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What do you do if it is YOUR family member who is the rude patient

Nurses   (250 Views | 2 Replies)

5,032 Profile Views; 199 Posts

Will it be out of place to say something to your family member? If you are the one taking care of them, do you tell your coworker that their husband's behavior is unnecessary? If you work in the hospital and know that your family member is a hand full, do you get annoyed when you are called to deal with them while you are at work (seen this happen a few times)? Lastly if you are the charge nurse what do you do if the family member DEMANDS that their working family member come up? "YOU TELL MY WIFE TO GET DOWN HERE, RIGHT NOW!"

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199 Posts; 5,032 Profile Views

Flashback. My mom and dad were divorced when I turned 18, but remained friends. She worked in IMC as an RN. When he would get sick (old age). He would demand that my mom come down. The charge nurse would timidly call and say "Mrs. M um your husband won't do this until you come down." She march down and "Dammit Dan, I'm busy listen to your nurses"

I miss my parents

Edited by DesiDani

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FacultyRN has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN.

174 Posts; 1,044 Profile Views

It would be 100% inappropriate to "tell on" a patient to your co-worker/their family member. In fact, you should have no discussions of that patient's care with their employed family member. That would also put that family member in an awkward position.

It's 100% appropriate to address nasty behavior to the patient himself. "Stop speaking to me that way. It's disrespectful and rude, and I will leave the room if this inappropriate behavior continues. My job is to provide you with quality nursing care, but I'm not required to stick around for you to talk to me in this manner." (Obviously mental status should be considered, too.)

As for the demand to see a family member: "Sir, we're unable to arrange visits with staff from other units. If you'd like your wife to come up as a visitor, you'll need to contact her. Are you able to reach your phone?" If you have a no visitor policy due to COVID-19 right now, it's even easier. "I'm sorry, but we have a strict no visitor policy due to COVID. For the safety of all staff and patients, special privileges can't be extended to employees." Exit room.

Stay calm and respectful when a patient is being a jerk, but you don't need to stick around and get belittled. Document their behavior and your response, when appropriate.

Edited by FacultyRN

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