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8 Quirky Types of Hospital Visitors

Hamsa Ramesha | NursingLink

8 Quirky Types of Hospital Visitors

2. The Hospital Mommy

If you thought that M.D.s were all over the place, wait until you’ve met the Hospital Mommy. This kind of hospital visitor, who may or may not be the patient’s biological mother, is a mommy to everyone. She won’t just bring the patient homemade chocolate chip cookies; she’ll bake enough for a small army and feed the entire hospital if given the chance.

The Hospital Mommy decorates every spare inch of the patient’s room with flowers, cards, stuffed animals, food, and other miscellaneous knickknacks. Don’t be surprised if her motherly love and attention spills out of the patient’s room and onto the nurse’s station, showering you with little treats. You may often find her by the patient’s bedside, knitting needles clacking away, or gabbing with another nurse.


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    coach22

    6 months ago

    1220 comments

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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    kgarrison

    over 3 years ago

    20 comments

    What about the Overbearing Husband (or mother, or wife, etc). You ask the patient a question, the husband answers for her. Takes some skilled persistene and distraction techniques to get the patient's own words! LOL

  • Owl_max50

    WiseOldOwl

    over 3 years ago

    78 comments

    Gosh, I just LOVE it when yet another nurse/healthcare worker who KNOWS IT ALL comes out of the closet! Perfect people who have ALL of the answers (such as mshannon has shown us all today) just make everyone else's job SO much easier because they never miss anything, make mistakes, blame others for not getting the job done,etc.while treating each and every visitor/family member/administrator/doctor and just everyone who crosses his or her path WHILE she is trying to admit a profoundly sick patient with 1.5 pages of orders (at least half of which are STAT) on a grossly and dangerously understaffed floor with absolute equality and 100% cooperation and with ONLY 18 short years of experience yet!
    I just can't wait to see what this Dynamo of Nursing can do after her back and knees give up and her great and noble contributions and principles create the very first Nobel Prize in Nursing!
    Thanks for the world class b.s. today. The Owl can always use a good laugh!

  • Lake_murray_max50

    FydawgRN

    over 3 years ago

    36 comments

    @mshannon,
    I'm done with you, you are making several assumptions about me, my practice and posting them here in a public forum when you have never met me nor observed my practice. When you say that, "you didn't document the meds as found on chart review" that is not true. When I do an admission, I do document home meds and do so appropriately. What I said is when ANOTHER nurse has done the admission, 3-5 days later, I have the patient, not having admitted them, and have to document the meds.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    echolucent

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    How about the Hypochondriac's grandpa..."The I'm at Death's Door Dude"? This guy should be in the icu! While you are admitting a patient for surgery...trying to do your assessment...getting a med list...medical history, etc...this dude is answering each of your questions with his own medical history. Of course...it was worse than your patient's issues. He will interrupt with, "that happened to me and I darn near died!" Once, I was doing some postop teaching for a vein stripping patient when the visitor launched in to a bloody diatribe about her experience...waiking up during the surgery and seeing her blood squirting up in the air! My patient was horrified and so scared, she wouldn't go ahead with her procedure! No amount of explaining, coaxing, or reassurance from me, my coworkers or the doctor would change her mind. The surgeon finally wrote an order for her discharge. Her visitor proclaimed, "see, I told you it was awful!" You gotta love them...as you said, their intentions are good and they really keep things interesting!

  • Images_max50

    mshannon

    over 3 years ago

    12 comments

    @FydawgRN

    You cant keep using "in a perfect world" as an excuse for not doing your job properly.
    Taking that med history and documenting it is critical. The fact that in review, they are finding that you neglected to do it, is seriously bad.

    Yes, nurses are over worked.
    Yes, Sometimes basic things can get overlooked in a hectic atmosphere, BUT being overloaded or overworked is not an excuse for putting your patients at risk.

