My God, these family members!! - page 9
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
7Well, if "good customer service" is a priority with any hospital or medical facility, I suggest they employ the help of volunteers or hire medical hosts and hostesses to fill the roles of "hotel" maids and servants.:bowingpur
Nurses and other medical professionals -- including CNAs -- are far too important and valuable to be wasted and burned out on menial, trivial, slavish tasks -- things for which they really did NOT receive extensive training and education for in the first place!!!!
What you all deserve is a good extended paid vacationnbch:!!!!!
And a nice big peice of !!!!!
4Apr 24, '09 by canoeheadQuote from SugarletI think I would have imploded.:angryfireI 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.
Seriously, he would not have wanted that water when it came back, IF I had been able to keep from tossing the pitcher back at him.
My most diplomatic response would be "Sorry, the waitresses aren't working tonight," and it's still bad enough to get me fired isn't it? Sometimes I feel lucky that I haven't met up with one of these people at the wrong time.
6Apr 24, '09 by Batman24Nurses should be able to say they are going to lunch. When I go to lunch I always let my patients know and the other nurses I work with do the same. If they don't think we eat they'd prob die of shock to hear we pee and poop too. lol
It's a shame that many facilities have gotten away from patient care and have focused on customer service instead. This is bad for all the healthcare workers and patients. Let's get back to emphasizing that patients are there to get well and the workers are all there to help them onto their road to recovery and this can include some not so pleasant things...foleys, surgery, diets that don't like, walking after surgery, breathing treatments, dressing changes, etc. Let's be honest and treat the hospital for what it's there for. And let's not confuse the patients into thinking this is a spa and no one will interrupt their tv time. We will if need be because it's our job to keep them safe and make sure they get what they need to get healthy.
7Apr 24, '09 by ScrubbyI've noticed most of these posts are in the US. We have similar problems here in Aus but in a public hospital but not as bad, we don't have the whole customer service thing, though they are trying to promote it I disagree. Patients are NOT customers, they are people in need of health care. A public patients is certainly NOT a customer, they are getting treatment free by medicare. Anyway....
Heres my idea: every US nurse on this forum wrote a letter to the governing body of nurses in the US about their concerns with trying to provide quality patient care in an environment where patients are treated like customers, family members obstructing nurses from doing their job, nurses being asked to do non-nursing duties and the stress this has on nursing. If thousands of letters come in surely whoever is governing nursing in the US might just take note?
6Apr 24, '09 by JBudd, MSN GuideThing is Scrubby, there is no one governing body in the US. Each of the 50 states has its own Board of Nursing, which sets its own scope of practice. So if a nurse moves from state to state, she has to get a new license from the next state (some have reciprocity, so I can work in about 6 other states, but not all of them). Some states allow Nurse Practitioners to prescribe meds, others only under the supervision of an MD, some not at all. Not all states license midwives. Not all states legally protect the title of nurse.
So hospitals can do pretty much what they please, nurses have to act within the scope of their local BON. Customer service is a result of corporate hospitals, which are taking over our community hospitals at alarming rates. And upper management loves those surveys about hospital care, written by people who have no clue as to what really happened during their stay.
2Apr 24, '09 by nicurn5I also work in a facility where the "powers that be" have instituted a program for the staff to use trigger language to prompt the patients when they are polled after their stay to say that they had a good experience in the hospital. STUPID!!! It has taken me over 10 years to figure out that if I am polite but firm with our families, I usually don't have a lot of problems. A nursing instructor once told me "Pick the hill you want to die on." There are days that I pick the family situation (supporting the nurses I work with that day). The nurses that I work with start from the very beginning of the admission to inform the parents of the babies that we will only give information to MOM and DAD. No exceptions. (Thank you HIPPA!) Then we remain polite when family members start to insist on info. "I'm sorry, I can not give any information to any one but the parents." If the family member is a medical person (MD, RN, CNA, etc.) I remind them that HIPPA does not allow for me to give them information even though they will "understand". "I'm sorry but federal law prohibits me from giving you any information." A subtle reminder that they are not going to get anything out of me.
Find your boundaries, set them, and keep them. Be polite but firm. Keep your word to a patient. Come back to check on them when you say you will be back. Apologize if you are delayed. It saves a lot of grief for me and should work on the adult units as well as the NICU.:spin:
7Well, I think this issue needs to be addressed on a federal level.
