My God, these family members!! - page 7

by SoundofMusic

50,347 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


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    Could not make it past page 2 of posts on this topic, as I started getting chest tightness and anxiety from flashbacks. God bless you women and men who are in the trenches on the front lines.

    Recently took an early retirement from bedside nursing, am financially poorer, but so much more mentally and physically better off. Am not sorry I left.

    If hospitals want to keep bedside nurses, some things have to change. Is anyone listening? In spite of input from myself and my colleagues into hospital "surveys" and other avenues as to what nurses needed to improve working conditions, no one listened.
    After that, I voted with my feet. Bye, bye.
    sevensonnets, canoehead, Beverage, and 5 others like this.
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    Whenever I go into the patients rooms my goal is to lay down the plan of care (from what I know). Try not to give too much information but give a general idea. I bullet out what I am going to do; then do it. When I am about to leave I ask them if I can get the patient of the family member anything. (Even if it is an ice water).

    Most don't take a mile when I give them an inch; they respect that I am offering services when they know I don't really have time. However those who do take the mile, I set limits. I tell him I can get this for you right now (bring back a few extra if your judgement says so); and say I need to give a medication to another patient or I have a meeting to attend to with the doctors to discuss YOUR plan of care. I even say "Unfortunately this is not a priority right now as I have x x x to do. I can have someone else get this for you". Usually they respond well

    As for PHONE CALLS. Recently I had a patient's family member call pretending to be their father. The patient was confused and didn't know a thing. I found out that his "Father" died in 1991 and that was his psychotics mothers boyfriend pretending to be DR x. Such BULL. I did not give information but that was really messed up. I also had another patient's family member call 10 times (all different people) because they were concerned and weren't being given any detailed information on the phone. I finally told them "I recommend you appointing one person (which was their brother) to receive all the information and ask all the questions because this is very disorganized and can lead to miscommunication and upset. Also the nurse who is receiving 10 calls about the care of the patient is being TAKEN AWAY from caring for the patient because she is busy answering absurd amount of phone calls" AKA please stop calling and leave me alone so I can do my job.

    I was planning on this to be short but... I have a sensitive touch to this topic lol.
    Beverage, ShifraPuah, dhinson45, and 1 other like this.
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    I understand this situation well! Once I had a patient who had a paid sitter in the room and their job seemed to be calling a nurse in to care for the patient every 5 minutes while they watched tv! The best thing to do is to cool down so that you won't say anything "hateful" to the family and have your charge nurse, nurse manager, or even the unit supervisor speak with them in regards to the difference between a nurse and an indentured servant. If they are of no help(which may have been in your case), then grin and bear it until the end of the shift, then inform the nurse manager that you do not wish to be assigned this pt. again due to an inabilty to meet the expectations of the family; you do have that right! In a case like this, its the family who need more care than the pt.
    sevensonnets and dhinson45 like this.
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    Quote from amylpn24
    I agree whole heartedly!!!! It's like this; NURSE= ONE WHO CAN BE VERBALLY ABUSED AT ANY TIME AND FOR ANY REASON. THERE WILL BE NO REPRECUSSIONS. (Did i spell that right?)

    Anyhow, I too wish there was a way to scream to the world about this very same thing. Just because we are nurses does not mean that we are not human beings. Alot of the time, people don't understand that we too have feelings. I do understand that there is a certain amount of customer service crap that we must put up with but I also believe there is a very fine line. I am lucky that in my job, we do have the support of our managers. I have decided after 18 years of doing this that I will NOT allow people to cross that line with me, patients, family members or otherwise. We DO have the right to be respected just like the next person. Demand it and you will get it.
    I have been a nurse for 37 years and agree with all statements!! I will not allow anyone in any facility to abuse me, mentally or emotionally!!! So should all of you. I have been known to tell family members,: If this is an emergency I am on my way, if not I will address the sitation or deligate it to the proper party." I have informed my co-workers that I am going to blank blank to chart, do skin assesment documents, weekly summaries, etc. Notify me of emergencies. We take turns as this is the ONLY way that all the documentation CAN be done PLUS residents treatments, meds, and " WHERE IS MY MOTHERS RED SWEATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU need to find it NOW.!!!!!!!!!!. Been there ,done that and agree that is why long term care nurses leave that speciality. I love my residents, however the families need to be educated, I see this as the responsibility of the Social Workers or Owners to perform this at the time of admission. We are not responsible for one on one care, FAMILIES they have a choice of hiring a private nurse or assisting in their loved ones care. If they have a problem with that then they can take their concerns to the appropiate department. I am the nurse on duty and am responsible for all the residents here and to make sure they have quality of life.
    I have never seen the support from the "Gods above" as I also have been in management and seen the pressure from above. It's all dollar and cents!! Rebab is where the money is so make the 92 year old take OT and PT.
    Bottom line is the Gods do not care about us nurses, only to put the band-aid on and pass inspection on paper. It is sooooo sad but true.D
    sevensonnets and abbaking like this.
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    Right there with ya. I'm taking my early retirement from the profession after only 3 years!! I'm going back to school, nursing is not for me!
    dhinson45 likes this.
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    I agree that at some point, AT ADMISSION, families need to receive some education on how we can best meet their expectations. If I am to treat others like my own family, then it is fitting that family members must treat US in kind. I do not appreciate, that as a nurse, others are allowed to stomp all over me with no repercussions.

