Jump to content

Do the parents annoy you?

NICU   (1,039 Views | 10 Replies)
by angel94 angel94 (New) New Student

104 Profile Views; 14 Posts

I'm a nursing student so I have no experience just asking. But do the parents annoy you? There was a girl who would take pictures the whole 8 months her twins were in the NICU, day or night. And not just of the babies but everything. It just accured to me that as a NICU nurse this would be aggravating, especially if she is constantly bothering the babies after the nurse gets them settled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

babyNP. has 12 years experience as a APRN and specializes in NICU.

4 Followers; 1,864 Posts; 28,395 Profile Views

It doesn't sound like you have much experience with parents in general- look on facebook and you'll see many parents of healthy babies post every day. I have found that many parents take thousands of photos of their babies, made easy since the advent of smart phones.

What do you mean by the parent "bothering the babies"? Keep in mind that they are her children and she is their mother. The nurse is there to provide medical care, not to bond them with them. Can you give an example of what you mean? Obviously there are some boundaries that should not be crossed in a fragile infant, but if a parent has had their babies in the NICU for 8 months and visit consistently, they know their child better than anyone and many parents by this point recognize if their behavior is stressing out their children.

Could you also clarify what you mean by taking photos of "everything"? Certainly she should not be taking pictures of staff or procedures unless given express permission. But you have to keep in mind that being in the NICU is a stressful place and I can't imagine what it must be like to see your child there for 8 months. Lots of parents like to document the process as a way to reflect and hang onto some sort of control. Remember that the the NICU is not a normal place. When I was in grad school my professor reminded us that the loss of a normal/expected/planned birth is something that many parents will grieve intensely over. Multiply that by the parents who spend months in a NICU and losing the normality of raising their infant in their home environment.

I'm not saying this to make you feel bad, just trying to give you a different perspective. On a surface level, are there parents that annoy nurses? Of course, we are only human and not every personality is compatible. However- it's important to remain professional as much as possible. If a nurse really has an issue with a parent, I have found that most charge nurses will accommodate the nurse in not assigning them to that patient and their family anymore- but this is unit and culture dependent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Future_GA_nurse is a CNA, EMT-B and specializes in Career changer.

83 Posts; 1,876 Profile Views

I'm a former NICU parent and this post bothers me (a little). Unless the parent is harming the baby, why would it matter if the parent is annoying you or their actions? I took alot of pictures and bonded with everyone that came into contact with my son. When I look back over the countless pictures and videos, I can see progression. I can see how his day was going. On not so good days I have a 'record' of what happened, what went wrong, how was he feeling, how was he eating, responding etc. I'm thankful that I did it because I can recall in that very moment..just that, the moment my child went through a series of milestones while in the NICU.

On the other hand, there were times nurses annoyed me on how they 'treated' my son. For example, I had a nurse that after my son had his feeding, she would 'aspirate' what was left in his stomach to measure how much was left. She did it so quick and still my son had residuals and his stomach protruded out so much as if she gave him too much during a feed. I dont know the medical term for it. However seeing other nurses who have done it they did it more gradually and as such, his stomach didn't protrude out and he seemed more 'stable' afterward . This really annoyed me but I kept it to myself as I knew she was only there for one day.

With that being said, as long as the parent isn't harmed and is abiding by the 'rules', you should really think about the real reason why they are doing it and not because it annoys you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14 Posts; 104 Profile Views

Uhm I'm asking as a student for information purposes. I'm not sure why the question would bother anyone. I'm just asking to see how nurses deal with difficult parents.

24 minutes ago, babyNP. said:

It doesn't sound like you have much experience with parents in general- look on facebook and you'll see many parents of healthy babies post every day. I have found that many parents take thousands of photos of their babies, made easy since the advent of smart phones.

What do you mean by the parent "bothering the babies"? Keep in mind that they are her children and she is their mother. The nurse is there to provide medical care, not to bond them with them. Can you give an example of what you mean? Obviously there are some boundaries that should not be crossed in a fragile infant, but if a parent has had their babies in the NICU for 8 months and visit consistently, they know their child better than anyone and many parents by this point recognize if their behavior is stressing out their children.

Could you also clarify what you mean by taking photos of "everything"? Certainly she should not be taking pictures of staff or procedures unless given express permission. But you have to keep in mind that being in the NICU is a stressful place and I can't imagine what it must be like to see your child there for 8 months. Lots of parents like to document the process as a way to reflect and hang onto some sort of control. Remember that the the NICU is not a normal place. When I was in grad school my professor reminded us that the loss of a normal/expected/planned birth is something that many parents will grieve intensely over. Multiply that by the parents who spend months in a NICU and losing the normality of raising their infant in their home environment.

I'm not saying this to make you feel bad, just trying to give you a different perspective. On a surface level, are there parents that annoy nurses? Of course, we are only human and not every personality is compatible. However- it's important to remain professional as much as possible. If a nurse really has an issue with a parent, I have found that most charge nurses will accommodate the nurse in not assigning them to that patient and their family anymore- but this is unit and culture dependent.

I have plenty experience with parents seeing as I use to be a teacher. I know first hand that parents can and will overstep their boundaries. I'm asking for information purposes as a student.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14 Posts; 104 Profile Views

Taking pictures of everything, machines, medicines, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

3 Followers; 1 Article; 1,414 Posts; 19,683 Profile Views

3 hours ago, angel94 said:

Taking pictures of everything, machines, medicines, etc.