    When you start telling yourself that you don't have time to do the most basic things to insure patient safety, then maybe its time to tell your supervisors that you have a dangerously high workload.
    Do you think this is another "ideal world scenario"? It isn't. Your license depends on you making the right choices, and to hell with appearing less than able to juggle a monster pt load.
    Afraid of being fired? Think they can replace you with a more efficient nurse?
    Yes they can. So get more efficient.

    Didn't you learn over years of work how to prioritize? The thing I see nurses do wrong most often is they screw up priorities. Put on blinders at the nursing station. Every time you have to spend 10 minutes looking for a chart for a doctor, or checking to see when the dang transporter is coming, or whatever, is time away from your priorities....and it isn't your job anyhow. Worried that the secretary is overloaded? Well the only way your employer can accurately determine how much personnel is needed on any unit, everyone has to do their own job. I'm not saying not to be helpful at all, but how much of your time each day is spent doing things that are not your job, and rob your patients of your time? If everyone on your unit spent one week only doing their own job, it might run smoother......and at a staff meeting, you could work out the kinks.

    I promise you, that if you ever end up in court over neglecting to document something so basic as medications, and a patient had an injury related to medications, that the jury/court will not be at all sympathetic that you had a high patient load that day, and had to run someone to xray, follow up on blah blah,....you know what I mean. You are expected to prioritize and most nurses do it badly. I personally think its because they want to be helpful and well liked, but they don't know how to be efficient. Sometimes you have to be cold to be efficient.

    Also, my advice to you is to take a speed typing course. Then everything the patient tells you, type into the EMR. -They left the Dr's appt and didnt get seen?
    Put it in the record.
    -Refuses meds?
    Put it in the record.
    -Sx from meds?
    Put it in the record.

    Instead of complaining here that patients are the problem, remember that you are the solution.
    Why are people in the hospital? For nursing care.
    They are depending on you to protect them and not just complain about how they are not the ideal patient, in an ideal world. If it was a freakin ideal world, they wouldn't even be sick.

  • Imgp2826_max50

    sherij

    over 3 years ago

    186 comments

    We tend to get groupies but not in the way it is written. The groupies show up on admission and never leave. They think it is a "party" and that they MUST come. You cannot walk around them, the room begins to smell of them and the patient cannot get any rest.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    hrdwrkingnurse

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    mshannon and fydawgrn, sorry you guys had a bad day, don't take it out on everbody else. This was just a light-hearted tongue and cheek article to read. I thought it was pretty cute. all nurses know that the large majority of visitors are harmless and pose no threat, we also know that there are those who should be barred at the front door. Deal with it, it's just part of the job, and get back to taking care of the pt. Geez!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    TravelNurseSam

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I love nurses who spend a couple of years at the bedside, then go on into administration or clinical education and try to relate to what it is like to be a bedside in nurse in the overcrowded, understaffed hospitals. The should be added a one of the quirky visitors "The nurse who thinks they know everything but has no concept of what it is really like to work as a nurse".

  • Smurfnurse_max50

    Inara

    over 3 years ago

    64 comments

    Or the "busybody" who wants to know everything, but they aren't family so that's not allowed. nosy people! haha

  • Sarah_max50

    ranadeluna

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    Don't forget the "scribe." Sometimes it's the patient but most of the time it's the husband/wife. Usually these patients are not new to the hospital and the family writes everything down.

  • Lake_murray_max50

    FydawgRN

    over 3 years ago

    36 comments

    @mshannon
    Yes that's true in an ideal world, I have also had happen to me a number of times where an ANM or a charge nurse comes up to me anywhere from 3-5 days, once as long as 10 days after the admission and say, "the patient's home meds were never documented, can you take care of that for us." Also I have had happen more times than I care to think about the times where a patient is started on a new med, usually a med that alters the heart rate such as a beta blocker, in the doctor's office that they cannot tolerate and now are having syncopal episodes because of orthostasis. And I've had happen where a patient flat out refuses to take meds we've ordered and insists that they are going to take the meds their doctor ordered because they "just got that prescription right before I came to the hospital." My favorite was the one that came in and said, "my doctor put me on 4 meds, I went to my appointment last week, he kept me waiting 15 minutes past my scheduled time, so I got mad, walked out, and quit taking all of them."

