My God, these family members!! - page 7
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
Apr 22, '09the situation with families seems to have gotten so much worse in the past 2-3 years in my experience. i found myself despising these people and i didnt even know them. i found that i was on the defensive before even listening to their concern. i was miserable.
i was considering quitting. i have posted here before about frustrating family members. i was thinking of going into phone triage to get away from visitors.
i finally did some long hard thinking about myself and why i was reacting the way i was. what was going on in me that i had begun to despise people i didnt even know. taking my own inventory at the end of the day i would become so disgusted with myself for despising these people.
i prayed about it for a long while. then i rededicated myself to my career. i told myself that no matter how bad someone was yelling at me i was going to attempt to empathize with them and try to help. i had to do a lot of inner work on myself because i didnt like what i had become.
it has worked for me. i'm much more patient at work lately. i spend more time getting to know my patients and their family members and it has helped, for me anyway. i've noticed that when they "know" me and are comfortable with me they trust me when they aren't there and they feel like they can ask me anything but it works the other way too and i feel that i can respectfully tell them im busy but will get to them soon. things like that.
i had to do something because i was ready to walk away from a career i love and know that i am doing what God wants me to do with my life.
i still get pist and aggravated of course but at least now i'm recognizing my own behavior and am able to ask myself "whats going on right now that im letting them affect my emotions?".
its really helped me and im much happier at work now and even decided not to quit.
i just wanted to share that.
Apr 22, '09Almost sounds like you work where I do, they tell us to document, document, etc, but when you finish your work, and try desperately to get your charting done, the families (and other staff) see you " just sitting there doing nothing", and keep interupting. I try to be as kind and patient as I can, and explain that I need to get my charting done, and they complain that we spend too much time doing paperwork. You go into overtime to get done, and the next shift thinks as long as you are still there, you should deal with whatever happens, and then you get written up for doing overtime. Also some people sit there and gossip, and talk loud, so that you can't even think.
Apr 22, '09Your narrative sounds very similar to my experience. Years ago, I went through a similar experience of introspection....I took a hard look at other nurses I really admired....and started to transform my nursing in a way that honored them and my soul....I ended up describing it to myself as 'being authentic'. It works most of the time, I don't have regrets with my service to pt's. or families, and my K.I.S.S. philosophy is don't make them sorry you were their nurse....I dedicate my good works to God and thank him for my blessings....and in a pinch, I ask Him to put His arm around my shoulder and His hand over my mouth. My only advice now, as you continue to give so much of yourself, is that you be good to yourself....allow yourself the good things in life that let you be a great nurse
with a generous spirit.....
Apr 23, '09Quote from gerigalAlmost sounds like you work where I do, they tell us to document, document, etc, but when you finish your work, and try desperately to get your charting done, the families (and other staff) see you " just sitting there doing nothing", and keep interupting. I try to be as kind and patient as I can, and explain that I need to get my charting done, and they complain that we spend too much time doing paperwork. You go into overtime to get done, and the next shift thinks as long as you are still there, you should deal with whatever happens, and then you get written up for doing overtime. Also some people sit there and gossip, and talk loud, so that you can't even think.
I tell my patients' families that I *am* with another patient when I am charting...because charting is such a critical part of my job for patient care. I have to document pt. complaint; condition; assessment; what i did and outcome. I have to check charts for new orders for better patient care for THEIR loved ones...
And I hate, absolutely hate when co-workers sit around and talk loud "so that you can't even think". I hate it! And that adds to a family member's perception that NONE of us are working at the nurses' station.
Apr 23, '09try to be considerate of the family's delema. they're scared,dependant,and trying to find people whom they can trust and depend on. we're here do do that for them, the whole bunch of them, even if they come in shifts. Hard? absolutely. Unrealistic, espicially when it comes to duties that are not "can you wait a minute"type things...like vents, remember your ABC's. sometimes the families are your first line of observation. So, cut them some slack. Give them every reason to trust you and depend on you, and your staff, and they will not be the wretched pia's that they are also made out to be. Assess, appease, aline...and put yourself in their place...remember to empathize. It will go a long way. It also decreases your tension,anxiety,and emotional burdens if you really love your patients as youself. God bless all of you.
Apr 23, '09I have seen the changes in the roles of the RN over the last 50 years. Some good, some no so good. But I do believe that the families and patients do not realize how technical the profession is now, and that they can't expect the same bedside care they once did. I would suggest that you always approach your patient and their families with a smile. Try to remember that they don't know the "new rules" of the hospital and are probably afraid they will get chewed out if they try to do something for the patient. Perhaps a note in the "Welcome" booklet from your hospital could put in a nice note " that families are welcome to do basic things for the the patients, ie: get ice water, up in chair/commode, backrubs, and other things" so that RN's can give the professional care that all patients need". I know how burned out you are, but please try to treat each patient the way you would treat your own family, or how you would like to be treated. Even though you are extremely busy and stressed, a smile and a short explanation (said in a pleasant voice)of what the family can and shouldn't do will help a lot. (I retired after working as an RN ( 18 yrs. in hospital) for 50 years, and recently went through a 3 week hospitalization, so I do understand your point, and hope this will help you. )Good luck.
Apr 23, '09I say everyday that it isn't the patient I mind, it is the family!! Rude, demanding, suspicious, know it all, wanting their elderly parents to live in misery forever. Giving trach patient fluids to drink when you say NO! Open visiting hours are some stupid idea of leaders with their heads in the clouds. The patient deserves better then a family member 1" from their face yelling "are you ok?
I secretly dream of walking into the family member's job and get in their face being rude and demanding. The problem is that basic manners and respect for others is gone. And I find the very rich and very poor (the taxpayers footing the bill) usually are the worst in our unit. It is also amazing that the visiting hours on the unit entrance door are totally ignored by family...it is so amazing how many people are unable to READ!! I have been on the other side and have NEVER been demanding, rude, or feel I should pull rank because I am a nurse! Feels good to vent, thanks.
Apr 23, '09venting is good. keep your cool...being a nurse does mean that you are "RANK". People are people and they need compassion and patience. Do unto others....
Apr 23, '09Its hard especially when you yourself aren't like that at all.
Just remember to breathe!!!
Keeps things interesting I suppose.
Apr 23, '09I completely understand what you went thru. I was a waitress and a maid for one of my patients. After she complained about the nurse in the previous shift, I felt I had to do my best to correct this issue. Kept on calling me. I brought her water, juices while she was alone in the room. My big frustration and disappointement was when she had her husband in the room while I was checking on her. She requested water. I told the husband that I can show him the location of the pantry i. He said: " I know where the pantry is" and he handed me the pitcher. I really felt like I was the maid. I even thought of quitting. This is not nursing anymore. And in my opinion, this HCAHPS thing has to do a lot in it. We try to please patients so HCAHPS score can be high. I really think that HCAHPS is having a negative impact on nursing care.
Apr 23, '09Nothing is going to change unless facilities become more supportive of nurses! Families are only following the lead of the hospital. The "customer service" people that drop off those surveys and chat with the patients (then return to their cute little office after having a nice lunch) have no clue! We need experienced floor nurses in those roles - someone who can advocate for us!