I know the type, and yes, that can be a bit frustrating. We have had to put certain parents on behavioral contracts for constantly taking pictures of things that they know they aren't supposed to (monitors, nurses, procedures, etc.) Granted, all of those families already had a history of being openly hostile toward the nurses and not following the rules.

That said, one of my very favorite parts of NICU is working with families. For every frustrating family I meet, there are dozens more that are amazing. The vast majority are very grateful that we're taking care of their babies. I really enjoy empowering families to care for their babies, and watching the progression as they become more confident and self-sufficient over time.

As @Future_GA_nurse explained, it makes sense that NICU families want to take pictures of their kids. NICU stays can be pretty traumatic for families, and the normal bonding period is completely disrupted. If taking pictures helps the family feel closer to their baby, or more in control of the situation, I'm all for it. I usually offer to take pictures of the mom and baby together while they're skin-to-skin, and I've even helped stage some pretty cute 'NICU milestone' photo shoots.

15 hours ago, angel94 said:

It just accured to me that as a NICU nurse this would be aggravating, especially if she is constantly bothering the babies after the nurse gets them settled.

Yes, it can be annoying when a cranky baby finally falls asleep and the parents want to wake them up to 'play with them.' I have had the occasional parent or grandparent where I've explained the importance of sleep cycles and asked the family not to wake the baby up, but then do it anyway.

Oftentimes the parents don't even realize how disruptive their actions can be, and so I use it as a teaching opportunity to talk about sleep cycles. Most parents genuinely want what's best for their baby and are very receptive to teaching.

There are a few who will resist and say things like, "You can't tell me when I can or can't touch my baby." In that case, I let them do whatever they're going to do. First of all, it's the same as what they're going to do at home, and second, you've got to pick your battles. Unless they are actively endangering the child's safety, all you can do is keep reinforcing the education.

Edited by adventure_rn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

67 Posts; 1,930 Profile Views

Parents can definitely be annoying. They usually dont realize that their baby isn't the only one in the unit. I cant say I find picture taking annoying though. I understand wanting to document your baby's growth. I do find the video calls annoying if a parent is being loud or getting in the way of baby's care (we had one mom that would block the isolette video calling her family while you assessed the baby or prepared a feeding). While I do think parents are important to their baby's development, but some of them do take the idea too far. I've had a mom of a 24 weeker get angry when she was denied kangaroo care. I tried explaining why but she insisted that she knew better as the baby's mom. We have moms of NAS babies come in and wake the baby after you just got them down. 

Unless they're breaking a rule or harming the baby, you just grin and bear it. Theres not much else you can do. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

295 Posts; 1,593 Profile Views

I can’t imagine having my children in the ICU, hooked up to tubes, for MONTHS. Instead of having them at home, snuggling them all day every day, dressing them in all the cute clothes I had prepared for them. It would be awful. And I know myself well enough to know I would be super annoying in that case. I’d either be crying all the time, or else talking way too much and trying to be chipper, or asking for reassurance, or maybe just zoning out and staring at my phone so it looked like I “didn’t care.”  I don’t know exactly how’d I’d react, but I guarantee it wouldn’t be considered ideal or pleasant behavior by someone who had to deal with me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8 Posts; 53 Profile Views

Just put yourself in her shoes. She’s just given birth to TWINS who are fragile in a NICU. Not all babies leave the NICU. Perhaps she’s just taking it all in because there is a very real possibility that it might be the last photo she takes of them. Even if they are stable from a medical standpoint, nothing feels stable when you’re the mother. This is her way to cope with what’s happening around her; her only means of control of the situation. Yea families can be “annoying”, but they are just grieving, coping, doing the best they can. We hold so much power as clinicians, families feel like they have no power at all. It’s our job to make them feel safe and help them during whatever journey they are facing. It doesn’t sound like any behavior is out of hand here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

501 Posts; 6,220 Profile Views

I was a NICU mom, I thought there was a real possibility my child could die. Imagine being a first time mom having had a traumatic premature birth thinking that baby you wanted so badly may not make it. 

My child did thankfully. But I was there every day and held baby every chance I got. I also was what I considered a respectful parent to my baby's needs, to staff and to the other babies around. I just wanted to hold my baby  every chance I got---just in case.

People in general are annoying at times, that is just a fact. When you work with people you will encounter all types of wonderful & crazy. Protect baby first of course, but also just consider where the parent may be coming from is my takeaway here as both a nurse & a former NICU parent. 

Edited by MiladyMalarkey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14 Posts; 104 Profile Views

1 hour ago, rachelT said:

Just put yourself in her shoes. She’s just given birth to TWINS who are fragile in a NICU. Not all babies leave the NICU. Perhaps she’s just taking it all in because there is a very real possibility that it might be the last photo she takes of them. Even if they are stable from a medical standpoint, nothing feels stable when you’re the mother. This is her way to cope with what’s happening around her; her only means of control of the situation. Yea families can be “annoying”, but they are just grieving, coping, doing the best they can. We hold so much power as clinicians, families feel like they have no power at all. It’s our job to make them feel safe and help them during whatever journey they are facing. It doesn’t sound like any behavior is out of hand here.

Never said any was out of line. I simply asked does it bother the nurses when its done overboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.