Published Feb 2, 2016
Hi all, I am a new RN and am curious about some experienced RN's perspective on this topic. My dad recently had a very debilitating stroke. We have been to 6 facilities in 5 months and I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of nursing staff.
Often I find myself having to remind the nurses to float his feet for pressure wounds and turn him every 2 hours. He has been left in soiled diapers for longer then is acceptable among other communication issues.
I draw a line this past weekend when I went and asked to speak to the charge nurse just to get more info since his assigned nurse was an agency nurse and didn't know much about his history or long term care plan. She acted so unprofessionally. If you have a moment to read our dialogue it is below. (It is typed because I intend on sending a complaint to the company.) If you want to skip that part I totally understand.
[[[Nurse entered his room and immediately had an attitude which was demonstrated in her tone of voice and dismissive body language. She stated You asked to see me, what can I do for you?â€ and I responded by stating my observations of the treatment of the heal. I stated that there were 3 nurses sitting at the nurses station (one of which had their phone out) and she immediately interrupted me by saying I don't have 3 nurses so that's not true.â€ I responded by saying Well I saw 3 people at the desk none of which offered to assist with my concerns.â€ She interrupted me by stating What is your point, get to your point.â€ I stated My point is I came in and his heal was flat on the bed with a soiled bandage and I want to make sure it is off the bed as prescribed. There is available staff that are capable to attend to this task.â€ She interrupted me by stating I know you're a Registered Nurse so you think you know but I know how to run my floor and we are doing everything we can to assist him.â€ I asked to then speak to her manager who was currently unavailable. I asked her to please stick to the concern which was the wound as it had a green drainage that could indicate infection. She stated If the patient had an infection he would have a fever.â€ I responded by saying A fever is not the only systemic change a patient will have with an infection.â€ She interrupted me and stated I am not going to play this game with you. What else do you need?â€ I was completely floored at this point and requested she leave the room and please remind her staff to keep his extremities elevated.]]]
None the less, how do you balance being a nurse and having knowledge on how things should be handled versus being a concerned family member and letting things slide because you know how the system works? I am so disappointed in how some nurses have acted and feel sometimes (with any job) when you have been doing it for so long you really probably shouldn't do it anymore if you lost your passion.
Been there,done that, ASN, RN
Best of luck to you and your poppa. There is no answer to this, getting proper care is up to the nurse and doctor you run across.
Please see my PM.
Pangea Reunited, ASN, RN
Are you there to help your dad or cause trouble? When my hospitalized grandmother was waiting "too long" for a diaper change, I changed it myself ...and I wasn't even a nurse back then. If your dad's foot slipped off a pillow, prop it back up. Staff on their phones may be on break or even dealing with patient care. I often use the timer and calculator on my phone.
I'm curious what type of nursing work you actually do. Your heart may be in the right place, but you come across as somewhat obnoxious and controlling.
I'm very sorry about your Dad, OP. It's rough.
I have no advice, except to fix the spelling of "heel".
Are you there to help your dad or cause trouble? When my hospitalized grandmother was waiting "too long" for a diaper change, I changed it myself ...and I wasn't even a nurse back then. If your dad's foot slipped off a pillow, prop it back up. Staff on their phones may be on break or even dealing with patient care. I often use the timer and calculator on my phone. I'm curious what type of nursing work you actually do. Your heart may be in the right place, but you come across as somewhat obnoxious and controlling.
She is there to make sure dad gets decent care. She is getting flack for it.
It is not up to her to change his diaper, or reposition him. Some (cough, cough) nurses will give her grief for doing so. Your lack of compassion/ understanding in this scenario is astounding.
I know you asked a different question, and I apologize for getting off topic, but six facilities in five months is only negatively impacting your father's recovery and adding an enourmous amount of stress on you and your family. Obviously, you have found issues that were intolerable at six different facilities. Either the care in your area is absolutely atrocious...or you have standards that no nurse could possibly meet. Instead of just observing what is wrong with the care at all of these places, maybe you should jump in and help out, especially if you "know how the system works" (your words). He's your dad for crying out loud, prop his heels up and help turn him when you're there visiting.
Wow OP, it looks like you've been a nurse for almost a whole week, but maybe when you actually get experience you will see that sitting at the nurses station (even if you are on your phone) doesn't mean that you have "adaquate staff to attend to the task". I am at the nurses station a lot and am very busy, there are things that have to get done that you can't do in patients rooms. I would probably give you attitude too if you are going to bring the charge in instead of just putting the feet on a pillow yourself. Be realistic and stop nitpicking.
NurseOnAMotorcycle, ASN, RN
Deleted. If I have nothing nice to say...
To answer a few points:
1. I currently work full time and cannot be there all of the time. So when I say his feet are not propped up I assumed nurses would understand that of course I prop them up and am always willing to change his diaper. I cannot do these things if I am not there. When I see his feet flat on the bed I can fix it THEN but cannot correct it if I am not there. That is my concern and why I chose to speak with the charge nurse to make sure in my absence those concerns are addressed.
I always help with his care when I am there! If I can do it I will never ask a nurse to. The key word is when I am there. If I am not there I have to rely on the staff to do it.
2. I just took my boards so definitely am a new RN which I disclosed in my post but I don't think that is a bad thing. Keeps me fresh on what should be done versus what short cuts are taken sometimes.
3. We have been to 6 different facilities for insurance reasons. He recently had the stroke so we have been in and out of hospitals, LTAC, rehab, short stay in a SNF where he got 3 pressure ulcers in 2 weeks, etc. So definitely not because of care (other then the SNF) just have to move because of insurance.
4. Being on phones is a risky behavior because it is all about perception. In my eyes regardless of what profession if you are on your phone you have time to be doing anything else. All I ask is simply peak your head in the door and make sure his feet are propped.
Although I did expect some negative feedback I am curious to know how some nurse's can become so numb to situations. I am brand new and still have a soft heart so to speak and I hope to never lose it. Through this experience I have really encountered some nurse's who I question why they are nurses but I guess that is with every profession.
Thank you everyone for your posts. Opinions are always appreciated.
I read it, went to like it, and it was GONE!
roser13, ASN, RN
I'm very sorry about your Dad, OP. It's rough. I have no advice, except to fix the spelling of "heel".
And "separate." Makes me crazy.
OP, I don't blame you for being upset. But as a nurse, you must tread lightly. For instance, I NEVER reveal upfront that I'm a nurse. That fact automatically adds an element of distrust/fear to the staff nurses who are caring for your loved one. I'm not sure how folks in your dad's facility even knew that.
Secondly (and this applies whether you're a nurse or a plumber), you will always catch more flies with honey. Don't call in the nursing supervisor and proceed to point out deficiencies. Speak with your dad's nurse privately. If you must wait until the next shift to find a regular, employed nurse, then wait. Show him/her what your preferences are for his care. Reiterate (politely) your understanding of his care plan & orders. Even though it's completely apparent that basic cares should not have to be taught, sometimes you have to swallow hard & do what you can to re-educate & re-direct those who are caring for your loved one. Assume that your wishes will be carried forward into future shifts. If they are not, then you can start to escalate your concerns to the charge nurse, nurse manager, etc.
Lastly, if you hope to have your concerns taken seriously by corporate, you must take the emotion out of your complaint. (Nurse) "immediately had an attitude which was demonstrated in her tone of voice and dismissive body language."
Tone & body language are completely subjective descriptors and immediately set the tone of your complaint as 'emotional' and therefore not 100% trustworthy. Just state the facts as you observed them.
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