Angry Nurse - page 11

I am wondering if this has happened to any of you.... I got "talked to" by my Assistant Nurse Manager (charge nurse) because of an incident with a patient. My patient asked for some water, and I went... Read More

  1. by   Flo1216
    If I were you, I woud have showed them where the water was so they could get it themselves. Some people are just not happy unless they are getting someone in trouble. If you want, I will pray to God to send a plague of flies to eat their faces.
  2. by   abrenrn
    Interesting that family complained rather than patient. You think it would have taken them less time to get water for themselves. Problem is, management does not stand up for nurses.

    Good response I came up with. Hand such family members a list of agencies that provide private duty nursing. We are not there to meet every need. In fact, patient and family need to learn to do things themselves.
  3. by   Anaclaire
    Tiara, your words ring soooo true! Sad but true.

    When I began my nursing career, in 1991, I think I had been on the job only a few months when a co-worker was reamed by our manager for using the excuse of "being short staffed" when trying to appease a "customer". I too had trouble understanding why the truth shouldn't be told. I asked our manager and she said that one reason is some patients may feel like they will receive substandard care due to shortstaffing (duh!) and this could increase their anxiety and may have a negative impact on their physical healing and emotional health while already under the stress of physical illness and being in the hospital in general. Well, I thought about it for a while and decided, "Yeah, that could be true." The last thing I want to do is cause any more anxiety for a patient! I suppose I figured that as a patient advocate my priority would be the specific patient's healing over the short staffing truth. I still have problems with this though...

    Needless to say, I learned not to use "short staffing" as an excuse for anything when speaking with our patients then and there.

    I agree the son and maybe the patient too have "issues" to deal with which are much deeper than receiving water. I can't imagine that there wasn't a water faucet in the room somewhere which they could use in a pinch until a water pitcher is refilled, or whatever. From what I've seen, most patients and family members who call the customer relations representative to complain of such a small matter generally do have other issues and their complaint is simply another symptom of their true underlying problem.

    Another thought: I was a waitress for a while before I was a nurse. I also learned in that job that "the customer really and truly is always right... even when they are horribly wrong". It's just the nature of the beast. In the perfect world we could be the nurses we were trained to be. Sadly we work in a business world of healthcare where customers rule.

    I've often used the "I was called to an emergency (or potential emergency) while on the way to get your ________, but I got it as fast as I could and I'm here with it now. Please accept my sincere apology for the delay." and it has worked every time.

    Why are we nurses always caught in the middle?

    Big sigh.....
    Last edit by Anaclaire on Dec 7, '02
  4. by   babynurselsa
    Oh My. We surely would not want the public to find out there is a nursing shortage now would we...............?
  5. by   mattsmom81
    Sad but true most of the general public has no earthly idea what nurses do other than to fetch, carry and 'wait on' patients.

