New trend? Nurse babysitters?

  1. had a question about patients bringing in siblings expecting staff to babysit while they are in labor. by mistake i put the post in the feedback section. this night nurse is too tired to retype it, but basically is ending up happening quite a bit, at least to me, and has become one of my few pet peeves. was wondering if you all have noticed this trend...night night..
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   ERNurse752
    I work ED, and we had a pt come in with her two kids...she told the PA that we had to watch her kids while she was there, told the nurse we had to feed her and her kids b/c she was too tired to cook when she went home, and that we had to call her a cab b/c her boyfriend couldn't pick her up and her husband was at work...grrr.

    Needless to say, we did not watch her kids or feed them...but we did call her the cab to get her outta there! Of course, after she was dc'd she said she'd been having chest pain, and that we had to check her blood right now, b/c they always checked her blood. The doc wouldn't order the test, and she cussed up a storm and left...
  4. by   ERNurse752
    Excuse me for becoming side-tracked...

    It's inappropriate for pts to expect that nurses should watch their children for them. We don't even have the staff or the time to do nursing duties, much less babysitting. It's a hospital, not daycare...
  5. by   mother/babyRN
    Isn't it also a legal issue? And no problem getting side tracked,by the way. I think I am just blown away by the audacity of some people...I think we in OB see a lot of what you guys see in the ER as far as domestic/social situations....We can relate. That is why it always amazes me when our ER people, who do AMAZING things, are so quick ( and so tachycardic) whenever a labor check shows up down there. Excuse ME for getting side tracked! Glad to know I am not the only one being driven nuts by this issue...Oh, and did ANYONE say thankyou????Of course not! Have a good one....
  6. by   mother/babyRN
    My best friend works in the ER and I had to go down the other night and do (gulp) triage....About 4 girls came in around 4 am to have pregnancy tests...ANYTHING not to have to pay for one! IS it me???
  7. by   lm57lm57
    I had a Dad leave a 15 mo old sibling in the room with the mom who had just had a C-section so he could "get some diapers". (He didn't tell the nurses that he left). I was shocked he would even consider this. The child had been sleeping but naturally woke up right after he left. This was a safety issue because the child was basically unattended. The mom was lying on her back w/ IV's and Foley in place! Needless to say, he didn't try this stunt again. I'm just so concerned about the lack of common sense in some of these new parents.
  8. by   mother/babyRN
    I have had people leave older kids overnight with new c/x ( 5or 6), and I move hell and high water to get them to call someone or have me do it for them. Social services and I have gone around on this issue a number of times because in the majority of cases we have, I think it constitutes neglect, or at the very LEAST, parenting classes. What do you all think? They disagree (social services, that is), but I contend if they do that with us, relative strangers, then who else might they leave the kids with when they need to go socialize or work? Thanks for your imput...Seems it isn't just happening to us....
  9. by   shay
    Yeah, I got burned on the whole babysitting-service-diaper-store-formula-store-hotel thing too at the first hospital I worked at. Huge hospital, huge unit, ulocked unit (grrr), NO visitation policy...and I mean NO policy. Second hospital, smaller unit, same thing...unlocked, visitation policy, but NOT ENFORCED.

    Moving on....third hospital. LOCKED UNIT, VISITATION POLICY ENFORCED. Yes ma'am. See, I got wise and started ASKING during interviews about locked units and visitation policies. I was fortunate to find that unit, and am very pleased with the way things are run there.

    It IS dangerous. Not to mention ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. When the dad said to you (M/B nurse) that he figured the nurses would watch the baby, I would have bluntly told him no, that was not our job, that he needed to find someone else to watch the baby, that my job was to take care of his girlfriend and his unborn child. Maybe I'm just mean. But I take excellent care of my patients, and if anyone gives me lip about visitation, I just tell 'em like it is. Had to do it last night. Basically told them that we needed to keep visitors under control b/c if something went wrong, my priority was getting to mom and baby, and wading through a crowd to do it just wasn't going to happen. Ugh.

    What are people THINKING when they come to the hospital? Obviously they just AREN'T.
  10. by   Jolie
    Fortunately I've never had to deal with anything like what you describe, but I don't doubt for a minute that it happens. In our unit, small children who accompanied their mothers the birthing center were sent out to the waiting room WITH THE MOTHER'S SUPPORT PERSON. It was truly a rare case when no one could be found to pick up or sit with the child, as most mothers wanted their support person in the labor room with them.

    It sounds to me like "the powers that be" are turning a blind eye and deaf ear to your legitimate concerns about patient care, safety, and liability so that they don't risk alienating a patient by enforcing their own visitation policies. Call your head nurse or administrator to come in and babysit the next time this happens. Unfortunately, nothing will change until something untoward happens. A child will wander off, or get hurt somehow before anyone takes you seriously.


    BTW, what happens when these patients require C-sections? Do the little darlings gown up and come in? Aaah, the good old days when Grandma babysat and Dad waited for the good news at Joe's Bar and Grill!
  11. by   Canuck
    We are faced with a similar dilemma on our OB unit. We are a family centered care Unit, but have a hard time with Dad and toddler who want to stay overnight with Mom and newborn. Its not so bad in a private room, but in the semi and ward rooms (2 and 4 patients each)....how do we reconcile family centered care and respecting privacy issues of the others? Any thoughts on the subject?
  12. by   ERNurse752
    I agree that ER and OB deal with similar social situations...it can get very, ummmm...interesting.

    We also get the girls coming in for something vague, and "Oh, by the way, can you check to see if I'm pregnant? Oh, and can you also check for HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, trich, herpes, warts, and syph while you're at it?" Hehe..."Here's a referral to the STD clinic!)

    People really don't think when they go to hospitals. Maybe it could be something addressed during childbirth classes or prenatal visits (assuming they have pn care or take classes, that is.)

    It's another example of the public not knowing what nurses actually do.
  13. by   mother/babyRN
    Thanks for all your thoughts. I find it ironic that a couple of years ago there was a big push toward service to the community. Our hospital actually paid at least a million dollars to force all of us to go to a 24 hour in total, seminar, on how to be nice to people...Duh...I, of course asked why these inconvenient classes were being held in the basement with no windows and without any of the doctors who actually were the biggest abusers of "nice" Eventually they admitted that,unlike the rest of the employees, they had been asked but were not required to attend...They even had a campaign called "Get on the bus"
    We nurses were insulted as we felt we were already doing all we could to make patients happy and well. The only good thing to come of that program besides a few laughable films were CEUs....
    Flash to the present....NOW we are counting peri pads and buying cheap supplies, WHEN we have supplies...Not too long ago had I NOT accomodated these people with children, I would have been in the office trying to explain that SOMETIMES, LIMITS MUST BE SET! Now, apparently, the bus has crashed.
    I did like that idea about addressing these concerns in class, however, generally the people who abuse the system around here, don't attend....
    I pretty much attend to the patient and if the woman is in hard labor, as my lady was the other night , I tell them what I told the husband, Find an alternative plan NOW, or skip the delivery. I have closed doors to tell patients they need to be transferred to Boston so their family will get the idea. I will advocate my patients always because if I were ever in a situation that needed support, I would hope there would be a nurse there to advocate me....Thanks again for sharing...
  14. by   wsiab
    Our policy is children under 12 have to be accompanied by an adult to supervise them....We tell people,if the only adult is the support person and the child/children need to leave the room, the support person will need to leave with the child/children, people usually manage to find someone to come supervise the child/children.

    There is no accounting for what constitutes supervision though, we had some "adult supervised" boys set off the fire alarm in the middle of the night a while back.

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