What are some of the strangest situations you have gotten into in home health

  1. What are some of the strangest wildest kookiest ect. situations you have found yourself in in the home health setting. I would love to hear your stories. I know in nursing school I would have never imagined or belived some of the situations I get into in patient's homes. Two come to my mind...

    The first was an elderly diabetic gent we admitted for teaching. Talk about hygiene issues! His feet were in terrible shape and needed attention. He didn't have running water, so we got permission from a neighbor to run a garden hose over to provide him with some water untill other arrangements could be made (luckily it was summer).

    The other was very sad. A middle aged lady that had sufferd a massive stroke - was in a persistant vegatative state. Mexican national, no green card, sent home with her daughter who tried her best to care for mom. Mom had a feeding tube, foley,contractres and never responded. Daughter did a good job mom never had decubs. At one visit (also in the summer) I happened to arrive just as the caregivers finished moms bath--- using a garden hose in the back yard. I was flabergasted. I recommended that they not bathe her outside in the yard. At the next visit I found that the whole family had moved lock stock and barrel. I don't have a clue where they went.
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  2. 30 Comments

  3. by   hoolahan
    I had a lady in the city, she looked very good for her reported age, she had some wounds on her feet. I was only allowed in the living room. She was usually hostile, and I thought it may be b/c I was of a different race from her. She refused a visit one day, the next visit, she said OK, then when I got there her son answered the door, and blew me off, said she didn't want a nurse today. I was frustrated and flat out asked him if he wanted a nurse of the same race instead? He assured me that wasn't the problem, she just gets like that. She was finally discharged for not alllowing visits. Many times when I was there, there was a lot of traffic thru the living room to the kitchen, which was blocked by a hanging blanket, I was never allowed to wash my hands, had to use my hand gel, or go into the kitchen. I suspected they were doing drugs, or had a lab in there. I alwasy felt very uncomfortable in that home. As it turned out, my supervisor informed me a few weeks after she was d/c, the medicare # we were given, wasn't even hers. No wonder she looked so good for her years.
  4. by   Traveler
    Admitted a lady with venous stasis ulcers on ble. She lived in the country and there was no answer at her door. I started looking around the yard and some of the outbuildings. Down the hill she comes with her walker from her chicken house- she had been feeding the chickens. She had been putting turpentine (we see alot of home remedies like this here) on the areas. I instructed her why that was bad, etc. etc. I had to start coming after 3pm because if I came before then, she would go feed the chickens, soil the dressings, remove them and then dump turpentine on them.

    Several weeks ago went to admit a pt. who was not homebound. I called the office from the house because he had Tenncare and some things are still covered even when not homebound. CM asked if he needed aids. I asked the pt if he needed help bathing. He said "No, but I need someone to mow my grass and clean my house." He wasn't admitted.

    Ann
  5. by   mcm355
    Had a young man who was an aids pt. He developed a high fever and in his confusion forgot to unhook his IV before wandering down the hallway. The connector pulled off but luckily the Hickman didn't pull out so he bled freely onto the floor. The family dog thought this was just yummy. Although most of the mess was cleaned up when I made my visit, the big worry was if the dog would develop aids.
  6. by   crystalrose
    I have a patient that had a snake crawl into bed with him while he was sleeping not once but twice funny thing is that he doesn't own snake and you could actually see where the snake had bit him.

    or how about the patient that swears the vampire upstairs bit him and that is how he became diabetic.

    my personal favorite though is I had a very combative patient that keep calling 911 because the gorilla in the corner kept sexually abusing her she wouldn't let netcare come in to take her for eval so I got to be the one to let the sherrif in with my key I also had to warn them about the knives that she kept under her chair which they did find.

    geez after putting these down I realize why they call me the psych nurse
  7. by   vitalnursemom
    Boy have I been waiting on this thread! Would you guys like the whole list or the top five?

    1.) I had to remove maggots from a diabetic man's foot wound/amputation site. He had been home from the hospital less than 24 hours.

    2.) I was chased from a patient's front porch by their family pet. A HOG! Not a pot bellied pig! A true HOG! Turns out the porch was his domain and he didn't like me standing on it. I could be in the house or in the yard, but NOT on the porch!

    3.) I was met at the front door of a sweet elderly lady by two sheriff's deputies who informed me I would not be entering on this particular day. Her grand son was running a drug operation from the bedroom he had in her home. Nothing like a drug bust to jump start your morning!

