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To feel cross with this nurse?

(29 Posts)
bertiesgal Tue 21-Mar-17 14:02:11

I'll start by stating that I am medical and I love the NHS. I also have an appreciation for how stretched everyone is and I reall try not to pick fault but this episode left me feeling a bit flat...

DGM has dementia and has been in hospital for nearly 4 weeks. She has been moved to the rehab ward in preparation for home. They have a visitors all hours policy and a big sign stating children are welcome.

I trailed in with my DTs (19 mo). Until now I've kept them away as I completely understand that the last thing people who are ill need are my boisterous babies giggling and running around.

Due to the ward policy and the rehabilitative nature of the ward I decided to go for it.

The DTs were fab and the ladies in the ward were showering then with praise and sweets. It was all quite jolly and DGM who is a little confused appeared to be delighted and proud.

After about 45 minutes I decided to call it a day. At that point a nurse appeared and told me "you need to keep the noise down as there is a lady passing away next door and it's not fair on the family ".

I was mortified and quickly packed the babies up to the protestations of the other ladies on the ward. I felt like a right plum to be honest.

My DM visited afterwards and asked the nurse why the ward had such a policy on visitors and rehab if they were also providing end of life care.

The nurse stated that no one was passing away but that she likes a quiet ward.

I'm annoyed because:
She didn't introduce herself-I've no idea if she's the HCA/ ward sister/ my DGM's named nurse etc
She lied
She could have been nicer about it
The other patients were gutted and told my DM as much
It just felt mean spirited
The only contact we had with the nurse was a negative one

The whole thing has pissed me off more than I'd expect. DM has been sharp elbowed due to basic failings in DGM's care and I wonder if we're all being punished?

Floggingmolly Tue 21-Mar-17 14:05:02

The other patients were gutted? You were about to leave anyway...

bertiesgal Tue 21-Mar-17 14:07:02

Yeah, they told my mum that they were sad and that they felt that the nurse had pushed us out.

But yes, we were about to leave anyway, just shut leaving under a cloud that's all.

TVWife Tue 21-Mar-17 14:07:21

Perhaps the nurse has done it before and patients associate it with small children leaving.

BoobleMcB Tue 21-Mar-17 14:10:42

I'd make a complaint to the manager definitely. It's NOT professional.

And if somebody was at end of life next door, that's a MASSIVE breach of confidentiality and loss of dignity

Miniwookie Tue 21-Mar-17 14:12:59

Yanbu! I think it's awful that she lied. She could have just asked if you would mind keeping the noise down because there were patients resting or something.

MrsDoylesladder Tue 21-Mar-17 14:20:07

She lied. Complain.

bertiesgal Tue 21-Mar-17 14:20:14

She specifically used the phrase "passing away" which at the time I though was odd and a potential breach (or designed to make me feel bad?).

I don't know if she realised it was a breach and so lied to DM later on or if she originally lied to me.

Anyway, there are bigger issues in the world but it made my DGM's day to see the babies and it all felt a bit petty.

grannytomine Tue 21-Mar-17 14:33:48

She's a coward to lie to you, if she thought you and the little ones were being too noisy she could have just said can you keep the noise down a bit. If the policy is you can take children in and they weren't causing mayhem then they had a right to be there and I think I would complain. I love the NHS as well and will always defend it if I can but I recently made a complaint about treatment an elderly relative with dementia received. I made it clear I just wanted to make sure it didn't happen to anyone else. The ward manager was very nice about it and promised there would be training on the issue as she agreed it wasn't good enough.

ChicRock Tue 21-Mar-17 14:37:55

I would complain.

Whether she lied or breached confidentiality, and it was obviously one or the other, that's disgusting.

If she wanted you to keep the noise down should simply have said so.

Tiptoethr0ughthetulips Tue 21-Mar-17 14:40:46

I think it's quite possible that later on she thought "oops I shouldn't have said that" feeling that she has given to much away and back tracked when your mum asked. In the grand scheme of things neither is complaint material really.

bertiesgal Tue 21-Mar-17 14:47:30

Hi Tip,

I know what you mean about the grand scheme of things but I also worry that the general culture of the ward is quite negative and stuff like this doesn't help.

In some ways it's easier to complain about the big stuff (and we've had to-oral candida going untreated for over a week leading to weight loss in the acute ward).

Things like this seem trivial but over time can contribute to a toxic a atmosphere for a vulnerable group of patients who struggle to articulate themselves.

On the one hand it feels really petty and on the other hand I'm thinking if I felt like crap after that then what would an 89 yo patient with dementia feel like if the nurse speaks to them in a similar way?

Tiptoethr0ughthetulips Tue 21-Mar-17 15:03:44

But have you heard her speak to them in a similar way? You were leaving having had 45 minute visit. I agree that there is absolutely no need to be abrupt but it's perfectly reasonable to ask for noice to be kept down for the comfort of other patients.

