The Patient Who Receives No Visits - page 2

I'm certain that every nurse who has ever worked at the bedside has provided care for the patient who never seems to receive any visitors. In fact, the roles were reversed nearly five years ago... Read More

  1. by   djh123
    I only skimmed this (sorry :^), but I agree that you just don't know the situation. Although this isn't the same topic, it still fits in somewhat: here's a sort of humorous example one of our clinical nurses gave us of assuming things about family.

    She said she had a patient, a 50-something woman, and there was a 30-or-so woman visitor, plus a guy (I forget, but I think maybe he was closer to the older woman's age). So the RN assumed the guy was the partner or husband of the older woman, and that the 30-yr-old was the daughter. Wrong!!! The 2 women were lesbian lovers, and the guy was just a friend! :^) So you just can't assume anything.
  2. by   KelRN215
    The last time I was in the hospital, I had no visitors... because I didn't tell anyone I was there.

    Some pediatric patients have no visitors for a reason... their parents beat them or shook them and are banned from visiting. I've seen that situation a few too many times. The kids who really broke my hearts were the ones who weren't going to make it (terminal cancer) whose parents would drop them off in the ER with a fever and appear two weeks later to sign the discharge papers. We had one particular patient- about 6- whose parents did this all the time. She was constantly calling for someone to come sit with her, watch TV with her or play with her. She died- fortunately at home- but it was so sad during those countless days in the hospital to see her crying for her Mommy knowing that Mommy wouldn't be there for her.
  3. by   NutmeggeRN
    On a similar note, as a school nurse, It makes me sad when I see only one emergency contact (the custodial parent) to call in the case of family listed, no one...I always wonder what it is like to NOT have a support network, I was pretty darn lucky as a single mom.
  4. by   That Guy
    You mean we dont always know the full story on our pts....
  5. by   Working2beRN2014
    Great Article. It is true, you can't possibly know why things are the way they are.
    When my father was in hospice I got more than an earful from my older half siblings on visiting my father, they did not understand why I did not want to see him. From a young age until I was 12 he was emotionally and physically abusive. I had no love or respect for the man who was my father. I ended up a ward of the court at age 12, so I find it easier to not think about things such as why a patient has no visitors. Having been in the family member's shoes and been the kid who was abandoned to the state by my mother, I know all too well how complex an individual's life can be. I did say good bye to my father the day he died, but only because I was essentially made to feel guilty by other family members who did not have the same experiences as I did.

    Also consider that sometimes it is hard on adult children to watch their parents die. My younger brother avoided my mother in her multiple hospital stays because many of her injuries could have been prevented if she had followed doctors orders and used her walker instead of letting her pride get in the way. I recall him telling me, 'I can't just watch her kill herself and be ok with it.'

    It is more difficult to see children abandoned, but sometimes it is the best case scenario. Other times it could be as simple as the parents are not coping well with their child's illness. You can never know how you might react as a parent until you are there in that situation.
  6. by   visionary123
    Once, as a student, I was assigned to a patient who had no visitors. She was sweet and personable and loved to have someone to talk to. Since I was a student, she was my only patient, which meant I had plenty of time with her. I found out that her husband worked out of town, and although she had adult children within ten minutes of the hospital, she didn't want them called. Her reason? She had been hospitalized already three times that year, and she said her children would take time off work to come and see her. She didn't want them to have to take more time off, so she decided (out of care for them) that she just wouldn't tell them she was there! Now, that is a story that probably wouldn't have gotten out to the busy nurses, so I am glad I was there to hear it. But it taught me too, to be careful not to judge. She DID have a caring family - so caring that they would do whatever it took to see their mother, and so she in turn cared enough about them to purposely choose to make sure they didn't miss any more time from work. (I'll bet they were mad when they found out later though )
  7. by   merrywhiterose
    We have an elderly dementia resident. She visited often until legal paperwork was signed, proving he was incapable of making his own decisions. Now she only shows up for X-mas & his birthday. Everyone thought she was really cold-hearted until we found out that he had been a womanizer their whole marriage.
  8. by   ArtistRNJD
    very insightful article.
  9. by   jokead2k
    T̲̣̣̥ђε̲̣ story is such a sad one . At times , it may be due to lack of adequate finances that will prevent t̲̣̣̥ђε̲̣ family from showing up at t̲̣̣̥ђε̲̣ bed side of their relative. Most especially t̲̣̣̥ђε̲̣ under develope countries in africa. It mat also be due to their religious belief or mis conception about t̲̣̣̥ђε̲̣ illness. That will prevent t̲̣̣̥ђε̲̣ relatives from showing up at t̲̣̣̥ђε̲̣ bed side of their relatives.
  10. by   frodo-dog
    How sad, you live your life bearing the burden of being unable to have children, then get judged by nurses for not having visitors in old age.
  11. by   JLNicks
    They are those that do not want any visitors too, all they want to do is sleep and get over the sickness that brought them to the hospital in the first place! They don't even tell family members, co-workers or friends that they are in the hospital...
  12. by   PediLove2147
    I prefer when my patients don't have visitors, makes my job a lot easier!

    Very good article though because it is so true. We just don't know and sometimes never will.

    It is sad when pediatrics patients don't have visitors but I agree with those who have already addressed this. Sometimes the parents are the reason they are there. I took care of a child during my clinical that was a victim of child abuse so he had no visitors. He liked to be held and pushed in his stroller so having a student was very good for him. The nurses said they were sick of charting with him on their laps!
  13. by   anon456
    I work in peds on a floor with chronic kids who most often qualify for home nursing care. We also have several who are CPS custody or live in long-term care homes. I don't always know or understand all the reasons why the kids are in that situation, other times I do know. I also know that many of these kids come from single mothers who work full time and care for other kids at home, families who live far away from the hospital and have to work, and I also understand that families need breaks and are not bad parents if they are not at the bedside 24/7. Especially if their kids spends half of their life inpatient.

    On the other hand it is extremely sad when I see families kinda give up on a kid and come less and less often. Sometimes they detach emotionally.

    I can see in the adult world how just because a person is sick, does not mean they are a nice person. Maybe they are mean and nasty and have alienated everyone from their lives. In nursing school I did encounter a few adults like this who were just awful, treated the nurses badly on purpose just for kicks, and I could see why even their own kids would not want to stay long for a visit.