View Full Version : Reporting bad medical care

06-26-2006, 08:30 PM
For those who read my blog last week, yes its NURSE-ZILLA (IV nurse) I'm referring to.

For those who didn't, this nurse placed Josh's PICC, but gave both my husband and I a bunch of sh*t about how the home company and local hospital handled our care IN FRONT of Josh. She even was in my face about it WHILE placing his PICC! Totally inappropriate. I spoke to our nurse practioner and social worker today and both suggested I talk to her supervisor.

My question is how do you squeal on someone in the hospital without getting pay-back later? I do want to make sure that she knows we were unhappy with her behavior. Is there any delicate way to handle this. My husband (the peacemaker) says let it go. I don't like confrontations either, but I do think it worthy of note.

I'm sure you guys have some advice.

06-26-2006, 08:34 PM
At the hospital where I take my boys we have had a couple of problems with both nurses and doctors. The social worker at the hospital then set up a meeting with the hospital mediator to sort out any problems or questioning of care.

06-26-2006, 08:40 PM
Each hospital should have a Quality Assurance Department or at least in NY they do. If not that they a Patient Advocate Department. If in doubt you can contact Administration who will guide you to the appropriate area!

06-26-2006, 09:08 PM
If she did a good job on your Sons picc line than I say let it go. It already happened. Giver her another chance ok. There is a big pay back in hopitals and if you report her there is a good chance she will tell others and it is not worth it. If she does it again and loses her temper than it is time to tell her supervisor. I think it would be best to talk with her yourself instead of going and talking to her superior. I am giving you advice based upon my own personal experience.

Everybody makes mistakes and she must have been having a really bad day. You mentioned in your blog that when you spoke up to her she just listened. Right? That is what I remember from reading your blog. So if she listened to you then leave it go. Your Son is who you need to protect and if she is a good nurse with good technique just chalk it up to a person with a bad beside manner.

I am sure the two ladies who you spoke to probably know this nurse to be a hot tempered woman.

Just because nurses and doctors have medical degrees does not mean they were taught manners. They do have effective ways of communication and they are suppose to take courses at hospitals but sometimes the best of the best slip up. I remember this nurse who taught these classes had an attitude with me. She said, if you do not shut up I am going to put a sock in your mouth. I said, "If I do not express I depress and she shut up. From that point on she knew that I would speak up and she never opened up a mouth to me again.

It is not good to concentrate on the negative behaviour that took place but rather decide on how you can handle the next situation.

One thing I have learned about nurses is that they do not like being told what to do and if someone steps on their toes ouch, they say things that can be offensive. They are just covering their own backs.

Did you ask your Son how he feels about this nurse?

I hope this never happens again to you

06-26-2006, 11:46 PM
<div class="FTQUOTE"><begin quote><i>Originally posted by: <b>Risa</b></i>

If she did a good job on your Sons picc line than I say let it go. </end quote></div>

As usual, you are the voice of reason.

<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border="0">

06-27-2006, 12:38 PM
If you decide not to report it, I'd have a discussion with your ds and explain that the nurse was out of line, you were following protocal that your CF dr APPROVED, and that the nurse just probably either had her ego stepped on (by not going to her) or had a very bad day and was a grouch. Explain to him that it is NOT appropriate or acceptable behavior but since it was the first time she behaved that way to you, you are going to take the high road and assume she had a bad day but that if her behavior is inappropriate in the future, you WILL report her. He needs to know it is perfectly acceptable to report bad caregivers (for the future when he's handling his health decisions). By the same token, it's a good lesson for him to know that you shouldn't report someone for one bad incident (unless it jepordized their care which is different.) Just my opinion.

06-27-2006, 01:31 PM
When DS was 2 weeks old and moved from NICU to ICC, we had a nurse who kept implying that DS was slow, criticizing every thing we did, made comments intended to make us feel bad about our parenting, she and the social worker would stand on the other side of the room and whisper about us. They'd do this when we'd be trying to feed DS, which was a very stressful time -- reflux, dealing with enzymes for the first time, nasty predigested formula, a couple of infectsions that affected DS's appetite.

When she wasn't around, DH and I complained to each other about her, well another staff member overheard and the nurse accosted us -- demanded to know if we had a problem with her, if we wanted another nurse. DH said, you're here to care for our son, we don't need to be constantly criticized, we don't need your judgemental behavior -- "we don't need constant comments from the peanut gallery". If you can care for our son competently and keep your remarks, feelings to yourself, then we don't have a problem with you.

Complete turn around in her behavior. Don't know WHAT her issues were with us, but she was much easier to deal with. And it wasn't condescending. She was sincere and professional. Maybe it was the social worker who was stirring up trouble -- we'd had some issues with her and she pretty much disappeared after the talk. But once we cleared the air, things were fine. Would I have complained to her supervisor? Probably not, if she hadn't said anything, I probably would've continued to stew and glare and make fun of her behind her back for the remaining two weeks. Liza aka ratatosk

06-27-2006, 02:13 PM
Quite honestly if she is a good nurse it doesn't matter.
When in the hospital two things matter, emotional health and physical health.
You were well within your right to take your son to a different hospital to get it checked (they are certified health professionals too), it sounds like she's acting like a know-it-all bratty 5 year old. When you didn't listen to her and she didn't get her way she got jealous and b*tchy with you.

