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Has anyone noticed a change in treatment from patients/families

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???

I have especially in the passed few year's. Patients/families have become very demanding.

I don't know it could be me--but I notice people treating me different then they did in the pass.

Last time I worked--I had a male patient in his 50's--would give me minimal to no eye contact. He was very blunt with questions/answers. He'd say comments like..."gosh would you leave me alone" I'd again explain why I take vitals and check his dressing often.

At the end of the shift I heplocked his IV. I explained what I was doing. He gave me the evil eye when I took off his dressing. A drop of blood came out of the IV from the antecubtal angiocath. He was yelling at me...."What the h*ll is wrong with you"...and went on...

A family member came in at 9:10 A.M. and was disappointed their mother's bed wasn't changed. I could go on and on.

Maybe it's the hospital I work at...I've changed hospitals a few times.

These patients/families are making my enjoyment of nursing challenging.

Though I do get a few compliments--most from female patients.

I think a lot of this comes from an erosion of common courtesy in society in general. It's everywhere. I once saw a customer in a very nice upscale store screaming at the poor salesclerk who was doing her best to make the woman happy.

There are articles in magazines about how to pitch a fit at airport check in counters in order to get seat upgrades. Basically a primer on rudeness.

Of course television shows like ER show rude behavior toward hospital staff as though it's the norm and expected.

People everywhere have just lost the concept of simple respect toward others. It's a shame, really. It's just as easy and effective to be polite, and is much less stressful all the way around.

Brownms46

Specializes in Everything except surgery. Has 27 years experience.

I agree with cyberkat. I believe it has a lot to do with the world we live iin now. More and more people are grumpy, and ill tempered, than I have seen in the past.

But I also remember, except for those bad nites, when everything seem to happen at once, you had time to go around, and give a back rub, or PM care. Today you just don't have the time to give the care we used to.

I work in a free standing, GI procedure center per diem, and I find people are much more friendier, and give out a lot more compliments, that when I work the floors. I even had a pt. bring me flowers. Or make sure that they tell the nurse who d/c'd them to tell me "thank you", for my help.

We usually have enough staff, that we can give the pt. one on one care, when they get admitted. And there is even time to go over and help a pt. calm down, and feel more at ease, as they wait to go into the procedure room. I have had a pt. bring in Krispy Keme doughnuts from across town, after having had a procedure done, just to say thank you.

But many of these people aren't ill, and there are plenty of people around to see their behaviors. So maybe it's a cross between the world changing, and people being more rude, or just the fact, that they know it's their word against ours in the hospitals.

The fact that hospitals promise people the moon, and then only have 3 nurses to 30 pts., and the fact that people are much sicker in hospitals now, doesn't help either. I don't really know what it is, but I have noticed a big difference, and I for one, don't enjoy working in the hospitals anymore:o

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

I agree -- people are just plain ruder lately. "Please and thank you" have gone by the wayside, and folks seem to behave as if the more obnoxious they are the more attention they'll get. They may be right. All the articles in the popular press warning the public "Don't leave your loved one alone in the hospital -- the staff will make fatal errors!!!!" haven't helped at all. And the public is far more suit-happy than they used to be.

I've noticed more family members sitting at the bedside, taking notes. They write down the nurse's name, every thing you say and do, what drugs you give, etc. I asked a family member one time what the purpose was -- they quite bluntly told me that it was for the law suit they were going to file if "someone's dumb mistake kills Mom."

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

Common courtesy erosion definately.

A lot of mistrust (open up the paper on a daily basis, something very negative about someone in healthcare, majority of the time righteously so). A lot of worry on the patient's mind that comes out as rudeness, and i'd bet that they don't mean anything personal by it. A lot of ppl's stress, concern, worry, etc comes across as rude. I just remind myself "this must be hard for them/pt., how would i feel if that were my husband/child/dad here and so sick?" and do the best i can do.

(TV show that didn't help: "Scrubs". I have been asked 3 times in the past month if that show is the way our facility is. GRRRRRR :()

Had a pt. ask me how i "thought of everything" as an aide, after i changed out the water pitcher, got a warm blanket after asking if she was cold, changing her gown she'd had on all day, changed the pillowcase that felt a little damp from sweat, retaping the IV tubing onto her arm so that it wasn't hanging in the way of her hands all the time, asking her to rate her pain, and reading aloud the results of her vital sign, etc.

