Nursing Boundaries...can I go feed my patients cats?

  1. 1
    Not finding much information...actually any. I have discussed with case managers and received advice against this..

    My patient gave myself and another nurse permission to go into his unlocked home to check on his cats, he has no one its just him and his cats and he will be hospitalized for at least another 6-8 days. Is this against the rules? Mind you I called APS for my patient as he is neglecting himself/hoarding etc. so he will be upset when they do come and he will automatically think it was me that called since he warned me about his home before going. I really want to help these animals and thought we could go out with animal control. Its so frustrating on what we cant do for our patients. I know it's crossing the line, but I am such an animal lover and knowing these cats will be w/o food for a week is heartbreaking. Sure there's so many hungry animals but these cats I KNOW about. How much trouble could I get in really?

    Any advice?
    Last edit by srg4784 on May 31, '12 : Reason: adding question
    CNA1991 likes this.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 64 Comments...

  3. 8
    I am a cat lover! But... there is no way in the world I would go into a patient's home while they are not there. Don't put yourself in that position. Yes, that would be crossing boundaries. It is also putting you in a very bad situation. What if he claims later on that he never gave you permission and all of a sudden there are valuables missing? No, no, no. Very unsafe for you on many levels!
    canoehead, #1ME, ~*Stargazer*~, and 5 others like this.
  4. 0
    I know !!! I hate this situation.......those poor cats. APS stated it could be 1-10 days before someone even comes out to see patient to assess...and animal control only will leave notes on the door. I know they will die w/o food and water. I just dont know what to do other than him calling animal control himself, and even then the probably cannot go into his home.
  5. 4
    Many things wrong with this. Please don't put yourself, your patient, or your employer in this inappropriate situation.
  6. 0
    I hate this so much!!!!!! innocent animals having to starve/die because of stupidity!!
  7. 0
    and I dont even like cats!!
  8. 0
    you guys are right though, thanks for helping me see. I wish there was something I COULD there?
  9. 5
    I (as in MYSELF) would feed them and worry about the consequences later, if there are any. This is a wreckless statement, I know, but when it comes to something like this, it's a gray area IMO, how are you to know how to handle it? I'm an animal lover just like you and can't stand the thought of starving animals, and to actually know it is happening like you said, would be too much for me to sit back and ignore, even if I end up getting written up. What if it was a friend that was your patient and they wanted you to feed their animals? I don't see anything wrong with it. Now him getting angry about you calling APS is another thing entirely, the only thing I would worry about is him retaliating and saying you stole something, but you would know better than I if he is this type of person. Sorry you have to deal with this, it's a tough decision.
    TriciaJ, MzMouse, Ginger80, and 2 others like this.
  10. 0
    isnt there something social work can do?- where i am there are professional pet sitters- even if they came in for maybe a visit or 2.
  11. 2
    what about with police escort?
    canoehead and TriciaJ like this.

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors