My God, these family members!! - page 5

by SoundofMusic | 51,870 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. 6
    Quote from diane-rn student
    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!


    wait! it can get much worse! i know of an hospital where they provide .*.*.*:wshgrt:.*.*.*.(clue: it's pink)
    (the funniest:angryfire part is how i've learned about it)
    ~the patient asks her nurse: "when will i be served breakfast?"
    ... and i am thinking for myself "hellooo..hospital! not hostel!". the nurse turns around and with a big smile and a sweet voice says: "but my dear, you have to call room service to order first ". thinking that she is being sarcastic, i start laughing uncontrollably ....until i notice that the nurse is indeed handing the patient a menu, while both
    are :angryfire glaring at me.

    i almost fell off my chair!
    the patient is on the phone passing her order for poached eggs, but when she hangs up she looks like someone has just farted under her nose.
    i can't help myself but ask why she seem so....heu...upset (???)
    god! i should have kept it shut! for the following 2 hours she went on and on like a broken record, repeating again and again : "can you believe this!? they don't have poached eggs!! ! that is incredible!!! it is just unbelievable!! no poached eggs!!!!"


    as it turns out, that hospital has hired a well renown hilton (or some other posh hotel) ceo to be the head of the hostelpital!!
    i have been having anxiety attacks ever since....
    TickyRN, Zookeeper3, sparketteinok, and 3 others like this.
  2. 3
    Alot of hospitals in my area are turning to "room service" and one has housekeeping leaving a little card saying "this room was cleaned by ________, if you are dissatisfied please call ext ______"!
    sevensonnets, lpnflorida, and lindarn like this.
  3. 14
    I absolutely LOVE the idea of hiring "hospitality" staff members. This is exactly what we need. Someone to FETCH the gingerale, the crackers, the water pitchers, and, of course, the coffee -- all day long so NURSES CAN DO THEIR FRICKING WORK. The techs need it, too. They are far too busy doing vitals, turns, accuchecks, baths, etc. They don't have the time either! Family members could go straight to these people with all of their requests and be told that hospitality staff will not be available after 8 p.m.

    I spent probably a total of 30 mins to one hour of my shift the other day either taking the coffee request, making the coffee, serving the coffee, running around trying to find supplies, spoons, sugars, etc.; then making more coffee because the first pot was consumed so quickly. Then there was the time spent putting in the diet order so the coffee could be ON THE TRAYS, following up with dietary, making calls, etc, etc. And I will honestly tell you -- I missed a med order -- didn't do it the right way, because, well, you know -- I was so busy making the GD coffee all day long!! And NO, you cannot tell these people NO. THIS is what they want us to do -- deliver on this so customer satisfaction ratings will remain at acceptable levels.

    And you can NEVER ask a tech to do any of this. We're not to overburden them. They don't make enough money and are already so physically overworked it's not even funny. We are the nurses. We make the "big bucks," so it's our job.

    Meanwhile, our managers will float around filling those coffee requests, oh, maybe once a month to "demonstrate" to us that good old customer service with a smile -- but then will be utterly ABSENT when you're busy with a full load and have a "coffee" requester all day long.

    And I could really use a quiet spot to do my charting for at least 10 minutes before I get interruped again for another package of crackers. I'm sorry. I'm treated and held responsible for others lives, expected to BE a professional -- YET, I'm treated like I don't even have a quiet SEAT at my workplace.

    I just hope some admin type somewhere reads this post, reads allnurses.com. Do they even know what we're going through?

    We have already also instituted the "room service" cards also on the beds. I hear "room service" is also coming. And, to add, our management has just finalized plans to add an extra three pages fo paperwork at discharge so we can be more "jhaco" compliant.

    I'm ready to explore jobs at government run hospitals -- hoping to see if it's any different.
    Hygiene Queen, sevensonnets, TickyRN, and 11 others like this.
  4. 4
    [quote=hekate;3573547]
    wait! it can get much worse! i know of an hospital where they provide .*.*.*:wshgrt:.*.*.*.(clue: it's pink)
    (the funniest:angryfire part is how i've learned about it)
    ~the patient asks her nurse: "when will i be served breakfast?"
    ... and i am thinking for myself "hellooo..hospital! not hostel!". the nurse turns around and with a big smile and a sweet voice says: "but my dear, you have to call room service to order first ". thinking that she is being sarcastic, i start laughing uncontrollably ....until i notice that the nurse is indeed handing the patient a menu, while both are :angryfire glaring at me.

    i almost fell off my chair!
    the patient is on the phone passing her order for poached eggs, but when she hangs up she looks like someone has just farted under her nose.
    i can't help myself but ask why she seem so....heu...upset (???)
    god! i should have kept it shut! for the following 2 hours she went on and on like a broken record, repeating again and again : "can you believe this!? they don't have poached eggs!! ! that is incredible!!! it is just unbelievable!! no poached eggs!!!!"


