She called my MOTHER!!!

  1. Admin- no Facebook, please.


    Just to preface this, this is family, so no HIPAA breach.

    I am in my late 30s, a Nurse Practitioner, and I own my own clinic. I have been open a couple years in my present location and I bet I have one y'all have never heard before.

    The vast majority of my family area great, come in for visits (or I do make house calls) and we go on our merry way. Then others come in with the 'I don't want to sign in, I just want her to take a look at this'. In other words, angling for a free visit.

    This particular family member has attempted several times to come in clinic after hours, going so far as to have her young granddaughter beat on my front door whilst she beat on the side door and then tried to blast past my nurse when we opened to see what on Earth was going on. She has come to my house and tried to come in the bathroom where I was TAKING A BATH, but my husband succeeded in stopping her.

    Most recently, she brought in the aforementioned granddaughter, who I can not see because reasons. I personally have no issue with seeing her but insurance says otherwise. The child suffered some trauma several weeks ago and has not been evaluated since that time. When we advised my family member that we couldn't see the child (I felt testing was needed that I would not have been able to order because I am not the assigned health provider) she flew mad and started screaming 'I just want you to look at her and see if she needs something done!!!'

    I reiterated my opinion 3 times, and was met with 'I ain't TAKING her there!' in reference to the assigned medical provider. I explained why I could not treat sufficiently but she was having none of it. Dragged the poor baby out of the clinic and said she'd 'take her somewhere'.

    I calmed myself down and went on about my business but when my Mama dropped my child off later in the evening, she asked about it.

    Yeah, this crazy train CALLED MY MOTHER TO TATTLE ON ME.

    I can't even, I mean, who even THINKS that that is even an option, let alone an ok thing to do?!?!?

    Anyone have anything similar that they have dealt with? I'm just floored. Again, nobody was seen and no care assumed so no HIPAA involvement.
  2. Visit AngelfireRN profile page

    About AngelfireRN, APRN

    Joined: Jul '07; Posts: 1,466; Likes: 4,106

    15 Comments

  3. by   psu_213
    With all due respect, this is another reason why you should not, regardless of role--RN, NP, MD, etc.--treat family. For the OP to change her policy at this point might be as effective an trying to put toothpaste back in the tube.
  4. by   AngelfireRN
    Oh, I have no issue with treating family. I practice where I grew up so to do that would rule out practically the whole county. I just think it's equal parts hilarious/infuriating that this neenerhead thought calling Mama was going to net her a different result.
  5. by   vanilla bean
    Quote from AngelfireRN
    Oh, I have no issue with treating family.
    It certainly sounds like you have issues. If you choose to blur the boundaries between family and provider, then I think you've got to accept the "crazy train" with the "great." All aboard! Woo-woo!
  6. by   KelRN215
    This is a really good argument for keeping your work life and your personal life completely separate. I will never work in my hometown for this reason. I did for a summer in nursing school and had to deal with way too many people from my personal life (like grandparents of people I grew up with). I once did take care of my 8th grade gym teacher's daughter when I worked at a Children's Hospital. Recognized her right away too and she me. She said , within about 12 seconds of me walking in the room, "you look so familiar" and without skipping a beat I said "you were my gym teacher in 8th grade." If anyone I was in any way related to was enrolled in the program I currently work for (which is a small program of about 100 children in foster care throughout the state), I would gracefully bow out of anything to do with their case.
  7. by   verene
    You need some serious boundaries established; like yesterday. Picture this patient as anyone other than family and it is possible you'd have grounds to have police and gone to court to request a restraining order - she's exhibited aggressive and threatening behaviors towards your place of business, your staff, and you personally, she's tried to come after you in your own home! She's harassing your other family members to get to you. This is NOT okay.

