I'm pretty easy-going as a therapist. My assistants never think so because I have a rather precise view of how I like things done, but I kind of NEED that structure with them so I can function. But with patients, I'm relaxed. I don't like family confrontations a ton, but I do them fine and as is part of my job, sometimes (this week) frequently. I make a huge point of helping the nursing assistants out as often as I can; that's the key to success in nursing home work.
But......this one family member did something I can't stop thinking about. First, it made me realize that I could never be an aide because they get treated like that all the time. By me included.
First, she walked up and demanded I get her mother a pillow and a pain pill. I told her I'd get the pillow and tell the nurse. I came in, fixed her mom up, and in 2 minutes she demanded four times I get a pain pill. Finally I explained in stunning detail what the nurse was doing, when she would be available, and that I'm not licensed to pass pills. She was still irritated.
Then a bit later an aide asked me to help toilet the mother. I was giving the mother directions to keep her safe when the daughter yelled over my precise steps. I wound up totally lifting the woman (who did not require that, so the aide wasn't in position to help), while she scratched me because she was panicked by her daughter's yelling and reached up the back of my shirt. Germy scratches (trust me, they were very germy) don't make me loveable. The entire time I was holding her mother's entire weight she yelled at me for things I couldn't help or asked questions.
I'm not sure anyone has been that rude to me who wasn't the actual patient ever. I've never had a family member be so out of control that I was hurt, no matter how minor. (And scratches from fingernails have been known to turn into fungal infections, bacterial infections, etc. Not everyone practices good personal hygiene.)
Most importantly, she compromised rather severely her mother's safety. Which to me is the whole reason her mom is there: we can keep her safe.
Much deep breathing ensued.