    And I truly and utterly agree with someone here to said that managers could not possibly TRULY care about patients if they allow all of this to compromise their care. Perhaps if it was all marketed that way, hospitals would see an increase in their admissions!!

    The other day I had a family going nuts on me, and so I just sent in my manager. Simple as that. They had been doing it all day, and I was exhausted from being their punching bag. Forget it. Let the managers deal with them. It's how I'm going to attempt to survive from now on. I don't get paid enough to deal with it on a front line basis all day long and give safe and effective nursing care at the same time. NO MORE.
  7. 1
    Quote from moonischasingme1

    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!

    This is awesome. Hands down. We lost one tech on our floor and basically I quit my job over an incident where a patient didn't get a bath (it's 4:00pm by now), because I had 4 other patients with blood to hang and no meal break yet!! AWESOME
    dhinson45 likes this.
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    We have a spot in the chart for psych/soc aspects of the patient with dropdown boxes such as "demanding", "combative", "hostile", "withdrawn".

    As a patient and a health care worker, such documentation covers everyones bottom. However, this documentation punishes the patient and labels them as a "problem patient". Patients can be difficult for many reasons and that often is not taken into account.
    The last time I was in the hospital (renal) I was very sick and not demanding...hence I was vunerable, Never in my life have I been treated and spoken to in such a hostile manner by nursing staff than this time. When I started to feel better, I spoke up to protect myself.
    I was in the hospital for 6 days and was moved three times, once at midnight! I was yelled at by the dialysis nurse because I was not ready to go to dialysis at 7am. I was still asleep at that time and had not brushed my teeth, gone to the bathroom, washed up etc. I had requested the night before to be informed of the time dialysis would be taking me and no one had an answer. My dignity and comfort were never taken into account. I had the lab draw blood without using gloves, techs and nurses not washing hands before patient contact or rubbing their noses with gloves on and then starting an IV, laying in a sweaty bed for two days (high fever) and no one changing linens, being kept awake though out the night by laughing nurses in the halls, no towels available to wash with, being woken up at 4 am to be weighed, even though a weight is taken prior to dialysis on the renal floor. Being woken up thoughout the night to take a bp and then 15 minutes later being woken up to take a temp and pulse ox. Waking up with leads off (tele floor) and no one bothered to check on this. None of this was critical and I was not in ICU, BUT it all adds up and wears you down so you do become hostile and withdrawn. and you hope that you are strong enough to fight back and live.
    I have had to go the the hospital (ER) three times in the past few months and I will say that I dread it. I feel that nursing staff can't wait to tell me how much they are being put out by my being there. I hate that with the economy or staff stress they are taking it out on the patient. We have no choice
    psalm and trixie333 like this.
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    I have had this problem in spades. I have had three different groups of family members following me up and down the hall(and into other patients rooms) because I am neglecting their mother, father, sister, brother whatever. When you push them out they report you for abuse and neglect. Part of the problem, besides a sense of entitlement, is admissions personnel or liasons are telling these people, "Why this is just like a hotel! You will have a nurse that speaks only your mother's language and her every need will be anticipated and met." Sorry, I dont speak Farsi or Urdu or Hindi or Spanish or anyother language but Marine Corps. What I am saying, is there is an expectation being built up that we can not and should not be required to meet. But due to competition the pressure is on to put patients in beds and these people who most are not medical personnel will say anything to meet their goals and get those bonuses. You cant make them understand exactly what it is we do and I tell them," I dont provide maid service and I dont fetch coffee or anything else. I take care of the patient's medical needs end of story." I have been doing this for a very long time, but in the last 5 years it has got increasingly worse. And that's my rant, sorry if I have offended anyone.
    JacknSweetpea, ShifraPuah, psalm, and 2 others like this.
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    Wow, Unbelievable, so many of us share so much the same no matter where we live & work! I loved nursing, and gave my all for my pts the hosp I worked several yrs oncology, and med/surg. After moving to another state though & working in nursing homes between admin working usa short most the time, and fifty mill interuptions all shift;I usually had a whole unit to do meds,Iv's,txs. Seldom got breaks. Some days you would feel so used & abused at the end of shift. Had Murphy vss me alot thenCharting got done at end of shift after report to next shift, etc, and then admin got on you cuz you were still there finishing up charts, incident reports,etc. Unbelievable No longer work there, but wound up with bad back, and knee from all the wear, tear, and stress. Pt's nor their families realize what the nursing staff is put thru any given day! You are right that you have to set limits, or you will get run ragged, and burned out! Nurses are not pd their worth, and expected to do the impossible! When I worked the night shift at another facility they really expected you to be super woman. You'd have 50 pt's to do meds & txs, and and be charge nurse for the unit! How I ever stuck with that for a yr I don't know as I'm not a night person and usually got only 5-6 hrs sleep a day! A 10 speed accidant put an end to that job though; due to the long recovery! When I started nursing I floated alot to diff units to help out, and that was good, as you got oriented to diff units, and staff. Maybe in yrs to come things will improve Leenie.
    dhinson45 likes this.


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