    How would you handle a non-family patient/client acting this way? Treat her the same.
  8. by   JBudd
    If she hasn't had a trauma problem examined, for that much time, it may be time to notify your local child protection agency. You thought the kid needed testing, and told her so!

    and if it comes to it, a restraining order.
  9. by   AngelfireRN
    Well, let me qualify that...I really don't have an issue and would have treated the poor baby, but with her insurance I could not have gone further. Without a referral, I could not have ordered and testing or sent her to specialty. That was the only issue.
    Accepting is no problem, as this fruit bat has been a cross to bear for close to 40 years, but calling a 40-year-old professional's mother to tattle...well, I figured y'all would get a charge out of it.
  10. by   AngelfireRN
    Quote from JBudd
    If she hasn't had a trauma problem examined, for that much time, it may be time to notify your local child protection agency. You thought the kid needed testing, and told her so!

    and if it comes to it, a restraining order.
    Thank you. That thought is one I have been mulling, but I only have limited info. Still, a well check could probably be done and then processed from there.
  11. by   AngelfireRN
    Quote from verene
    You need some serious boundaries established; like yesterday. Picture this patient as anyone other than family and it is possible you'd have grounds to have police and gone to court to request a restraining order - she's exhibited aggressive and threatening behaviors towards your place of business, your staff, and you personally, she's tried to come after you in your own home! She's harassing your other family members to get to you. This is NOT okay.

    How would you handle a non-family patient/client acting this way? Treat her the same.
    Yep. It's been made clear that she is no longer allowed in the clinic or I'll call the local sheriff (he's been made aware). I don't tolerate it from anyone. That's what I adore about being on my own. At my old practice, I would have been told that I had to continue to treat this person, were they a patient. Now, I have complete authority and I value decency over keeping a patient.

    Thank you.
  12. by   AngelfireRN
    Quote from KelRN215
    This is a really good argument for keeping your work life and your personal life completely separate. I will never work in my hometown for this reason. I did for a summer in nursing school and had to deal with way too many people from my personal life (like grandparents of people I grew up with). I once did take care of my 8th grade gym teacher's daughter when I worked at a Children's Hospital. Recognized her right away too and she me. She said , within about 12 seconds of me walking in the room, "you look so familiar" and without skipping a beat I said "you were my gym teacher in 8th grade." If anyone I was in any way related to was enrolled in the program I currently work for (which is a small program of about 100 children in foster care throughout the state), I would gracefully bow out of anything to do with their case.
    When I was in preceptorship, it was the rule that we could not treat anyone we knew/were related to. After one day with my cardiology preceptor (who was my personal cardio and the hubby to my neurologist), he called my professor and said, "If you want this rule to be upheld, she needs to precept in another state, because she knows EVERYBODY! If the nurse practitioner thing ever doesn't work for her, I'm recommending politics!"
    I actually love treating people I know, it's not that I don't.
    I didn't mean this so much as a vent about that as I had not posted in a while and thought this was a pretty good 'can you BELIEVE this?!?'.
    I thank you for your response, though, and I understand how you feel!
  13. by   morte
    Angel, I knew what you meant, and laughed my butt off. but a well child check sounds appropriate. good luck
  14. by   Neats
    It sounds like you have an out of control patient but you need to have boundaries as well. This patient is familiar enough with you to know your mother and called her. I would sit down with this person with a witness when they are at next scheduled appointment or when they come pounding on your door and let them know you can no longer take care of them for the following reasons. Then list the reasons to include the need for referral to mental health. This person knows your weaknesses and manipulating you. You are placing yourself in a position that can easily turn against you.
    You would not do this with a patient whom you only had a professional relationship with, why would you do this is familiar family/close friends. I would stand firm, let them know in an emergency you will respond but they need to find a different provider. Stick to your guns on this. If you do not do this, then part of the ongoing issues would be your responsibility.

    Lastly and I mean no disrespect I do not get a kick out of things like this. This is passive aggressive behavior. We develop these patients and we need to stop. We need to stop catering to patients and give what they really need... good competent healthcare services that equip them, and train them in self sufficiency. People do not change and when this person goes to another provider most assured they will eventually be the demanding patient they were with you (part of what you have allowed to develop), I feel for the new provider and my hope is they have great boundaries. They will eventually leave for another provider. Their care is now fragmented and they truly run the chance of falling through the cracks.

    Competent medical care with tough compassion. Truths hurt, you can be assertive yet come across as caring. We sweep a lot of patient issues under the rug because we do not want to hurt the patients feelings, this is not the way to practice healthcare... Maybe this is why I am no longer a manager I will say what needs to be said or ask the tough questions that nobody wants to ask (in a nice way) I most certainly would not get my star rating.

close