Patient complaints handling by management.

  1. 12/12/05
    Have you ever had a trivial pt. complaint result in disciplinary action? I recently became a no return to a facility,where I worked agency, because the Daughter of a Pt. on my team complained about me regarding the following scenario. I had been working in the ER agency per diem , since a year ago part time on weekends, without ever having a complaint. Then I decided to help out on the med/surg unit and would work almost every weekend,for the last few months, besides my regular job during the week. Two weekends ago I answered a call light, a total of 6 times that night, (on the swingbed pt. who I had assigned the Nurse Tech to). On one of my contacts, the Pt's Wife & Daughter were in the room. The wife said "Where's the hand towel that's supposed to be on the rail?" (toilet grab rail), "There was one here yesterday." I politely responded that routinely the hospital doesn't hand out cloth towels, that there were paper towels in the bathroom and that we used the "bath in the bag" approach to bathing, in which the moisture evaporates, instead of drying with a towel. I also said that we weren't like the "Ritz-Carlton" and we don't automatically stock towels in the bathroom. Meanwhile I turn around to find the 30 something Daughter, rolling her eyes at me, (behind my back). I brought a towel within a half an hour, but the Pt's Wife had never directly or politley asked me for a towel. Later when I brought the towel, the Daughter was gone, but the Pt's Wife was there, the Wife apologized for talking to me the the way she did, as though I was the chamber maid. My agency called tme the following day to say I was a no return because of this. I've had it with patient/family trivialities and idiosyncrasies. They just don't understand why were there. We're there to provide healthcare, do critical thinking and intervene as necessary to ultimately improve there health, provide a good recovery, and save lives. We're not people's doormats. I am a consumer too and understand that people look at hospital care as an overpriced necessity, but we're all consumers. I'm an excellent nurse and provide excellent nursing care, people don't understand why you're there to begin with. This same hospital since buying this small community hospital in Wisconsin two years ago, has subsequently fired of the veteran RNS who had better pay and benefits, all without just cause. For example an Rn with 30 years of service in their ER was let go because of bing told she was rude to a patient on the phone in the E.R.. Tell what nurse hasn't ever been told this. Some Pt's & their families expect too much and are unrealistic and want to drain as much as they can from the nursing staff to get their monies worth. With today's hospitals mission statements which ascribe to the perfect dream place, where every possible need will be met within a minutes notice. They build the prospective patient population that they are royalty deserving the royal treatment, all to justify charging an outrageous bill for Patient services. Nurses get treated like doormats.

    I'm bewildered?
    Last edit by RNS for Unity on Dec 15, '05
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    About RNS for Unity

    Joined: Dec '03; Posts: 22


  3. by   fergus51
    I wouldn't have appreciated the Ritz Carlton comment, but otherwise there isn't much you can do about stuff like this. If management wants to make someone a DNR for something stupid, then you probably don't want to work there anyways.