This is an easy question, what is not part of nursing duties?

  1. From the other posts I have heard of nurses who mop floors, Clean rooms, stock, go through crash carts for out dated medications, bring food in and out of rooms, dust, wipe off stuff with wet rages in the supply room, the only thing I have not seen is vacuuming, or cleaning windows.

    It seems that every time personnel is cut back their job not only becomes ours it also somehow becomes an official nursing function in many minds.

    So to make this short was is not an official nurse function and responsibility.

    We are looking for who to come into this field? Why? So they can learn how to do all the work too.

    If I make a personal mess, then I will clean it up. If my patient messes on themselves, then I will clean them up. I have more important things to do that I went to school for a long time to be able to do.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   Jenny P
    Wildtime, I agree with you that if I make a mess, I clean it up and if my patient messes on themselves, I will clean them up. I feel very strongly that emptying garbage, hauling dirty linen bags, cleaning equipment, sorting for outdated stock supplies, etc. is NOT in my normal nursing job discriptions and not on my "TO DO" list UNLESS it is compromising my duties or my patients' safety/ environment. In other words, I'll empty the waste basket at the bedside if it is full or stinks; but the one by the monitors which is usually full of fluffy monitor strips may just get flattened a bit with my foot. I once told a director of critical care that I get paid too much to empty garbage 2 times a shift; and she agreed with me (and we got the larger waste baskets we were requesting after that)!!!!
    In this day and age of high tech nursing, high acuity patients and the nursing shortage; I don't see nurses sitting around knitting or whatever in their "downtime" and we don't need this type of "busy work" anymore (after all, who has time even for potty breaks?). That is how so much of the cleaning and stocking started-- someone (back in the old days; it was usually a supervisor or another nurse) didn't like to see other nurses sitting around, so they started to do stuff that would keep the nurses busy. It was never intended to keep a nurse from her patients, but that has happened in some places because we forget the reason we are there : patient care!
  4. by   thisnurse
    mopping
    sweeping
    dusting
    emptying trash
    fluffing pillows
    fixing blankets
    washing pts that can wash themselves
    getting visitors coffee
    azz kissing(ill do it but its extra)
  5. by   hoolahan
    You would not believe the way we got stock in the last open heart unit I worked at (lasted 6 months

    First, in our "spare" time, had to inventory the stock. The place an order.

    Now ehere is the killer. The supplies would come up in 2 or 3 huge cardboard boxes. Inside the boxes, which we had to haul into the unit before other units stole stuff, were loose 4x4's. They didn't even have them seperated into a box, tissue boxes all over, urine specimen cups, not little boxes of organized supplies inside the big box, just one huge mess! Unbelieveable waste of time!

    For stock drugs, if day shift or any shift really, didn't check off all the drugs they used, when we came on for nights, there would be no stock meds, no pyxis, we would have to use ICU's pyxis, but that didn't replace our stock , only theirs. WE ran on a shoe string for supplies and it was ridiculous!

    Heaven forbid you needed a pair of TEDS, you had to leave the unit, no aide, and meet the supervisor in the warehouse, and we would have to use the footpedals to move these monstrous moving supply shelves until we found what we needed!

    That place just did me in! That was when I found home health!
  6. by   LTC-LPN
    One LTC facility I worked at we had to go out to a barn to fill the portable oxygen tanks. It was a very old building that at one time had been a "poor farm". The nursing home itself was surrounded by cornfields and it was awful when a resident would get outside unsupervised because we would have to search for them in the stalks of corn. I have too many stories about that home (in a very rural area), including the time I had to go into the boiler room and hit the furnace with a yardstick Q2H to keep it running one night. (The administrators idea of repairing a furnance.) One time the dietician called me at home to pick up the meat for supper at the butchers on my way to work. I really did think that was going too far!!!! I no longer work at this facility, but still get together with my coworkers from there and we laugh over the stuff we experienced.
  7. by   P_RN
    I worked in a Vocational Rehabilitation facility for a short while where we were expected to help cook the meals and mop the floors!

