Vent- Client's Mom Stabbed Me in the Back (not literally)

  1. I've been an RN for 5 years, and I've worked Private Duty through an agency for 3. The agency pays badly, but otherwise treats the nurses very well. Lately, things have been getting strained. My office has a new director, our expensive health insurance got even more expensive (I pay $800/month for 2 people), and overtime was eliminated in July. My hours were repeatedly cut, to the point where I worked 10.5 hours one week.

    I was called to the office for a meeting last week. Apparently, one client's mother wants me off the case because I was late (3 or 4 times, but fair enough), I wasn't diapering her daughter correctly, and I don't interact enough with her daughter. The daughter is 16, with a mental age of about 18 months. I'd worked with the daughter before, when she was in foster care, but she'd been living with Mom for about 3 months. Mom and her live-in girlfriend aren't getting along, and I do my best to stay out of their way.

    What infuriates me is that Mom never said a word to me about her concerns, even though I've been working in her home for 3 months. She waited until my boss stopped by for a supervisory visit, and told her. I had no idea she was so unhappy until the meeting. If Mom was so unhappy with her daughter's care, why not tell me?

    I'm still on the case until they find a new nurse, however long that takes. I've also picked up a new client. Not only is it a 90-minute drive one way, it's a peds case. I've had 2 peds cases not work out this year, so I'm not optimistic about this one. I'm also not very good at walking up at 5am. I've been looking for a new job (I even had an interview last week), but I'm also pregnant (due in April), so I'm not really in a position to start a new job. My other options are the hospital (which wants BSNs), the VNA (which also wants BSNs), and LTC (which I am NEVER doing again).

    If I'd known 5 years ago that things would turn out this way, I would've put my license in a drawer and let it expire.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   SDALPN
    Quote from Not_A_Hat_Person
    I've been an RN for 5 years, and I've worked Private Duty through an agency for 3. The agency pays badly, but otherwise treats the nurses very well. Lately, things have been getting strained. My office has a new director, our expensive health insurance got even more expensive (I pay $800/month for 2 people), and overtime was eliminated in July. My hours were repeatedly cut, to the point where I worked 10.5 hours one week.

    I was called to the office for a meeting last week. Apparently, one client's mother wants me off the case because I was late (3 or 4 times, but fair enough), I wasn't diapering her daughter correctly, and I don't interact enough with her daughter. The daughter is 16, with a mental age of about 18 months. I'd worked with the daughter before, when she was in foster care, but she'd been living with Mom for about 3 months. Mom and her live-in girlfriend aren't getting along, and I do my best to stay out of their way.

    What infuriates me is that Mom never said a word to me about her concerns, even though I've been working in her home for 3 months. She waited until my boss stopped by for a supervisory visit, and told her. I had no idea she was so unhappy until the meeting. If Mom was so unhappy with her daughter's care, why not tell me?

    I'm still on the case until they find a new nurse, however long that takes. I've also picked up a new client. Not only is it a 90-minute drive one way, it's a peds case. I've had 2 peds cases not work out this year, so I'm not optimistic about this one. I'm also not very good at walking up at 5am. I've been looking for a new job (I even had an interview last week), but I'm also pregnant (due in April), so I'm not really in a position to start a new job. My other options are the hospital (which wants BSNs), the VNA (which also wants BSNs), and LTC (which I am NEVER doing again).

    If I'd known 5 years ago that things would turn out this way, I would've put my license in a drawer and let it expire.
    I'm not sure what to say. I've been I'm a similar situation minus being pregnant a few times with PDN. It would be wonderful if the parents would give us feedback. But they expect us to read their minds. Then when they aren't happy, they complain to the boss instead of coming to us and saying they would like us to work on something or do something different.

    Sounds like it would be best to change agencies or to add another agency so you can keep work. Or try a temp job/agency until the baby comes. Its flu clinic season which could be extra cash too.

    Good luck!
  4. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    My flu clinic job fell through. I signed up in June, scheduled a few clinics, then got an e-mail 2 weeks ago that the schedule was on hold. I think the company closed. I signed up with Summit Health, which is doing clinics at Wal*Mart, but I got no response.
  5. by   SDALPN
    Maxim does clinics (but I know that's an ugly m word). And I've seen a few ads on craigslist for some one day clinics in my area paying as much as $30/hr for LPN...RN might be higher.

    I hope one day a union is created for PDN or that there is a better way created to give good care without the families creating so many problems.
    Last edit by DidiRN on Sep 30, '13
  6. by   OrganizedChaos
    I know how you feel, I created a thread about being fired/let go from a case. I'll sum it up.

