too hot in the home - page 3

by tjmschet

4,275 Views | 26 Comments

I am a new LPN working full time nights in a home where none of the windows open. There is no fresh air in the home. The patient is a pediatric client with CP. The bedroom is very hot and stuffy. Should I say something to my... Read More


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    I'm with a national agency and they don't provide us with the answers to the questionnaire if they give one to the parents. But I don't know that they give one to the parents. When I was with PSA a few years ago, they didn't. I've suggested it multiple times to supervisors. It would really help myself and other nurses before we go in to a home. I almost always walk in blind unless a supervisor chooses to give me info. Then I ask the parents what their preferences are and usually get an answer along the lines of "I don't know". Basic rules of the home and home environment should be discussed prior to going to the home.
    I agree there needs to be a parent training program. These agencies just want the money and tell the parents whatever they want to hear. The agencies know the parent is wrong and allow the parent to continue and punish the nurse instead. (yes I know nurses can be wrong and parents can be right). The agencies would rather go through lots of nurses til one fits the family than correct the families behavior so that more nurses would be a fit for the home.
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    I work for a national agency, and the admission packet includes a list of things the families should provide for the nurse (ex. a chair and a small lamp). They also let the parents know that night shift nurses are allowed to use laptops.
    systoly likes this.
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    Ventmommy,

    Seriously, they can't use the bathroom? I never worked home health and I salute all of you that do.
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    That's what our nurse said and I have no reason to not believe her. She left after she got a UTI. She works for two agencies - the one I use and the other national one with a really poor reputation. That case was from the national agency.

    Quote from Rodoon
    Ventmommy,

    Seriously, they can't use the bathroom? I never worked home health and I salute all of you that do.
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    I've only been doing PDN for three months and I get there is a huge difference between family keeps home too hot/cold for what is uncomfortable to me and when family keeps it too hot/cold for the patient. If I have to wear shorts, a tank top, and flip-flops because family keeps their housing costs down by making it 80 degrees in the house...fine. Perk of the job, right? When I'm home alone with a kiddo and it's easily 95+ degrees in the home, we're both sweating uncomfortably even with a fan right on us...no, it's not a matter of "oh the family needs it as such and such blah blah blah save money." Of course they're saving money -- because they aren't home, so it's not necessary to feel comfortable despite the fact that they might have a disabled child and nurse there while they're away.

    Seriously, most people aren't that dumb. We know the difference between "oh, that's hot" and "oh, that's too hot." (Or cold.)
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
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    Quote from Not_A_Hat_Person
    I work for a national agency, and the admission packet includes a list of things the families should provide for the nurse (ex. a chair and a small lamp). They also let the parents know that night shift nurses are allowed to use laptops.
    Lucky ducky!

    We aren't technically allowed to use any electronic devices. That includes cellphones. By company policy. Most parents are great for us night shifters -- we get a chair, a lamp, a television. Most of the ones with long-term nightshift nurses are like "you can nap, too" just turn up the alarms. (Not that I ever could imagine napping.) Cellphones and laptops are fine. But I've heard horror stories about certain families where the night shift nurse is shown to the basement with nothing more than the kiddo and a folding chair.
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    Quote from tothepointeLVN
    Your not a "guest" you are an employee ( not of the family ) that is working on behalf of the family. I think lines get seriously blurred. You are still entitled to a comfortable work environment free of hazards.

    I don't think we should be encouraging each other to lower the standards for how private duty nurses are treated. Last time I checked I was a college education, licensed professional not a serif.
    Quote from ventmommy
    I am here, tothepointeLVN! I have been watching this thread to see the nursing perspective on family rights vs. workplace conditions.

    Yes, people can tolerate different things. I don't like sleeping in temps above 69F. I don't like existing in temps above 72F. Is my son's room warmer than the rest of the house? Absolutely! There is a ventilator, an air-filled pressure relieving mattress that is electric, an oxygen compressor that puts out a ton of heat, a water-filled electric-powered heating pad and about a dozen more things that use electricity for him. Not to mention the things that my hubby and I plug in like laptops. And also, we and our nurses like to see, so there is always a light on. Is the room uncomfortably warm? Absolutely not. There is a thermometer in his room. He does not have good self-regulation of his body temperature so we, and our nurses, are very careful.

    The house that the OP works in sounds WAAAAAAAY too hot for anyone. I don't see why a nurse would not be allowed to inquire about cooling measures. Most DSS agencies have some sort of cooling program in the summer where someone can get a free window A/C. And many electric companies have special programs for low income people and for medically fragile people.

    To the nurses that allow themselves to be abused, don't! It's just wrong. I hate hearing about some of the other cases our nurses are on. We have nurses that must sit in the dark, or on the floor, or can't use the bathroom. We have one nurse that is PHYSICALLY abused by the patient and the parents do nothing to discipline the child and the nurse takes the abuse.

    If the house is so hot or so cold as to have the potential to cause an environmental emergency, speak up. Maybe the parents don't know that there are financial resources out there. Maybe they are scared or embarrassed to ask for help. Your voice might be the only one that speaks up for that child.
    Vent mommy just want to say I love all your posts.

    I agree, enough of this "we're a guest in the home." Guests don't get paid and guests don't keep your precious fragile babies alive. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate every thing parents do that's nice and kind. But this whole guest thing is ludicrous.

    Quote from Rodoon
    Ventmommy,

    Seriously, they can't use the bathroom? I never worked home health and I salute all of you that do.
    Well. I was conversing with my patient's mom, swapping stories. She said one of her regular nurses had left a case for this very reason. The nurse inquired as to the location of the restroom.

    The parents said, "oh, we're sorry, there is no public restroom."

    So the nurse asked "What do I do, hold it for 8 hours?"

    The family stated to hold it, or go right before work and not drink water. Then they graciously offered, with a straight face, to provide adult diapers as an alternative option to holding it.

    She called the agency and the director thought the adult diapers was a great idea.

    She ran out the door never to return.


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