Money from a patient? - page 2

I work in \... Read More

  1. by   TazziRN
    Quote from Tommybabe
    I just recently read an article about what kind of Christmas gifts are acceptable for certain jobs, and it mentioned that it was okay to give gifts to nurses at hospitals and people who work at nursing homes.
    I have accepted simple gifts of food, but nothing more than that. A grateful wife gave me and two other staff members a large box of chocolates for caring for her husband after a motorcycle accident. Just a couple of weeks ago I cared for a young woman whose mother was reading a recipe out loud from a magazine, and we talked about how good it sounded. On Christmas Eve she knocked on the door and handed me a plate....she'd made the recipe and made enough to give me some. I shared them with my coworkers, but had I gotten them when I was leaving they wouldn't have thought anything of me bringing them home.

    If the gift had been anything else, I would have either refused it or shared it with the unit.
  2. by   HealingHands327
    Can someone explain why receiving a gift from a patient is unethical, and why other service sector jobs like waitresses can get tips etc, but we as nurses cannot, or should not accept.
  3. by   blueyesue
    Quote from HealingHands327
    Can someone explain why receiving a gift from a patient is unethical, and why other service sector jobs like waitresses can get tips etc, but we as nurses cannot, or should not accept.
    I am not a nurse yet, but I don't think it is unethical, because it is a gift from the heart. If a patient has been blessed by you, and now wants to give you a blessing in return, that is a good thing. I think it is rude to return a heartfelt gift. If you gave someone a gift and they returned it to you, that would not be a nice feeling. Now, I do see the danger in it becoming something expected, and maybe that is why there is a policy.
  4. by   rnin02
    Quote from EJM
    I am not a nurse yet, but I don't think it is unethical, because it is a gift from the heart. If a patient has been blessed by you, and now wants to give you a blessing in return, that is a good thing. I think it is rude to return a heartfelt gift. If you gave someone a gift and they returned it to you, that would not be a nice feeling. Now, I do see the danger in it becoming something expected, and maybe that is why there is a policy.
    My hospital makes a huge deal about not accepting gifts such as this from patients. This is what they have to say about it:
    "Do not accept gifts or favors from patients
    Perishable or consumable gifts given to a department or group and consumed while at work are the only exception, provided they are reasonable and approved by the department director."
    They aren't 100% clear on the "why's" involved, but its considered a conflict on interest, personal gain, etc, etc. If you stop and think about it, you aren't the only nurse taking care of that patient are you?
  5. by   rn/writer
    At other times and in other places, the quality of a patient's care has been heavily contingent on, for lack of a better word, bribery made on the patient's behalf. Those whose families could smooth the way with money or other valuables did so in order to ensure favorable treatment of their loved one. Those without the means to grease the wheels were sometimes not cared for as well.

    In our current healthcare system, people are supposed to be treated equally regardless of their financial circumstances. I'm guessing the prohibition against monetary rewards is to avoid even the appearance of financially-influenced favoritism.

    We don't want people to feel beholden or to fear that they might not get the best care if they don't come up with a tip. In some countries, bribery is a necessary evil affecting nearly every facet of life. That is not something we want to emulate in the least.
  6. by   blueyesue
    Quote from rnin02
    My hospital makes a huge deal about not accepting gifts such as this from patients. This is what they have to say about it:
    "Do not accept gifts or favors from patients
    Perishable or consumable gifts given to a department or group and consumed while at work are the only exception, provided they are reasonable and approved by the department director."
    They aren't 100% clear on the "why's" involved, but its considered a conflict on interest, personal gain, etc, etc. If you stop and think about it, you aren't the only nurse taking care of that patient are you?
    I understand that there are others taking care of a patient too. I just don't see it as unethical if someone gave you a personal gift because they appreciated you. Maybe the others didn't mean as much to her as you did. I think it is beautiful and personal. (Of course I will follow procedures as soon as I become a nurse)
  7. by   blueyesue
    Quote from rn/writer
    At other times and in other places, the quality of a patient's care has been heavily contingent on, for lack of a better word, bribery made on the patient's behalf. Those whose families could smooth the way with money or other valuables did so in order to ensure favorable treatment of their loved one. Those without the means to grease the wheels were sometimes not cared for as well.

    In our current healthcare system, people are supposed to be treated equally regardless of their financial circumstances. I'm guessing the prohibition against monetary rewards is to avoid even the appearance of financially-influenced favoritism.

    We don't want people to feel beholden or to fear that they might not get the best care if they don't come up with a tip. In some countries, bribery is a necessary evil affecting nearly every facet of life. That is not something we want to emulate in the least.
    I definitely agree that this could be the main reason that gifts are not allowed.
  8. by   chenoaspirit
    Maybe she can put it into a savings account for the babies on your behalf? That is kinda like accepting it, but not. ya know?
  9. by   Murse901
    My two cents is that it's not so much as unethical as it is just not a good practice to accept monetary gifts. Do you tip your doctor? Do you tip your lab technician? If you want to uphold the image of nurses as medical professionals, you would do well not to accept gifts. :P

    I would make a personal exception for gifts such as food made to an entire unit, but there is still the perception among other patients that you may give extra care to the person that the gift came from. In the real world, I'm not going to give someone special care just because they gave me a chocolate chip cookie, but we live in a litigious society, and people see what they want to see.
  10. by   talaxandra
    As other members have posted, the reason that gifts of value may not be accepted is two-fold: professionals are appropriately remunerated for their work (as opposed to wait staff, for example, who are dependent on tips to make a living wage), and to avoid the appearance or potential for preferential treatment.
    Small, perishable gifts are acceptable - usual ward policy is to share witht he rest of the shift. For patients who are particularly insistent that one person in particular be thanked, I always say that a letter is a much appreciated gesture.
    We have had a few relatives who have been very appreciative and insisted on giving gifts of substance. Money donated to the hospital as a whole often goes to other departments and projects. When the policy was made clear, one family donated chocolates every week for several months; another donated a state-of-the-art lifting machine to the ward

close