last place work for me usually N-aids were lat alot or one after another reason why they were late, or didn't come in. There uswually was 2 full time LPN's, and an RN, as charge nurse, + a temp or 2 sometimes to help, and the supervisor. Of course we always worked short of staff. So, The 2 LPN's Had to split the unit of about 40 or so Pts. Those nurses also passed all meds,IV's, Tfeedings, all treatments, and drsg chngs, plus constantly getting interrupted to have to go to the N-station for one phone call after another all day. The nurses also did the BP's, and bl glucose tests, and insulin, and all other injections. etc..Made for alot of locking, and unlocking the med, and tx carts. The last place I worked the nurse supervisor also expected the nurse's to do bedside cares if the n-aids were busy, or just plain not there! If you couldn't get it all done by end of shift you were told you needed to start making better use of your time! Absolutely insane!:spin::smackingfEven working through your lunch and brakes you still couldn't get it all done. It was very stressfull, and exhausting. I finally quit the place. It was quit or lose your mind, I just quit!!! It just depends on the staffing, and how well they also work tog! I had sugested they get a unit clerk to ans the phones, and some of the paper work, but that went over like a lead you know what.
    lindarn likes this.
  10. 2
    Quote from cmccoy6
    Been spending some time going through these posts as I'm having some trouble dealing with demanding family members. Some good tips here...setting boundaries, good delegation. Here's a story that I would love some feedback on:

    I work on a busy med-surg unit that is oncology focused. We have a 1:5 ratio (usually) but on a particular weekend, 2 RNs called in sick, the NM took a vacation day and while we had 3 CNAs on the floor, 2 were doing 1:1 safety watches. This left 4 RNs and 1 CNA to care for 30 pts. Within 30 mins of eachother, we called 3 codes...everyone was scrambling. During this time, a pt's wife came to the nurse's station to say that her husband was on the commode and needed help getting back to bed. It was explained to her that staff was actively involved in SAVING PEOPLE'S LIVES and someone would be available to help her as soon as possible. She then proceeded to go from room to room looking for someone to help her finally arriving in the room where a CODE BLUE was in progress and stepped in between the RN doing chest compressions and the doctor ordering meds and DEMANDED that someone help her husband off the commode.

    Ok nurses.....is this the absolute worst you've ever seen or heard of?
    And how would you/your unit/your hospital have dealt with this?
    I maybe would have had someone call the house coordinator nurse and tell her to come get the man off the toilet or to have a CNA from another unit come up to get him off the toilet because your unit is in a mess from short staffing and several emergency situations. Then I would have someone call security to escort the family member out of the room. It's ridiculous the mess that units are left in. It makes me so mad! The hospital CEO should come get him off the toilet and handle the wife's complaint. Now there's an idea.
    sevensonnets and lindarn like this.


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