Pediatric patients...parents are KILLING me!

  1. 5
    Ok I have to rant and I know some of you feel me! I am BEYOND sick and tired of being taken advantage of by my pedi parents. They just flat out don't take care of thier child and expect you to do everything. And WHY am I here taking care of your child when you and your husband are here just lounging around the house, running errands, and going out to eat? Why am I here if YOU are here? You come in every few hours to see how your child is doing and then out the door u go! Why am I here stuck sitting in a small room for 8 to 10 hours while mom is at work and dad is sitting in the recliner ALL day playing XBOX? Why are you throwing a damn fit when I call you an hour before my shift and tell you my daughter is very sick and I have to cancel my shift...because you are going to be home all day but now you can't go to your yoga class and meet a friend for lunch. OMG, you have to take care of your own child! What a horrible thing it must be not to have a nurse there to be a parent so you don't have to! UuuuuGgghhhhh these parents are ruining my desire to do private care. TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILD!
    Sherriblu, rnrg, ceebeejay, and 2 others like this.
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  4. 1
    Quote from lovelane78
    Ok I have to rant and I know some of you feel me! I am BEYOND sick and tired of being taken advantage of by my pedi parents. They just flat out don't take care of thier child and expect you to do everything. And WHY am I here taking care of your child when you and your husband are here just lounging around the house, running errands, and going out to eat? Why am I here if YOU are here? You come in every few hours to see how your child is doing and then out the door u go! Why am I here stuck sitting in a small room for 8 to 10 hours while mom is at work and dad is sitting in the recliner ALL day playing XBOX? Why are you throwing a damn fit when I call you an hour before my shift and tell you my daughter is very sick and I have to cancel my shift...because you are going to be home all day but now you can't go to your yoga class and meet a friend for lunch. OMG, you have to take care of your own child! What a horrible thing it must be not to have a nurse there to be a parent so you don't have to! UuuuuGgghhhhh these parents are ruining my desire to do private care. TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILD!
    It may be Overwhelming for them at times. Sometimes you just have to step away and live life. Or else you'll go nuts! Do they have a 24 hour nurse? Or just you once a day for 8 hrs?
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
  5. 3
    Sounds terrible. I've never done private duty. Not sure that I could hold my tongue in your situation. I'd probably let it fly. I almost did when working peds in a hospital. I had to check my badge a few times because I was sure they were reading "vending machine" instead of "eatmysoxRN"
    ceebeejay, Crazed, and lovelane78 like this.
  6. 5
    These patients have 16 plus hours of nursing a day. The parents just are so accustomed to not having to care for thier special needs child. I have patients whose parents are working all day then take over care when they get home, but most parents just act like they have free babysitting. Dealing with the families of patients is what makes nursing so stressful. I've lost hope in compassion of human kind since becoming a nurse.
    rnrg, ceebeejay, wooh, and 2 others like this.
  7. 13
    I know it must be frustrating to see your client's parents relax and go about their life as "normal" people, all the while you are left caring for their own child in what seems to be a prison...right? Have you ever thought that these parents NEED you to care for their child so that they CAN do a yoga class, watch some TV or go out to dinner? Granted, they probably "get away" to a job, some may even be stay-at-home parents, but then it is full-on with no break 24/7...FOREVER. Blessed are those home health providers that give some respite from never ending care to allow a snapshot of "normal" life for special needs parents! It may seem to inconvenience you, but to a parent that has a special child, being able to go to a gym, eat dinner or quietly engage in down time is a time-limited gift! If it wasn't for you (or other home health providers), these parents would NEVER get a "break". Nobody ever signs up for a child with special needs...but you love that child, and martyring any and all personal time to be with that child is no more healthy than being a "helicopter" parent to a typical child. This is YOUR job, this is what YOU signed up for...not these parents! Be proud that you can give these parents a taste of what most "normal" parents experience!!! You can leave at the end of your shift, and you can change jobs...these parents are here to stay.

    I know this all too well, because I am a (single) parent of a child with special needs. I have been getting home health care for several years. Sometimes, I am in school in pursuit of my RN, sometimes I am working...but many times I just need a break! It hurts to move 75 lbs all day long, it is exhausting to constantly travel to appointments, it is upsetting to put my other child on hold, it is tiring to have interrupted sleep, and it is impossible to work on therapeutic exercises while managing everything else. These special kids do not get play dates or sleepovers like typical kids...nobody wants to care for them but their own parents and hired help. If you do not want to be that hired help, you best change your job! There is nothing I dislike more than to RELY (because there is no one else) on home health providers that do not embrace the care of my flesh and blood. Your job is VERY important...even if it is just to sit there in the living room, watching TV, just in case....
    designer-mommy, mluvsgnc, phaniea69, and 10 others like this.
  8. 4
    It is my job...however you are the type of parent I DO respect and like to work for. My pt. has 16 hours nursing per day. Her mom NEVER cares for her child...but takes her Ambien at night so when she cries (during the 8 hours she doesn't have a nurse) she doesn't have to be disturbed...my other pt. also has 16 hrs nursing per day. Mom could do without child but has others to care for her during the day and evening. At night she ignores child then gets ****** if her diaper is full in the morning. Another mom drinks all day and night while nurses care for her son. No, I don't have a special needs child but I sure as hell would take care of him because that's my responsibility. The excuses are BS. It disgusts me.
    Sherriblu, rnrg, wooh, and 1 other like this.
  9. 3
    That behavior is common. Nobody tells these parents how things should work because the agencies are scared if running the parents off to another agency. Right now I'm lucky that I have a parent that is involved without being over the top. But she is home all day, sleeps til 2p. Then watches tv the rest of the day. She whines about how hard the work is to take care of the patient. But acknowledges the hard work we do. She complains about how hard 4 hours is with the patient while we do 12 hour shifts. But I've seen worse. We enable these parents to avoid being parents sometimes. We do need to be there so they can go out at times. A babysitter wouldn't be able to do what we do and give the parents peace of mind. However, so many take advantage that it ruins our view of things. I have some parents that refuse to change a diaper. They walk in and tell the nurse to do it. But then they don't change the kids diaper and wait for the next nurse to arrive hours later. We are there to be nurses and give the parents a chance to work our take a break. But so many get greedy and take advantage. Then they go through nurses quickly and complain they can't keep nurses. The good families keep nurses for years. Sometimes I wonder if these parents with special needs kids weren't meant to be parents but our medical technology saved the kid. I had another case where the parents flipped out if they didn't get a nurse on Fri nights so they could go out. They both were home all day living off the system. But they couldn't be flexible to choose a night when they had nurses and be appreciative of that. They act like its owed to them. Luckily not all parents are like that. Its just hard to find the good ones. But yes, it can be extremely frustrating dealing with that day in and day out. It may be time to find a new case or float for a while so you can find greener grass!
    Sherriblu, rnrg, and wooh like this.
  10. 6
    My son was special needs. Severe brain damage, blind and deaf. Fed by g-tube and had a colostomy bag. I was blessed to have home care nurses help me with my son. They were there to take care of him during the day, so myself and husband could go to work. However, when I came home from work, I took over. I enjoyed taking care of my child. I had a certain way I did things, and never once did I expect the nurses to do anything else, but take care of my child.

    Now that I am a nurse myself, I work with special needs children in a LTC type facility. I see all types of parents, from the extremely involved in the care of their child, to the haven't called or visited in years and years. I understand your frustation, but since I was in a situation similar, I can offer a different viewpoint if I may.

    Regarding the father who plays xbox, maybe he feels overwhelmed or even scared of taking care of his child. My husband loved our son, but had no clue about his meds or his gtube care, or his colostomy care as well. He was scared to even be left alone for even for a few hours.

    The only thing you can do is continue to take good care of this child and bite your tounge. Or perhaps look into another type of nursing. I am sorry you are going through this, it is a tough situation.
    phaniea69, ceebeejay, umcRN, and 3 others like this.
  11. 0
    I think sometimes, not all cases but some, the parents are scared. Either they don't know how to care for their child or they're afraid of stepping on the nurse's toes. I agree that it's important for parents to get away, etc, just as it is for parents of "normal" children to have time away from their children.

    I'm sure there are some parents who DO take advantage because they may not *want* to parent a child with special needs. I don't do private duty, but maybe there's another reason, besides being lazy, terrible, uncaring parents, that they act the way they do. I've also known nurses who are *very* controlling. Maybe a previous nurse set the expectations for the parent and told them to stay away while the nurse was there.

    Have you tried to talk with the parents? What is your relationship with the parents? If they don't care for the child because they're scared or don't know how, then maybe there's a great opportunity for you to do some education.
  12. 12
    Hmmmm, I get what you're saying here but I have a different perspective. Obviously, I don't know this family and maybe they are just a bunch of lazy warts. Maybe not. Sometimes a situation isn't all it seems to be.

    I have a 17yo son who is severely mentally disabled.My DH is also severely disabled with heart/lung disease. We took total care of DS for the first 14 years until we were awarded funding for a part-time CNA, a few hours a day 5 days a week. I cannot tell you what a relief it was to have someone else take over some of the load. DS operates at about a 6-18mo old level, so he needs full assistance with everything. He's also a "runner", so keeping him safe was a HUGE part of our day and night. Having our nurse here meant that i could continue to work during the day and have some down time with my DH in the evening while his CNA took over for me for several hours.

    By the time DS was 15, he was as tall as me and strong as any ordinary teen boy. Unfortunately, that was also about the time that I suffered a serious nervous breakdown partly due to the enormous pressures at home. I was hospitalized at one point and it took me nearly a year to get back on my feet again. It was clear to us all that DH & I were not going to be able to take care of DS much longer. We started working actively on finding DS a permanent place outside our home. In the meantime, DS suffered 3 significant falls resulting in fractures, one a hip fracture, due to difficulties monitoring him 24hrs a day. The state granted us more CNA hours but it still wasn't enough.

    DH and I were utterly exhausted with the constancy of the supervision, not just the physical aspects of the daily care. If you haven't walked the walk, you really can't understand how it drains you to be on call 24hrs a day for years and years on end. Even with CNAs helping with the heavy lifting, we were still so worn out with DS that it was hard to manage on those weekends or holidays when they had the evening off. Although we had CNAs to help us take care of DS, sometimes we just wanted to be able to go away for the weekend or just have a romantic night at home without the eyes of our paid caregivers on us. '

    In July, we received final approval for DS to be moved to a group home. A lot of people have commented to us that we must be so sad to "give our child away." Not exactly. The new caregivers are fabulous. They're younger and stronger and there are more of them, too. I think it's very easy to pass judgement on parents. Sometimes parents are just not good parents. Some are lazy. Some suffer physical and mental illnesses. And some have just given up entirely due to the sheer weight of responsibility.

    DS is thriving in his new home and we are thriving again in ours. Now, when we go visit him we get to just be his parents. We get to enjoy our time with him because we aren't having to be in charge all the time. Looking back on it, I don't know how we did it for 17 years. Well, 14 years by ourselves and 3 years with CNAs. I know that some people have passed judgement on us and found us lacking. But I never saw any of them lining up to take our place to give us a few days respite.

    I think nurses have to walk a fine line when judging the parents of their little charges


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