Tough situation to be in. You're rarely ever going to come out "right" if you argue with the family, no matter how badly you need to or they deserve it. Try to pacify them, explain things, offer to let them talk to a manager or patient advocate. Currently we've had a patient for about a month in the unit, end stage pulmonary fibrosis and probably will not get off the ventilator. The family is OBSESSED with the SpO2 and rate of Versed/MSO4 gtts. you can tell exactly what they have Googled the night before when they show up in the am and start grilling us. It's an everyday thing and we just tell them to make sure they express their concerns to the MD.
Under no circumstances are we expected to put up with verbal abuse, but sometimes there's no way to escape it. I never take anything personally and always tell myself:
"At least when I go home I won't see this person, but someone has the misfortune of living with them!"
Also, to a degree, we are dealing with people during the most stressful times of their life. There are no small emergencies....to the patient. One of the privileges of nursing is dealing with people and trying to bring out the best in someone during one of the worst experiences they've had.
and some people are not happy unless they have something to complain about, I always say they are "too busy enjoying their poor health to recover". Or "they only have enough strength left to complain".