Ok, so I'm new to this forum and I've had a pickle of an issue on my mind regarding a "fabricated" parent complaint about me (and every other nurse that came in contact with the patient) and I don't know how to shut off so I can actually live my life, not my work, at home. I need some nurse wisdom out there to help me not feel like going above and beyond to provide best care was for nothing.
The short of the story is I was assigned a patient that nurses caring for them warned me in advance that the mom was extremely difficult to the point that security had been called and the house supervisor was going to be on her way to talk to her once they got to my floor. So I already knew I needed to up the level of attention I needed to show this family so that they "hopefully" didn't feel anymore animosity once they got to the floor. Well, fat chance. The mom was very aggressive and kept making phone calls on her cell telling people how she was never bringing her child back here again, etc etc...all the while, I'm trying to get admission questions and education done in between calls. I kept taking deep breathes and when I finished, the HS arrived and had taken mom in the hallway to speak with her to help resolve the situation. The issues were pretty typical that most nurses have to deal with (such as ER wait times), but I won't go into all the other things that made her mad because that is not the point here.
That night I had made sure to check up on the patient more frequently even though they were very comfortable and in no pain, but I didn't want the mom to think someone else was not paying attention. I even found her something to eat and brought extra blankets and found a recliner in another room so that she could sit next to the patient instead of on the parent sofa. I know...overboard...but I was trying to recover the impression she had even though I have no doubt my coworkers did everything they were supposed to do, she was just one of those unable to please types. I made sure the patient had PRN medication so that they were not in pain and everything was fine.
When I came in the next day, the previous nurse had said the patient was supposed to go home but the mom wanted to wait until later in the shift. Fine by me...gives me
more time to get other things done. But it was while I was in the middle of getting report on my last patient (at the bedside) that this mom came and found me and told me as I exited this patient's room that they wanted to leave now! I was taken back by her behavior and told her very nicely that I was in the middle of report talking about other patients and that I would be around to go over the discharge once I've seen everyone.
O...M...Gosh!!! Was that so totally out of the question. The mom was already mad that the doc wouldn't give her a script of a certain medication for the patient and I apparently nailed the coffin shut by telling her to wait in her room so that other patients had their privacy. When I did eventually get there (and I'm talking less than 10 minutes) she asked that I bring one more dose of the medication she couldn't get a script for because they had a long drive and I told her the patient would need to wait at least an hour after it was given to make sure there were no unexpected side effects. So med was given and I sent mom down to pick up a different script at the hospital retail pharmacy and when it was all said and done, I had helped get the patient dressed and into the wheelchair, offered to help carry anything since it was just her and the grandmother, and I helped them to their vehicle.
***Side note, only 2 nurses and a charge working the unit because of census, no assistant or secretary available. I'd asked the mom and grandmother to bring the car around before leaving the room so that I wasn't leaving only 2 nurses on the unit. When I escorted everyone outside, there was no car and it took 25 minutes for grandmother to get her vehicle first and then the mom another 10 minutes to get hers before the patient was transferred to the car and they were on their way....I even got a thank you.
So I get a call from my manager a few days ago (I've been off for 4 days!!!) and she asks me about this patient and tells me that risk management is involved because of a complaint that the mom made about me. I'm thinking...here we go.
Her complaint was that I had given the patient a medication and told her that they wouldn't be allowed to leave and had to stay an extra night. She also said that I "appeared" like I had made some mistake and that the medication I gave made them very in and out and that she felt that medication was meant for a different patient with the last name *******, even though they were getting this medication throughout their stay without any problems. I made sure they stayed an hour (almost two because of tending to other patients) and they were very with it and snap chatting when I helped them to the car. She said I was "shaking" the entire time I was waiting for them to get their vehicles and she felt I made a serious error. What boggled me about this was the fact that she was able to use a different patient's name which really concerned me because I'm very tight lipped about saying any name anywhere except to those that need to know...I usually only say the room number. But then I realized after talking with my manager that the name she used was the same name of the patient in the room she was standing outside of when she demanded they be discharged and I asked her to return to her room. Last names/doctors names are on all the door signs.
And so here I am now attempting to twist my own head off because of how hateful this mom was to everyone and how I thought I could turn things around and then have her make a false complaint on me that has me so nauseous I can hardly eat. I know my manager understands what happened and I'm sure she has talked with the other nurses that were involved in this patients care, but the actual thought that someone would take the time try and get someone in serious trouble for no reason just blows me away. Anyone can say that I was rude or didn't do the best I could for them and I'll dust that off my shoulders no problem. But to go as far as lying that I breached patient confidentiality, administered a wrong med (that had to be consigned by another nurse btw), and claim they couldn't leave and had to stay an extra night despite doctors orders, that is just distasteful, immature, and in some hospitals would lead to serious consequences for the nurse if their own management team was not as diligent in investigating and only pleasing. That can cost a nurse their job!!!
So I'm left NOT wanting to go back to work for the next 3 days because of how far this mom has gone and how awful she had made me feel. It seriously makes me not want to go the extra mile anymore for difficult patients because the taste left in my mouth tells me it won't matter.
I know I'm not the only one that has experienced something like this and so I need to know how to overcome this perception I'm developing. I want to grow as a nurse, not sit stagnant and bitter because of mean people.
What would you do? How could I have handled this better? Was there a positive ending to this or was it just the way the cards were dealt? Any suggestions or feedback would be appreciated.
Miserable and hungry
Apr 19, '17
Wow, how awful for you that you had to deal with a manager that didn't support you. I'm so sorry for that. Thank you for sharing. My manager is very new to her role and I'm hoping that she takes the right steps to resolve the situation. The support from here does make me feel less anxious about it all though, but I still haven't heard the outcome. Trying to stay positive until I do.
Last edit by JayneC84 on Apr 19, '17
: Reason: Not finished