Nurses aren't maids! - page 6

by AnaCatRN 24,970 Views | 129 Comments

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 child's new night nurse to do... Read More


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    If we are going to apply the standards of judeo-christian morality to the doing of housework by private duty nurses and we are going to further say that they don't understand Watson and are therefore not only not helping or doing the job - they are actively shrinking, darkening, desaturating, and actively increasing the patient's sense of being threatened or becoming at risk for an undefined calamity without knowing anything at all about

    * the patient

    * the parents or the family

    * the agency

    * the other nurses on the case

    * or the nurse herself

    I am sorry but again, I have to cry foul.

    Not only that--- but by bringing up Jean Watson and getting into all of that souls being linked and transformed together you seem to be taking the most metaphysical/spiritual thought about nurses into the area of nursing where nurses are most at risk for being harmed by identifying more with the client than the employer. I don't know any nurse (including myself) who has their existential antenna so fine-tuned that the difference is easily identified at all times and in the crux of an emotional situation.

    If you venture into the holistic "what is a nurse" subject matter (which I unlike most other nurses do not ridicule) I think it's only fair to Anacat to also bring up the fact that many, if not most, BSN programs are heavily laced with what one should expect to be treated like as a professional on par with a physician, a lawyer, etc and that is why she keeps asking "would you ask a doctor to______"? That comes straight out of nursing school! How many times have we had nurses say they call housekeeping to wipe a few drops of urine off a potty seat? And so many people answer that with "you go girl!" - at the very least the establishment sends a mixed message.

    I have in the past done these things for home care patients - fold laundry - haul boxes to the basement, set up a fancy dinner for two place settings, cleaned bathroom shelves, repaired electronic equipment, numbered and catalogued countless dvds, cds, books, and VHS tapes, ironed things, made sandwiches for relatives, helped the elderly aunt find her pills at least 4 times in one shift, fed pets, watched siblings for short periods of time, called gift catalogue companies from my own home on my own time on behalf of families and patients and many other tasks.

    I only brought that up now because there is a principle that must be taken into consideration before you deem another person to be uncaring, and almost it seems to me actually accused of not being the sort of person one wants to be a nurse at all. I would take such comments very seriously if directed at me (and maybe they are).

    Why would I freely and willingly do all of those things? Because it is I who has that relationship with that family and each family is unique. I most certainly would not do all those things for every family. The reasons I would not would have to do with my ability to form an independent judgement as to the meanings and particulars of such requests. I trust my fellow nurses are able to do the same, most of the time. Do I suddenly turn into an uncarative, cold-hearted and selfish person/nurse because I am standing in a different person's house? What I am saying is that without knowing any of the unlimited amounts of special circumstances that arise in this sometimes really wacky niche of the nurse's world you can't say that doing somebody's housework is actually serving that person. Maybe it is actually serving the needs of the nurse. It happens.

    Maybe I have just come into contact with a different group of people with a fairly high level of unscrupulous behaviors coming for all the involved parties and I do wonder if maybe those of you who are being judgemental have a different experience with your clientele on the whole.
    Last edit by nursel56 on Jun 3, '11
    LaRN, sharpeimom, and JeanettePNP like this.
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    The comment I was disturbed by was "I don't OWE them respect or have to do ANYTHING they say!" No matter how you feel about what a parent/patient asks of you, above all, I feel that they should be treated with dignity and respect.

    Kyasi
    sharpeimom, Nurse Netty, lulu67, and 5 others like this.
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    I agree with that, Kyasi. We always owe our patients dignity and respect. I think there were some overly strident comments made as well. I was trying to respond to the nugget contained therein rather than the tone. Or as they like to say at certain 12-Step meetings "principles before personalities".

    You and Tewdles have been my mentors without knowing it so many times along this journey. There are so many tragic and tragi-comic things that happen in home health/private duty nursing and we don't have the luxury of very many opportunities to bounce things off each other while they are happening that you do in most other work environments. Thanks.
    Kyasi and tewdles like this.
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    Quote from Kyasi
    The comment I was disturbed by was "I don't OWE them respect or have to do ANYTHING they say!" No matter how you feel about what a parent/patient asks of you, above all, I feel that they should be treated with dignity and respect.

    Kyasi
    I found that statement disturbing too. The entire viewpoint seems skewed to me. The OP seems to forget that the family and patient don't owe her access to a job in their home.
    Mommy&RN, Nurse Netty, tewdles, and 1 other like this.
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    nursel56 Thanks! That made the lousy day I had today worth it all to read that!

    caliotter3 Exactly! That summed it up quite well!

    Kyasi
    nursel56 likes this.
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    Demanding an RN or LPN to do laundry/clean is a very poor use of their time and skills.

    I would not ask my plumber to do my laundry, I would not ask my electrictian to organize my closet.
  7. 3
    My first week of working as a pediatric home health nurse I was trained by the previous nurse. I could not believe that the mother has the nurses do the laundry. Not only the child's laundry(which is still not the nurses responsibility) but also the family's laundry. And fold the mothers thongs and husbands underwear. That's when I refused and only folded the patients clothes.
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    Quote from Girlafraid13
    My first week of working as a pediatric home health nurse I was trained by the previous nurse. I could not believe that the mother has the nurses do the laundry. Not only the child's laundry(which is still not the nurses responsibility) but also the family's laundry. And fold the mothers thongs and husbands underwear. That's when I refused and only folded the patients clothes.

    It's is your responsibility to do the pts laundry if the family requests it. But not the family laundry. Medicare/medicaid states that doing the pts laundry is part of caring for the pt. But doing others laundry is fraud by their standards because you can't be caring for the pt if you are doing things for others.
    Texan56 likes this.
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    Quote from SDALPN
    It's is your responsibility to do the pts laundry if the family requests it. But not the family laundry. Medicare/medicaid states that doing the pts laundry is part of caring for the pt. But doing others laundry is fraud by their standards because you can't be caring for the pt if you are doing things for others.

    Where does Medicaid state that laundry is a nurse job,even if its the pts laundry?
    I would love to see it.
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    You have stated the pt does not need PDN because they only have a feeding pump. The parents are affluent, but receive Medicaid for the child. That you watch movies (on the clock). You feel the parents are defrauding Medicaid.

    So, when that comes full circle, you are contributing.

    To prevent a TOS problem for myself, I will stop there.


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