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If it where you...

nurse rae nurse rae (New) New

Ok everyone I need some advice on a sticky situation I recently found myself in. I was 8 hrs in to my 12hr shift I had 17 medicare patients that day and had finally caught up enough to sit down for the first time and get some serious charting done. I was the only one at the station and was so focused on what I was doing that I didnt even notice when I was approached by a patients family member she cleared her throat and I looked up to see she was holding her cell phone and appeared to be typing. I asked her "Can I help you?" She proceed to ask for my name, never looking at me directly and asked if she could ask me a question she then asked why I was not down the hall answering that call light. It was then I noticed that the volume on our sound board had been turned off. I looked at her and said honestly I didn't hear it I was so focused on what I was doing. She proceed to roll her eyes at me and said I could hear it so I doubt that (we have multiple sound boards so if you are away from the station near the others they can still be heard she was near one of those boards) I asked her if there was anything else I could do for her and her snarky remark was ya you can go get that light.

It took everything in me not to snap back at her! I tried to be polite but my yes ma'am was clearly forced. I found out later they had already filed several complaints and to top it off she is an ex vet now clinic RN. Why is it that she felt the need to target me? I had two highly capable aids on the hall who where on the hall on the way to that very room when I got there. I know I look young but I have been working at this facility as an lpn for three years but still struggle to find My voice in these situations help!!


Specializes in Emergency Room.

Some people are witches who get off on treating others like crap. She pretty much approached you to ask if you heard the call lights with a rude and sarcastic manner? She needed nothing but to be a grump-ass to you.

Yeah, too bad we can file complaints on family members.

anh06005, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Cardiac, Home Health, Primary Care. Has 6 years experience.

I don't think there's anything else you could have done. Some people just won't be happy even if you wait on them hand and foot. They'd complain you put too much ice in their water. Got the wrong flavor of Jell-O. Put too many blankets on them. Got them a flat pillow.

Even if it WAS a mistake you made, hey, you're human. We're all human. Human = mistakes. But from your story it looks like this family is likely just not going to be happy regardless of what you do.

I agree I don't think there was anything else you could do in this situation and I don't think you did anything wrong. You handled it professionally. It's not worth getting written up or what have you r/t rude family members. I just kill them with kindness or tell them that their tone is not appreciated professionally. not much else you can do if you want to keep your job.

Remember not to take these things persinally as this person probably would have targeted any other nurse sitting in the spot you happened to be in at that moment.

Me we all make mistakes. We've all been in that position where we were so focused on our charting/whatever that we didn't notice a call bell going off.

Dont be too hard on yourself. Best wishes.

dudette10, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics. Has 10 years experience.

Let it roll off your back as much as you can. You did nothing wrong. Chin up!

Mavrick, BSN, RN

Specializes in 15 years in ICU, 22 years in PACU. Has 30 years experience.

It can be a fun game to pretend like you are completely oblivious to their snarky tone. Remain totally in control and professional, smile, answer their question or say ,"Thank you very much, I'll be there in just a few moments."

No need to feel the least bit guilty. You did not make a mistake or need to explain anything. You were just the body that was sitting at the desk.

There are many, many reasons a visitor can be eye-rollin' snarky. Some innocent, some not-so-innocent. Best not get in a pissing match with 'em. If you're in a good mood you could get back with them later and give them as second chance to be nicer then apologize all over heck and say you hope their loved one is doing better. Sometimes people feel so helpless and just want to do something. She may be getting extra pressure from the family because she is a nurse.

Do your best to let it go because this will happen intermittently for the rest of your career.

Red Kryptonite

Specializes in hospice. Has 3 years experience.

They'd complain you put too much ice in their water.

No lie, I've actually had this complaint. :banghead: