Patient demands, "I want a different nurse"

  1. I have never been told this by a patient. But I have gone in to report & had the day shift tell me in report, "This patient said they did not want you for their nurse anymore."

    Have you ever had this happen to you? How to handle it?What did you do?
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    Joined: Jan '03; Posts: 1,998; Likes: 6


  3. by   BadBird
    I have never had that happen to me. Did you ask the charge nurse why the patient said that? I sure would want to know.
  4. by   Sleepyeyes
    Only happened to me once--

    I jumped for joy! this patient was extremely difficult and time-consuming for no apparent reason other than extreme control issues.

    You haven't got the time to waste over other people's angst. And there are quite a lot of pts who don't want certain caregivers beause they remind them of evil family members and such....

    At first, you may feel a little shocked and indignant, especially if you didn't do anything "wrong" while caring for the pt. But bury your pride and thank your stars, and move on.

    (If you did do something "wrong," correct it and move on.)
  5. by   imenid37
    i've had it happen that as charge nurse, a pt. or pt's dr. has told me the pt. does not want a certain nurse. i just say o.k. unless they offer some specific c/o then it goes no further than that. we just change the assignment. if they make an accusation that the person has done something specific then i tell the manager. some pts. are just weird or people just don't gel w/ one another. i think that management needs to be less customer service crazed sometimes and realize that some pt's and their families are unpleasable or just plain crazy.
    Last edit by imenid37 on Jan 20, '03
    Never question a gifted horse .... If the patient doesnt want you to be the nurse, its not a big deal...change assignments and let another nurse take it. It may or maynot be personal, just a personality conflict. No biggy. I would as a charge nurse that got this request would investigate why just to improve the situation and get down to the brass tacks of it. I have had a family member ask that I not be their family members nurse before because I was too strict on their familys care. (patient was a cabg that thought he could heal himself with laying in the bed and rotting) They asked for me when he returned with pneumonia due to him just rotting at home. Im known for my strict patient compliance , I am a boot camp sargent at heart. Dont take it personally its not worth your time or energy. For every one patient that requests that, there are 50 that pray your on.
    Just my thoughts
  7. by   purplemania
    that happens a lot in pedi's because the parent's stress level is so high and sometimes they think that changing nurses will change the situation. Count it as a blessing, because it could result in an angry confrontation if you continued to give care to people who resented your presence.
  8. by   deespoohbear
    Originally posted by imenid37
    i think that management needs to be less customer service crazed sometimes and realize that some pt's and their families are unpleasable or just plain crazy.

    The voice of common sense is heard!!! Yeah!!! Personally there has been some patients that I would have jumped for joy if they would have said they didn't want me for their nurse!!! Only one time in 8 years have I had this happen, and the family was totally off their upset with me because they didn't like the way I was putting on the tele monitor on their loved one...I mean how many ways is their to put a tele monitor on a pt? Said I was being too rough and they didn't like my attitude and wanted to talk to my supervisor. So I got my supervisor....never heard anymore about it....
  9. by   nimbex
    Different from everyone else's posts, I would feel the need to politely confront either the family or patient and ask WHY.....

    Perception is reality... if I had done something that was perceived to be different, I want to clear it up quick! I may even ask for them to consider another try at our relationship.

    I enjoy my relationships with family and patient (even those PIA's too) for the majority, if the complaint was unexpected I really would ask why!

    Too many pick apart our care and it's usually unjustified and sometimes nuts, but I do ask why and try to fix it.
  10. by   Stargazer
    I had this happen twice when I worked ICU, both times because I was trying to be realistic and honest with the family, which was not what they wanted to hear. The first time it happened, the family wanted to replace me in the middle of my shift. My charge nurse took the family aside for a talk and they came back and apologized to me. The wife actually gave me a gift when hubby left the unit. The 2nd time, I heard about it the next day and since I was only working per diem at the time, it just wasn't worth the energy to pursue it.

    I have also had to be the lucky nurse who steps in and gets the assignment when the family "fires" another nurse. I had to change assignments one day after the charge nurse came up and told me that the patient's family got very upset after meeting the assigned nurse. We were about to withdraw support on the patient and the family felt the nurse was too abrupt, rushed, and rude. They were nearly hysterical when I met with them--it took everything I had in the first hour or so to get them calmed down.

    It stings a little, but you can't take it too personally. A lot of times it's just the family trying to exert some kind of control in a situation where they don't feel they have any, or grasping at straws that this will turn the pt's course around.
  11. by   renerian
    I was elated. I was not happy to care for the client either LOL. Illness sometimes distorts peoples ability to tolerate different nurses. I did not take it personal.

  12. by   llg
    As another poster said, this is not all that rare in pediatrics, where stressed-out parents sometimes take a dis-liking to a particular nurse. Sometimes, nurses want the management team to "stand up for" the nurse and insist that the parents accept them caring for their child. Here is why the management team does not usually do that at my hospital:

    We want to protect the nurse from a lawsuit we can see coming a mile away. If the patient (or family) complains to the management about the performance of a particular staff member and the management refuses to honor the patient's request that the staff member not be assigned -- and then something bad happens -- how do you think the family will react? Even if that particular staff member was not at fault, the lawsuit may take years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle. The nurse has the lawsuit on her record forever: there are hard feelings all around: etc. etc. etc.

    We try to honor those requests whenever we can to protect our staff from unreasonable patients -- not because we don't trust them to give good care. Once that is explained to the staff member in question, most are grateful that we take this stance.

  13. by   NS_RN
    yes, and usually when a patient says that they are an a$$hole anyway and I wouldn't want them for a patient anyway! So there!LOL
    And....I wish I had the option of saying "I don't want him/her for a patient"!!!!
  14. by   l.rae
    "Don't send that blond bytch in my mom's room again!"...this from a dgtr who was indignant when l tried to calmly expalin why mom wasn't walked to the BR...(had to wait 30 min), during a code in the ER.....she "understood" all that because "l am an ICU nurse."...geesh, you think SHE could have walked mom to the BR?......anyway, l was just passing thru, working triage that nite, but went in to hang another IV bag for a co-worker....when l explained that code was priority, and applogised, she went ballistic told supervisor l was condesending and l was not to enter her mom's room stated above...Supervisor tells me this , l say pass the tissues......not only was this dgtr a nurse, she worked at my hospital, different site!...go figure....