I’m just going to cut to the chase here. Dealing with patients is challenging. Dealing with relatives is what nightmares are made of.

The different kind of relatives I deal with:

1) the ones who think they are doctors: by far the worst although full of good intentions. The spew out medical nonsense and try to dictate to nurses how to do our job. They are loud and obnoxious and follow you into the treatment room and try to steal your charts to check up on you.

2) the ones that are always there: they do not keep to visiting hours, when you call security to get rid of them they find other ways of getting in. They are con artists as they lie to security officers, saying they have special permission to come at all hours or that the patient is receiving his last rites or that us nurses asked them to come early so they can ‘help out’. And there they are, watching. Watching all the freaking time.

3) the ones that don’t want to take their ‘loved’ ones home: they dread the discharge date because it means that their elderly are once again their problem. They get very creative- they either don’t show up to collect the patient, they invent symptoms which should warrant extra staying time, they phone us to say they are coming and never do and many other terrible excuses.

4) the ones that want inheritance: these are generally large families who fight over inheritance before their relative is even dead. These relatives make me lose faith in humanity.

5) the ones who bribe: they ply the nursing staff with sweets and cakes to try get us to favour their relative. It does not work because we always treat everyone equally.

So please, do not be any of these when your loved ones are in hospital. Just be respectful, trust us and follow the rules.

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