Jump to content

I'm so ashamed of myself

Posted

Specializes in ED, ICU, PSYCH, PP, CEN. Has 18 years experience.

I always thought having family with patient was a great idea. They're a second set of eyes, sometimes do a lot for the pt, know the pt and can let you know when something isn't right. But since we haven't had family/friends allowed for several weeks now, I have come to see how great not having them around is.

I never realized what a time suck some can be. They follow you around, ask the same questions over and over again, keep the patients up playing cards and laughing all night when they should be resting and demand ridiculous stuff (not all people, but a lot).

I feel like I have so much more time with my patients to do things. I've even given a few foot massages etc, because I have so much more time. My charting is better and I'm getting out on time more often.

I work nights and I hope new rules will limit the time visitors are allowed in the unit, but we all know that isn't going to happen because we are the Hilton, not the hospital. I understand now why so many nurses say they don't like families around.

On a side note, I do realize that for some of the patients being able to contact physically with family/friends is crucial. I just want to be able to tell visitors it's time for the pt to rest now, without being told to "get lost" .........true story.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 44 years experience.

You have nothing to be ashamed of and -truth be told -MANY others feel the same way.

thecrossfitrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in L&D Ninja.

I do also feel the same way, especially working L&D. While the partner (or other support person) is there, I don't have to constantly argue current nursing practice to someone's grandmother just because they've had more children than me. It's a breath of fresh air. I do feel for the patients not having the family there they desire, but I'm very okay with less people to explain myself (or the patient's condition) to.

Katie82, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, PH, CM. Has 39 years experience.

I worked in a small community hospital in Hawaii when we were stationed there. In the Islands, it is not unusual for the entire family to move in for the duration of the stay (I wondered why there were only private rooms on the floor). It required constant monitoring, intercepting food (NPO does not translate in Hawaiian), navigating laundry hanging all over the room, and confiscating hibachis and charcoal. It was an adventure...

nursej22, MSN, RN

Specializes in Public Health, TB. Has 36 years experience.

I am no longer in acute care, but I remember how nice it seemed when H1N1 brought about restriction of visitors, especially children. You could actually have a conversation with a patient, teaching them about their meds, importance of diet and activity. It was always a constant battle to turn off the TV when assisting a patient with a meal who was an aspiration risk.

I just about lost it one day when I recovering a heart cath patient and her granddaughter insisted that she must give Nana a manicure as I was readying to pull a femoral artery sheath.

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 12 years experience.

Why are you ashamed? It's a good point.

On 5/29/2020 at 11:46 AM, gonzo1 said:

On a side note, I do realize that for some of the patients being able to contact physically with family/friends is crucial. I just want to be able to tell visitors it's time for the pt to rest now, without being told to "get lost" .........true story.

True story...have you even been alone in a dark hospital room scared and anxious and no one there? Have you ever been used to emergency surgery not knowing what the outcome would be? I have...it did not matter that I had capable and caring nurses and doctors surrounding me and encouraging me, it only mattered that I was alone...just saying of course there should be limits but there should always be a support person there, someone who the patient reaches out for in the dark....

On the other hand, small children should be kept to a limit just because it is a hospital. No and third cousin once removed should not be sitting at the beside, but a spouse/parent/partner should.....

beckysue920

Specializes in Psych, HIV/AIDS.

You have nothing to be ashamed of. in the least! I agree with you. Why these Hilton Hospitals don't restrict/ or enforce visiting hours is beyond me .

Some times I wonder if the patient is waiting for the nurse to intervene and ask the visitors to leave. How does one do that tactfully?

adventure_rn, BSN

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

Honestly, that's part of the reason I work night shift.

I absolutely love working with families, but it's so much easier at night when there are only one or two visitors, as opposed to during the day when there are tons. I really enjoy doing one-on-one NICU teaching with parents, but during the day, there simply isn't time to answer every question/request for every family member and do the rest of your job.

I feel this way, and I work in a specialty that tends to have pretty manageable ratios (1:2 or 1:3). I can't imagine having seven patients plus their families to care for an educate.

IMO, the best solution would be ensure better patient ratios and boundaries with demanding families than hospital-wide visitor restrictions (even though I realize that nobody on this forum is advocating for that 🙃).

Edited by adventure_rn

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 3 years experience.

I have a colleague who works L&D. She said that since the restrictions, their breastfeeding rate is way up and the C section rate is down. She didn’t have any theories for the c-sections. But she said, without granny and auntie there telling them how “the baby looks hungry, you need to give it some formula” and granddad in the room so the mom is too embarrassed to pull her boobs out, is it any wonder that the moms have more success with feeding? The mom can have one support person, just not the whole crew.

NightNerd, MSN, RN

Specializes in CMSRN, tele, palliative, psych. Has 7 years experience.

Honestly, this is totally relatable - except for the huge increase in updates I need to give over the phone. Depending on the family, restricted visitors can be a lifesaver.

That said, outside of the pandemic, I am totally cool with my patients having one or two visitors. It makes them feel safer, they have someone to help advocate for them, and their social needs are being met so I can better deal with the nursing stuff. (I feel like I spend an increased amount of time entertaining my patients now because they can't have company, and I am unfortunately not that nurse who can small talk with you all day, even if it's not crazy busy.) As long as the visitors aren't being rowdy, are bringing forward legitimate questions and concerns, and the patient feels better with them there, I think that's a good thing.

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

One of the down-sides of not having family at the bedside is now they call 10 times a day! I admit, I have been enjoying less interference from family. I feel bad for the older population feeling lonely. We try to spend more time with the patients and we help with things like face time and there is extra chaplain staff available.

I really get it, families could be so tough to deal with when I worked in SNF.