    as it turns out, that hospital has hired a well renown hilton (or some other posh hotel) ceo to be the head of the hostelpital!!
    i have been having anxiety attacks ever since....
    [/quote
    did they tell her why? when i worked food service (many) many years ago......you would need a docs order for them, they werent considered safe.....
    LEN-RN, MAISY, RN-ER, lpnflorida, and 1 other like this.
  5. 1
    Amazingly JCAHO hospitals don't all have the same requirements. All those extra questions are just what administration feels needs to be done. I've worked 7 hospitals and it's amazing what is passed off as JCAHO's fault when a hospital up the street is accredited too and has (for example) medications, syringes and needles in every patient room. I'm not kidding, and they were surveyed, and passed, while I worked there. Makes you wonder what it would take to flunk the survey.
    lpnflorida likes this.
  6. 23
    Quote from SchoolNurseBSN
    Love your way of thinking!

    Actually, this is one (of many) reasons I left hospital nursing. It takes a lot of sweat and high level of critical thinking skills to even make it through nursing school. If I wanted to be a waitress .......I would have saved lots of time, money, and heartache and just gotten a job at Chili's!:angryfire

    New admits are oriented to how to use their call button.......but very little on when to use it. I understand the need for good customer service. However, I think things have gone a bit too far when we are geeting cussed out over a ginger ale.

    Sometimes, I just want to scream "Nurses are humans too! They need to eat, drink fluids, use the restroom, take breaks and they even have feelings too!!!"
    It KILLS me when a family member comes to the desk asking for the nurse of their loved one and when told that nurse is at lunch they get angry and pitch a fit. i couldnt help myself one day and said "did you eat lunch today? it's 2pm and she is just now eating hers so NO i wont call her to come back to the floor. she'll be back in 30 minutes" (it was NOT an emergency..was something stoopid i cant remember now)
  7. 1
    Will hospitality staff make sure of a patient's dietary restrictions or NPO status if they are there to fetch coffee/drinks/snacks? Will they document what was given to the patient, and if the patient consumed said coffee/drinks/snacks?

    We have to be careful not to "deligate" duties that have to be documented.
    lpnflorida likes this.
  8. 3
    A few thoughts::

    * When I worked night shift on a busy Ortho-Neuro-med/surg unit, more often than not, I was thankful to have a family member spend the night. Most of my patients were over 70 years of age and prone to sun-downers/dementia/confusion.

    Now, generally speaking as a nurse:

    * I have no problems assisting family members. However, I will not compromise "patient care" in order to serve "family care". Family members are more than welcome to raid the vending machines and I'm more than happy to point directions.

    * One of the frequent complains I get from irate patients/family members in the Emergency Department is "when am I/pt. getting a room?!" If they're in the hallway, I politely explain that I'll have a room for them in the ED as soon I can. If they're waiting for a bed upstairs, I patiently explain that things are really out of my hands since I'm not in charge of writing orders and assigning beds.

    I've had family complain about their relative lying in a stretcher in the hallway - believe me, I understand. Heck, I wouldn't want to lie in a stretcher in the hallway! However, I'm also not averse to pointing out to said family members to look around - "I'm sorry but we're full. As you can see, there are other patients in the hall way too. I'm sorry I don't have a room for the pt. yet but we do not operate under a first come-first served basis. The second a room opens up, I'll move the pt. in. Until then, I'm sorry but my hands are tied."

    By the By: I've also noticed that by and large, these kind of complaints generally grow muted and silent when they see EMS wheeling in a patient with CPR in progress....

    * I have often informed my patients of where I might be tied up for the next few minutes before I attend to their needs. E.g.: "Hey Mr. Smith. I understand your pain level is increasing and you need some more pain medication. However another patient urgently requires my attention right away. I promise to return ASAP and if I can't I'll get a colleague to talk to the Doctor about more pain medication".

    * I make it a firm point of mine to impress upon the family members that they are NOT to give anything to the patient without my consent - be it food, water or medicine. If they break this rule, it goes in the chart. If they repeatedly break this rule, either the doc has a "chat" with them or security 'escorts' family out.

    * I'm generally not in favor of family members doing ADLs on my patients. Lay folks don't usually know to see/recognise signs/symptoms of potential complications (e.g.: Syncope. Not every patient complains of "diziness" before passing out etc.) But hey, if family wants to get the pt. an ice pack or a glass of juice etc., feel free by all means!

    * There have been numerous ocassions when I've had some family vaccate a patient's room. Our ER rooms are only so big - cramming 6 family members in there only serves to impede my job. One (at the most 2) family members only, please. There's more comfortable seating in the waiting area and you guys are welcome to rotate.

    UNLESS, we're talking about a code (or a recent pronouncement) - then it's a case by case basis...

    cheers,
    NurseAdida, Elvish, and lpnflorida like this.
  9. 5
    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.
  10. 9
    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!


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