My God, these family members!!

  1. 166
    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 parent, but simply do NOT have the time to do when we have other patients and issues to deal with. i MEAN -- can't they get mom up at least perhaps ONCE during the day? Does it have to be a nurse doing it every single time, ten times a day??

    I just came off a shift tonight where I literally waitressed all day long, making and fetching coffee and water and 100 millions cups of juice for these patients (because we're always short a tech) -- and a patient's daughter was literally screaming at nurses at change of shift to come in and do something or other for her mother. It was absolutely NOT an emergency. (She was actually screaming -- "Good thing it WASN'T an emergency!!" These people have been on our unit for over 2-3 weeks, running every nurse on the unit ragged. Their mother is far over 80 years old and is only going to head to weeks of rehab after being on our unit. They want a private nurse -- that is what they want and need. But they can't get that on a floor. I think their call light was on for perhaps five minutes, max.

    I am just SO tired of family members not understanding what we do -- and our managers from the floor to the corporate headquarters not backing us up to explain it to them. We are simply to treat everyone as our "family members" and go above and beyond 1000 percent of the time. Who goes above and beyond FOR NURSES??? DOES ANYONE???

    We have no private space to do our charting, we are like fish in a bowl for these family members. If they see you at the nursing station -- that's it. They are ON YOU like flies. If they don't have a reason to bug you, they will find one. So, you don't get your charting done on time and are left to stay after a shift for an hour.

    I am just so tired of it. So burnt out. Is it any wonder why they can't keep nurses for long? I mean -- come on, management -- take a LOOK at what you are doing to nurses nowadays. Put some LIMITS, please, on these family members. It is OUT OF CONTROL.
  2. 235 Comments so far...

  3. 5
    Your manager should really step in here. If they won't the best you can do is continue to prioritize and document document document.
  4. 79
    Oh, it's not just with elderly parents. I was working in a busy nursery when a pediatrician walked in pushing a bassinet with a sleeping baby in it. Seems the parents wanted to baby's diaper changed "because it looks like it's too tight." I asked him if all their arms were broken. He stood there insisting that I wake up the baby and immediately heave to with a clean one. I just stared him down. I was up to my elbows in baby's and I did not have time for stupidity. :trout:

    The doctor dutifully wheeled the baby back to his parents and showed them the drawer where the diapers were kept.
    Lovely_RN, LaughingRN, JRP1120, RN, and 76 others like this.
  5. 9
    In my facility it is safety issue for a family member to " get mom up,just once".
  6. 20
    We have no private space to do our charting, we are like fish in a bowl for these family members. If they see you at the nursing station -- that's it. They are ON YOU like flies

    I think more places should have a nurses lounge instead of the nurses station. That is what I had at work, and we did all of our charting and eating in there. We even had a TV and a few computers to use. It was very nice.
    JRP1120, RN, NurseAdida, shoegalRN, and 17 others like this.
  7. 21
    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.
  8. 5
    The manager should really fix this problem because it can drive many nurses away from this facility.
  9. 14
    ...what about setting limits? There are times when I have to tell a family member that I will get to a nonessential when I have the time. This is different from a needed PRN med or treatment.

    We do not need to fetch all night long. Set limits and then stick to them. I think we all have to have a night where we go thru it...trying to keep a family happy. But it isn't good nursing care, when the fam thinks they have to demand everything. I remind them that I have other patients and will be happy to come by after my assessments, etc are done, that I have the priorities for their mother's care on my schedule.

    ...having said that; we all have nights like that...and we want to be super nurse. But we can't. So we set limits...firmly but kindly. If necessary, write up an incident report and ask doc to remind families that their loved one is in hospital for care, rest, tx, meds, OT, PT, and it's not necessary to bully the nurses.

    AND if they want a private nurse, let them hire a private nurse from an agency, at no cost to the hospital.
    rnccf2007, Crux1024, CrazierThanYou, and 11 others like this.
  10. 1
    Quote from LaneyB
    We have no private space to do our charting, we are like fish in a bowl for these family members. If they see you at the nursing station -- that's it. They are ON YOU like flies

    I think more places should have a nurses lounge instead of the nurses station. That is what I had at work, and we did all of our charting and eating in there. We even had a TV and a few computers to use. It was very nice.
    I don't know about your facility or even if you still work there however this is bad practice. Food should not be eaten while charting because of the potential for bacteria to be transferred from patient to chart to food to you. Though, I do agree that all nursing units should have lounges, it's not a very good idea to chart and eat at the same time.

    Please understand, I am not bagging on you by any means. I have done the same, however, this is a habit that I have tried to break and let the financial chips fall where they may for the hospital if I'm there late charting. I have to be able to take care of my family and not get sick with something. Please protect yourself.
    jaclibra likes this.
  11. 73
    I hear you, and all the posters who said you have to set limits and demand the respect you deserve are exactly right.
    We had a lady on the vent for 60+ days with pulmonary fibrosis, and every day you could tell what her family had looked up on WebMD the night before. Asking detailed, questions about vent setting trivia, acting angry the split second it seemed like she wasn't the center of attention at all times. Her husband yelled at one of my co-workers one afternoon about how "no one has been taking care of her". I went in the room and told him to google pressure ulcer when he got home and then ask himself how she had been laid up here for 2 months without having one....then see if he still thinks no one's been taking care of her.
    He must have done it because the next day he apologized and that was the end of them acting like that. Miraculously, without us ever taking care of her, she managed to survive her admission and went back home.
    OlderRNinGA, Hygiene Queen, zofran, and 70 others like this.


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