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8 Quirky Types of Hospital Visitors

Hamsa Ramesha | NursingLink

8 Quirky Types of Hospital Visitors

Nurses, you’ve seen it all. You’re on the frontline when it comes to patient care. From the most disgusting patient cases (mysterious bodily fluids and “code brown”) to the most heartwarming (pediatric miracles!), what haven’t you seen on your floor?

Unlike doctors, you don’t just deal with a patient’s medical condition; you’re often left to face the patient’s family and friends too. On the job, your people skills are just as important as your medical ones. Whether it’s lending an ear to distressed parents, or patiently listening to an angry tirade, a big part of your job is to take care of your patient and their loved ones.

Like your patients, hospital visitors come in all shapes, sizes, and attitudes. Most may be considered normal, but there are a few characters in the mix that definitely stand out. In a humorous tribute, we’ve rounded up eight examples of some of the quirkiest visitors ever to grace the whitewashed walls of the hospital.

Next: The M.D. >>


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  • Owl_max50

    WiseOldOwl

    almost 4 years ago

    78 comments

    You are VERY close to the point, FydawgRN!

    My biggest annoyance is with those who have not had enough time in the Real World of Healthcare to know what we are talking about but still have ALL of the right answers to the problems with which we deal every day and dare to tell us how to do our jobs!
    Can't wait to see what mshannon, et.al. have to say about it all when they have been around for more than a few years.

  • Lake_murray_max50

    FydawgRN

    almost 4 years ago

    36 comments

    I think what WiseOldOwl is getting at here is the same thing I'm getting at. What we get bent out of shape about is the visitors that show up and give a patient their blood pressure medicine because: "You obviously don't know what you are doing. If you did you would have given my [family member] the same blood pressure medicine they take at home." I didn't give that BP med because 1) the doctor knows [your family member] takes it; 2) the doctor specifically said not to give it because 3) [Your family member's] BP was [70ish/40ish]. And although I really wish I could give everyone of patients one on one care, it's just not possible when on a progressive care floor with a 4 or 5 to 1 ratio.

  • Owl_max50

    WiseOldOwl

    almost 4 years ago

    78 comments

    Sorry that my last posting was 'cut off' before I finished.
    When I go to visit a friend or relative in a healthcare facility, I make every effort to go INCOGNITO! However, my mother usually 'rats me out'.
    I have thousands of stories and examples of misbehavior by 'visitors', some even dangerous (X-ray tech stabbed in ED; MD shot in patients' room-you have all read the papers, watched CNN).
    And yet if I were to write a book about it all, NO ONE would believe any of it ever could have possibly happened!

  • Owl_max50

    WiseOldOwl

    almost 4 years ago

    78 comments

    My dear mshannon:
    As you have indicated your profound distaste for a more private response by email, I shall post my response to your statements and suggestions here so that all may evaluate my response.
    First: I shall assume that you work in a health care setting such as a hospital as you seem to have answers for all of the problems with visitors who create problems, take up an RNs valuable and limited time and sometimes pose a very clear and present danger by their actions/inactions. I do not know in what capacity you may or may not be employed and therefore will make no assumption on that point.
    I have practiced for 35 years in every nursing specialty from neonatology to neurosurgery, hold a national certification in Critical Care and a BSN from a well known university with some Masters' work in progress.
    I have NEVER refused to describe or explain a medication, its actions and side effects, or any other information to a patient or a person who is designated to receive information under the HIPPA Act. Even give out the little 'unit dose' packet so that the internet saavy may research the drug further. I have several websites to which I refer people which are written in plain English.
    People who 'drop names' are merely annoying. I fear no man and am intimidated by no one. I treat the VIPs exactly the same as the 'street' people. (Actually the street people probably get BETTER care because they have nothing to lose by threatening to sue!)
    Directing demanding visitors to the supervisors' office does nothing except create further aggravation. Is it fair to 'grease the squeaky wheel' and be ordered to devote MORE than the usual time and effort to one patient over another?
    Screwing around with the equipment. Hmm. That's an interesting one. How many people REALLY keep their hands off of the PCA button, the bed controls, etc. The patient I mentioned whose visitor removed the 2 craniotomy drains? Well that was fun when we had to call the neurosurgeon. He couldn't believe it either...
    Whatever your job in the healthcare profession may be, I have seen and heard the lofty ideals before. Usually from newbies who have not met Reality in person enough times to expect the unexpected, think outside of the box, and trust people to follow instructions.
    Wh

