What is a "Sitter"?

  1. Hi! I am trying to find a job while in school and there is a posting with a hospital for a "sitter" but I have never heard of that. Can anybody tell what they are/what they do?

    Thanks!
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   SFCardiacRN
    Is this in a hospital, medically related field or home setting? If its not "baby" sitting then possibly its for an adult that can't be left alone.
  4. by   James Huffman
    In my area (NC) "sitters" usually do minor personal care stuff, get water for the patient, generally make them comfortable. I think that in a home setting a sitter might do more hygiene care, such as bathing the patient. In other words, fairly low-skilled, non-professional activities (not that there's anything wrong with that), and not on the level of a CNA.

    Jim Huffman, RN
  5. by   NJNursing
    My guess it's doing 1:1 observations with patients who are mentally ill, in restraints, combative, belligerent, or going through substance withdrawals. You basically sit there and watch them your whole shift. You have to remain within arm's length at all times unless they're in "line of sight" observation. If they're unrestrained and they leave the room, you've got to go with them.

    It can be pretty boring, but it's easy money.
  6. by   DusktilDawn
    Where I work we do have sitters. Basically they are in the room with the patient to monitor them instead of resorting to physical restraining.

    I encourage you to look into this position August snow. Actual job description on what a sitter can and can't do vary depending on the facility.
  7. by   lsyorke
    We use ALOT of sitters. No restraints, just the sitter to keep an eye on things. It's a great thing for the patient who has a consistent face in the room. Our sitters do am care, but other than that they just keep an eye on the patient. It's a lifesaver for the nurse(and the patient) to not have to worry about IV's being pulled out or patients falling. I have to give credit to my hospital for being so proactive with a LARGE list of sitters.
  8. by   august_snow
    Thanks! I appreciate the input! I think I will try to apply for it then. I wanted to work as an aide while in school, but nobody will hire me unless I am certified and my school is not giving us the test for that until Feb. So I hope this will pan out.

    It is hard trying to find a job as a SPN because the hospitals really feel they have no use for me after I graduate. There are so many CNA jobs in our hospitals, it makes my head spin!

    Sometimes I think that I should just leave LPN school, get my CNA and then be able to just start in on my RN. At least then I could get a job in a hospital and maybe even have them help me pay for RN school.

    Sorry to ramble. I think my family would just die if I left LPN school-but they don't understand the things the hospitals are telling me when I try to get a job and they don't really "listen" when I try to expain it to them.

    Thanks again!
  9. by   mediatix8
    I was a sitter while in nursing school. I just graduated in May. It isn't as good of experience as being hired as a student nurse and getting a patient load, sharing them with a nurse... but it is easy money and you can learn from it if you put your mind to it. I would watch the nurse and ask questions when she would walk in. One time I caught that a patient was supposed to have TPN and there was no TPN. The nurse hung it after I said something about it! But yeah, ask questions like... what do you if... x y and z happens? Why did you select that site to start the IV? I saw that lab value was off... as a nurse do you call the MD for that? Why not? Just ask a couple questions each day. It's a lot less work than working as a CNA and you can still learn a lot if you put your mind to it.
    You know, some patietns are very difficult to sit for and others are very easy. Most are easy to sit for but there will be times that you will be driven to insanity. A patient might scream the entire shift, for example, or try to leave the room and the building. By the way, if that happens.... you follow them, while yelling for another nurse (any nurse or CNA) to call security. Chances are though that a big group of nurses and CNAs can encourage them back to the room.
  10. by   mediatix8
    Oh yeah... one more thing... as much as you try, there will be a few occasions where a patient pulls out their IV with you in the room trying your best to prevent them from doing it. The nurse may or may not be upset about it, but it's OK because it happened to me a few times and sometimes there's just nothing you can do. You won't be fired over it.
  11. by   Daytonite
    In a hospital a sitter is merely someone who stays at the bedside keeping a watch over the patient. A sitter would be expected to prevent the patient from pulling out any IV's or other tubes, or else call for help from the nursing staff. One hospital I worked used sitters extensively for people who had tried to commit suicide. The sitter had to stay at the bedside at all times. It was for the patient's safety and to prevent them from trying to injury themselves again. With a sitter at the bedside of someone who had tried to commit suicide the patient could be moved out of the ICU if they were not that acutely ill. In some cases families will want sitters for someone to make sure that they don't have to ring their light and wait to get personal care items.
  12. by   jodyangel
    The hospital I use to work for took all the aides off the floor to "sit". So it left us without help on the floor. They have Not hired sitters at this point and brag about not using restraints. Hard to work under those circumstances.
    Oh, and they sometime paid me almost $20 an hr to sit and I'm an LPN.
  13. by   grimmy
    Quote from dusktildawn
    where i work we do have sitters. basically they are in the room with the patient to monitor them instead of resorting to physical restraining.

    i encourage you to look into this position august snow. actual job description on what a sitter can and can't do vary depending on the facility.

    [font="book antiqua"]this is exactly what it meant when i did it in nursing school. my job was more than just sitting with the patient, though. i had to go through non-violent crisis intervention and restraint training. all the other training (appropriate lifting, etc) was also included. i was a glorified pct or cna...however your facility calls it. it was very good experience to have as a student nurse!
  14. by   NicInNC
    One of the women that I work with (she and I are CNA's) gets "private duty" jobs when one of our residents gets admitted to a hospital. The family pays her under the table to "sit" at the hospital. I guess they do it for peace of mind. She's been at our facility since it first opened, so she's well known there. I'm hoping that I can eventually get some "sitting" jobs. That would be a great way to get some extra money!

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