No, [I,You,We] Can’t.

It’s a Saturday which means I’m in the PICU. Today is somewhat busy, but not in the sense of admissions. More in the sense of crazy family members.
Being in an ICU, we get the normal, worried, upset parents, etc. But being in the ICU, we also get the crazy ones. So here’s who I’m dealing with today.

Family 1: Likes to call and get updates on latest vitals from anywhere between the last 4-16 hours. Likes to know EXACT times on everything and jot them down in personal book.
ex: “Can I just get the exact time that NG tube came out yesterday on night shift nevermind the fact that its now day shift and you didn’t physically pull it out yourself? Also, can I get the last 6 hours of vital signs” (not exact words, but you get the idea)
To that we say: “No, you can’t” and then kindly let them know they can actually come in themselves and have a look-see. But 20 minutes on the phone reading past vitals is not a good use of time.

Family 2: More concerned about getting breakfast tray than coming in.
Ex: “Here to see patient Y.”
I reply they’re doing a procedure in the room and it’ll be a half hour or so.
“Oh, well did they take my breakfast tray?”
::looks at clock reading 11:30am:: Yep, its gone.
“Well if they bring my lunch tray you can come get me from the waiting room or hallway. Wherever I’m at.” CLICK as she hangs up.
No I cant, that’s not my job. I don’t look eagerly for trays and then call people to the dinner table.
(Sorry if I sound a little bit rude, but come on!!)

Family 3: This happens often. From multiple families. Wanting food passes and parking. Which I get it, its expensive in the hospital. But, have you seen the economy? We don’t have those funds to give out. We try to get you free housing as it is and are usually successful. And they have meals there.
Ex: “I drive [insert mileage] and was wondering about free passes and food cards. Do you have those?”
Politely explain hospital policy, offer to refer them to Social Worker, reiterate if needed, and so on and so forth.
“Yeah, but its not fair that you don’t make accomodations for family and I’m sure there’s something you could do about it if you wanted to”
No, I cant.
Really, I don’t just hoard food tickets and parking passes from family members for kicks. I mean, really.

I also have about 10 different family members coming in for 2 patients (siblings) and refuse to listen to the two-at-a-time policy.

Some days, the families are just too much.

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