Homecare Nurses

  1. 1
    If there are any overnight home care nurses out there, Id like to ask you about your work environment. Do you sit bedside? In the dark? Tv on or off? Any type of lighting?

    My home care client used to have his tv on every night without fail and if lighting wasn't adequate I would turn the hall light on. But now the family requests:

    I sit at bedside of my patient with the tv and lights off except a night light. Is it too much to expect a person to sit in the dark with no noise and stay awake?
    It makes it very difficult to assess my patient in the dark and provide cares.

    I plan on talking to the office regarding these circumstances. Any suggestions or advice?
    Joe V likes this.
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  3. 26 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    Well I don't think that is reasonable. How can you do a decent assessment? If they don't want the TV in fine, but you need some sort of light. I would talk with your office. I wouldn't be able to stay awake in a near pitch black setting.
    katherine100 and spectrabrite like this.
  5. 4
    I work day shift, but talk to your agency right away. That is not right to ask you to sit in the dark all night and stay awake. What a couple of selfish parents. If they want it totally dark in their child's room then they need to get you a baby monitor with a screen and let you sit somewhere it is ok to have a light on.
  6. 2
    Providing actual hands on care in the dark is stupid and dangerous. Your nursing judgement trumps the parents' wishes. This seems like a case of that ridiculous "customer service" mentality rearing it's ugly head.
    libbyliberal and KristeyK like this.
  7. 0
    Is the client an adult or child? I did home care for adult client, when I worked overnight I was either within line of sight but in a room with light or in the room if light was on so I could stay awake. It is unreasonable to expect you to sit all night in the dark with no way to keep occupied and on top of that provide competent care in the dark.
  8. 1
    Definitely talk to your agency. I went through this with a job, I wasn't even allowed to flush the toilet every time I peed. I was pregnant, and had to sit in a hard back chair jammed between a book case and a table which overlapped the arm. I had to chart by flashlight, because I couldn't even have the bathroom light on. They had ridiculous expectations, with their sick child plus 2 other kids in the room, with the 2 healthy kids sharing a bed. They went through so many night nurses due to this. It's not reasonable expectations at all.
    KimyCocoPuff likes this.
  9. 2
    Quote from Simply Complicated
    Definitely talk to your agency. I went through this with a job, I wasn't even allowed to flush the toilet every time I peed. I was pregnant, and had to sit in a hard back chair jammed between a book case and a table which overlapped the arm. I had to chart by flashlight, because I couldn't even have the bathroom light on. They had ridiculous expectations, with their sick child plus 2 other kids in the room, with the 2 healthy kids sharing a bed. They went through so many night nurses due to this. It's not reasonable expectations at all.
    Wow! I'd have been OUT of there!!
    I do HH through an agency for a little one---parents are great. I turn the lights down while she's falling asleep, but once she's out, they get turned right back up. How are you supposed to assess, chart, administer meds, etc if you can't see?!
    No TV here, but we bring our laptops, I bring books, crossword puzzles, crocheting etc to keep me occupied while she sleeps.
    SE_BSN_RN and spectrabrite like this.
  10. 0
    I have a light and have a hard time staying awake. But yeah how are you supposed to do your job and chart? (although my supervisors told me to bring a flashlight) Most of the time I'm with my main case and they have a desk lamp that gives more light when turned toward the patient and less when turned toward the wall and I can adjust based on needs. One time I had a case where it was almost pitch black (patient was for an apnea monitor) but I completed vitals, assessment, cares etc. before the patient went to sleep and had to monitor gt feeding and give meds with a flashlight, it wasn't fun but luckily it wasn't my main case. It seems to me they should be more understand as you are there to do your job not just sit in the dark. Good luck.
  11. 1
    Wow... that is ridiculous. I work in a hospital. I'm now a new grad RN still in training but prior to that, I worked as an aide. We had one patient who "needed" a sitter due to the mother's request even though the mother or caregiver was usually sleeping at the bedside during the night. And because she couldn't sleep with the lights on, we had to sit in the dark, at the bedside, in the room, with the door closed through out the night. It was ridiculous. Aides would always try to rotate out so that they wouldn't have to be the sitter. But it was so hard sitting in there with nothing to do and due to our policy, sitters aren't allowed to read or do anything besides sit there and watch the patient. In this case, the patient slept through the night most of the time and if he did have a need, the mother or caregiver was always waking up so there really was no need for a sitter. It really exhausted our staff resources and after a while, it got really hard to staff people for shifts because people knew there was this one patient whose mother requested a sitter and they didn't want to be that sitter. The mother even exacerbated an ingrown hair during her son's admission because she picked at it (and that wasn't even his reason for the admission).

    When it comes down to it, it's about being able to accurately assess and take care of your patient. It's your license, don't jeopardize it. The patients and families need to understand that, otherwise you aren't providing the quality care that is needed. Not to mention it puts strain on you and your health.
    spectrabrite likes this.
  12. 1
    Quote from nursemartin00
    If there are any overnight home care nurses out there, Id like to ask you about your work environment. Do you sit bedside? In the dark? Tv on or off? Any type of lighting?

    My home care client used to have his tv on every night without fail and if lighting wasn't adequate I would turn the hall light on. But now the family requests:

    I sit at bedside of my patient with the tv and lights off except a night light. Is it too much to expect a person to sit in the dark with no noise and stay awake?
    It makes it very difficult to assess my patient in the dark and provide cares.

    I plan on talking to the office regarding these circumstances. Any suggestions or advice?
    I used to bring a set of earbuds and an iPhone with Netflix, a downloaded movie, or HuluPlus. I was hoping to graduate to an iPad. But iPads have a huge fee for watching movies unless you download them. You can technically rent movies from iTunes. I kept one earbud in and the other out so that I could hear my patient. You can even read on these things through Kindle or read a magazine or the Bible. You can do email or talk on message boards. I like to play Scrammble or Words with Friends. You can always find willing players and it is no brighter than a nightlight. None of my patients complained.
    spectrabrite likes this.


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