Susan A. Salladay PhD, RN

June 2010 
Volume 40  Number 6
Pages 14 - 15
  PDF Version Available!

I'm caring for a seriously ill patient whose wife is a retired nurse. Naturally, she wants to make sure he gets the best possible care. She's constantly telling nursing staff what her husband needs and exactly how it should be done. Sometimes her requests support our nursing plan of care, but many of her ideas aren't evidence-based. Whenever we don't do what she asks, she gets angry, upsetting her husband.Our nurse manager spoke with her but she refuses to back down, saying she's just protecting her husband's rights. How can we get her to (appropriately) back off?—D.C., MICH.It's hard to give care to two patients at once, isn't it? But your patient's wife needs your care as much as her husband. Loneliness and fear about the future combine to create anxiety and worst-case scenarios in her mind. Her professional background is a red herring—in this situation, she's a family member under stress, not a nurse.Assigning one person to be this patient's primary nurse may help. Besides providing consistency for the patient, this nurse can serve as the wife's "go-to" person for information and support.The nurse could call a care conference with other team members for an honest discussion about any concerns the patient or his wife has about his care. Team members can then provide evidence-based rationales for interventions, answer questions, and suggest resources for more education and support, if appropriate.Resist the temptation to disregard her demands, however unreasonable they seem to you. Remember, this patient's wife is his primary support person. If she's uncomfortable with his care, he probably is too. By including her in the team and building rapport, his nurse can encourage her to trust his caregivers. As trust grows, she'll be more willing to partner with the healthcare team.My patient was hospitalized for cardiac dysrhythmias after following a very restrictive diet recommended by a naturopath. She's

Purchase Now !

To purchase this item, follow the instructions below. If you’re not already logged in, be sure to enter your login information below to ensure that your item is saved to your File Drawer after you purchase it.

Not a member? Join now for Free!

1) If you're not already logged in, enter your information below to save this item in your File Drawer for future viewing.

User name:


Forgot your user name or password?
2)  If you have a coupon or promotional code, enter it
here.(If not, just click Continue.

Digital Coupon: (optional)

3)  Click Continue to go to the next screen, where
you'll enter your payment details.

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95

Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.

Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events