How do you handle patients who accuse you of errors, even when the proof stands in your fa

  1. I work in a chronic care unit as a medication treatment nurse. I have a patient who states that I forgot to give him his pills, but I remember giving him his pills because he knocked his supper pills on the floor and I had to get him new pills. When this happens, the charge nurse has to access the patient's emergency stock and we have to fill out a form and call pharmacy to replenish the used emergency meds. The dropped meds (unless they're narcotics) are then attached to a form for pharmacy to pick up and destroy.

    Too long didn't read: There is absolutely no way that his medications were missed. His family is furious and wants an investigation launched as I am "Wholly imcompetent and absent minded. Imagine what else she's missing."

    I've already explained what happened to his family but this gentleman, who has early dementia, will not believe that I gave him his pills. I had to let the other med treatment nurse give him his medications this past week because he refuses to let me near him and his family have been rude despite being talked to about the situation. Any advice on how to handle this professionally?
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    About Jb92

    Joined: Oct '17; Posts: 4; Likes: 8

    5 Comments

  3. by   jodispamodi
    Perhaps its time for a family meeting with you NM, and/or director of unit to explain what has happened (spilt his meds), how it has been handled (we gave him mord pills which he took) and to gently explain that patient has memory issues and may be confabulating about getting the pills. Thats the most professional way to attempt to resolve this.
  4. by   AutumnApple
    "How do you handle patients who accuse you of errors?"

    I don't. Cause I don't make none.

    All kidding aside, I don't deal with it. Once facing such an issue, I resolve to be sure I didn't make the mistake. If assured I didn't, I then go into "it's about the patient, not me" frame of mind. And, of course, this is assuming I didn't.

    First apologize that there seems to be differing ideas about what happened. Then get the charge nurse or another team member to witness the next step: State what you can and can not do to make them feel better. Let them voice their desire for a different nurse even. They then can decide what they want to do.

    Beyond that, it's up to people above me to resolve it. Again, assuming no error was made.
  5. by   nursemaryzzel
    With a family that intent on bringing you down, I say get the charge nurse/NM involved ASAP. You don't want your job or worse, license, in jeapordy because of a mistake you never made just because you didn't have the proper support soon enough.

    Also, JUST as a precaution, triple check to make sure you havent missed anything or made any errors in that pt's care.
  6. by   Jb92
    Our charge nurse actually asked the family to come in at meal times so they could see us give the gentleman his pills. Lo and behold, one day after his lunch, he complained loudly to his family that his pills weren't given, and no matter how much they explained that he took them, he denied it. The family FINALLY realized that the gentleman was not being forgotten. Our charge nurse was amazing and also showed the family how we kept track of medications as the family really had no idea how complex it was.
  7. by   AnnieNP
    That is good news!!!!!

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