    How do we change this perception that we are little more than overpaid handmaidens??? Wish I knew.
  6. by   ~FloridaCCRN~
    Originally posted by Lespnp
    You are not the maid or a flight attendent. You are a degreed professional. Next time tell the mouthy family member where the water is and tell him he can help his mother out next time by getting the water hisself.
    As for the manager tell her next time you are in a bind that you will ellict her help to fetch the water.
    Couldn't have said it any better myself
  7. by   ~FloridaCCRN~
    Part of the reason there is a shortage is because Management
    wants us to keep it to ourselves! 'Oh don't tell the patient's we're
    short staffed just sugar- coat it'. And while I agree it's not the patient's fault we're short staffed-it's not ours either! We will always be 'short-staffed' as long as we keep helping management
    sugar-coat it and cover it up. It's not protecting the patient and it d@$! sure ain't helping those of us in the trenches.We should be screaming it from coast to coast.
  8. by   nursedawn67
    Originally posted by goldilocksrn
    I am wondering if this has happened to any of you.... I got "talked to" by my Assistant Nurse Manager (charge nurse) because of an incident with a patient. My patient asked for some water, and I went to get it, but on the way to the kitchen, got stopped by another family member stating my one of my other patients had CP. After 30 minutes, I took my patient her water, only to find out her son called community relations saying that his mother was ignored. I apologized, saying that we were short staffed that day, that I had an emergency to attend to. He said there was no excuse for his mother not getting water. Anyway, I got "talked to" because I was not supposed to tell patients and family members that we are short staffed. What am I supposed to tell them, that I a retard? Why do they think that nurses should take all the blame? What do you think?
    I agree that you cannot say that the facility is short staffed at the moment, but you did do the right thing stating that you had an emergency elsewhere. I know what we would all like to say would be "you can get your mother the water I'm sure you know how to operate a faucet. And if your mother where in a REAL emergency I would be more then happy to drop everything for her too. Now if that doesn't make you happy and I'm doing such a crappy job then you take mom home and try it yourself and then come cry to me"....but unfortunately we can't say that, us nurses have to be great tongue biters and just suck it up and move on...some days it can be so frustrating.
  9. by   MRed94
    I have found, that as an agency nurse, that if I start out thanking the aides for being there, telling the aides about myself, and that if they need help with lifts and etc that they can come to me, and then thanking them again for their help at the end of the shift, the whole night goes much better.

    And if I work there more than once, I usually end up bringing in a treat or something just to let them know that I appreciate them. I was a CNA once, too.

    It's funny, when I ask them to come to me for help, most of them look at me like I have two heads or something, and then they usually tell me that none of the other nurses help them. I think that there are too many nurses out there that DON'T help, and that makes the CNAs angry. And I don't blame them.

    They bust their butts, and usually see the nurse at the desk doing paper work. Some of them might not realize that we would rather be on the floor, but paperwork is the major part of our job.

    Just my $.02.

  10. by   kittyw
    I think nurses are told not to say we're shortstaffed cause of lawsuits. Think about it ..... Would you as a NM want to be called onto the witness stand and have the patient's attorney say according to so-and-so nurse you didn't schedule adequate nursing coverage. ????? Having a nurse admit to understaffing could cause the nurse to be called upon at a later date - and have the nurse's admittance used against the hospital.

    It's all about $$$$.
  11. by   Glad2behere
    You can never satisfy everyone all the time. Even if you had been on a one to one ratio there may have still been something for them to complain about....people who are sick complain, and their families try to ease the patient's and their own inadequacies to resolve the illness. I never give excuses or reasons for not being able to perform to all expectations. Do the best that you can do and resolve yourself to the fact in your own eyes you did perform to your best within physical limits set forth by the chronology of events. You are many things to sick people, but you cannot be perfect.
  12. by   deathnurse
    Always keep in mind that JCAHO is the mastermind of a private for-profit business that strong-armed themselves into accrediting hospitals and charging said hospitals for inspections.

    Pay the money and you pass. Find me a Las Vegas hospital that doesn't. They have the worst nursing ratio's and staffing in the country and they're all JCAHO approved because to close em' down would kill people.

    JCAHO "accreditors" are also pathetic registered nurses who take their 3-4 weeks "how to be" classes and then are turned loose on the general public.

    JCAHO has also created "spin-off" businesses called Mock JCAHO Audits who will, additionally, charge hospitals a fee for pretending they are being audited.

    A JCAHO auditor is a registered nurse with a new job and artificial power and authority.

    They are paid by you to certify you as certified. If you don't pass, well, they'll come back and charge you again until you do pass.

    The Mafia has been doing this for some time now.

    I got hold of one of their handbooks while I was working to "certify" a residential care facility for the elderly. Something to the effect of "...always leave an air of uncertainty during your preliminary exit interview, stating "We have found a number of decrepancies," but only disclose 2 or 3 of the issues to the staff. This will encourage the facility to take even more strigent measures to pass your inspection."

    JCAHO. Uh huh.

    Hand it