Nurses aren't maids! Nurses aren't maids! - pg.6 | allnurses

Nurses aren't maids! - page 6

I'm sorry. I really, really need to vent. I work for a pediatric private duty nursing agency, and I'm an RN. This is what I wish I could say to my new patient's mom: Why the heck would you ask your... Read More

  1. Visit  meanmaryjean profile page
    #65 7
    I've always done my patient's laundry at night on home care cases. Why? To be helpful to my families, to relieve even a tiny bit of the crushing burden that comes with having a ventilator dependent child, and to give me something to do at night and break up the monotony of night shift, and because it needs to be done.

    No, I'm not a maid. And yes, I am an RN with a master's and board certified in critical care and peds.

    I consider nothing that my patient needs 'beneath' me. When I became a nurse, I understood that it's not all about me- it's about them.

    And besides, it's not like they are asking me to beat the clothes with a rock down by the river, it is loading a washer, moving the clothes to the dryer. A maximum of ten minutes actual work per load. I don't think it should be that big a deal.
    Last edit by meanmaryjean on Jul 31, '13 : Reason: Added content
  2. Visit  systoly profile page
    #66 5
    just to throw something out there

    situation:
    doing pt.'s laundry is not on the 485
    helpful nurse does pt.'s laundry
    washer breaks down
    family wants agency to replace washer

    too far fetched?
  3. Visit  JustBeachyNurse profile page
    #67 2
    Quote from systoly
    just to throw something out there

    situation:
    doing pt.'s laundry is not on the 485
    helpful nurse does pt.'s laundry
    washer breaks down
    family wants agency to replace washer

    too far fetched?
    Not really....it has happened & the agency was none too thrilled as it was a $1000 front loading washer that was relatively new!!!!!

    Fortunately my cases are limited to put dirty clothing/bedding in laundry basket or laundry room. Perhaps soak stains or apply stain remover as needed. I have one case where nurses have been specifically asked to NOT fold or put away laundry as one over zealous colleague decided to rearrange/reorganize the child's dresser and mom could not find anything when trying to get client ready for school in AM. Parents were NOT amused. (Apparently nurse was bored. Moms answer was "bring a book" leave my home alone. ).

    I did wipe down my clients wheel chair yesterday at parents request while the client was playing next to me. I was shocked at the amount of crumbs and junk stuck in a chair of a kiddo that eats next to nothing by mouth!!! This I put in the same category as wiping down a nebulizer or feeding pump, cleaning out syringes or suction, cleaning a MDI spacer etc.
  4. Visit  smartnurse1982 profile page
    #68 1
    I really dont understand it. I dont have time to clean Bm stains on pads either.
    Most of the parents do the other kids laundry,but wont do the sick childs laundry.
    one home im in,the mom folds the normal16 yr olds clothes and irons them,but cant fold the sick 9yr old clothes?
  5. Visit  NyteshiftLVN profile page
    #69 3
    Thank you to the OP for posting this and getting completely flamed and standing your ground. I know I'm not alone, but I usually can not come up with the right words and certainly not as articulate as you have posted. Currently, I have the learned the hard lesson (among others) that if you give a mouse a cookie.... which is why (for the time being) going above and beyond is not in my current or future plans.
  6. Visit  PerfectlyPlump profile page
    #70 1
    To me, the cleaning and laundry are necessary on the whole, but I, as the nurse, only do them when I have time. When I am at a home for the first time, there is a lot to observe about the patient, and a lot to learn about his history and current challenges. I consider washing equipment and taking out the day's trash to be non-optional.

    So, I do clean, on a limited basis, when all the more important work, interaction with the patient, teaching, and all documentation, is done!
  7. Visit  Adele_Michal7 profile page
    #71 0
    Quote from Texan56
    To me, the cleaning and laundry are necessary on the whole, but I, as the nurse, only do them when I have time. When I am at a home for the first time, there is a lot to observe about the patient, and a lot to learn about his history and current challenges. I consider washing equipment and taking out the day's trash to be non-optional.

