What to do in this situation?

  1. 0 I have a friend who is a mother and provides care for her child at home. When she heard I was a nursing student, she offered to train me on numerous things I haven't learned. Drawing blood from a central line, changing the dressing on a central line, suctioning and so forth.

    I told her that as a first semester student, I'm not even allowed to give a shot without my instructor there, so I would be willing to observe, but not participate. I'm too worried that she'll be overconfident in my skills because I am a student, and also because she is often looking for a nurse when hers calls off. (She is not a nurse)

    I saw this in two ways: First, it's above my ability to provide care, even if she did train me. She is the legal guardian, I am not. Secondly, I thought she might believe I have more capability as a nursing student, perhaps more knowledge than most people. I do not at this time.

    So what are the limitations? I was very straight forward with her, telling her that I am incapable of providing care and wouldn't participate, but would gladly observe. The thing is, she didn't ever offer this until she knew I was a nursing student.

    What would you do in this situation? What are some of the problems that might arise? Thanks in advance.
  2. Visit  missmollie profile page

    About missmollie

    From '.'; Joined Dec '12; Posts: 339; Likes: 590.

    23 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  pinkiepinkPN profile page
    9
    Quote from missmollie
    I have a friend who is a mother and provides care for her child at home. When she heard I was a nursing student, she offered to train me on numerous things I haven't learned. Drawing blood from a central line, changing the dressing on a central line, suctioning and so forth. I told her that as a first semester student, I'm not even allowed to give a shot without my instructor there, so I would be willing to observe, but not participate. I'm too worried that she'll be overconfident in my skills because I am a student, and also because she is often looking for a nurse when hers calls off. (She is not a nurse) I saw this in two ways: First, it's above my ability to provide care, even if she did train me. She is the legal guardian, I am not. Secondly, I thought she might believe I have more capability as a nursing student, perhaps more knowledge than most people. I do not at this time. So what are the limitations? I was very straight forward with her, telling her that I am incapable of providing care and wouldn't participate, but would gladly observe. The thing is, she didn't ever offer this until she knew I was a nursing student. What would you do in this situation? What are some of the problems that might arise? Thanks in advance.
    You can watch all you want but do not lay a finger on her child or any other person outside a sanctioned clinical facility with your instructor or nurse preceptor supervising. Just don't. I graduated from PN school in May and we had two students kicked out for attempting to practice various skills where they shouldn't have. I'd hate for you to go through that.
    psu_213, llg, seunbaby, and 6 others like this.
  4. Visit  JustBeachyNurse profile page
    2
    Practicing the skills when you are not the parent/legal guardian as a nursing student outside of school or an instructor supervised clinical setting can result in being accused of practicing nursing without a license and not only jeopardize your student status but also prevent you from becoming a licensed nurse.

    If this mom has skilled nursing in the home for her child it sounds like she wants you to "fill- in" if not staffed. I wouldn't even watch her child never mind observe these higher level skills. Clearly mom wants you to overstep your legal boundaries....you don't want to lose your license or get a cease & desist practicing as a nurse before you even finish school.

    Your instincts are correct. Mom is looking for free nursing. Say you are overwhelmed with school work & clinicals if you are afraid to say thanks but no thanks.
    NurseDirtyBird and LoriBSN2b like this.
  5. Visit  missmollie profile page
    0
    Thank you for the responses. Those were my thoughts exactly, but it wasn't a situation that had ever been covered in school. I had even decided that it would be risky to go over there and even watch, because like stated before, she might have a false sense of confidence in my knowledge based on the fact I'm in nursing school.

    The good news is she is in my hometown, which is about 2 hours away. However, I became concerned after I told her that I wouldn't mind observing, and she responded that anyone could learn, it's easy. Part of what bothered me is that I know she is a great mom to her child, and I know I would want trained staff there if I were her. While that becomes expensive, the next best thing would be someone who can take no payment but who might be eager to learn because they are in school.