  • Images_max50

    mshannon

    almost 4 years ago

    12 comments

    WiseOldOwl, seriously, lighten up. All your capital accentuation and sending me a copy of your post by mail to be sure I saw it, yea.....you got your point across, but I disagree....period.

    -You dont like that the advocate demands an explanation for each pill? Too bad.
    That is your job.
    -They make unreasonable demands? Direct them to the nurse supervisors office.
    -They drop names? So? Does that scare you? If you are doing your job, it shouldn't.
    -They screw around with the equipment? Tell them firmly to stop.

    You sound a little burnt out.
    Look into alternative career options.

  • Chlopaya_nurse_max50

    SF_NurseLady

    almost 4 years ago

    16 comments

    Of course we love our patient visitors, but sometimes they do some things that are weird or even annoying. I thought this was hilarious!

  • Owl_max50

    WiseOldOwl

    almost 4 years ago

    78 comments

    You are correct when you state that a true patient ADVOCATE can be very helpful to the staff AND the patient's well-being. However, this has to do with people who come in and make unreasonable demands, screw around with the equipment, question/second-guess EVERYTHING that you say or do, insist on a full out description/explanation of EVERY pill that you try to administer, 'drop' names (I am a personal friend of ____, VIP) and generally take up way more than their share of your VERY limited and valuable time.

    In 35 years of practice I have had visitors remove dressings, lift the sheets to check papa's 'privates', and even REMOVE bilateral surgical drains on a craniotomy patient!

    Not everyone is helpful to you or your patient.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    SDtoCharlotte

    almost 4 years ago

    2 comments

    As a non-nurse, I'm a little shocked and concerned. This is NOT okay and despite how "quirky" the visitors are, they are there for the patient as should you be. I just started nursing school and I thought the insensitive, uncaring nature of the students I've witnessed was just anxiety and uneasiness at the "new" culture but now I don't know. People used to complain about the poor bedside manner of doctors, let's not hope this is where the nursing community is headed. Lol

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    lsolkowitz

    almost 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Visitors are an important part of a patient's healing. Instead of criticizing them, how about more concrete ways to help them deal besides kicking them out at the end of visiting hours???

    I think non-nurses would be shocked and horrified if they stumbled on this piece and would feel a need to post a sentry at each patient's bedside 24/7.

    I really expect better from this Nursing Community.

  • Images_max50

    mshannon

    almost 4 years ago

    12 comments

    Seriously.....are you starved for content? Hospital nurses should be grateful for patient visitors.

    I am shocked that you call the advocate annoying in this article. An advocate can be critical for the patient. Patients all too often are submissive to health care, and will hardly ever stand up for themselves against shoddy practice. We as nurses love to pat ourselves on the back and think of ourselves are overworked angels, but the truth is, check into a hospital as a patient, and watch how many times your nurse doesn't wash her hands, gives you incorrect meds, ignores your pain, etc, and you may sing another tune. An advocate is a great visitor!

    Please don't make articles like this which make visitors appear to be annoying. You are supposed to be shaping the minds of people entering the nursing field now and you are going to turn them into the complainers who stand around the nursing station bellyaching about visitors as if they are the enemy. Please be more responsible!

  • Lake_murray_max50

    FydawgRN

    almost 4 years ago

    36 comments

    You forgot the fellow nurse who may be a family member who may be three or four states away who constantly calls, (usually every 15 minutes or less) asking for what they know is protected health information and when you won't give it, has no problem calling hospital administration.

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