Your Most Maddening Patient/Patient's Family Situation

Nurses Relations


Perhaps there's been a thread on this already, but can it be ok to start a new one? When I have a patient who is, or whose family just makes me want to go in the back room and tear every hair out of my head out, it's really frustrating at the time, but then I find myself laughing about it the next day...then if I think about it too much I get all fired up again. :nurse:

So I've a few:

The young, likely affluent couple- the husband was being treated for a mystery respiratory issue. He was in pretty rough shape, and I bent over backwards to cater to what he needed. The second night I had him, he had his wife staying the night. She had pushed the fold out couch over next to his bed, and when I came in to assess, she promptly began complaining that the doctor had said that "all these interruptions wouldn't be necessary!" To which the husband gave me this irate look and told me rather condescendingly "you're doing a good job, but I'm with my wife, I'm fine". When lab drawing time came around (of COURSE he had a central line) I, per their request, pushed lab draws to like...0715 (you know...when I should be giving report to the day nurse about what a pain in the fanny you've been so I can get going home to MY husband) and wifey pulls the chair right up to the bedside...literally 3 inches from me, so she could stroke hubbywubby's hand (awwww :barf01:) and sip her cold drinkie winkie. While nursey (worsie) futzes around with sterile fields and needles and BLOOD!! Oh man... and you should have seen the rock on her finger too. About the size of the puking smiley.

I'll be brief about the other one...53 year old lady who seemed to need to be repositioned every 10-15 minutes...all. night. long. Ohhhh and she WHINED, she whined in a way that would put a child to shame. Tsk tsk tsk. The patients who might be found in the am, hog tied with the call light. :flamesonb

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.
...the family member or nursing home that dumps the totally disoriented, end stage Alzheimer's patient off in the ER.
I worked at nursing homes for 5 years before completely leaving that setting. Anyhow, nursing home staff will usually send this type of patient to the ER per the request of screaming family members.

In LTC, the family is always right. :rolleyes:

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

dad had heart surgery, and the son was a doctor. he was quite fond of telling us he was a doctor in as many different ways as possible. he talked about "his" office nurse, his office, his practice, the prestigious hospital where he had privileges, his country club, etc. oh, and he wanted to direct the care. not sure what kind of a doctor he was, but he knew absolutely nothing about heart surgery. one day he brought mom up to visit. it was fairly obvious to me that mom had dementia issues the moment i met her. the son the doctor parked mom at dad's bedside and left. it took me a couple of hours to figure out that he'd not only left the room, he'd left the building. the state even. turns out he and his new wife didn't want to look after mom while dad was in the hospital, so he just brought her in and left her. mom was a nightmare too, but she had dementia. after three days of her wandering in and out of other patient's rooms, attempting to steal food from their trays and in one case lying down in the patient's bed to sleep while the patient was up in the chair, our unit director grew a set and took care of the problem. i don't understand why it took so long.

there was the patient's wife who brought his 90 year old mother in to visit and promptly asked me to toilet the mother because she (the wife) didn't like to do that. i've had ltc nurses tell me they would have just toileted the visitor. in icu, we can't leave our patient long enough to toilet ourselves some days, much less the visitors!

there was the patient who was the same age as my mother, and the daughter who was about my age. daughter talked baby talk to her mother all day. after 12 hours, i was about ready to scream. the capper was when the daughter woke up the patient, who had finally drifted off to sleep, to inquire in a high pitched, squeaky tone, "mommy, mommy!!! do you need another squishy?" (mommy already had an excess of squishies (er, pillows) under, over and around her. i'd used our stock, ordered more and scavenged from other patients in order to try to make this nut case daughter happy while she complained that if i were a better nurse and more concerned with mommy's comfort than her rapidly falling hemoglobin and rising heart rate, mommy would have gotten some sleep by now and be all better.

we had no locker room, so it was the practice to stash our purses in an inconspicuous spot in the patient's room. none of our patients were ambulatory, and all had floor to ceiling bookshelves in one corner of the room. i'd usually stash my purse on an upper shelf that most folks couldn't reach, and it was quite safe there. one day when i came back from lunch, i found the patient's daughter sitting at the room reading the same paperback i was reading. turns out it wasn't such a coincidence -- she'd gone through my purse and it was my book. she even commented on the brand of lipstick i use! i was absolutely flummoxed, went out to the nurse's station and vented. when i was done venting, i went back to finish my shift and found the surgeon telling the daughter that she was barred from visiting in the future without security with her, and if she didn't immediately and convincingly apologize to me, she was barred from visiting at all ever again. she apologized.

Specializes in OB (with a history of cardiac).

Hmmm, I would have fetched a squishy and promptly whapped the daughter over the head.

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