Give Me a Break

Give Me a Break

Blabber Nurse

February 27, 2008

Recently, our ICU beds are always full. Cardiac, Surgical and most especially our Medical ICU, where I work.

In MICU, it’s not very new to have full bed capacity because of our chronic bedridden patients. They fill up the place. Problem is, we don’t have the extended care facility that they should be in so I guess you can say that instead of working in a critical unit, I’m basically working in an extended care facility or nursing home!

The frustration doesn’t stop there, mind you.

In this place, relatives are the ones making decisions instead of the doctors!

Yes, I know that the relatives should have a say on what the MD’s are doing to their patients but I also think that they should trust the MD’s and the RN’s taking care of the patient!

We have this particular family in the unit who is such a pain in the ass! I’ve not been assigned to take care of the patient, (thank goodness!) but according to the stories of other RN’s they can really stress you out to the point of making you want to pull your hair out!

There’s this particular incident that one of the daughters (who incidentally is also a doctor) asked the RN not to give Vancomycin because she thinks it’s not helping her father, but she also told the RN not to tell the MD in charge that she told her not to give it because she doesn’t want the MD to know that she’s interfering with the treatment!

Another RN said that while she was doing her work in the nurse’s station, they called her and told her to remove the hand splint because they think that their father’s hand is getting more stiff with it. The splint has only been put on for a few minutes.

While she was removing the splints, another daughter was asking about the vent settings, another one was pointing at the cardiac monitor and another one was asking her something. All family members are professional by the way. Most of them are in the medical field.

We don’t mind being asked questions. It’s part of the job. It’s also our way of updating the family about the progress of the patients.

But please.

Sometimes, let us breath!

What do you do when patient relatives try to overrule your decision making? Sound off in the related discussion thread.



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