    Thank you, again, for the responses. I'm glad I told her what I did, but now I feel I have more concrete reasons to give her if she contacts me again.
  6. Visit  JustBeachyNurse profile page
    0
    Its not worth risking your future licensing. There are skills that a parent can perform that are out of the scope of practice even for licensed LPN's. If it were my child I could do the skill, on anyone else I can lose my license. There are skills that only certified, experienced RN's can complete (such as central line access and PICC line access) that certain parents can perform but a new grad should not perform without additional training & clinical practice.
  7. Visit  schnookimz profile page
    0
    Maybe someone in peds can chime in here, but I have frequently seen adults hospitalized with severe developmental delay. Often family friends are with them in the hospital when the parents are not available. Frequently these family friends do all the home care for the patient. They have no medical training but have been taught the skills by the chronic caregivers. Seems that if the caregiver gives permission then there is nothing wrong with this?
  8. Visit  JustBeachyNurse profile page
    2
    The problem is this is not a caregiver but a parent wanting her in the role because she is a nursing student. Never offered before.

    This is the delineation. Mom expects a higher level of skill because she found out that the OP is a nursing student OP would not be covered by her student malpractice insurance in such a scenario. If something goes wrong mom can insist that she should be held to a higher standard as a nursing student.

    This is not the same as working as a lay caregiver. If the parent had asked to show her the skills BEFORE she started nursing school or BEFORE she found out that OP is a nursing student the situation would/could be different. But this mother is ONLY seeking out the OP because she is a nursing student.

    In working in pediatrics only parents, family and paid private duty nurses are permitted to care for children in medical setting. The private duty nurses would be self pay because insurance won't pay for double nursing.

    I say stay away from this scenario. It sounds like mom is looking for skilled help when the nurses aren't available/covered. Almost no one gets 24 hr nursing care in home.
    not.done.yet and WAheartnurse like this.
  9. Visit  JustBeachyNurse profile page
    3
    OP stated mom is "looking for a nurse to fill in when her child's nurse calls off". OP is not a nurse, case closed
    wondershot, llg, and KelRN215 like this.
  10. Visit  JustBeachyNurse profile page
    1
    One last thought...OP why not ask one of your instructors (perhaps nursing fundamentals as this often covers scope of practice & legal issues) and maybe they can enlighten you. & your classmates with this good teaching moment.
    Oldest&Ugliest likes this.
  11. Visit  missmollie profile page
    1
    Quote from JustBeachyNurse
    One last thought...OP why not ask one of your instructors (perhaps nursing fundamentals as this often covers scope of practice & legal issues) and maybe they can enlighten you. & your classmates with this good teaching moment.
    I actually emailed my professor this morning for a meeting time to discuss this issue. My reasoning: if it hasn't been presented then there are 89 more students who also won't know. It's a good topic to cover.
    GrnTea likes this.
  12. Visit  JustBeachyNurse profile page
    0
    Quote from missmollie
    I actually emailed my professor this morning for a meeting time to discuss this issue. My reasoning: if it hasn't been presented then there are 89 more students who also won't know. It's a good topic to cover.
    Excellent. Good global thinking.
  13. Visit  cayenne06 profile page
    4
    Another, non-legal concern is that this woman is not an RN- she is the mother of a special needs child. The way she changes dressings and provides other nursing care may not be in line with the standard of care you are expected to adhere to as an RN. You don't want a lay person teaching you a potentially dangerous skill like changing a central line dressing. I'm an RN and the mother of a medically complex child, and sometimes the way I take care of my children is not necessarily the way I would take care of another child. You do things differently with your own; you develop a routine that works for your family.

    My daughter's PCT is a 1st year BSN student, and I would never want to be responsible for informally teaching her advanced nursing skills. You need to learn it the "right" way, in a controlled setting, for the sake of your future patients and for the sake of your license.
  14. Visit  GrnTea profile page
    2
    To be charitable, if this woman is a family friend she may think she's giving you a leg up on your education, to be helpful to you. Just a thought.

    I would certainly heed all the above posters' recommendations and cautions, including above all,"Don't you lay a finger on this child or his gadgetry," but as an operational move, your attitude towards the mom is, "Thank you so much for the offer to teach me, but I just can't feel comfortable learning things I'll be tested on unless it's from my school."

    And good on ya for suggesting this as a topic for class discussion. I think there should be a forum for this sort of discussion at least once a month in every nursing program.
    Malorymug and missmollie like this.


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