    I'm on a new case, I got 2 hours of orientation. I'm not new to PDN, I've been doing it on & off for 3 years. But every case was different. This case didn't seem that hard, the patient only had a GT (but he is on continuous oxygen & desats a lot & needs a lot of sx'ing). Anyway, on my first day by myself the foster mother was always in the room & hovering over me. The shift seemed to go ok. Then the next shift which was days later. I worked it but at the end of the shift the conversation with the mother & I seemed weird, like she didn't seem happy. I got a call the next day that the foster mother didn't want me back because my nursing skills aren't up to par. I was irritated but I had to move on.

    I haven't been rescheduled to any other clients & have been looking for other full time jobs. It's hard working PDN but I really have loved it, but sometimes the people in the office suck.

    I hope things work out for you.
  7. by   SDALPN
    Interesting. I'm talking to a plasma center now...depends on if they will pay me what I'm worth. Maybe you could try a plasma center. I'm surprised mollen is having trouble. What next? Medicare shuts down PDN and sends the pts to nursing homes?
  8. by   NyteshiftLVN
    I've had the same thing happen to me, I know the feeling. It also creates a very sour work environment. It seems sometimes they are never happy and I've been chalking it up to trying to deal with the loss of the image they had before "the event" whatever it may be that happened to their child. I also felt very betrayed and now am being added to another case so maybe I have one foot out the door and one still in. A 90 minute drive is pretty far, not sure if I wouldn't start a new job, but yeah being pregnant I think they have you in a catch 22. They know you can't get fmla at another job.
  9. by   ventmommy
    I thought about this original post and what bothers me is that you are still on the case until they find someone else. Either your skills suck and the parents don't want you back or they are good enough to get the job done but, logically (in my opinion), you wouldn't have someone with sucky skills come back.

    I've never asked the agency to replace a nurse but keep having him/her come until there was a replacement. If I said you had to go it was for a legitimate reason and you didn't get to come back.
  10. by   nekozuki
    Ugh, I was removed from a case once, but neither myself or the agency could ever find out why! The family was from Ghana, and only one person in the house spoke English. The Grandma shooed me away from the door when I showed up one day, yelling "You no work here! We call!" Agency had no clue what was going on, no one was ever able to get into contact with the english speaker to figure out what happened (eventually they sent out another nurse, no idea what became of the case)...and the weird thing is, Mom was always begging me to pick up days and calling the company to request me. If I wasn't a fit, that would be totally cool, but I just wish I knew what happened! It came out of nowhere!

    Confrontation is scary, but I'm glad most parents I've dealt with take another route and just stick notes on things. It may not be ideal, but I appreciate any measure that doesn't involve going over my head and blind-siding me. I'm not perfect, but a chance to explain my motivations or fix an issue is awesome.
  11. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    I have to wonder if Mom's girlfriend is behind this. Her kids are grown, and she'd never lived with Daughter full-time (she stayed with them every other weekend when she was in foster care). Girlfriend doesn't seem to understand that daughter will never "grow out" of a lot of infant-level behaviors. Mom lost her job just after daughter moved in, and they're having severe financial problems.

    When I'm around, Girlfriend is always on the phone, either outside or in her bedroom. I think she just doesn't want me around. In that case, tell me and I'll go. If they don't want me, they can't have me.
  12. by   MomaNurse
    [SIZE=4][SIZE=3]
    Quote from Not_A_Hat_Person
    I have to wonder if Mom's girlfriend is behind this. Her kids are grown, and she'd never lived with Daughter full-time (she stayed with them every other weekend when she was in foster care). Girlfriend doesn't seem to understand that daughter will never "grow out" of a lot of infant-level behaviors. Mom lost her job just after daughter moved in, and they're having severe financial problems.
    Don't forget you're pregnant and mom has an 18month old stuck in a 16 year olds body. Girlfriend might get more than you think. Be careful, good luck!
  13. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    I'm not showing yet, and I haven't told her. The other nurse on the case had a baby last year, though Daughter wasn't living with Mom then.
  14. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    I had an unrelated meeting with my boss today. It's official; Mom likes me, but Girlfriend hates me. Unfortunately, since Mom found a job and Girlfriend is now unemployed, Girlfriend is home most of the time. The agency won't pull me only because they can't find another nurse to staff the case. Fortunately, a different case may be opening up soon. If I can get scheduled there, I'm getting off of this case. If they don't want me, they can't have me.

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