Private duty house has rats!

  1. Ok folks, I've been in the nursing field for almost 10 years. I was burnt out from the nursing home scene when our local children's hospital offered me a private duty in home nursing position with vent trach pediatric patients. I hopped on board as fast as I could! Now, the home I oriented in was clean, laid back with an active parent who engaged most of her time with the patient. We were only there to let the woman sleep. I was so happy to have found what seemed like the golden job. So the home they put me in full time was another case. Younger parents but very nice - although not very social. Home not in the best shape but seemed to be kept up as best they could. In the past month I've been here things have gone down the pooper. A night of domestic violence, they stopped caring about cleaning, their baby is always soiled and not watched after (neglected) unless nursing staff is here, smoking pot, ant infestation (I get bit nightly) and I thought mice... but I realized tonight they have rats - RATS!? They put out traps and I had the joy of finding it in the bathroom all snapped up in the trap... barf-o-rama... now I think there is a dead one in the babies room because there is a God awful odor just wafting all night. Needless to say I've also been feeling sick the past few nights - nausea and migraine. Do I have the right to tell my boss I'm not subjecting my health to this BS anymore and they need to get this cleaned for the sake of the children in the home??? If so - time off to be compensated or am I just not used to the life of being an in home nurse? Help and thank you!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   nanillest
    Tell your boss and call child services
  4. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from h2operformancepaints
    Ok folks, I've been in the nursing field for almost 10 years. I was burnt out from the nursing home scene when our local children's hospital offered me a private duty in home nursing position with vent trach pediatric patients. I hopped on board as fast as I could! Now, the home I oriented in was clean, laid back with an active parent who engaged most of her time with the patient. We were only there to let the woman sleep. I was so happy to have found what seemed like the golden job. So the home they put me in full time was another case. Younger parents but very nice - although not very social. Home not in the best shape but seemed to be kept up as best they could. In the past month I've been here things have gone down the pooper. A night of domestic violence, they stopped caring about cleaning, their baby is always soiled and not watched after (neglected) unless nursing staff is here, smoking pot, ant infestation (I get bit nightly) and I thought mice... but I realized tonight they have rats - RATS!? They put out traps and I had the joy of finding it in the bathroom all snapped up in the trap... barf-o-rama... now I think there is a dead one in the babies room because there is a God awful odor just wafting all night. Needless to say I've also been feeling sick the past few nights - nausea and migraine. Do I have the right to tell my boss I'm not subjecting my health to this BS anymore and they need to get this cleaned for the sake of the children in the home??? If so - time off to be compensated or am I just not used to the life of being an in home nurse? Help and thank you!
    As a mandated reporter you have a duty to report any reasonable suspicion of neglect or abuse. You have cited several things which put this child at risk; domestic violence, drug use in the home, vermin infestations etc..... All of this puts a medically compromised child at risk. In my state cases like this often result in the parents being educated and helped to do better.

    I would not hesitate to report this as I would nit put my license at risk.

    Hppy
  5. by   caliotter3
    Don't expect much action from your employer unless you get outside agencies involved and then you will get the cold shoulder until you leave their employment. That is, if they don't just stop 'having' work for you anyway, effectively getting rid of you. The agencies don't want any trouble, and will actively rid themselves of a nurse that they see as bringing them "trouble". You can ask for a new case with or without the explanation. They will probably then do nothing about the situation besides moving you.
  6. by   Here.I.Stand
    Yes you have the right to a healthy work environment.

    More importantly, you also have the OBLIGATION to report this baby's unhealthy home environment. We as nurses are mandated reporters. This child -- whose lungs are MUCH more delicate than yours -- is being exposed to the rat feces and rat decomposition...PLUS drugs, DV, ants, and neglect.
  7. by   llg
    Quote from Here.I.Stand
    Yes you have the right to a healthy work environment.

    More importantly, you also have the OBLIGATION to report this baby's unhealthy home environment. We as nurses are mandated reporters. This child -- whose lungs are MUCH more delicate than yours -- is being exposed to the rat feces and rat decomposition...PLUS drugs, DV, ants, and neglect.
    I totally agree. However, your agency MIGHT not be happy with you for reporting it. But that's a chance you have to take in order to protect the children.

    On the other hand ... if the agency is part of an actual children's hospital ... they might be happy to support you as you report this to the proper state agencies. True children's hospitals are often committed to helping children and would agree that reporting it is the right thing to do. What is your employer's stance on reporting? Anyone working with children (in any capacity) needs to know their employer's position on such things as nurses are required to report such things. That should have been part of your orientation.
  8. by   Lhalty
    think of that child like if its yours and do the right thing.
  9. by   nursel56

    Do I have the right to tell my boss I'm not subjecting my health to this BS anymore and they need to get this cleaned for the sake of the children in the home??? If so - time off to be compensated or am I just not used to the life of being an in home nurse?
    It's true the life of a private duty nurse can get bizarre at times. Someone here once related that cockroaches were falling off the ceiling of the client's home and landing in her hair. I personally observed a colony of cockroaches living in one child's ventilator. Another had ants but not near the client.

    Those are horrifying but isolated incidents overall.

    These parents need help, or to the point, evaluation of reasons they are not functioning at even a minimal level of competence, and the mention of "a night of domestic violence", means the baby's life is at risk.

    If your agency is affiliated with a pediatric hospital, social services are already an integrated part of the system.

    I agree with Ilg, what to do in these situations should be part of orientation, none of the agencies I worked for included it.
    Last edit by nursel56 on May 30

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