Hi everyone, this is the first time I've ever posted on this site. I've searched everywhere for something on this topic, but I can't find anything remotely similar to my situation. Please help!
I'm a new grad RN, beginning orientation for my first RN job on Monday (4 days from now). It is my absolute DREAM job -- I've always wanted to be a psych nurse, and I've always wanted to work at this facility. Today I was informed that my mother (with whom I have been slightly estranged -- she's bipolar and an alcoholic) is currently an inpatient at my new job!
She is in the addictions rehab unit. I will be working in the committed psychiatric unit, which is totally different, so she will certainly not be my patient. BUT WHAT DO I DO ABOUT THIS? The facility is not very large -- I am bound to run into her at some point during the week, whether it's a brief glimpse or a period of minutes in the same room, especially since I am being oriented and will probably be touring the entire facility, etc.
So, what is the typical policy for family members being patients?
Do I need to inform my supervisor/manager/someone that my mother is a patient here? Who do I talk to? How do I appropriately and professionally handle any reaction she may have to seeing me? (It is very possible that she would cause a scene, given the circumstances and just her personality/mental health issues/typical behavior)
I do not want to begin my VERY first day at my VERY first job on the wrong foot... I want it to be clear that I am not trying to hide anything or be dishonest in any way. I just do not know what exactly I am supposed to disclose, or with whom I should be talking about this. I have no idea if this is a "big deal" or breaking any kind of policy or procedure, or if it does not matter at all and no one will care.
Clearly, I am in need of some guidance! Please, anyone, share your thoughts as soon as possible!
P.S. I am also worried about being branded some type of drama-related person. Obviously these circumstances are just coincidence and are out of my control, but I'm concerned that I will be viewed in a negative light to start with. Here I am, brand new and not even WORKING yet, and I've already got an issue to discuss :/ I really do not want to start this way or be seen this way!
Quote from radiobrain
So, what is the typical policy for family members being patients? Do I need to inform my supervisor/manager/someone that my mother is a patient here? Who do I talk to? How do I appropriately and professionally handle any reaction she may have to seeing me? (It is very possible that she would cause a scene, given the circumstances and just her personality/mental health issues/typical behavior)
In the Facilities that I've been associated with, the policy has been: No direct professional contact with a Relative. There is no problem with relatives on other units.
It would be a prudent idea to casually inform your direct Supervisor of the situation. This sort of situation is not uncommon and Administative Staff need to be made aware in order to follow established guidelines.
If by chance you have direct interaction with your Mother, I would suggest that you treat her like any other Patient that you''ve had previous personal contact with: Be superficially social, ask no questions outside of your Professional realm, and inform her that you are under obligation to not discuss anything about her Hospital stay or Her outside of the Facility to anyone.
Be sure your direct Supervisor is aprised of your perception re: your Mother's behavior. Additional awareness can prevent such an occurence from taking place.
Don't worry about being branded a "Drama Queen", unless that's what you are. To act as a Professional informing your Supervisor of a situation requiring their attention, is a logical, sytematic process. We are more likely to be treated in an appropriately professional manner if we approach others as such.
Good luck to you in your new position, radiobrain.
Last edit by Davey Do on Jul 8, '11