What would you do if you had to launder a patient's night clothes?

  1. Hello to all Private Duty Staff. We as many others have a policy not to keep anything present that would create odors in the living areas.

    If you
    had to launder your patient's night clothes due to them being soiled during the night -- how would you handle it if -your own socks soaked up patient's urine (which leaked onto the floor before my shift). ? The question is: If we are not supposed to use any of client's supplies, or wash all of our laundry on assignment, then would it make sense to throw her urine soaked into my socks without an infraction from my agency? We aren't allowed to go barefooted so that was another thought.

    What would you do? Thanks!
  2. Visit Worky Quirky profile page

    About Worky Quirky

    Joined: Nov '12; Posts: 8; Likes: 1


  3. by   CloudySue
    If you can complete the cycle before the end of the shift, go ahead and wash them. Who's going to know? Otherwise rinse your socks well, tie your socks in a plastic bag and launder them at home.
  4. by   Flare
    i don't see the harm in tossing the socks that got soaked by patient's urine in with the patient's urine soaked nightgown. it's not like you're using extra soap, water or electricity. Like you said, you can't go bare footed and surely borrowing socks from a patient would be a big no-no, so i think if you don't have spares, laundering them with the patient's clothing is your best option.
  5. by   ventmommy
    Have you thought about an extra change of clothes in your bag? Our regular nurses kept a change of clothes in a bag in my son's closet. Personally, if my son peed on you and you needed a pair of socks, I would have let you borrow a pair of socks. Surely that's not overstepping bounds. And I would have had no issue with you throwing your socks in the wash with his clothes and bedding.
  6. by   Worky Quirky
    Thank you all for answering. Yes I normally carry extras in my car. It was my day off; I covered a last minute am shift for 2 hours, and again for night shift new client as a favor.

    Since it was a call-out, I didn't have my ordinary work bag except the basic paperwork (clean out car on weekend). Appreciate the compassion toward your caregivers ventmommy, and the logical answers Flare and CloudySue.

    The socks weren't yet dry & took patient's clean nightwear to quarters (shoes off this carpet). The cycle was done, however, after cleaning her restroom (normal and expected), I was exhausted from being up over 24 hours. BTW wiping bathroom shelves down was wrong also. Should have sat on my "chair" and done nothing but get patient up once.

    Family member arrived @ 7am, I needed to go, gave full report explaining night details, what leaked, why and how I fixed it. Family member stated aware of other issues and patient scheduled for Doctor visit that day or soon. My shoes were on & last thing I cared about were the socks -- only the patient.

    Family member had stated @ beginning of shift, it was the brother to begin with -- working with the foley. He hung it uphill, and did not clamp it properly, therefore the initial leak. The next family member assisted in cleaning the carpet & put a trash bag around it after I moved it properly. There was another spot apparently that my socks got soaked of which I mopped up -- note client's were aware needed professional cleaning already.

    Didn't think this foley issue "had to be reported," because family was handling the loved one's care prior to my arrival for night shift. I explained this in detail to family member in charge during the am report @ shift change.

    Unfortunately, I didn't know "washing my socks at the same time as the patient's soiled clothes" was doing anything wrong (in this case). We are hired as trustworthy caregivers who, independently need to make judgement calls depending upon circumstances.

    I would never bring bags of dirty clothes to their home to do on their dime. However, the family member thought, somehow whether suggested or not, to call our supervisors about doing personal laundry. It was not mentioned for a month, so I asked to be informed sooner to prevent further issues in order to avoid wrong doing. They didn't call me to ask about it when the client called, instead it was made into an official "complaint" of which the clients stated I was not to return.

    The end result was a harsh disciplinary action. Since it was a month later, I barely remembered the details when reporting for a positive type of meeting (which consisted of intense study, etc.)

    For anyone else reading this, I hope it gives a heads up as to how some don't give the benefit of the doubt. Thought Private Duty would involve much less stress! FYI anyone thinking of a switch.
  7. by   SDALPN
    Some families are so ridiculous. I love PDN when I have a reasonable family. But that sort of thing is so frustrating!! If it took a month for the complaint to get to you, it was probably the agnecy pulling you from the case and not the family's choice. If the agency is worried you may not be a good fit with a family, they will pull you before the family asks to keep from losing a case. They will tell you the family wanted you gone and will tell them family that the nurse decided to leave the case. I see it all the time. The politics played in this job are beyond anything I've ever seen in any other job!!
  8. by   sharpeimom
    When my husband is away for a few days, I have a home health aide because I am disabled. One day as she was leaving, she told me she might be slightly late the next day because her dryer had broken and repairs couldn't be made until later in the week. She had planned to go to the launromat first thing in the morning.

    That seemed silly to me and I suggested she bring them here and dry them here. No one would ever know and it seemed so much simpler. She did and it worked!

    If your socks had been dry by when you went home, I'd have done it. That sounds like an obnoxious family!
  9. by   CloudySue
    That sounds ridiculous. And not quite right. If I had a nurse taking care of my kid and by accident urine got everywhere and was stepped in, I'd feel so bad I'd buy her a new pair of socks! I don't know where some people are coming from. Sad.
  10. by   Worky Quirky
    Thank you SDA, LPN.

    You're right it is nice when families are considerate of both their loved ones and their caregivers.

    There is too much uncertainty to begin with -- coupled with the fact that whichever cases are given to whom, that ultimately any of the caseloads drop.

    But then, that is even uncertain, because who knows how many given cases are present now, yesterday or tomorrow? Nobody really knows, unless you are fortunate enough to be "in good" with the scheduling team. You know there are a few who know what is coming down the pike, it's just that there is some kind of relationship we may not know about?

    Your point about the proactive worry could be solved by their intuitions -- and that's a coaching issue which can be corrected in most cases.

    I agree with you... and I am glad to lay on my pillow with a clean conscience.
  11. by   Worky Quirky
    Thank you SharpeiMom. That is kindness at its best. How understanding and generous of you. The timeless rule of life: "give them what they want (or need), and they -- in turn will give you (even more of) what you want and need to you, a thoughtful person who is also a client." Hugs.
  12. by   ventmommy
    It just proves that so many sick children and adults are stuck with crappy families. How can anyone ever expect a nurse to want to do anything extra when the family can't extend common courtesy to the nurse?

    Just curious - I saw the family doesn't allow shoes. I didn't allow street shoes either but the nurses still had to wear something. Most of them brought Crocs or Croc knock-offs and left them at our house. I don't think our agency allowed bare feet and I don't think it's a good idea anyhow.
  13. by   Worky Quirky
    Quote from CloudySue
    That sounds ridiculous. And not quite right. If I had a nurse taking care of my kid and by accident urine got everywhere and was stepped in, I'd feel so bad I'd buy her a new pair of socks! I don't know where some people are coming from. Sad.
    Thanks again CloudySue; that is the most thoughtful and caring thing to do -- I sure wouldn't expect it and it would be a nice surprise.

    Appreciate your feedback! I am vindicated. Agreed Sue, I didn't think it sounded right at all either. Is this what the world is coming to? Actually is, pretty sad...

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