    Oh and during this time I had 18 patients ("clients") who were either spinal cord injured paras or amputees just learning how to function again. I had to help bathe or actually bathe at least half of them every evening.

    I left there after 2 months. Oh yes we also did the laundry. Oh and we also took them to church on Sunday AFTER the baths etc if you worked day shift.
  8. by   wildtime88
    P_RN,

    I can imagine people reading your post thinking to them selves that this must have been 20 or 30 years ago. Was it?
  9. by   donmurray
    I think you have to ask yourself the worst case question before doing "non nursing" duties. " At the coroners court, when I am asked what I was doing when the incident happened, can I justify my actions, while retaining my licence?"
  10. by   kaycee
    I work in an ER. We do have to check various carts for outdated meds but The other stuff you mentioned no way. When they downsized housekeeping they wanted us to empty the linen hampers when they got full. We absolutely refused, told them the linen would just have to over flow to the floor cause the nurses weren't doin it. Not only is it not in my job description but those bags are damn heavy and I'm not about to risk a back injury emptying dirty linen. Needless to say the linen was emptyed by the appropriate personell. I do not dust, clean rooms,or empty trash(unless it's real stinky and it's smelling up the treatment room and I need the room fast). I do sometimes heat up a tray for pts that are in the ER waiting for beds or a diabetic that needs to eat if I'm free and the techs are busy. They do try to dump on us but we have a very strong ER staff that always stick together and when we say no way they listen.
    I do clean up after myself and sometimes harp on co-workers that don't and of course cleaning patients is part of the job.
  11. by   canoehead
    I have done all of the above, except I have never whacked a furnace. I do think though that if the furnace did need to be whacked that I would be the one that would have to do it.

    One of the best parts of getting a Pyxis was not having to do drug outdates every month, now that it doesn't take any work the pharmacy is willing to do it.
  12. by   nurs4kids
    My pet peeve right now is cleaning IV poles after d/c and taking trays from patient's rooms. Dietary comes around to collect trays, undoubtedly immediately after they drop them off as everyone always has theirs in their room. Little room for tray to remain in room overnight, so many parents will place them on the floor outside door. We pick them up and take them to dietary since dietary is closed. This is not something we've been told we HAVE to do, but it's one of those things that gets started and never stops. I refuse to empty trash, we have housekeeping 24/7 and i will beep them to empty trash. If it was emptied as it should have been earlier, it will not need to be emptied by me.

    Anything directly for my patient, water pictures, fluffing pillows, etc, I do not mind doing..time permitting. Anything else I do beyond patient care is done at MY choosing..and it's rare I choose to go above and beyond..like putting up stock, etc.
  13. by   kids
    I agree (for the most part) with the things not in a Nurses job description but I did have to chuckle...

    The company I work for does privare duty nursing for kids (all vents)...

    I had to call one of the nurses in a home today and interupted her cleaning a toilet.

    As this BR is used exclusively by the Nurses with the exception of the child using the bath tub, and is where all of the childs supplies are cleaned and many stored it is in the job description (and the careplan) for the Wednesday Nurses to clean the bathroom (tho everyone keeps up after then selves).

    It's pediatric home care, guess you gotta be there...we do a lot of things that don't fall within the job descriptions of most any other Nurses.

    -nancy
  14. by   Jenny P
    I read in a nursing journal this summer that in the U.K. the matrons (like our head nurses here in the U.S.) will soon be in charge of both dietary and housekeeping in the hospitals there. I guess that the matrons used to be in charge of everything in the hospitals except the medical staff, but that back in the 70's most departments were placed under general management. Now they are putting dietary and housekeeping back under the nurses domain and this is supposed to be a big boost for nursing. I understand that it won't take effect until April 2002.
    I'd like to hear from some of our U.K. members if they see this as a step forward or backwards for nursing there. Do they plan to give more of these jobs to nursing, or will the separate departments be more responsive to nursings' needs?

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