I'm so ashamed of myself


  • Specializes in ED, ICU, PSYCH, PP, CEN. Has 20 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.

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 46 years experience.

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

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

642 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, PH, CM. Has 41 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

3,294 Posts

Specializes in Public Health, TB. Has 38 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

3,142 Posts

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 14 years experience.

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


101 Posts

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.....


134 Posts

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

1 Article; 1,550 Posts

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 ?).

Specializes in Community health. Has 5 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

1,129 Posts

Specializes in CMSRN, hospice. Has 9 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.

Specializes in orthopedic/trauma, Informatics, diabetes. Has 11 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.