Lack of supplies to do home care?

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    I am taking care of a child at his home. There is always a shortage of washcloths, towels, baby wipes and shorts to put on the child. Is this usual in home care? I am bringing from my home towels,washcloths and shorts to borrow for the child. I am not going to buy baby wipes so I just use a washcloth.In the past, I use to waste so much time looking and looking for all of the needed supplies in the home without success so I finally gave up.
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    If you start bringing your own anything its a quick slippery slope for you. I brought my own gloves once when they ran out and they just stopped putting new boxes in the drawer even though they got more supplies. Always ask for what you need don't bring it yourself. I think a lot of times the families are like if medicaid doesn't pay for it they wont provide but if their child was perfectly normal they'd still have to supply them....

    I had the grandmother of one of my patients yell at me once (in spanish which I don't understand btw) at the fact that the clothes that the kid was wearing was a little dirty ( not filthy just normal kid spit up I'd have to change him every 5 minutes to be perfectly clean).

    Anyways I showed her the lack of clean clothes available for him. Grandmother yelled at the mom problem solved.
    systoly and Blackcat99 like this.
  5. 2
    Quote from tothepointeLVN
    If you start bringing your own anything its a quick slippery slope for you. I brought my own gloves once when they ran out and they just stopped putting new boxes in the drawer even though they got more supplies. Always ask for what you need don't bring it yourself. I think a lot of times the families are like if medicaid doesn't pay for it they wont provide but if their child was perfectly normal they'd still have to supply them....

    I had the grandmother of one of my patients yell at me once (in spanish which I don't understand btw) at the fact that the clothes that the kid was wearing was a little dirty ( not filthy just normal kid spit up I'd have to change him every 5 minutes to be perfectly clean).

    Anyways I showed her the lack of clean clothes available for him. Grandmother yelled at the mom problem solved.
    I agree with above...especially "If you start bringing your own anything its a quick slippery slope for you." Things can get out of hand very quickly. Family will then expect all nurses to bring stuff. Family will take less and less responsibility. A vicious downward cycle that can be hard or impossible to reverse.

    Try to firmly but politely tell the family that you can't care for the child without the needed supplies. Clarify what you need. Designate a certain spot where the child's washcloths, towels, baby wipes and shorts will be located. Maybe there just needs to be a little organization/structure, which you could help set up. Its tough, but you have got to be firm.

    If often seems easier to just bring your own supplies or ignore certain issues, but the long term consequences can be a nightmare...
    systoly and Blackcat99 like this.
  6. 0
    Thanks tothepointeLVN and ArwenEvenstar. You're both right. I guess I shouldn't give up. I need to be more assertive and firm. I guess I'm just tired of feeling like a "beggar." I feel like saying to the family "Why do I have to beg for diaper wipes? This is your child. This is your responsibility. Why don't you return that great big plasma TV back to the store and use that money for your child's supplies."
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    I had a patient that I bought baby wipes for because of the size of the patient, the difficulty in cleaning the person, constant diarrhea, and the fact that the family did not provide toilet paper, paper towels, or wash cloths to do the job. The family actually told me that they thought that medicaid should pay for baby wipes. While I may have agreed with them on this point, it still was their responsibility to provide necessary supplies. Of course, we all know what the agency had to say about the matter.
    Blackcat99 likes this.
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    Thanks Caliotter3. Yikes-you had no toilet paper either and your client had frequent diarrhea!!!!! I hope that doesn't happen to me next. When I first started, there was kleenex and paper towels. Now there is no kleenex or paper towels either. I also noticed that the meds don't get ordered until after the meds are totally gone. It's no uncommon for my patient to go without meds for 1- 2 weeks.
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    Is this the case you have to commute forever to?
    Blackcat99 likes this.
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    No, this is my regular client who lives only 15 minutes away from me. Thank Goodness. Mom and I are getting along better these days so I am staying with this client for now. Business has been slow lately and the only cases available are far away right now. I am going to another home care agency this week to see if I can get a few extra shifts per month from this new agency.
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    If you ever lack supplies, you should let the family know what is needed, or if you work for an agency, let them know. I have two cases, the adult one the RNs place the monthly orders; my peds case Mom orders supplies. I have, at times, bought my own supplies out of frustration. Like when we ran out of syringes that fit my peds' G-Tubes and Mom wouldn't reorder, I found the syringes that fit because I prefer to use them. But instead of keeping them with me at all times, I just left them at the home for everyone to use. I'm not that stingy! But Mom was willing to pay me the day the syringe order came however I just told her this small order of syringes was on me. It makes my job easier and I can be a "little" giving sometimes! Just never let the families walk on you and make it a habit.

    On my peds case, the Mom there has 3 in the home who wear diapers (the 33yo adult male DD, and the two peds cases the RNs have ages 12 and 15). Instead of buying commercially premade butt wipes, she makes her own out of papertowel and a vinegar/water solution. They stink to high heaven and I think commercially-made wipes are better but I can't complain about this either since she takes the time to always have them onhand, make them, etc.

    Just a month ago, we 100% ran out of wound-care tape for the patient's decubitus ulcer. One of the RNs bought some tape at the pharmacy to pull us thru until an order could be made. The Home Health Co who supplies our supplies only allows us to order once a month and sometimes a thing or two is overlooked, unfortunately.

    In Wisconsin, us PDNs do have to buy our own gloves for our jobs and that's right in the WI Medicaid Handbook for PDNs and also taken into consideration with our pay rate, I believe.
    Blackcat99 likes this.
  12. 1
    Quote from Blackcat99
    Thanks Caliotter3. Yikes-you had no toilet paper either and your client had frequent diarrhea!!!!! I hope that doesn't happen to me next. When I first started, there was kleenex and paper towels. Now there is no kleenex or paper towels either. I also noticed that the meds don't get ordered until after the meds are totally gone. It's no uncommon for my patient to go without meds for 1- 2 weeks.
    Oh, unfortunately, this happens also! My 15yo peds case with all the respiratory probs recently went two days without some very necessary meds because Mom never went to the pharmacy, altho she was aware of us being out. Sometimes I wish the families would just let us pick up the pharmacy supplies sometimes. I wouldn't mind doing it if it meant better care and attention to my patients.
    Blackcat99 likes this.


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