Since this "good customer service" crap is getting out of hand in many states and cities, it's important that universal codes and protocols be formed for the protection and benefit of patients and medical professionals alike.
I believe the American Medical Association (Call them rather than write first!) can be a catalyst for setting in motion legal guidelines related to this issue on a federal level. You also have other resources available. You can contact your reps. You can even contact President Obama directly.
Also, you should address your concerns at the corporate level as well. Don't be afraid to contact the c.e.o.s of your "hospital corporations". For the most part, they welcome any feedback; and you can remain anonymous.
Explain to them your concerns and grievances. Let them know how these extra demands contribute to burn out and turn over rate -- as well as having the potential of jeopardizing a patients' health .
Remind them (in a nice way) that you are a major part of their investment and without you their empire -- and health care in general -- would crumble to the ground. Let them know that the success of everyone involved -- including the patients' -- is contingent at least in part to a properly staffed facility.
Let them know you can't do everything by yourself. Also encourage them to solicit more volunteers or hire medical "hosts" and "hostesses" who are trained for "good customer service tasks" in medical settings such as fluffing pillows and other frivolous, menial tasks that you shouldn't have to do around the clock because you literally have more important things to do.
Remind them also, that if you can't perform your job efficiently, it's the patients who will suffer most of all. Thus, an environment conducive to patient health, recovery, care, and good customer service cannot be achieved to its full potential -- a key factor which may compromise the integrity and stealth of the health care and medical professions.
9Apr 25, '09 by LilPeonNo1I feel your pain! I left a hospital job that paid well and had the perfect hours for me, because I couldn't deal with being a nursemaid to family members. I am not one to hold my tongue about anything, and so whenever a patient's family started pushing my buttons, I let them have it. After I left that job, its been 3yrs, I began to wonder if this was really the kind of work I wanted to do. But I have been doing this too long and changing careers this late in the game would probably not be such a good idea. I have learned alot since then. I still put my two cents in, but... in a nice way. I am not originally from the south, but have lived here long enough to figure out the subtlties of the "southern way" of handling things. I'm not dissing southerners in any way, so please don't get offended. I have watched how my southern counterparts handle family members who get out of line with their rediculous requests and demands for high quality maid service, and I've found their approach most effective. So, I have adopted this fantastic technique, and highly recommend trying it for yourselves. The minute the first rediculous demand is made, I put on a most genuine smile (think of a happy place), look at the family member making the stupid request or demand, like retrieving coffee or sodas and yes, sandwhiches, (they think its Jo's Carry Out), and say in the kindest, gentlest (sp?) most sincere voice, I'd be glad to get that for you, let me just find out how much the cost will be from the cafeteria and I'll come or send someone for the money. I could get those things from the floor pantry, but they will be charged to patient. Oh, but that would have to be authorized by whichever one of you is responsible for the bill? In every instance, this has resulted in either one of them asking for directions to the cafeteria or volunteering to go get whatever they need. And they haven't bothered me again. It works for most everything else as well. If its not specifically used for the patient, and not offered to the patient as part of their hospital stay, there's a charge. And in those cases, I alter my response to be appropriate to the situation. I'm so sorry, but each room has an allotted number of seats for guests and we do not have extras. And, it is a fire safety issue so I would love to accomodate you, but I can't. If a family member takes it upon themself to enter another patient's room to remove furniture (in my most syrupiest voice I can muster): I am very disappointed that you would do that, first of all, that patient may have visitors and where are they going to sit? And, I am certain you would not appreciate some stranger entering your momma's (patient) room invading her privacy. It IS true, you catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar!
3Apr 25, '09 by TiddlDwinkWhat a response!!
I think you've hit a nerve with nurses EVERYWHERE! I don't think there is a more universal problem than dealing with family members like these. "Waitressing all day" pretty well sums it up.
Maybe they can't get Mom up, but maybe they could hand her a glass of juice or water sometime. Maybe they could pull the covers up, or turn the air conditioner down. Lots of things they could do if they didn't feel like they had a free waitress. AND... they leave no tip
This is why I left hospital nursing. Like many of you, I'm too old to change careers, but I am not too old to change jobs. I left hospital nursing when I began crying all the way to work, and became nauseated in the parking lot just thinking about having to go over and clock in, and the 8 hours ahead of me.
I'm happily working in a residential psychiatric treatment facility now. Emphasis on HAPPILY!