At the end of the day you do as you see fit but don't pretend it's just about this one episode. If she'd headed you off at the door when she saw the toddlers then I'd agree but as it is you'd had a good visit and were going.

Bettyspants Tue 21-Mar-17 15:21:40

Awful behaviour from the nurse. If you were being noisier than you realised I would have expected someone to politely point this out and ask if you could keep it down a little. To lie about a patient dying is disgusting. It also has a negative effect on those within earshot. To clarify yes it is quite normal for a rehab Ward to provide end of life care, patients conditions change and it is not always necessary or appropriate to move them to another ward

bertiesgal Tue 21-Mar-17 15:24:05

I don't want to drip feed but the other patients were complaining about the ward being "horrible" and staff being "lazy". Working in healthcare I know how harsh people can be without fully understanding the demands being placed on staff.

DM witnessed a nurse throwing a spoon down in exasperation and saying to DGM "oh I give up if you won't eat".

I would only mention my experience if I were to complain because a) the patients' experiences are subjective and b) it's up to DM to complain about what she witnessed.

I think it's important to reflect on things that make us uncomfortable and decide whether they are part of a bigger jigsaw.

I think I'll leave it on this occasion but appreciate everyone's input.

bertiesgal Tue 21-Mar-17 15:32:53

I don't want to drip feed but the other patients were complaining about the ward being "horrible" and staff being "lazy". Working in healthcare I know how harsh people can be without fully understanding the demands being placed on staff.

DM witnessed a nurse throwing a spoon down in exasperation and saying to DGM "oh I give up if you won't eat".

I would only mention my experience if I were to complain because a) the patients' experiences are subjective and b) it's up to DM to complain about what she witnessed.

I think it's important to reflect on things that make us uncomfortable and decide whether they are part of a bigger jigsaw.

I think I'll leave it on this occasion but appreciate everyone's input.

MrsDoylesladder Tue 21-Mar-17 15:39:41

When you are a vulnerable patient or the family of a vulnerable patient, you should not be expected to give a shiny shit about the grand scheme of things.
I've just lost someone who spent a lot of time on various wards before they died in hospice. We saw good and bad from medical staff. The unhappy wards, where this kind of bad attitude prevailed were not conducive to recovery or even stabilising patient care.
I don't care how busy/stressed you are - be clear and upfront. Be kind and respectful.

FrancisCrawford Tue 21-Mar-17 15:42:30

I think that was not an Bly unprofessional but very mean

The last hospital my DM was in allowed visitors to bring dogs in for visits and I saw how much joy other patients got from seeing and stroking my dog.

When my DGF was dying I was a toddler and my DF told stories about how the other patients enjoyed having me over for a chat when he took me in to visit and would buy me sweeties

The days can be very long and dreary when you are in hospital

yellowfrog Tue 21-Mar-17 16:00:57

Nurse sounds very unreasonable and the spoon thing is definitely not on. Given how much the patients liked having your kids there, could you repeat the visit?

Awwlookatmybabyspider Tue 21-Mar-17 16:04:02

You weren't causing any disturbance to anyone. Your littles ones seemed to be a joy to everyone. It was only her complaining.
And then she's making up stories about a Patient dying. Not the behavior and conduct you would expect from a professional nurse.
Nor would you expect her to bang a spoon down. If she's doing that in front of visitors. I hate to say this but. What is she doing when visitors are not there, after poor sick dementia patients are not going to or rather say anything, are they.
Absolutely complain.

bertiesgal Tue 21-Mar-17 16:05:29

Yellowfrog maybe with a hard hat on grin.

It has genuinely put me off.

Will probably leave the kids at home next time as don't want to risk being chased out of the ward.

Hopefully she'll be home soon anyway!

wereachforthestars Tue 21-Mar-17 19:24:29

That is a shame of your Children were being well behaved. When DGF Was in a care home it had two kinds of patients- dying and mentally ill elderly. The staff were delighted when we brought our children in and loads of the patients were delighted to chat to the children- it really cheers a place up.

As long as children are being respectful I think it is nice to have them in- if she wants a quiet ward the patients would be sat with no visitors all day.

Fishface77 Tue 21-Mar-17 19:27:59

Err complain!
I work in the NHS and would not be happy with the behaviour of this nurse!

Bettyspants Tue 21-Mar-17 20:24:06

Op I appreciate you don't want to take things further but from my ward manager days this is absolutely something I would want to know about.

feelinginthedark Tue 21-Mar-17 20:34:21

Obviously she was awful to lie, but as a medic, it is unreasonable to think that any healthcare setting (even rehab) wouldn't also provide care to people at the end of life.

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