The public just doesn't get it. - page 2

The public just doesn't get it. The confidentiality thing. Yesterday at work, I got a phone call. I answer the phone "Med/Surg, this is ....," Caller "Is John Doe there?" I could tell right away... Read More

  1. by   Brownms46
    Rule #1: If you don't know their full name, they don't want to see you.

  2. by   pebbles
    I have actually stopped visitors in the hallway as they "sightsee" into other rooms... I say to them that it's very difficult to maintain people's privacy and dignity while they are in the hospital, and we would appreciate their consideration of others in helping us to protect privacy and confidentiality.

    We USED to have signs posted in the hallways about how visitors should please try to be courteous and respect the privacy of others and asking them to be responsible about things they might see or overhear about other patients. I know lots of people don't read signs, but it gave us nurses a bit more visible back-up when we had to speak to people.
  3. by   NICU_Nurse
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Aug 28, '03
  4. by   andrewsgranny
    Well, I dont work in a hospital setting anymore, but people are just as nosey in a clinic. And can be very rude. If a pt. is being taken back into a room and happens to see a computer they will stretch their neck to look and see whats on it And if they happen to see somone they know they will say
    "Oh so you all see Mr. Doe too?"
    And our exams rooms are small so we have to limit one family member per pt. And have a sign posted to such in the waiting room. So when I get g-maw back everyone in the waiting room gets up to come too. Now I understand their concern that g-maw wont remember what the Dr. said but hopefully it wont take all of them to remember it. So I'll say I'm sorry our exam rooms just are not big enough for everyone. They respond... "well thats ok, when the Dr. comes in we will leave" NOT. Then a few will sit down and I still have 3 or 4 plus the pt. I say I'm sorry I only have enough room in here for one other person and then the pt. responds.."well I want them in here" What do I do? Then the Dr. says to me "we are gonna have to be more forward in preventing this many family members back" I'm sorry did I hear him tell any of them to leave? NOPE! The only way I can be more forward as he calls it is to be RUDE. Then I will hear it from the Dr. How the pt.'s family and the pt. complained I was rude to them.
    No Win situation.....
  5. by   eldernurse
    One of our nurses almost got fired for even telling someone that a patient was a patient in our hospital. Any one of us would have said that. My point is (and I made this point with management) why do we have to stop what we are doing, like patient care, to answer the phone when we can't say anything any way. Now, I work in the ED. We do what is loosely called Phone Triage. But, the only thing we are allowed to say is, maybe you should come in to be seen. It isn't like we need the business!!! Believe me. I say, no phone calls. Come if you want to know what is going on with a loved one. And don't expect the doc to be on call 24 hours a day. Call him at his office or stay here and wait for him to arrive.
  6. by   zudy
    I was working ER one nite, had a code that didn't make it. While Iwas alone in the room doing PM care, A family from another pt walked into the room, and asked to see the body" because I've never seen anyone that was dead." I called security, who didn't understand why I "made such a fuss"!!!!!!!!
  7. by   shannonRN
    my favorite is when 13 people call during one shift to ask for an update on their ___. we spend so much time dealing with the callers and explaining that they need to have one person designated to obtain updates and then the rest of the family can call them....they don't get it. even better is when they complain that ___ hasn't been medicated for pain and he asked for it 5 minutes ago. well, gee, if i didn't have to stop and talk to you he would have had it already!!!
  8. by   bestblondRN
    Originally posted by zudy
    I was working ER one nite, had a code that didn't make it. While Iwas alone in the room doing PM care, A family from another pt walked into the room, and asked to see the body" because I've never seen anyone that was dead." I called security, who didn't understand why I "made such a fuss"!!!!!!!!
    I'd have gone ballistic on those idiots--unbelievable what unmitigated gall some people have!!!!!
  9. by   egmillard
    I love it when you get phone calls that say `is my mum there', can I speak to my dad?.. You try to explain that there are many mothers and fathers on the unit, but they just dont get it.............
  10. by   CardioTrans
    Try working in a transplant ICU where all the patients know each other, or the families know each other because they spend so much time together waiting........ then if something good or bad happens to one of them......... the whole townhouse knows. They come in saying "Mr so and so got his transplant, hows he doing....... or I heard ms so and so is not doing good."

    Then you have home health patients who all live in the same little town and have forever........ and one patient says to you...... you know me and so and so grew up together, and she told me you were her nurse....... and she knows you are my nurse........ what is doc so and so gonna do about her_________. or how is her/his wound looking.

  11. by   RoadRunner
    Does asking for a designated person among the family (for calls, news, updates, etc...) ever work??? It very rarely seems to...

    "If you want informations, would you please call M. X who meets with the doctor everyday and can give you news"
    - "Do you have his number?" Duh!!!!!
    - "I don't want to bother him" And who are you bothering right now?
    - " Just tell me if...." What part of "no" don't you understand
    - "But I'm a very good friend" So just call him!!

    We always ask for the relation between our patient and the caller before giving any infos and oh! the nerves of some people; the neighbor, the girl who works with her, the mother of his school friend (yes!), the rabbi, and the ever popular cousin from far far away calling long distance...

  12. by   Katana
    For me, I had a call where the caller said, I'm Dr. so and so and I would like to know how Mrs. such and so is and could you tell me her lab and xray results, please.

    I said that Mrs. Such and so was comfortable but I could not release any lab or xray results as he was not a physician on the case nor was he a physician with privliges at our facility but that I would be very happy to transfer his call into the patient's room so he could talk directly with her.

    "But I'm Dr so and so!"

    I replied, "You may be a Dr. but you are not on our staff nor on the patient's case therefore I can not release any infomation due to patient confidentiality."

    I then just transfered the call into the room while he was spitting and sputtering....

    Later, I informed the family about the call and they told me, "Oh, he's a dentist."


    It's one of my big pet peeves as so many professions do have the title of Dr. Unfortunately, not all are MD's or DO's.

    My brother, the family's PhD... also announces himself as Dr.... yes, it's allowed but I know him well enough to know that he does introduce himself in that manner in the hope that the other person would think he was an MD which is what most people assume when they hear the title. We've had many a heated argument about that. He sees nothing wrong with it as his PhD is in Cardio Pulmonary Physiology... but..... he's not worked in the field in over 13 years due to burnout. He sells insurance now. At least I can tell him exactly what I think of his trying to pass himself off as an MD to get information he has no right to.

  13. by   ohioln
    Confidentially is something that we must uphold for the dignity of the resident. I've worked in geriatrics for many years and when we send someone to the hospital to be evaluated, we call the family. We cannot tell them a lot of detail, but we tell them where we've sent them, and, say if they fell, we tell them that, but beyond that, we ask them to please speak with the res's doctor. We give them the number if necessary.
    Last edit by ohioln on Aug 27, '02