You don't have to put up with that. Quite honestly if she was acting that way with you she probably acted that way with others too.
It sounds like to me that you should report it, or at least talk to her. Yes, she's well within her rights to give you a lecture if you had done something wrong, but quite honestly to me it sounds as if you didn't. You went to a hospital, had his PICC checked by knowledgable medical professionals, and they Okayed it. Like I said it sounds like she took care of him physically (replacing a PICC line that probably didn't need it) but degrading you in front of your son just sounds mentally abusive and such, especially in a medical setting.

I've had problems with people like this, I've complained to my medical doctors, and never had to deal with them again unless there was absolutely no way that I could avoid them. I would definitely look into it. You don't need to make hospital visits anymore stressful than they have to be. Just because she's a nurse doesn't mean that she knows everything, and she isn't hospital administration or the one in charge of his care.

06-27-2006, 02:20 PM
Oh jane, I feel your pain! I totally know what you mean. Kinda like complaining about the service, before you get your meal! Its risky. I have no advice, just compassion ~ been there!


06-27-2006, 03:24 PM
Hi Jane

One thing for sure it sounds like you are worrying about this too much. Your son is not in danger anymore so please relax. I think it is best to focus on the moment and if you find things to stress you for your future you are not living in the moment and you are running yourself down and that is not good for you son now. You need to be strong physically as well as emotionally. If it really bothers you then next time you see this nurse observe her behaviour and be really nice. If she gives you an attitude then if you can take her outside and have a nice talk with her in a caring way. I am sure she will feel really guilty and apologize but for your sake and your sons sake just let it go for now.

No matter what you do if you tell her supervisor, adults can act like children too she will tell the others and boom someone else will give you an attitude to and when your son is alone you want him to get the best medical care so I say if she is good at what she does then let it go. She already knows by your comments that you are not going to take anymore CRAP from her so just pray for her that somebody else does not mess up her career. Like someone else said she probably treats others this way. I can say one thing for sure that is probably ture. She is probably miserable inside about herself. Something within is lacking and she is taking it out on others. She is totally wrong.

If you do not want to talk with her face to face write her a note and put this into a nice card and send it to her or hand it to her. You can think about what you want to write and you can get it all off your chest. Once she receives this I am sure she will remain on her toes and treat your son and you with respect

let us know what happens

06-27-2006, 04:45 PM
<div class="FTQUOTE"><begin quote><i>Originally posted by: <b>Risa</b></i>

Hi Jane

One thing for sure it sounds like you are worrying about this too much.

</end quote></div>

Thanks for worrying about me Risa. I really am not obsessing about this. It did bother me enough to mention it to our nurse practitioner and she wants me to pursue it with the supervisor. The reason I brought it up here is because I wanted some feedback from others who may have had a similar experience.

This nurse did nothing wrong treating Josh's PICC, however, because of her comments, he is distrusting of the medical care surrounding his PICC and recent decisions made by his parents and medical team. That, I believe is worth bringing up to someone, perhaps, like you suggested in a note directly to the nurse. People who work with children in stressful situations should have more sense.

06-27-2006, 06:07 PM
I know your Son is very young but perhaps he can write up how he feels and you can hand it over with your letter. It might make him feel better too and I am sure if they read a letter from a young child it will make a huge impact.

I wish both well. Nobody is perfect and we can learn from our mistakes and give back to others in a nice way. So in a way you might be giving this person a gift if she can learn from it and never do it again. That would be great.

06-27-2006, 07:13 PM
Sorry, I'm feeling lazy and didn't read all the replies. BUT here's my two cents:

As for complaining, go to anyone above her. Any doctor, any administrative person, there might be a "customer service"-esque department. Anything like that.

As a child (I was only 10 at the time), I met one doctor I HATED. Medical mistakes are one thing, because you can point right at them and say "wrong!!" Terrible bedside manner is generally harder to argue because it's not black and white. But usually if a patient or parent makes a complaint, they at least listen. The doctor I had that I hated, I think I saw her twice. Maybe three times, no more than that. She treated me like I was a moron. Yes, I'm only 10, but I know my CF better than you do, jack*ss. She always talked over my head, asking my mom questions about how I felt. My mom, being awesome, would then say "She's right there, ask her yourself." I recall she once asked me about my "peepee" and my "poopoo." I'm 10, I'm not braindead. Anyway, I hate being treated like a moron, or like I don't know things, based solely on my age. I was pretty aware of my own health for a 10 year old, if I do say so myself. People were often pleasantly surprised at how much I paid attention and how well I could explain some stuff.

So anyways, when I went to complain about this woman, they took me seriously without a second thought. I told them she treated me like I was stupid, like I wasn't there, and I felt offended and would refuse to see her again. They found me another CF doc, and I never saw her again. And this was a complaint coming from a 10 year old, keep in mind. Either you complain, or let the boys do it. Just be "adult" about it, and make real comments, instead of just insulting her or something. The more reasonable you come off, the less reasonable she'll come off, and the more likely they are to take your complaint seriously.

Kay I'm done now. Haha. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border="0">