The Worst Hospital Visitor I've Ever Seen

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    Not every family who visits is there to be supportive of the patient. Some of them are even downright unsupportive. Here are some of the worst visitors I've ever seen -- how about you?

    There are so many . . . . how to choose?

    There was the woman who'd had an aortic dissection repair, and things didn't go well. She had a perioperitive MI, a CVA and sepsis. All told, she was a patient in our ICU for six months. I didn't hear much about the patientís life from HER; she was confused and mostly nonverbal. Her sister, however, sat at her bedside for hours and wanted to chat with the nurse. The sister, Katie, was a nice person and since I had just moved to the area, gave me a lot of tips about restaurants to try, where NOT to get your car repaired, and the like. The HUSBAND, Milton, rarely showed up and when he did, he was the type of man who bellowed about "his rights" rather than understanding that when the patient is in CT (or having a line placed), the patient is unavailable for visitors, even of the spousal nature.

    Katie put up pictures in the patient's room -- a smiling picture of her and her sister together, and multiple pictures of the patientís beloved dogs. "They're just like her children," Katie explained. "Milton never wanted children." Tellingly, there were no picture of Milton in the room. He and Katie barely spoke and Katie told us that when Milton married her sister, he quit working and expected that she would support him, do all the cooking and cleaning and take care of his mother as well. As for the patient, she lit up whenever Katie arrived, but shut down whenever Milton did.

    One weekend afternoon, Milton showed up just as I was helping the patientís nurse finish a bath and linen change. Without waiting for the two of us to finish up or get the dirty linen out of the way, Milton leaned over the bed and whispered (loudly enough for the patient and both of the nurses in the room to hear) "I killed your dogs. I said I would do it, and I did." That man has to take the prize for being ONE of the worst hospital visitors I've ever seen.

    Years ago, when I worked in CCU, a 58 year old woman was admitted in cardiogenic shock. We placed a balloon pump, lined her, gave her multiple doses of morphine and finally, scheduled surgery for the following day. (The surgeon wanted to do it immediately, but there was already an emergency surgery in progress and the on call OR team were already in that OR.) At six the next morning, I'm filling out the pre-op check list and a woman breezes in with two toddlers in tow. As I tried to explain to her that visitors under sixteen weren't allowed in the CCU, she told me that she had "just come to drop off her kids for their granny to watch."

    Then there was the visitor who injected the patient with some street drug, right through the conveniently placed central line, because "Y'all don't give him none of the good stuff in here."
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 16
    maelstrom143, uRNmyway, forthebirds, and 29 others like this.

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    About Ruby Vee

    Ruby Vee has '38' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'ICU/CCU'. From 'the Midwest'; Joined Jun '02; Posts: 8,611; Likes: 31,126.

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    174 Comments so far...

  3. 11 Can't top that but I do remember the boyfriend who brought his post cath (4th one), morbidly obese girlfriend a bag of burger king food (supersized with fries of course) and a box of chicken wings.
    maelstrom143, Don2014, bluenurse85, and 8 others like this.
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    Wow, this Milton is despicable. And the woman who brought her kids to the CCU for granny to watch... wow. Just... some people are too foolish to have kids.

    One that comes to my mind was a gentleman with liver failure and sepsis who I was admitting to my first ICU. He was, well, critically ill. His daughter decided it was a good time to get in my face and tell me that they wanted him fed all-natural, organic food. I told her that once he's able to eat, she is certainly free to bring him food from home, but the hospital serves your typical hospital food.
  5. 10
    The boyfriend that insisted on sleeping over in the same bed as the post op patient EVERY night despite our manager trying to talk to him (not that she tried very hard r/t press ganey), demanding meal trays oh and also having sex with the patient in the room....None of our rooms are private...
    pseudomonas, canoehead, NRSKarenRN, and 7 others like this.
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    As for the patient, she lit up whenever Katie arrived, but shut down whenever Milton did.
    So happy that I work in a hospital were all visiting is under the control of the nurses. A spouse saying they have a right to visit doesn't carry any weight in our units. If the nurses feel the rpesence of any family member is harmful to their patient we forbit them from visiting. Our managment and security back us up on this.
    Two or three times I have walked in my room to find a family member pouring varions liquids from Pepsi to Irish wiskey into the mouth of my intubated patient.
    suanna, uRNmyway, ToughingItOut, and 22 others like this.
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    Quote from ohiostudent'RN
    The boyfriend that insisted on sleeping over in the same bed as the post op patient EVERY night despite our manager trying to talk to him (not that she tried very hard r/t press ganey), demanding meal trays oh and also having sex with the patient in the room....None of our rooms are private...
    Your managment sucks! That should never be allowed and the fact that your managment tolerated that behavior tells me all I need to know about where you work. I am greatful I don't work there.
    In my hospital the BF would have been commanded to behave properly or been ejected, physicialy if required.
    lorirn58, pseudomonas, canoehead, and 11 others like this.
  8. 34
    I would have kicked Milton out. Dog killer/abusive husband. He'd be lucky that's all I did. Screw the survey.
    uRNmyway, debbii, lorirn58, and 31 others like this.
  9. 3
    Oh wow. I'm just stunned...
    bluenurse85, fltopp1, and JustMe54 like this.
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    They all sound terrible, but I think Milton takes the cake--- What a PIECE OF ****.
    When I was in clinicals on an Oncology Unit, a loud, rude, nasty, inebriated visitor kept INSISTING that my assigned (stage 4 ca) patient let him cut his hair, and that he PAY him cash for it right then and there. The patient kept saying 'no, I don't wanna get my hair cut today...' I heard this as I was walking down the hall. The visitor was becoming louder and more persistant. I had my clinical instuctor call security. They were up, handled it, and the bad visitor was out in a matter of minutes from there. Continued on with the rest of my clinical eve and as I signed off at about 10pm, I said 'good night'. He said: 'Yes, it IS a good night. You did good.' Didn't do it for the appreciation, but won't forget the way he said that either.
    Last edit by Nola009 on Jun 14
    uRNmyway, pseudomonas, Rockrose, and 18 others like this.
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    One place I worked had an elderly woman who was very ill and intubated. She was the primary caregiver to her elderly husband who had Alzeimers. The patient's son would bring the husband to visit early in the morning and leave him at the hospital all day, and the pick him up in the evening. Needless to say that if you were the nurse assigned to this woman, not only did you take care of her, but also her husband. When the son was told that he couldn't just leave his father at the hospital all day, he said that he had to work and had nobody to look after his father.

    The hospital isn't free adult day care.
    uRNmyway, pseudomonas, snuffyRN, and 15 others like this.

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