    So, I do clean, on a limited basis, when all the more important work, interaction with the patient, teaching, and all documentation, is done!
    This. x2
  8. Visit  whitsinn profile page
    #72 4
    I remember when my mother in law was dying of cancer at the age of 58. Her breast cancer had spread to her spine, leaving her unable to walk. Her husband was on the waiting list for a double lung transplant. Even with his horrible health, he tried to work at his small business every day. Because the children lived out of town/out of state, my MIL needed a nurse at least 12 hours a day for the first 3 months after her diagnosis. The last two months required 24/7 care. They spent every dime they had on good nursing care, and my husband and his sister lost their inheritance to pay for that care. It was worth every penny.
    There was an issue of a certain nurse who didn't want to do light laundry and light house work. When calling agencies to find a perfect fit, my father in law made sure he explained how great his need was (waiting for lungs and very ill himself), and that his wife was in a wheelchair, had cancer etc. They assured him that their nurses do light chores and laundry after all patient care has been done. Well...this particular nurse didn't just NOT do those things, she was rude and ugly about it. She also left my wheelchair bound MIL alone for about 5 hours because she was asked to start the dishwasher. Needless to say, the agency fired her.
    It can not be stated enough...know the terms of service. People assume too much about nurses and the agencies that send them out. Ask questions and be clear. And most importantly, if the patient or the nurse find themselves at an impass, stay classy.
  9. Visit  CloudySue profile page
    #73 6
    My husband and I had a conversation about this topic earlier today. I told him about how some nurses feel it's not their job and become offended at being asked to do more than skilled nursing. The way we see it, home health aides do all those things like laundry, light housekeeping, etc. but if the need is greater than HHA and skilled nursing is required in the home, then if time allows, that nurse should double as an HHA when skilled nursing duties are complete. I have a young adult quad client w type 2 SMA, and she has an HHA during the day, skilled nursing at night. She absolutely needs someone to do her laundry, prepare her meals, do light housekeeping for her bathroom and bedroon, etc. and I am glad to do these things for her. She tries to get her HHA to do most of it but sometimes she needs things done during my shift and I graciously comply with all her wishes.

    In a facility, there's no time for a nurse to do these things and it is not appropriate for anyone to expect the skilled nurse to do them. However, in the home setting, the nurse has ONE client. And even though it doesn't pay as much as facility work, we're still getting paid a lot of money for a shift that often includes, let's face it, a LOT of down time, especially on overnights. Why not throw a load of laundry in the washer? Why not wipe down a sink or cook a meal? Private duty is a very personal assignment. I've developed some very close, rewarding friendships with clients and their families, despite my attempts to remain distant and professional. It's a special type of job, you become family with some of these people. I think it's worth it to do a bit more for these people who truly appreciate it. Not only that, times are tough, and families can often pick and choose which nurses they want back. If families like and feel comfortable with me, I'll get all the shifts I need to pay my bills. And I do.
    .

    One of the biggest parts of my job, I feel, is giving these parents some respite from the overbearing reality of their lives. My parents are in various stages of grief for their children who will never be "normal", never be self-sufficient. I cannot imagine how overwhelming every moment of their lives must be. To refuse light housekeeping related to their child seems arrogant and cold to me. But that's just how I roll, I guess.
  10. Visit  whitsinn profile page
    #74 1
    ↑↑↑↑ Perfectly stated CloudySue ↑↑↑↑
  11. Visit  LadyFree28 profile page
    #75 0
    Quote from whitsinn
    ↑↑↑↑ Perfectly stated CloudySue ↑↑↑↑
    Agree!!!
  12. Visit  eeffoc_emmig profile page
    #76 1
    Me, personally, I do not think it's right to ask nurses to do laundry or other housework. I think it also depends on the individual situation. A case that I worked for over a year - the Dad expected the night shift nurses to fold and put away his daughter's laundry. (The washer/dryer was in an off-limits area or he probably would have expected us to wash and dry it, too.) He was a stay at home dad for the duration of my time there. He did NOTHING with this kid. ZERO interaction! Day shifts nurses often told me that all he did was watch TV or play games. Mom would go to work full-time, come home, cook, clean, wash/dry the laundry, come in and interact with the girl. Why can the dad not do the laundry? Medicaid paid for nursing services - so my tax money is funding the laundry service. If they both worked, or it was a single family household, I could probably talk myself into being more willing to do the laundry. Of course, his attitude didn't help AT ALL.
  13. Visit  Elle23 profile page
    #77 1
    My family would never in a million years ask me to fold laundry, but I honestly wouldn't mind doing it or other light housework. It would help me stay awake.

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