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Online Support Groups = Trash on Nurses

Private Duty   (5,559 Views 26 Comments)
by CloudySue CloudySue (Member) Member Nurse

CloudySue has 6 years experience and specializes in Pediatric Private Duty; Camp Nursing.

14,961 Profile Views; 710 Posts

I joined a couple of closed support groups for families of PDN clients- some specialty groups like for trach/vent families, certain diagnoses that I work with, etc. I joined with the hope I could get some perspective from the parents, and learn more. Well... they call it a support group but more than half the time they just complain about their nurses. And holy moly, do these people nit pick over everything. They complain about negligent nurses, then the next post is a complaint about nurses who are too conscientious. Nurses that leave them high and dry when there's a foot of snow coming down. Nurses that have the nerve to go on missions to Africa for a month every two years. Nurses that call out sick. Nurses that come in sick. Nurses that don't know everything about their child right away and bug them with questions. And although some of these complaints/vents are valid, then the comments that follow are just a huge barrage of everybody talking about how stupid and clueless and irresponsible their own nurses are. Wow, I just can't believe they can't cough up something nice about their nurses once in a while.

Many of these families don't understand our need to follow the care plan to the letter. Tonight for example, a mom was mad b/c the child was desating and had to be bagged. The MAR states that protocol for that scenario was to call 911. The child was stabilized, but the nurse called 911 anyway. Mom was livid because the stupid nurse just couldn't understand that the child was doing better now and it was no longer necessary. Some of the advice she got was to call the doctor on Monday and change the MAR to state that in the presence of a parent, the parent makes the decision if emergency services are necessary. A lot of the responses just said that the nurse is too nervous, or a spaz, or just plain crazy. It makes me mad because these people have no idea the child's dx, the doctor might have that order in place because maybe he knows the mom is too blase or the child's condition isn't stable. In any event, they had no trouble disrespecting the nurse and her role. I spoke up and stated that if the care plan states that she had to call 911 and there's no concessions to the parents' say, then she has to do it. If she allowed the mom to bully her into not calling, and the child dies, would you be ready to stand up and take responsibility for your decision and not blame her and take her to court? I also recommended that she change the order officially with the doctor's written blessing, this will help the nurse help her. I pointed out that if I were in need of nursing for my child, and I couldn't get a perfect nurse, I'd feel better with a nurse who was too conscientious rather than a negligent one.

Edited by CloudySue

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CloudySue has 6 years experience and specializes in Pediatric Private Duty; Camp Nursing.

710 Posts; 14,961 Profile Views

Oh, and before people start to say its a closed group, I understand that, and there are other nurses there, plus I told the moderators when I joined what I was, and they could have denied me membership. I realize it's their "safe" place so I don't troll or cause trouble, mostly lurk quietly. It's just so discouraging at times, to see that so many parents often misunderstand the nurse's role in their home, and have to be so disrespectful to the profession.

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Alex Egan has 9 years experience as a LPN, EMT-B and specializes in Home Health (PDN), Camp Nursing.

6 Articles; 855 Posts; 23,208 Profile Views

I view such groups as valuable insight into the parents heads. Yes there can be some , or rather a lot, of nurse bashing. I try to remember like you said the groups aren't for me. Also I remember that you hear only the one side of every situation, and human nature is to spin every story to shed the teller in the best light. Primarily what I learnt is that some parents CANNOT be made happy, and your best to leave those cases when you find them.

Edited by Alex Egan

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TheCommuter has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

1 Follower; 228 Articles; 27,607 Posts; 317,658 Profile Views

And although some of these complaints/vents are valid, then the comments that follow are just a huge barrage of everybody talking about how stupid and clueless and irresponsible their own nurses are.

If parents who do the criticizing believe they can take better care of their children than the 'stupid, clueless nurses,' then why aren't they providing the care themselves? How has that been working out in the past?

I'm just asking a question when the answer is already known. Now I am stepping off the soapbox. :)

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xoemmylouox has 13 years experience as a ASN, RN.

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I would never join those sites for this reason. So many parents can't be made happy. I've encountered it so many times. You do what they want and then suddenly they don't want that anymore. It's endless. They often feel as if they have no control over their child's illness but the care they receive can be.

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LadyFree28 has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma.

