Another thread I posted on got me to thinking more about professionalism. Professional behavior is extra important with private duty. Working shifts in a private home is truly a unique situation. I don't know if my experience is unusual (??), but I have encountered multiple issues with nurses lacking professional behavior and professional boundaries in the home. I'll briefly give several (and these are all LPN's or RN's by the way, not aides or sitters):
*A nurse, who besides doing the nursing duties, was doing things like household cleaning, laundry, errands, babysitting (other kids in family), tutoring (helping with homework), etc - and some of this on her own time. It created a nightmare...as the family grew to expect this...
*A nurse who did not do these extra things, but became overly friendly with the family and essentially socially integrated into the family. The nurse lost all objectivity, and started making risky subjective nursing decisions.
*A nurse who made herself too "at home" in the home. She was using their computer, eating snacks from their cupboard, looking in closets, etc - essentially acting like their home was her home! This particular family was wealthy, and the nurse indicated she had the right to do this because they had so much!!
*Nurses who give the family their home phone number, instead of having communication go through the agency.
Maybe my experiences are atypical? Unprofessional behavior creates so many problems. It can be like a domino effect. With private duty, I feel that if one is going to err on one side or the other, one should err on the side of being overly professional. Only when a nurse is professional, can she maintain objectivity and be sure the patient is getting proper care. And the patient getting proper care is the bottom line.
My experiences have made me feel that all agencies need to develop some type of module on professional behavior.