Have you ever left a nursing job due to a patient/family member?

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Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 7 years experience.

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As nurses, it is inevitable that we will likely be required to provide care for patients and/or families who we don't necessarily enjoy interacting with.  However, what happens when a certain patient and/or family makes work unbearable? When simply hearing this person's name makes you cringe and a good day (which is rare) means this person's name isn't even brought up, let alone involves an interaction with them?

Have you ever left a job/position because one or more patients was too much to deal with? Have you ever encountered a patient/family who have impacted your life so negatively you question why you went into nursing at all? 

I have three families like this at my workplace right now.  Fortunately, one patient is there for rehab services, so will hopefully be discharging soon.  Unfortunately, the two other patients are long-term care patients, so will be there indefinitely.  Both of them are in relatively good health, so it's likely they will be around for awhile.  I am okay with the rehab patient, if only because I know he will be gone soon and future interactions with him will soon be nonexistent.  The long-term care patients, however, are going to drive me up the wall until they're gone.   Same with their families.   I used to love long-term care patients, but these two individuals and their families make me feel otherwise.  I haven't done an active job search for any positions elsewhere, but the negativity both of these patients have on my work day and quality of life in general has really made me want to look for a job elsewhere.  They're not going anywhere any time soon, and I'm not sure if I can tolerate working with them for another year or more.   Part of me does not wish to leave a workplace that I enjoyed before they came, and will enjoy after they're gone.  Another part of me is tired of putting up with the negativity these individuals bring to the workplace on a daily basis, something I know they will continue to do.   I am tired of their grievance forms, of their negative behaviors, of their false accusations and of their attitude that everything is about them.  State has come in multiple times to visit our facility because of their complaints; the state inspectors have seen us more times in this one year than they did in all years prior to this year combined, prior to these patients admitting to us. I have a hard time focusing on other patients because these individuals are demanding of so much attention--and then are unsatisfied no matter what you do regardless.  

I know that not every day at work will be good, and not every patient will be pleasant.  However, I am tired of the negativity these individuals constantly bring to my life, and want to be able to not dread going to work.  

Anyone else been in a similar position? Have YOU ever left a job because a patient and/or family member was too much to deal with and/or negatively impacted your quality of life? 

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,870 Posts

No I have not left d/t a specific patient or family member. So far. But this job sounds like you are in misery all the time. What KEEPS you there? I am asking in earnest.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,457 Posts

In reviewing five positions that I quit in my career, only one had to do with a Patient. The others were due to Staff and/or Administration, SilverBells.

With the one I quit after dealing with a Patient, it was really Administration's actions being the reason that I left.

I was working picking up part time cases for two HH agencies, while working LTC full time. After one HH visit, the Supervisor called me into her office to inform me a Patient had complained about me for which I was very surprised, as the visit went well.

I told the Supervisor that I had no idea the reason for the complaint and she angrily unloaded on me, so I bid that agency adieu.

With all due love & respect, SilverBells, with this added stress, I need to echo those who have come before me, and encourage you to also bid your employer, "Adieu!".

 

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,457 Posts

SilverBells, I've noticed that you have a systematic method you use in responding to others' posts.

Basically, you acknowledge others' premises, and then you give more information and/or present an opposing viewpoint/premise.

Since you expend quite a bit of energy both here on allnurses, and in your job and personal life, I would like to make your life easier.

I've made this little animation for you to download, and then to upload, as you see fit, for a rubber stamp response:

1646930987_sbroll.gif.c500e54f3e9d3bae79a55e272bebef3e.gif

 

The best to you, SilverBells!

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 7 years experience. 861 Posts

1 hour ago, SmilingBluEyes said:

No I have not left d/t a specific patient or family member. So far. But this job sounds like you are in misery all the time. What KEEPS you there? I am asking in earnest.

Probably stems down to several reasons:

1. Fear of the unknown (as in anxious about starting over somewhere else). At least I have an idea of what I'm walking into everyday at my current job

2.  Stable source of income. Granted, I probably work more hours than I'm paid for, but it is still a source of steady income 

3. I do enjoy working with most of my coworkers. We're always short staffed bit everyone seems to get along

Hannahbanana, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Physiology, CM, consulting, nsg edu, LNC, COB. Has 52 years experience. 1,177 Posts

Multiple complaints about your performance from family members is it now? 

You are not performing well, not coping, and yet you expect people to praise you and encourage you to stay the course because …. well, why, exactly? What makes you think you deserve positive reinforcement at all? Good lord. 

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 7 years experience. 861 Posts

On 7/5/2021 at 5:58 PM, Hannahbanana said:

Multiple complaints about your performance from family members is it now? 

You are not performing well, not coping, and yet you expect people to praise you and encourage you to stay the course because …. well, why, exactly? What makes you think you deserve positive reinforcement at all? Good lord. 

Not about my performance at all.  These are particularly unpleasant patients and families who aren't happy with anyone or anything.  I know, because my coworkers also experience challenges with them as well 

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 7 years experience. 861 Posts

Nearly everyone in the facility has issues with these families. The only exception is probably the social worker, who always sides with the patient/family even when they're wrong

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,457 Posts

1 hour ago, SilverBells said:

...anxious about starting over somewhere else...

...everyone seems to get along

These were two major areas of why my medical nurse wife Belinda didn't want to leave med surge at Wrongway for a position in IMU at Anomaly Memorial, SilverBells.

Although the transition was not an easy one, Belinda now works in a better facility closer to home making a lot more money with better benefits, and her coworkers are decent.

All in all, Belinda is glad she made the effort at the age of 57 to seek a position in another facility.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,457 Posts

1 hour ago, SilverBells said:

The only exception is probably the social worker, who always sides with the patient/family even when they're wrong.

Many Social Workers that I've had the pleasure of working with have more issues than the population they serve.

brandy1017, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. 2,684 Posts

Maybe they are your blessing in disguise if they motivate you to find a better job!  One where you are paid hourly, so at least any OT is compensated, not free and time in a half to boot!  Make the change, you'll be glad you did.

It makes me sad when I see how you are literally wasting the best years of your life working for free.  All these 20 plus hour shifts are draining your life and health.  Worst of all you're not getting paid and you are wasting precious time to meet someone and have children, while your biological click is ticking down.  I hope you finally see the light and find a better job.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,870 Posts

1 hour ago, SilverBells said:

Probably stems down to several reasons:

1. Fear of the unknown (as in anxious about starting over somewhere else). At least I have an idea of what I'm walking into everyday at my current job

2.  Stable source of income. Granted, I probably work more hours than I'm paid for, but it is still a source of steady income 

3. I do enjoy working with most of my coworkers. We're always short staffed bit everyone seems to get along

Sounds to me as if you are still not ready to leave. Not sure what it'll take but I wish you well. I don't know what else to say except fear of the unknown holds a lot of us back. I am glad I did not let it hold me back. Getting away from bedside/hospital nursing was a blessing. But yes, scary.

Good luck.