    4.) A patient who swore he was home bound and required an aide due to his incredible weakness was caught lifting and carrying full 50 gallon water bottles from his front door to his kitchen withut breaking a sweat.

    5.) My favorite !!! I was faced with dealing with a loaded gun when I interrupted a suicide in progress.

    Thank god for CRAZY people or we'd have no nurses! Thank God for CRAZY nurses or we'd be without home care!
  8. by   IKSONAK
    Cleanest wound I ever had was a man had half his foot removed, and as I tended it for the first time, saw many maggots 'debriding' the wound. It was pink, granulation at all edges, no purulency, no infection! Dr told me to leave them; they were doing a good job! Had to bite the back of my teeth with determination each time I dressed his foot!
  9. by   camay1221_RN
    I used to do home visits for moms and their newborns if they chose to leave the hospital after 24 hours.

    On one of my visits, I went to a house where the smell of animal urine hit you before you got to the back door! Needless to say, it only got worse as I got into the house. Well, once inside, I was able to see five or six cats walking around. Now, I wasn't even through the kitchen yet and I thought I was going to throw up from the cat urine smell!! When I got to the living room, they had a couch and loveseat that was just covered in cat hair. I kept thinking to myself, "Lord, please don't let me have to draw a bili on this baby." I am not a small woman, so I placed as much of my butt on the loveseat that would allow me to stay up without falling on the floor. There was literally no place to put any of my equipment without getting in contaminated. I asked the mom if she would be so kind as to clear off the coffee table because I needed the flat, hard surface to put my scale to weigh the baby. The coffee table was also covered, but mostly with dishes that had, God knows what, growing in them!!!

    My visits usually took approx 1 1/2 to 2 hours, this one, only took 45 minutes! I did the baby's assessment, in full, and gave a condensed version of my family teaching. After I left, I called the Pediatrician and told him of the living environment and asked if he wished for a social services referral. He agreed. I have no idea what happened from there, I quit a couple of weeks after that. Not because of that house, but because I got a job closer to home.
  10. by   CardioTrans
    Ummm, how bout a burn patient who refuses to put the prescribed ointment on his wounds.... he chose to use vaseline and camphophenique.
    Or a patient that has 10 dogs in the house that do not go outside for ANY reason. Talk about a 20 min visit, no laptop, no bag, and febreeze yourself when you get out of the house. Lots of no running water. The list is endless.
  11. by   BHolliRNMS
    I drove up to a home way way out in the country with no nearby neighbors. Patient was a 20 y/o female with severe burns on both legs from "dropping a pan of grease."
    Her baby's daddy was chasing her out the house with a crowbar! I had locked the doors to my van and was caught in the middle. I did some quick moving, jumped in the van, drove off with her screaming for me to stop and went to the next house to call the sheriff. The guy was arrested.
    Went to make a visit in another house trailer. It was very cluttered. I kept telling the daughter, who was elderly, also, that she was gonna burn the place down if she didn't unplug some stuff. Next visit....the whole place is on fire and she and her dad burned up.
    Then, there was the lady that we had to go teach how to care for her glass eye. Her neighbor teenager had beaten her to the point that her eyeball was knocked out of her head. He wanted her $200 ssi check.
    And there was the lady who raised puppies...in her bed!!!! GROSS
  12. by   lioneliz
    Hey these are great stories! It is nice to know someone out there understands and has been through some of the same situations, (and some I hope I never experience. Keep em coming.
  13. by   tammy g
    Just love seeing the stories. How about this one from when I worked at a HHC agency in northern Montana. We managed the reservation about 23 miles one way. I was taking care of a little girl living with greatpa and ma. They spoke mainly native tongue and I had a hard time communicating. One day Greatpa talks about those "puppies that have been around" I say sure haven't seen them for a while. Then Greatpa asks if I would like to have some puppy stew. I kindly declined and left in a hurry.
  14. by   hypnotic_nurse
    My mom was a home health care nurse in the 70s. She went to see a new patient, knocked on the door, and heard someone inside yelling "Help! Help!". She BROKE DOWN the door to get in to help the person...only to find out it was a pet parrot. The elderly lady was in the back yard puttering around in her garden and was perfectly fine...she got a big kick out of the situation, and my mom was always her favorite nurse after that.

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