posted on Dec, 2 2011 @ 03:51 AM
Very good questions, and I quoted them so I can categorically answer.
"Hi and thank you for your kind offer and service."
You are very welcome, and I enjoy teaching, and sharing knowledge.
"Perhaps you might like to elaborate on why visiting hours are enforced stictly sometimes and not others?"
I was so hoping someone would breach this subject. The reason is two fold. I am going to be blunt here, and I hope everyone takes it the right way. It
is good to discuss this here, and not on a unit where it usually happens. OK... a hospital is full of sick people right? Obviously your loved one is
not the only sick person there. Yes they are important to you, and so they should be. But...you must realise a nurse can have anywhere from 2 or 3, in
an ICU setting, to 10 or 12 in a regular floor setting of these precious sick people for whom they must care. Bottom line: It isn't all about you.
Deal with it. It may be that we are protecting the dignity, and privacy of another patient, or their family, or that your loved one has asked that we
limit visitors because you are bugging the crap out of them while they are weak, and sick, but they love you too much to say it to you. So, we play
the bad guy on their behalf. Believe me it happens A LOT. Don't bother asking aunt suzy if she has ever done this because she will, and should deny
it. Don't become a nurse if you want to always win popularity contests. We play bad guy a lot to protect the comfort, and dignity, and privacy of our
patients. When it is your turn we will do the same for you.
I will share a very straight forward instance. I once had an incontinent patient. He was not very old, and had a wife, and children. He had a large
accident(I.E. he crapped all over himself, the floor, and half of the medical equipment in the room), and did not want the humiliation of his wife,
and children seeing him in that situation. Of course I got a huge lecture by the wife about how insensitive I was to not let her have immediate, and
continual access to her ailing husband. However, his needs, and dignity overrode her need to be in his business, and I would do it again. I am here
for you first, not to try to humor your extended family. There is a saying amongst critical care nurses, "I am here to save your ass, not kiss it."
However there is no excuse for needless rudeness, or insensitivity, which can happen as nurses are only human too.
"Could you please elaborate on code words nurses use to hint to patients and family that they need to look deeper into answers or issues, or that
they should find another doctor or hospital etc."
It depends alot on the situation. "You could get a second opinion" is a big one. Another would be "Have you heard of Dr. Smith?" A lot of times
it is a leading question, in fact that is probably the #1 thing nurses use to slip you the 411 under the table. For instance, instead of asking an
open ended question like "how do you feel?" We might say "Isn't it time for some more medicationx?" If it is something you must ask for, for us
to "officially" be able to give it, but we feel you need it, and we cannot come right out, and say "You should ask for this." Basically just pay
attention, listen, and trust your nurse. It isn't very "hidden." Like "Aren't you feeling a bit short of breath right now?" Ahem... Ahem...
COUGH, COUGH!!!!! (nudge, nudge, this is where you get a clue) Don't assume your nurse is nuts. They are probably trying to help you without
involving a bunch of 1st year residents that might kill you at 3am out of shear curiosity about what that might look like.
"What signs should we as patients and visitors should be on the lookout for that things are not as they should be for us a patients and familly."
Ambiguity, passing the buck, etc... If the nurse or the other staff really does not want to discuss anything preliminary with you, and insists on you
speaking with the doctor only it is probably really bad news, and really should only come from the doctor. In most facilities the nurse would get in
BIG, BIG trouble for discussing something like that with you before the doctor did. We will slip you good news, but bad news always comes from the big