I told her that i thought of how i want things to be as a patient. I want to know that someone cares if i'm comfortable or in pain, and notices the little things. And i've noticed that does make a difference in ppl's attitudes. I'm glad we're not short-staffed, this affords me the time to do things like this, and i hope to continue this routine as a nurse.

Brownms46

Specializes in Everything except surgery. Has 27 years experience.

Originally posted by Ruby Vee

I agree -- people are just plain ruder lately. "Please and thank you" have gone by the wayside, and folks seem to behave as if the more obnoxious they are the more attention they'll get. They may be right. All the articles in the popular press warning the public "Don't leave your loved one alone in the hospital -- the staff will make fatal errors!!!!" haven't helped at all. And the public is far more suit-happy than they used to be.

I've noticed more family members sitting at the bedside, taking notes. They write down the nurse's name, every thing you say and do, what drugs you give, etc. I asked a family member one time what the purpose was -- they quite bluntly told me that it was for the law suit they were going to file if "someone's dumb mistake kills Mom."

WOW ...what did you say to that???

Originally posted by cyberkat

I think a lot of this comes from an erosion of common courtesy in society in general. It's everywhere. I once saw a customer in a very nice upscale store screaming at the poor salesclerk who was doing her best to make the woman happy.

There are articles in magazines about how to pitch a fit at airport check in counters in order to get seat upgrades. Basically a primer on rudeness.

I couldn't agree more with what you all are saying. i think cyberkat nailed it- everywhere in the popular media, are messages telling people how to DEMAND their wants, warnings that healthcare providers are fatal accidents waiting to happen, etc.

When I first started at my hospital, the first thing I and the other new grad nurses who had not previously worked there noticed was how friendly everyone was. We joked that it seemed like all the hospital staff had been sent to etiquette classes.

The new grads who were already hospital employees told us, well actually- they do!

It's amazing to see how patients and families respond to an environment of politeness. Not just on my floor (let's face it, maternity is usually a happy place!) but throughout the hospital.

Too bad the media can't spend a little less time teaching people how to be rude and a little more time teaching people common courtesy!

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

Originally posted by Ruby Vee

I've noticed more family members sitting at the bedside, taking notes. They write down the nurse's name, every thing you say and do, what drugs you give, etc. I asked a family member one time what the purpose was -- they quite bluntly told me that it was for the law suit they were going to file if "someone's dumb mistake kills Mom."

Oh i bet MOM felt WONDERFUL after hearing THAT....

I know where your coming from. I work in LTC, and it seems like the family members run the show. They tell us what meds we can and can't give, get mom/dad up immediatley, I don't care if you're passing out food trays, mom did'nt get her tray, why is dad still in the bed, and the list goes on. I had a resident just the other day who wanted to go to bed, I explained to her that as soon as we were finished getting the food trays passed out we would come and put her to bed, well she called her daughter who called the administrator and said I told her mom I did'nt have time to put her to bed. The list just goes on. Everyone seems to look for the negative and overlook the positive things we do. Sorry for rambling, but I'm with you on this one.

Brownms46

Specializes in Everything except surgery. Has 27 years experience.

You know it's funny, how family members can't do all the stuff they want you to do for their family members, with just only them to care for. But all of a sudden, they seem to think they hired the staff as private duty nurses!!!

I believe the majority of the problems comes from admin giving people unrealistic expectations in LTC and the hospitals. And then the news media being many times as ignorant as the public is on healthcare, promotes the rherotic admin people hand them. Then the public feels they have right to have what ever they want, when they want it.

One thing that really bothers me when I'm working in a hospital, is how people bring their kids in, an let them just run all over the place. I have watched staff almost trip over these kids, and the parents get pissed when you ask them to keep the kids in the room!! Hospitals used to not allow kids below the age of 12 or 13 on the units, and I think it should still be that way!

People even bring new born babies and lay them on the pts. beds, and I wonder what is the world are they thinking???

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

I've seen the family member writing down the names and duties more and more these days. As was pointed out the media, and lawyer commercials, are making family members aware of the errors in hospitals.

