You be the judge

  1. Not really sure how to word this, so please stick with me, this is a little weird...

    I work in a LTC and that was this little old lady that I used to take care of when I was a PCN. For the last 6 months I've done nothing but the med pass and once in a while I still would manage to spend some time with this lady.. She was funny and still "with it", she knew all of us and she was smarter than a whip!! She was also an RN!!!! She always told her family that I was her favorite... And she was by far my favorite resident. And her family was so awesome and cool.... You only wish everyones family was this cool....

    Well on my last weekend off (2 weeks ago) I got a call @ home from one of the nurses that I worked with saying that my little RN has passed on.. Now this was very sudden (she hadn't been sick at all)
    and all her kids had been on vacation..

    I went to her wake a few days later- not knowing if I should, but I went and the family was really happy to see me and we talked and I met her grand kids and her friends and other family members.

    Today I got a card in the mail from her family saying thank you for taking such wonderful care of their mom and there was a check for $150.00 in it.... I don't know what to do... I didn't say anything to anyone @ work and I didn't even tell the fiancee... It's just that I never expected anything like this... So now I'm shocked and don't know what to do help me.....
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   happydays352
    I work in foster care so I'm very very close to all my pt's families and I go to all their services. It's not uncommon that all our caregivers receive extra money or gift cards from families. Everyone their keeps the money or gift I would feel rude trying to give it back I guess.

    However at the ALF I used to work at gifts from residents or families had to be refused. You might want to check your companies policy if you're worried someone might find out.

    Otherwise accept the gift as a gracious gesture of appreciation for the love you showed someone.
  4. by   vanrn
    You better read your facility's P&P manual; I'd be willing to bet it states that monetary gifts and such are a big no-no. You'd better ask your administrator before cashing that very tempting check. If necessary, you can graciously give it back with an explanation noting that perhaps instead the family might make a donation to a favorite charity or to the facility for their activities dept.
  5. by   nyapa
    That is lovely that the family thinks so much of you. Perhaps the way to go would be to actually approach the senior in your facility and ask him/her what to do. That way the decision has been passed onto management, and you have shown yourself to be honest.
  6. by   SuesquatchRN
    I would tell your boss about it, turn the gift over to the residents' activities fund, or the fund for indigent residents who never have pocket money, and then write a sincere thank you note telling them where you put the funds.
  7. by   santhony44
    Quote from Suesquatch
    I would tell your boss about it, turn the gift over to the residents' activities fund, or the fund for indigent residents who never have pocket money, and then write a sincere thank you note telling them where you put the funds.

    :yeahthat:

    Or, you could just write a thank-you note without mentioning what you did with the money, if you thought it would offend them. If there's a particular reason you don't want the money to go to the facility, then donate it to a charity you think she would have approved of. In either case, I would not keep it.
  8. by   aKyRN81
    Just wondering about this and offering something to think about...

    1.This patient/resident will not be returning to the facility, so it couldn't be considered a 'bribe' for better care/ service in the future.
    2.The person was deceased a couple of weeks before the gift was given by her family, so it is actually a remembrance from them, same as giving a memento of her.

    Of course, the high road is to do exactly what the other posters have suggested and check with mgt. first and donate the money to the facility if they are agreeable. If they determine the check is against policy it's their call........
  9. by   Jo Dirt
    I'm sure they sent you the money because they wanted YOU to have it. If you feel compelled to give your money away then I guess that is up to you but don't feel guilty or ashamed.

    Whatever you do, don't give it back to them, that would be an insult to those people. I've had people (yes, people! Not one person on one occasion! People in the plural!) come up to me in public and give me money (I'm like, I didn't realize I looked that raddy, but okay...) I feel really bad about taking the money but I've learned (from being on both ends of the situation) that if someone offers to give you something with good intentions you take it.
    We were always told not to take gifts or money from patients or families but I think this case is special, and management won't know about it unless you tell them.
  10. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from aKyRN81
    Just wondering about this and offering something to think about...

    1.This patient/resident will not be returning to the facility, so it couldn't be considered a 'bribe' for better care/ service in the future.
    2.The person was deceased a couple of weeks before the gift was given by her family, so it is actually a remembrance from them, same as giving a memento of her.

    Of course, the high road is to do exactly what the other posters have suggested and check with mgt. first and donate the money to the facility if they are agreeable. If they determine the check is against policy it's their call........
    There's no way to justify personally taking cash from a patient's family, period. Policy, schmolicy. Candy, cookies - those get sent to us all the time and we gratefully and thankfully gobble them up. But money? No way.
  11. by   leslymill
    I agree you should talk with your facility. Returning it without their involvement may hurt and interfere with the family's way of dealing with the grief they are experiencing. They just really want you to know that you have helped them deal with the passing of a very significant family member.
  12. by   aKyRN81
    Quote from leslymill
    I agree you should talk with your facility. Returning it without their involvement may hurt and interfere with the family's way of dealing with the grief they are experiencing. They just really want you to know that you have helped them deal with the passing of a very significant family member.
    Thank You! This is what I what I had intended to express but you did it in a much clearer way!
  13. by   fultzymom
    What about telling the family that while you appreciate the gesture, you would like to donate the money to your residents fund in her name for activity staff to use. I don't think most generally that you are supposed to keep gifts of money from families. We do however accept baked goods, ect.
  14. by   SuesquatchRN


    Dear {Family of Deceased Resident},

    Thank you so much for your kind gift.

    I really appreciate your wanting to thank me for caring for {family member) in a tangible way, but I can't accept your lovely and generous gift for myself.

    I hope you don't mind, but I have used it to make a donation to the {Resident's Activities Fund} in {family member's} name, where it will do a great deal of good and keep {family member's} memory alive.

    I will miss {family member}. And thank you, again, for the sweet thoughts.

    Sincerely,

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