Neighbors TKA

  1. I have a neighbor that is going in tommorrow for a TKA. Had been delayed due to labs off. I had been really torn, because she really intended that I take care of her while on our floor. Well luckily it turns out i wont be working the next 3 days so i wont have to take care of her. I had however, ask my NM to let me assign the patient to the other team prior to the delay. But, what are your thoughts on taking care of a patient that is that "close" to you.
    My thought was i would love to care for her while she is in,, but i also thought about her dignity as a person and some of the situations i might find myself such as bedpans, etc. Kind of thought it a bit much for ME to be wiping her hiney then sharing a backyard cookout later in the summer. Am i wrong, being to sensitive? I dont have a problem with wiping hineys, just didnt want to put her in a position that i dont think she really thought about. Just wondered.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    I have taken care of friends and family before. I guess I feel honored by them asking for me to care for them and that they feel confident with the care that I provide for them.

    I am sure that you have gone out somewhere to see your Ob/Gyn doctor there. Is it any different? Do you hide because you just had your appt two days before? No, at least I hope not. You should be acting as a medical professional................simple and easy............
  4. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    It is usually a good idea not to take care of friends, neighbors and family members in the hospital due to "dual relationship" issues. One never knows what will later feel uncomfortable, or what info you might become party to, that the patient would otherwise not have shared with you.

    To be available in a pinch at home, or to visit the patient while they are on your unit is usually a better idea.

    I believe this is considered an ethical issue--everything I have read comes out on the side of avoiding even the appearance of such a conflict of interest.
  5. by   maddiecat
    Quote from chris_at_lucas
    It is usually a good idea not to take care of friends, neighbors and family members in the hospital due to "dual relationship" issues. One never knows what will later feel uncomfortable, or what info you might become party to, that the patient would otherwise not have shared with you.

    To be available in a pinch at home, or to visit the patient while they are on your unit is usually a better idea.

    I believe this is considered an ethical issue--everything I have read comes out on the side of avoiding even the appearance of such a conflict of interest.
    I have to agree totally....what if there were some kind of (heaven forbid) legal issue that came out later? Also, it's kind of like once someone tells you something personal they sometimes regret it later....same kind of thing. I'd just be a friend in this situation. My opinion only.
  6. by   suzanne4
    I have taken care of friends and family for over 25 years and would continue to do so if I wa still in the US. If you maintain your professional ethics there should be no problem. If something is told to you while you are caring for your friend, it should stay between your two ears and not be repeated to anyone at anytime. I heel quite comfortable with my care provided to them and would continue to do so in a heartbeat , if the need arose.

    What if you are the only nurse on in a small clinic or ER, would you refuse to care for someone that you know? This happens in small towns all of the time.
    What would you do then?
  7. by   meownsmile
    Thanks for the replies and reinforcing my decision.
    I think letting my neighbor keep her modest/dignity to preserve her sense of privacy and our personal relationship is the way to go. Im wasnt even thinking the legal end of the situation, but those thoughts make my decision more reasonable.
    I've taken care of friends and relatives, but i dont live next door to them. In some instances though there may be things that i delegate or defer to others in order to allow them to keep their sense of self/modesty/privacy, however you want to put it. In my OP i omited that she is also elderly, and we all know that the modesty they grew up with doesnt just leave because they are in the hospital.
    I think that is something that has to be evaluated on an individual basis from both sides.
  8. by   adidas99
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    Last edit by adidas99 on Jan 30, '07
  9. by   P_RN
    The only time I can remember that it bothered me to care for a relative was when my NM INSISTED I care for my mother-in-law. I was uncomfortable but the other team didn't have an RN who was checked off on intrathecal pumps and *I* didn't speak Spanish for the other RN who had 3 patients who needed her language skills. My LPN did most of the personal care, but I still felt a little funny. Friends as patients, I have never had a problem with.
  10. by   barefootlady
    Every friend or family member we have are different. We need to listen to our inner feelings and if we feel uneasy then do not accept an assignment in caring for these special people. I have taken care of some and refused to care for others. I usually explain that "policy" is why I am not the nurse. It has served me well when this situation has arisen.

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