However, my husband had cancer treatment and major surgery last year and honestly I don't know how he would have made it (emotionally) without me. I was as unobtrusive as possible and was only there to support him, and never mentioned I was a nurse. Every admission (there were many in three different hospitals) the nurses were excellent but extremely busy, and I washed him, managed his tube feeds (after getting permission obviously), held the basin and cleaned him up after the many nights of vomiting all night long, and ambulated him. After his major thoracic surgery the nurses were happy to teach me how to manage all the equipment so I could ambulate him many times a day which I think really helped him avoid complication and get home. They just would not have had time to take him walking more than once or twice a day (it was quite a time consuming ordeal for awhile there).

I honestly have been afraid of him needing to be admitted during this time. It would be really hard not to be able to see him.

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

A life-threatening emergency necessitated my hosp stay 5/4 to 5/11. It was stay home and DIE or go to the hosp where C19 was lurking. From a pt perspective, it was the worst experience I've had to undergo so far. I believe I lost brain cells, so I had times I don't remember and times I barely recollect. My 36 years of past nsg experience did little to help the isolated 'lost in the wilderness' feeling.

I just SOLO visited a new service (oncology) this week. Again, the isolation is just petrifying. Trying to deal with all that is going on is beyond all general understanding. Also, I have a prolonged clinical care course experience ahead of me.

What's an alternative??? Why not just designate ONE person as a delegated visitor? Many places already do that for release of information. And yes, STRICTLY limit visiting hours. I have no problems with that. I understand the petri dish environment risks. But having been deprived, and the word really is DEPRIVED, I've felt the situation.

I do understand the burden of visitors, esp the real PIA ones. I experienced that burden during my years of active practice. So I do commiserate and feel for the staff. And for the record, ALL staff I encountered were phenominal.

Under-appreciated and under-recognized, I say TY to them for all their patience.

Edited by amoLucia

On 5/29/2020 at 12:46 PM, gonzo1 said:

I hope new rules will limit the time visitors are allowed in the unit, but we all know that isn't going to happen because we are the Hilton, not the hospital.

IMO the problem is not that a loved one/advocate is welcomed to the bedside. They should be there. Aside from Covid-19 restrictions (to the extent that they have been necessary and reasonable), I don't hope for an end to LO/advocate presence.

The problem has been that the expectations set forth surrounding LO/advocate presence have not been appropriate and have not been consistently maintained within the bounds of reason. Care has been allowed to be disrupted at the the expense of the patient in question and other patients.

If you ever have to use any public services where expectations are upheld (thinking of a recent visit to the DMV), you may be surprised to see that people certainly can uphold them. Allowing a chaotic and abusive atmosphere is not a necessary element of "customer service," it isn't fair to anyone, and in the case of healthcare it is downright unethical because it absolutely compromises patient care.

Expectations for conduct are appropriate and necessary--these should be the goal everyone, including the most staunch of patient advocates, because they are in the patients' best interests.

On 6/3/2020 at 6:22 AM, CommunityRNBSN said:

I have a colleague who works L&D. She said that since the restrictions, their breastfeeding rate is way up and the C section rate is down. She didn’t have any theories for the c-sections. But she said, without granny and auntie there telling them how “the baby looks hungry, you need to give it some formula” and granddad in the room so the mom is too embarrassed to pull her boobs out, is it any wonder that the moms have more success with feeding? The mom can have one support person, just not the whole crew.

Interesting! They should take a formal look at the situation and see what the numbers say.

9 hours ago, amoLucia said:

What's an alternative??? Why not just designate ONE person as a delegated visitor?

I have said this all along since all this mess happened. If a child can have a designated support/advocate so can an adult. There is just as much chance that the person with the child can carry something out of the hospital as someone with an adult. In times of stress, anxiety, pain a rational adult who normally can make logical, clear decisions can have just as many issues making those same decisions and understanding what is being said as a child. They may make a decision that later they regret and realize was the wrong decision.

I have had experience of being alone and scared and facing a terrible decision and it all turned out okay. But almost 40 years later, I still have nightmares of being alone in the dark with no one there.

Also, I have had the experience of having a patient advocate in a family member who stood up for me and stopped a bad decision. If I had been alone things could have turned out differently because the nurses could not stop what the doctor had ordered without someone there to say "No!"

I have also had the experience with my spouse being railroaded into what turned out would have been an unnecessary surgery and weeks in rehab. In this case the nurses were playing along and if I had not been there to witness the demand for a second opinion before surgery, things may have turned out completing different. When the questions were raised to the group of nurses we were reported as being argumentative and noncompliant instead of them getting hold of the patient advocate to straighten things out. I will have to say once we were away from that group of nurses which seemed to be young inexperienced nurses more interested in arguing with the older more experienced nurses, the care was great and my spouse had nurses who were compassionate and understanding. I do know that we will not willingly use that facility again.

On the other hand having a roomful of family members is not necessary for your everyday run of the mill hospital stay and in this day and age of huge private rooms as long as the advocate is respectful and stays out of the way there is no reason why he/she cannot stay in the room. If they become demanding and putting extra work on the nursing staff then the nursing staff should have an advocate that will step in and address the issue.

As far as what has happened during this pandemic, it was understandable in your huge hospitals and areas that were overcome with the amount of patients with the covid-19 to have to restrict visitors. There still should have been a way for a family member to have been there. But in the areas where the covid patients could be isolated and there was low incidence of cases reported "why?" could not one adult accompany patients for surgery, treatment, visits to urgent care or doctor office? Why did patients have to wake up confused and scared? Why did patients have to make life changing decisions without someone there? As time goes on, in my opinion those questions will continue to be asked....it is really heartbreaking to hear someone say I am afraid to go to the hospital because I don't want to die alone.....

It’s frustrating when they make more demands on me than the patient does, and when they monopolize my time without considering that the other patients need my attention also.