Research indicates that active involvement of patients′ relatives generally has a positive impact on patients′ hospitalisation, including patient safety. Campaigns urge relatives to ask questions in relation to nursing care and treatment to enhance patient safety and to increase involvement of both patient and relatives. The question is how nurses experience relatives who ask questions. The aim of this study was to explore how nurses experienced contact with patients′ relatives during admissions to a somatic emergency ward including nurses′ experience of relatives asking questions related to nursing care and treatment. Six nurses were interviewed. The participants gave written consent to participate after receiving both oral and written information about the study. Data were analysed using combined theory and data‐driven qualitative content analysis. The findings formed three main themes: (i) relatives’ involvement as a means to efficiency during hospitalisation, (ii) relatives welcomed on the terms of the system and (iii) tension between high ideals and frustrating realities. The six interviews answered the research questions. However, more interviews could have broadened the study and contributed with further details. The nurses experienced relatives as an important resource – ‘an ace up the sleeve’, while reality seemed to challenge the relationship between nurses and relatives. The study contributes to discussions before development and implementation of specific initiatives aiming at increasing involvement of relatives of patients in a somatic emergency ward.