Visitors who stay overnight. Vent.

  1. I love the ones who care so much about their family they want to stay by their side. Lately however, I am finding the other kind . Twice this week I have had to deal with a visitor who yells at me for caring for my patient. One demanded we keep the lights off, it was disturbing their sleep. Her mom had a major surgery and I needed to keep a close eye and empty all the drains often. I need to see her color and see that she is ok. This visitor complained to the house supervisor and we were told to use penlights. Are you kidding? Safety and care needs to come first. I continued to turn on the light and was told I will hear about this again. Another visitor had a tantrum because we could not provide her with her own room and bed to sleep in. Her fathers breathing was keeping her up and too many people coming in to check On him. Just go home then! This is a hospital. Our rooms have daybeds for visitors and chairs that recline which is more than most hospitals I have seen. I am required to see my patient at least every 2 hours I am sorry if that annoys you. But after surgery things can go wrong quickly. Ugh.
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  2. 83 Comments

  3. by   tamadrummer
    I think that patients family member who demands you keep the lights off should be risk mastered, the supervisor as well. You have to be able to see everything happening with that patient and when you put them all on notice that this will not be tolerated and that you are responsible for all condition changes and that you are the one that has been tasked with caring for that patient, you will then be protected.

    At a minimum the risk master will make sure they know you are serious about patient care and will not be bullied by some sniveling family member or some non-compliant supervisor that left bedside care however many years ago.

    Keep up the good work and keep patient safety and care #1 at all times!
  4. by   That Guy
    I found with those type of family members, I would try harder to turn the lights on whenever I could. I'm sorry, but you arent the pt so I really dont give a flying fornication about your sleep. At least when you act that way towards staff. I'm worried about me and the pt safety and frankly, you camped out there with your crap everywhere bothers me. I have to lunge over you, which you complain about, trip over your computer cable, which you complain about, then get to the pt and check them, only for you to complain that you arent sleeping. Seriously shut up.
  5. by   beeker
    I really feel like they put customer service over patient safety here. It is a sad state of affairs.
  6. by   rita359
    Unfortunately this seems to be the way it is now. Customer service you know. Somehow patient care took a backseat here. Supervisors should back good nursing care. Instead this supervisor knuckled under to a visitor who had no idea he/she was asking too much and administration backed them up.
  7. by   CrunchRN
    Completely and totally ridiculous. Y'all put up with an amazing amount of BS as hospital nurses. I promise never to be that kind of visitor!
  8. by   classicdame
    I once had a dad sleep on the floor (wife was in recliner, child in the bed). I did not know he was there. They had complained about the overhead light being turned on so I used my penlight to get to the bed to turn on the accessory light. Penlight did not pick up him and, you guessed it! I tripped over him. He went home.
  9. by   Flare
    i don't understand the mentality of a family member feeling like they need to camp out at the hospital with a patient (parents of young kids, new dads and family members staying to calm a confused or combative patient excluded) i've seen family members trying to camp out with patients after routine surgeries and you can tell that the patient just wants to be left in peace. I think some people just feel like they have something to prove. But then to gripe about their precious sleep being disturbed?? Go the heck home!! Even my short list of approved overnighters, i expect they will be sensible - sleep in a logical location. Don't get in the nurse's way. Many hospital rooms are set up so that they won't get in the way - particularly in maternity and peds.

    It's very easy as a supervisor to just give in to a family member to keep the peace, but the right thing to do is to what's right for the patient and for the nurse. That means if a nurse needs lights on for an assessment at 3 am- well, then guess what - the lights go on. It's a hospital, not a Hilton.
  10. by   Nick7225
    I hate to say it but I would also have to increase the frequency of my assessments. Immature? Yes. Satisfying? Yes.
  11. by   tamadrummer
    Risk-master is your friend in these situations. Complaining families can become like a terminal cancer to your position in the hospital. If you defend yourself and keep your charting square and treat each patient like law and order you will feel more comfortable. Our new director of the ICU/PCU has taken the locks off the ICU doors and has pts families all over the place. We stop report and tell families from 6-8pm is report time either get in the room or in the waiting room but standing in the nurse servers listening to report is OUT of the question! Just be your own advocate when it comes to beligerant family members and like Nick7225 says, increase your assessments and make your presence known, you are legally responsible for the proper care of that patient. Your lisence doesn't say blah blah hospital on it, it says your name on it and that is yours alone!
  12. by   sapphire18
    Lol, what is risk-master?
  13. by   tamadrummer
    Its a legal document that is reported to the risk management department of the hospital. It is used when any medication error is made, any violent interaction with patients, ect. It is also used to report unsafe situations of any kind, up to and including lazy doctors that are sitting in front of the computer refusing to put in their own orders and telling the RN to do it for them. It is really a system documentation to keep your license safe while working.

    If you work in a hospital, it may be called something just ask your risk management department about it.
  14. by   sapphire18
    Oh ok. We call it an incident report. Those go to risk management. Usually don't see anything resolved from it though.

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