8,427 Posts; 75,574 Profile Views

I would never join those sites for this reason. So many parents can't be made happy. I've encountered it so many times. You do what they want and then suddenly they don't want that anymore. It's endless. They often feel as if they have no control over their child's illness but the care they receive can be.

I never joined one, nor do I plan on doing so. :no:

Unfortunately, their line of thinking keeps us in business. :wacky:

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3 Followers; 36,914 Posts; 97,812 Profile Views

I get more than enough garbage from my clients. Don't need to go to these sites for more. I find it somewhat humorous that a client will complain that their spouse said they won't be able to keep nurses if they continue (insert behavior) but the next sentence is another example of said behavior. I don't find it funny that people who refuse to work for a living can find fault where no fault is present because they believe you are indentured to work in their unpleasant home.

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BlueLightRN has 4 years experience.

150 Posts; 4,276 Profile Views

I joined a group for migraine sufferers because I am one. 99% of it is whining about narcotics, bashing doctors and nurses, and crying about their lives, because the migraines are so bad, and they don't work, live at home, etc., etc., and the mean stupid ER staff won't give them narcotics.

I GET IT. My migraines are like he-double-hockeysticks and they hurt, but you can't live on narcotics, and that "idiot nurse" or "moron doctor" is the only person who can probably help you when your own family is even sick of you.

/vent I was so angry when I read their hateful posts about the medical community. It wasn't just one complaint or one issue, it was a straight up bash-fest in there.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 13,948 Posts; 171,729 Profile Views

Sadly, most people who are driven to post on the internet are angry about one thing or another, so bashing is probably a given. I joined an on-line support group for cancer patients not long after I was diagnosed, and had to quit in less than a week. There are only so many rounds of "Ain't it Awful" you can play, and the doctor/nurse/NP/mammographer/any healthcare provider bashing was disheartening. In the end, the humor threads on this an other forums helped more than the cancer support group!

The only advice I can give the OP is to back away from the on-line groups; but she probably already has!

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CloudySue has 6 years experience and specializes in Pediatric Private Duty; Camp Nursing.

710 Posts; 14,961 Profile Views

Yeah, I'm totally done with this one group! They just are so outraged that nurses don't listen to what THEY want, even if it's contrary to the MAR and 485. I told them to review the chart, ask the doctor to change any wording and if it's safe for the child, he should be able to comply to their wishes. I told them that any time a nurse is asked to fudge or ignore orders, you are asking them to break the law. I saw it as an opportunity to educate, as nurses tend to want to do. I said that if they can understand where we are coming from, and that as per our scope of practice we are bound to comply with the MD's orders and parents' wishes do not automatically override them. Of course it was torches and pitchforks, which was quite sad! But I see it for what it is, parents frustrated with the way things are with their children and their home life. Support boards tend to make people feel more awful after a while. Hopefully, if just one of those parents got a lightbulb over their head after reading my explanation, then it was worth it. But I'm done. I'll stick with you guys from now on!!! ;D

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CloudySue has 6 years experience and specializes in Pediatric Private Duty; Camp Nursing.

710 Posts; 14,961 Profile Views

Things spiral quickly in a complaintfest, and make people's feelings worse. I had joined a group that supported children of parents w a certain psych disorder, and before I knew it, I was more angry and upset with my mom than I had been since I was a teenager. So many old memories popped up, and I was really in a funk for a while. Then I realized it was the exposure to others' stories and the sharing of my own that was really making me depressed. My mom is better than she used to be and I needed to live in the present, so I came back to it.

Also, more than a decade ago I had a couple of miscarriages and joined an online support group, and I was unable to put it past me until I stopped going there. I actually got sadder and sadder than I originally had been. All the member avatars with baby angels and birthstones, wow, was it depressing. Some of these members' miscarriages were more than a decade prior and they were still lamenting actively, daily, calling these lost pregnancies by name. I feel bad for them that they couldn't move on, but I wonder if they'd have coped better if they weren't all reminding each other to cry?

That said, the current support group I belong to, one for parents of children w Selective Mutism, has been fantastic. A wonderful exchange of experiences, ideas, and remedies. So they aren't all bad.

Edited by CloudySue

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225 Posts; 7,108 Profile Views

I don't find it funny that people who refuse to work for a living can find fault where no fault is present because they believe you are indentured to work in their unpleasant home.

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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