    And no, these sort of situations are not rare, they happen on almost all of the admissions I've done. I can count the times on one hand that a patient's meds have actually matched what the ED said they were taking at home.

  • Images_max50

    mshannon

    over 3 years ago

    12 comments

    @FydawgRN
    If a nurse does what she is supposed to do, there will have been a conversation with every inpatient at admission about meds from home. You take their meds from them and tell them how during their hospital stay, we will be providing medicines for them. These medicines may or may not be the same as they took at home, but please do not take anything that we have not provided, as it may have a contra-indication/effect with something we are giving them.

    That conversation takes a few minutes only and is standard procedure at all hospitals. It should happen in the ER if admitted there, and again when arriving at the floor. If a visitor still brings additional meds from home and gives them to the patient, and the patient takes them....well...I personally have never seen that happen. I have seen it happen with prohibited foods, and when discovered, we began the education process with the pt and visitor regarding diet.

    -Are you sure you explained adequately about the routine of how things work in the hospital?
    -Did the patient have a mental defect where they could not relay the explanation to the visitor?
    -Had the patient repeatedly complained about a symptom that the meds from home treat, and felt it was not followed up by the nurse?
    -Did the nurse explain the drops in B/P to the patient?
    -Maybe the nurses are too busy on the unit to remember to perform the basic stuff?
    If so, this is a dangerous situation and someone needs to speak with administration or union reps about it.

    If the nurse did what she/he was supposed to do, it shouldn't happen.(barring truly unusual circumstances, like dementia of the visitor/patient, etc) And no, this is not a "newbie/lofty" ideal.
    Its practical and safe care principles that we are all taught and are frequently disregarded because of lack of time. But because that happens, it does not make it ok or the visitors fault. They don't have ESP, nor are they familiar with your job, the hospital procedures/rules, and they are not expected to be. Thats why a nurses job as an educator is critical.

  • Images_max50

    mshannon

    over 3 years ago

    12 comments

    *laughs*
    I've been an RN for 18 years and worked, as you have, many different areas. OB was where I spent the most time (L&D bedside to Clinical Educator), but I did a few years in various other specialties, from the Pedi AIDS ICU to the Endoscope outpatient unit. I also left nursing for a few years and taught myself how to write software, and developed an eCommerce system....then went back to nursing. My CV and credentials aren't difficult to find on Google.....you have my name from here.

    My ideals are far from lofty and very far from newbie.
    My perspective is a mix from bedside nursing, nursing management, nursing educator, as well as business owner, which I was with my software company.
    It's obvious from my well rounded perspective, that you are angry and burnt out.

    I think we can all decipher the difference between a psychiatric issue/problem visitor and one who is trying to be helpful and look out for a family member/friend. When you speak of knife and gun attacks as if these are commonplace, it shows me that you have disembarked from the reality boat. I hope you would know to treat a well meaning, albeit slightly annoying visitor, differently to how you would treat an armed/dangerous person.

    I have worked in VIP units and in teaching medicaid hospitals. I treated both types of patients with the same degree of respect. Everyone is entitled to competent and courteous health care. They are the consumer after all, regardless of how it's paid for. I disagree as well with your affinity to treat the "common man" better than the "connected" one. That statement reeks of a superiority complex.

    Please don't choke too hard on your hat here, hoping I was a new nurse. I'm just a good one. One who hasn't shed the ideals banged into me in nursing school...even after all these years in the trenches.

    Nurses need to remember that medical care is a product and the patient is a consumer. Customer service is part of the job, and does not detract from a nurses professionalism.

    I have known many nurses like you, WO. The ones who stand about the nurses station complaining about everything. Nothing annoys me or embarrasses me more about my chosen profession, than that type of nurse. And when I see it, in person or on a blog like this, I give them the same advice I gave you. Find a new profession.

  • Owl_max50

    WiseOldOwl

    over 3 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.

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