The dangerous patient family member

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of scrubdoogie scrubdoogie 1 year, 9 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Brock-MN

    Every facility has them and it breaks my heart sometimes. We’ve had a few patients at my facility recently who are not in the most “aware” state of mind. One patient has a family member who we all feel is out to find a lawsuit. They try to find anything wrong with the care of their family member. From anything not done at the exact time to their blinds not being open enough to provide them with enough Vitamin D. Our nurses get nervous to take care of this patient and when you get nervous that’s when you make mistakes. How have you dealt with these patients?


    I worked in long term care for quite a while and ooh boy are there PLENTY of these family members in the SNF.

    First and foremost, I document everything that the family members say and do,and my response to them, as well as any care I provided to the patient. I always make sure to get social services involved with a care conference ASAP and then as needed.

    I tend to be very firm, but professional with these types of family members. If they feel they can keep pushing you around and intimidating you, they will. I continue to care for the patient as I would for any other. The family can threaten to sue me, they can threaten to report me, but as long as I am doing my job correctly & have the documentation to back it up,I don’t worry too much about it.

    Profile photo of scrubdoogie

    I too have a family member of a resident, a son, that is constantly calling us on the phone asking us to do this or that for his mother, this is the result of her calling him on her cell phone and asking him to call us. It is very time consuming for us to stop and answer the phone multiple times during the weekend when office staff is not working. She always has her call light in hand but for whatever reason chooses not to use it, for the most part. And yes, he too has threaten to call state on us, which this is her 4th or 5th facility she has been at in recent years, “facility hopper”. He even took an ad in the local paper to warn others about the prior facilities care his mother received. Like the prior post, I too document, document, and document everything. Family members like these are the ones that don’t want to care for the loved ones at home, but in return will complain about the care they receive all the time. I just maintain a very professional attitude by acknowledging all his/her concerns. It’s like the ole` saying “you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can never please all the people all the time”! I do have to admit though, I get a little more respect from family members being a male nurse than the females nurses, which is not right by any means.

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