Sleeping Nurse = No Agency? - page 2

by kiyasmom 13,208 Views | 52 Comments

We have (my husband and I on separate occasions) caught one of our night nurses sleeping. The first time it happened, DH saw her on the baby monitor (I was already knocked out!) and he didn't say anything. He just got up to the... Read More


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    I also believe that you did not overreact. I agree with the sentiment of what all other posters have expressed here regarding sleeping on the job.

    However, I am curious as to why you have an A/V monitor with the nurse in your field of vision. Don't you trust your licensed nurses, even before this happened? Perhaps the agency cannot find any nurses for you who are willing to work with a camera in the room. My agency has one known case who uses a camera like that. EVERYBODY knows about them and they have a hard time staffing them. Working with a camera trained on me like that would make me highly uncomfortable. I don't even like seeing my image on monitors when you walk into grocery stores, or seeing myself on home videos. I hate the feeling of being watched in department stores on security cameras. I've never stolen a thing, but I feel like Big Brother is always there behind me.

    I am an adult and a professional with a license and would appreciate not being spied on throughout my workday. I do my job and I have nothing to hide, but I would refuse to go back to any case where the family wants to watch me in secret. I want to be able to eat my lunch, scratch my boob or pick my wedgie without feeling spying eyes on me. Families check on me occasionally by sticking their heads in the room at any time without warning, and that's perfectly acceptable to me. I had one case once where the camera was angled towards the baby in the crib facing away from where I sat and that didn't bother me. I don't mind an extra set of eyeballs on the baby.

    You were interested in another nurse's POV, so this was mine! If I'm misunderstanding the situation, I'm sorry. But just going on what you wrote, if I were a nurse in your home I would probably not stick around, no matter how nice and understanding you are. I simply would never feel comfortable or welcome. Just my two cents. That said, put the camera away or angle it differently, and I'd be the best nurse you ever had. Pour me some of that coffee!
    Last edit by CloudySue on Jan 17, '13
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    I can understand occasionally closing eyes or nodding off. However, actively sleeping on the job for extended periods is dangerously unsafe. What's the point of paying someone to care for a child if they are irresponsible? Too bad if they're tired. Don't work the night shift then. You aren't paying someone to sleep.
    tnmarie, KelRN215, CloudySue, and 1 other like this.
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    It is hard to staff cases with cameras in general. Pretty sure my current case has a camera and I really don't care. My case is also working for a nurse. Really don't care about that either. I'm a night nurse and I don't sleep on the job. I pace, drink 5 hour energy, do what I have to do to stay awake. Sleeping is unacceptable but I've known a lot of nurses who don't feel like it is (for whatever reason).

    I actually LOST a case because I refused to "just go into the back room and sleep"! It hurt my wallet bad, but I sure sleep like a baby (in the daytime, lol).

    I've lost several cases because they were dropped d/t being unable to keep them staffed. Seems to be a common thing. It's a shame.

    Quote from lauriefulcher
    I am trying to go independent because my patient needs more hours and my company will not give her over 30 hours nad she needs more care but I can't seem to find any information on it...
    Just a few of quick thoughts on this:

    1. Usually companies give nursing hours based on what insurance approves. If you did take on hours above that, the family would have to pay you privately and that could get complicated/messy.

    2. Most companies have strict policies against working for patients that you work(ed) for while on their staff. Even if you were to go independent, you most likely couldn't take that case (usually for a set amount of time AFTER leaving your company).

    3. I worked as an independent contractor and it was terrible. Taxes were a headache so I took it to H&R block and they screwed them up. I ended up owing the IRS thousands from my year as an independent contractor. I wouldn't recommend it and certainly would never do it again.
    Last edit by tnmarie on Jan 17, '13 : Reason: clarification
    uRNmyway, KelRN215, kiyasmom, and 1 other like this.
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    Thank you for your reply! (Everyone else too!) We don't have the camera for the nurses, we have the video baby monitors because all of the foster children placed with us are MWO (maximum watchful oversight). The cameras are provided by the foster care agency due to issues in the past three placements. I can't really get into it, but it has zero to do with trusting the nurses and everything to do with the placement contract I signed with my private agency and the county social workers. As I mentioned, the nurse has access to the other monitor to use when not in direct contact with the children; we keep one in our room and one downstairs so it's not to watch the nurses- it's to watch the children, only. The sibling has a baby monitor in their room as well, so it's a total of 4. Not just in Gem's room. I understand how that can make people uncomfortable, but there is very little I can do to change the situation; I simply have to pray people are sent into my home understand the reasons for the monitor and know that we aren't sitting there staring at the monitor, hoping to "catch" someone.
    tnmarie likes this.
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    I actually like camera cases. So long as its out in the open and the camera records to a video or drive, and not just feed into a monitor. I DON'T like cases that hide nanny cams. I have worked privet security, I will find them, and then I will leave. Public cameras prevent issues, and abuse. They are in impartial whitness. Hidden cameras are a gotcha game and do nothing to stop issues before they occurr. Sorry for the thread hijack.
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    Quote from big al lpn
    I actually like camera cases. So long as its out in the open and the camera records to a video or drive, and not just feed into a monitor. I DON'T like cases that hide nanny cams. I have worked privet security, I will find them, and then I will leave. Public cameras prevent issues, and abuse. They are in impartial whitness. Hidden cameras are a gotcha game and do nothing to stop issues before they occurr. Sorry for the thread hijack.
    I agree. I feel like the [overt] camera protects good nurses from false accusations and it protects patients from bad nurses. Win-win, IMO.
    MamaBearTo3 and kiyasmom like this.
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    Hello Kiyasmom, we are also foster/adoptive parents. You did not over-react at all. By not reporting her the first two times, the agency had no idea this was an issue. You could certainly file a complaint against the agency that they are being unreasonable and condoning sleeping on the job. As far as leaving you in the lurch, a phone call from the social worker mentioning how they are abandoning your case might go a long way to get them to fulfill their end of the contract.

    You can also check on the tracheostomy.com boards or FB page for other PDN recommendations by parents in your area. I don't post on there but I do read it and there are several foster and adoptive parents.
    kiyasmom and poppycat like this.
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    I'm another nurse who's going to tell you that you did not overreact. I'm shocked at how nice you were to this nurse! I can appreciate that, having dealt with some very difficult parents. I'm appalled that she laid down on the floor. That's just strange.
    kiyasmom and poppycat like this.
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    I've worked Home Health for several years and have lost track of the number of times I've had to awaken overnight nurses I was relieving in the morning. I mean awaken by shaking their chair or shoulders for a minute. It happens all the time. Where I work, CNAs going to nursing school are often given cherry assignments so they can study and sleep overnight during their shift. I have never fallen asleep on shift and I agree with your actions.

    But I want you to expect nurses and CNA's in Home Health to sleep during their shift. It's totally against the rules but happens every day. It's only wrong when you report it to the agency and most agencies will react the same way this one did.
    kiyasmom likes this.
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    Having been a night shift PDN in the past - I don't feel you over-reacted at all.
    I have inadvertently nodded off on a case, and it scared the bejeebers out of me. I had to give up a case where the parents wanted me to sit in a darkened bedroom with their sleeping child ALL NIGHT LONG - it is virtually impossible to stay awake (I ended up standing up most of the night).
    Not saying this is the case with you, but some parents are so totally unrealistic about the conditions they force the nurse to work under (sit in the dark and stay awake, no shoes, turning the heat down to 50 overnight etc....) that it makes me wonder at times about how OSHA regulations apply to home care nurses.


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