Just today Oprah's show was on medical errors. I didn't watch because I was at the gym. Her first guest was about someone who had faulty lab results and then sued and got over 8 million dollars. She says 260 people die a day of medical errors. I didn't finish watching the show to see if nursing was going to be implicated in any of the other guests.

I think though, one can be a family member advocate and still have manners.

I can't understand patients who when we round on them get grumpy. What do they think they are in hospital for? For a vacation? If we left them alone, boy would we here about that as well. Kind of a no-win situation.

Of course, take a drive, or wait in a line and you will see the general irritability of the public. We are impatient, we are demanding and we are stressed. If we get unhappy we sue.

I don't work in the hospitals anymore but I have noticed a change in the way patients and people respect and treat me. There once was a day that the "RN" behind my name was enough to get people to listen, respect, and follow my directions. No longer. I now watch people defy the directions I give, people who'd just as well spit on my shoes rather than giving respect, and the one that bugs me the most; asking for my advice and then asking non medical people around them the same advice and taking the non nurses advice over my own! What? Are they NUTS?

I have NOT changed the way I treat people. I am respectful, kind, courtious, and a good listener. I thought for a while it was me and took it all very personally, until I realised it wasn't me, it's just others being rude and abnoxious and stupid.

bellehill, RN

Specializes in Neuro Critical Care. Has 9 years experience.

Our problem is the MD telling the patients that "we will do everything possible to get you a private room so your family can stay with you". You know what the patient hears..."You WILL have a private room and your whole family can stay in the room with you". This has caused more than one problem in the last month and with only one private room on the floor it shouldn't even be an option-it is always full.

I too love the family members who "help out" by writing down everything that happens. I am all for family being helpful and knowing what is going on but some people take it to the extreme.

I have to agree. People have really changed. I work in a Hospital in Cincinnati, Oh and we were all just discussing this same thing. we all agreed to that society has changed and the news media has made our jobs a nightmare. I am getting ready to go back in the field (homecare). Hospital nursing has just gotten to be to much. We have to many patients and all our hospital cares about is filling beds. :devil: Patients get no care anymore and the abuse you take from family members make you wish you never became a nurse. And I have always loved being a nurse:) I have stayed on as SST so I will do a day or two a month but sure will miss taking care of hospital patients:confused: My husband is also a nurse and works in long term care. I sure feel for you all. Families are the worse and are impossible with their demands. They are 25 to 1 on evening shift and sometimes more then that. Knowone seems to care any more . Makes you wonder where it will go from here. We all thought for a short while about a year ago that nursing here was turing around but that was short lived. It was just till some places found nurses that they could get to sign 2 year contrats. :devil:

dont u think so of these reactions from patients and their families are generated from fear????????:confused:

Yes, some of it is related to fear. But that fear has been there for millenia--the rudeness is new. The total lack of regard for rules and regs is new. Sure, there have always been difficult patients and families, but not on the scale it is today.

SmilingBluEyes

Has 20 years experience.

fear is not new to illness and hospitalization. this sense of entitlement and rudeness, at this proportion, however ARE.

fear is NO excuse in my book.

BBFRN, BSN, PhD

Specializes in Trauma,ER,CCU/OHU/Nsg Ed/Nsg Research. Has 15 years experience.

Originally posted by bellehill

I too love the family members who "help out" by writing down everything that happens. I am all for family being helpful and knowing what is going on but some people take it to the extreme.

Sometimes family members do this so they can pass on info and events of the day to other family members. My family members and I ((2 nurses and an RT included) did this when my grandfather was gravely ill and in the hospital. We didn't do this for lawsuit purposes, but in order to prevent repeated questioning of the staff by our rather large family who was taking shifts staying at his bedside. It also helped us to make informed decisions about his healthcare as he was declining, and it allowed for the staff's attention to be placed on him- not us and our questions. I think it's great when a family wants to be informed of what's going on with their loved one.

I also think fear is a factor in some of the ways family members act. We have to take into account that the public is bombarded almost daily with stories of nursing shortages and how they are related to higher death rates. Most people don't care how to fix these problems, they just want them fixed (and preferably before any of them or their loved ones end up in the hospital). Add to this all the other fears related to hospitalization, and it's no wonder they act loony sometimes.

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