Evil People - page 4

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  1. by   travduck
    We encounter the same attitude in family members daily in OB, (and worse). There are several ways to get around this wondrous yuck: 1) move to Arizona where abuse of health personnel is a felony I hear, 2) write poison poetry and keep under lock and key, 3) carry a tape recorder and "smile" as you "request" the person to record all their requirements for your practice of the nursing arts and tell them "politely" that this way you can refer to their "expertise" now and in the future. Better yet go to your manager and tell her that their is an unreasonable patient or family member and that you feel that the best interests of the unit would be served if she would either take over the patient or accompany you to distract the complaintant so that you can get your work done.
  2. by   bugjuice90
    I like to use a little "unsolicited info" at times like this. When a man yelled at me for keeping his wife in a semiprivate room though he had requested a private room (we did not have any available.) I smiled sweetly at him and mentioned that as soon as one of the "infectious patients" went home or expired I would be glad to move his wife. He was horrified and wanted to know how we cleaned such rooms. I said " oh, the same way we clean all the rooms, sir." I left him pondering that statement. Of course we really do a special cleaning on those rooms but I probably wasn't aware of that fact.
    I felt mean later but he had harrassed a young girl (new CNA) into crying just before this exchange and I got angry with him.
  3. by   erjulie
    evil patients/families do suck the life out of you, but really only if you allow it. I'm not sure how not to allow it, there are different strategies depending on how you yourself are doing that day. I usually get very quiet and businesslike, and they do not get to benefit from my humor, or even eye contact. What enrages me, however, is management's response to these boors. They reward the behavior with bumping the patient to the front of the line, bringing extra "treats" like soft drinks, etc. for family members, etc etc etc. This totally and completely puts me over the edge. I think boorish patients are spoiled brats, and the way to treat them is to ignore their behavior AND NEVER REWARD IT with any type of response outside of what is absolutely necessary. When management rewards it, they 1) have the behavior reinforced, and 2)management is telling them that yeah, you really are the bad nurse they think you are. This makes me HATE my job. So, I ignore management, too! Interestingly, the "goals" posted by management, on which our raises are based, are not weighted towards good clinical outcomes, (that's only 25%) but "customer service" at a whopping 45%!
    Last edit by erjulie on Jan 6, '06
  4. by   ColdFusion
    Kudos to you, Happy ER RN, for not knocking the dragon's block off!

    It's a damned shame we can't just call security or some other designated personnel to deal with the crazies, which are legion.

    There are more NUTTY patients (and family members!) on Med-Surg than Psyche!
  5. by   CseMgr1
    You should have stuck that IV into Mom's arm, instead.
  6. by   Felixa
    The relatives are always more evil than that patients, even on psychiatric wards. In my experience, the more trivial the problem, the worse the behaviour.

    I was doing a student nurse placement on a dementia ward, and noticing some people who were obviously family members of a guy from the functional side, I asked them if I could do anything for them.

    The woman (?wife of the patient?) replied that they were there for a case conference and wanted to know what room they were in.

    I replied that I was only a student, and didn't know what room they would be in, but if she took a seat I could find someone who could tell her. I looked in the ward diary and didn't see any mention of the meeting, found the named nurse who said he would be out in a minute, the ward manager was interviewing, the were several staff sick, and I couldn't find anyone else at that time who could take over.

    I explained all this to the woman, and she was disgusted that no one was ready to receive her - she didn't seem to realise that it was a hospital ward where patients don't always wait for a convenient time to display their symptoms.

    Trying to be helpful, I told her that I knew that the meeting would not be on the ward as there was building work taking place so we didn't have any meeting rooms. She was quite angry at this as no one had told her that the meeting had moved.

    Thinking it would give her some understanding and move her to compassion, I explained that the building work was an emergency measure, as a ward at the other main hospital had its roof collapse, so we had to make another ten beds to accommodate their patients on our ward.

    "The expression 'not my problem' comes to mind," she said.

    I was outraged by her selfishness.

    She also said that she had parked in a staff only parking space and that she expected not to get fined for it. "What will I do if I get a fine on my windshield?"

    And I wish, how I wish I'd said "The expression 'not my problem' comes to mind"...

    What I actually said was that 'you do that at your own risk. There is parking for patients and visitors on site or you can park out on one of the roads outside the hospital'.

