Jump to content

What do these family member expect

Posted

Specializes in LTC, Med-SURG,STICU. Has 5 years experience.

The other day I had to send one of my residents to the hospital d/t illness. I attempted to contact two of the family members, but nobody was home. I left a message on their answering machines for them to call back ASAP because I had no other contact numbers availible. I sent the resident to the hospital. This resident needed to go, S/S of resp. difficulties and a full code. This resident needed to go where they could be treated. Well today the family comes in all ticked off because we did not notify them. I left a message and they chose to not return the call. I refuse to leave any type of personal info. on people's answering machines due to HIPPA. What do they expect when they will not return phone calls? I just had to vent.

I agree the only contact you can use is the one they gave you. What else can you do? If they really cared you would have cell phone and email numbers.

lpnflorida

Specializes in psych. rehab nursing, float pool. Has 30 years experience.

I think you handled it the way it should have been as you pointed out you could not leave detailed information on answering machine due to HIPPA.

I suppose in the future you could try placing a second call and then noting the time in the chart along with the time of the first call placed. That way at least you can point this out to the family.

Some families can never pleased no matter what you do.

I'd be willing to bet they are feeling guilty for not being there and instead of admitting that, they are just going to be angry and blame someone else. I work in the ED and when someone is sent from the NH it can be a nightmare getting ahold of family members.

I feel for you - chin up. You have a tough job and I have all the respect in the world for those of you that work in nursing homes. Keep up the good work.

lovingtheunloved, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, home health, critical care. Has 12 years experience.

Unfortunately, families tend to have very unrealistic expectations. Shrug your shoulders and move on, cause it's not the last time that will happen.

I used to work community health nursing.Anytime I attempted to notify the contact person,(after repeated calls) there was no response.Then (when they do listen to the message)-all hell breaks loose.You did nothing wrong.People are just out of control these days.

achot chavi

Specializes in acute care and geriatric. Has 20 years experience.

When faced with such a situation, I do as you did but also inform the SW and if she is unavailable I inform our Adm. because I know 9 times our of 10 the families ignor messages and then blame us!!!

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

You did your best to contact the appropriate family members. I would make sure that you document your actions and let management know that the family is making a problem about it, this is just to make sure your covered on all bases. I would also ask the family members if the contacts are up to date and find out what alternatives they would have liked you to do when trying to contact them for any future clarification.

!Chris :specs:

psalm, RN

Specializes in Staff nurse.

You did all you could.

And document! document! document! I will document in the nn what time I called, what phone # I called and if/when I get a response. Also do this with Doctor's numbers...I am amazed at how many doctors have their pagers off or given the wrong #.

achot chavi

Specializes in acute care and geriatric. Has 20 years experience.

You did your best to contact the appropriate family members. I would make sure that you document your actions and let management know that the family is making a problem about it, this is just to make sure your covered on all bases. I would also ask the family members if the contacts are up to date and find out what alternatives they would have liked you to do when trying to contact them for any future clarification.

!Chris :specs:

Good point!! even though I feel it is the SW's responsibility to update phone numbers and contacts, if we have the time best to ask.

I used to work community health nursing.Anytime I attempted to notify the contact person,(after repeated calls) there was no response.Then (when they do listen to the message)-all hell breaks loose.You did nothing wrong.People are just out of control these days.
Interesting, according to other post here this is quite a frequent occurence. I remember in the old days when everyone had a landline and it rang and people answered. We did not have these problems. I think even with all the new technology, people are harder than ever to contact. Perhaps people are blocking a lot of the techo noise out because there is so much of it. I remember a case in NY where a elderly woman was taken ill and died in hospital nine days after she was admitted and the family did not know about it. Family members were outraged they had not been contacted. It seemed so odd that they never questioned themselves about why none of them had ever missed her or checked to see why no one had heard from her. In my family the elderly are checked on daily.

CoffeeRTC, BSN, RN

Has 25 years experience.

Ditto what everyone else said. I always document that I left a message and will contact the DON or ADM esp if the pt is unable to make their own decisions and transfer is in the best interests.

What kills me is when they want you to call all 10 of the kids, aunts, etc. Uh Uh....One call and that is the POA.

cloister

Specializes in Critical care, neuroscience, telemetry,. Has 25 years experience.

Sounds familiar. I'm always amazed at the shirttail relatives who think the medical staff need to keep them personally informed. ("And how are you related to the patient, sir? You're married to his second cousin once removed? I'll have the neurosurgeon paged STAT....)

Years ago, I had a patient in ICU who had shot his mom and aunt and then himself (over a pair of pants improperly hemmed, of all things), and was succumbing to his wound on my watch. We had reporters calling all night trying to get info, (which we didn't give) but not really any family that I can recall. When he finally passed at 5:17 a.m. (ah, the things you remember!), the resident pronounced him and called the next of kin to inform them. Shortly after that, word somehow got to reporters, and the death was all over the morning news. Boy, did we get some irate calls from far flung family members! Seems next of kin hadn't informed them prior to the morning DJ, and they were none too happy that they hadn't been personally informed.

We stood our ground on the policy. Unhappy? Blame Uncle Billy Bob. He should have called you.

Sounds like you did all you could do. Perhaps they need to update their contact list?

southernbeegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Rehab, Infection, LTC. Has 16 years experience.

shoot girl, with some of these families it wouldnt matter if you pooped them a gold brick. they'd just complain it wasnt shiny enough!

JB2007, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Med-SURG,STICU. Has 5 years experience.

shoot girl, with some of these families it wouldnt matter if you pooped them a gold brick. they'd just complain it wasnt shiny enough!

That just describes at least half of my resident's families. Your comment brought on a chuckle and a big old smile. :DThanks I needed that because today was just one of those days.

southernbeegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Rehab, Infection, LTC. Has 16 years experience.

That just describes at least half of my resident's families. Your comment brought on a chuckle and a big old smile. :DThanks I needed that because today was just one of those days.

anytime!

and just keep imagining that you are pinching their annoying leetle heads off when they are driving you nuts. that usually keeps me going for a little while, lol

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.