    Eventually the named nurse appeared, apologised for his delay and all was well, except for one very shaken-up student nurse. I haven't been able to convey just how rude she was to me.

    What really annoyed me was how much I let her get to me. Before nursing I had done several years of customer service, and I'm usually quite good at dealing with angry and imperious people. I suppose I sympathised with her a bit as we weren't as organised as we should have been, and to be greeted by only a student who doesn't know what's going on is not encouraging.

    What I realise now is that we all have off days. Some people just know which buttons to press, and sometimes our buttons are much more sensitive than others.

    It was comforting to find out later that she was known as a dragon lady on the ward, that it wasn't just me. I did sympathise with her in a way, as being a carer of someone with a mental health problem is very stressful, and she only wanted the best for him, and as others have said in this thread, having your loved one go into hospital means you lose control over their care and of course no one else can do it so well! (I also understand why the patient wanted to come into hospital!!)
  7. by   Marylou1102
    Something bugjuice90 posted reminded me of an incident that happened a few years ago. I was working night shift in ER and all the hospitals were filled to capacity. We were the only ones taking patients and were boarding in the ER. There was one man on a gurney in the hall who was not happy and he let us know frequently. He saw the orderly take another patient up to a room and started demanding a room also. I very sweetly told him that when the next person died he could have that room. He asked if that was how the other man got his room and I said it was ( true). He was very quiet and well behaved the rest of my shift.
  8. by   MCF
    Quote from teeituptom
    When it comes to people like that, you need to remember not to let it get personal for you. For me I just smile sweetly and talk slowly and softly, while inside Im imagining inserting 24 fr foleys and rectal tubes into them at the same time. Yes its a control issue whether on the patients behalf or that of some family member who is trying to exert control over their impotency at the time.

    If there are any patients I truly dislike they would be Republicans, Lawyers, sport figures, and most of all journalists, particularly journalists.
    Sounds like you may have some interesting stories about patients in those categories? (Republicans, lawyers, sports figures, journalists) How do you find out the political affiliation of all your patients? Personally, I try to avoid controversial topics on the job - why add to the stress! But some folks find it exhilarating!:Snow:
  9. by   mbrester
    3) carry a tape recorder and "smile" as you "request" the person to record all their requirements for your practice of the nursing arts and tell them "politely" that this way you can refer to their "expertise" now and in the future.

    I like the tape recorder idea, in most states only one person (you) has to know it is running.

    Great job of walking away.
  10. by   SFCardiacRN
    Recording a persons voice without their knowledge is illegal in California.
  11. by   royreba
    I think that management needs to take a look at the abuse of families as a major issue in nurse retainment. I have seen many nurses leave the bedside because of the constant abuse of family, patients and physicians. The unit I work on now is really great about sticking up for the nurses. I have made it very clear to family members that visiting the patient is not a right. Anyone that is preventing care of the patient will not be allowed in the room. The worst experience I had was when I had to pull the overly emotional wife off a patient so that I could shock him. I swear I wanted to slap her in the face just to get her to snap out of it. Wailing "he's dying" while clutching her vented, unstable husband is not helpful at all. She was removed and was not allowed back in until she could gain her composure. I thought "he sure as heck will be dead if I don't get you out of here." I have worked with other managers that reward crazy inappropriate behavior. Where I work now, our director is so awesome. I think she should teach classes on how to treat your staff and how to keep them.
  12. by   fotografe
    I was surprised to learn not to long ago that in most states it is not illegal for someone under 21 to drink. It is illegal for them to purchase alcohol. Weird isn't it?

    Quote from sagarcia210
    I would have said something to the effect that it is illegal for a 16 year old to be drunk, that they are just lucky the police are not aware of the condition of their daughter at that moment. However, if they think police involvement might prevent their 16 year old from getting in that condition again, then I would be more than happy to get the police involved.
    I have said things similar to this and it usually works.
  13. by   Happy-ER-RN
    Yeah, getting the manager in this case would not have been very helpful. Our hospital is HUGE on customer service. If someone in triage complains enough and asks for the nurse manager they are often escorted directly back.:angryfire It's okay mam, we'll just let someone die so you can get the runny nose taken care of.

    Kind of off topic, but it truly amazes me how many people come the the ER for a head cold or stomach flu. I have never even seen a Dr. for such things, and neither has anyone I know, where do these people come from?

    Anyway, thanks all for your replies...