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Awkward

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KalipsoRed21 is a BSN and specializes in Currently: Home Health.

4,693 Profile Views; 234 Posts

So I do Home Health. Aside from the stupidity of the ginormous amount of paper work that makes a 35 hour week regularly 50, I like my job. Frankly the amount of time nursing saps from my life is my biggest complaint about being a nurse. I wish that the nursing field was more schedule flexible....it claims to be as such but it is not.

 

Okay side tract. I manage the care of about 20 patients. Some are very long term ( had them a year) some are shorter (weeks if they do really well). I love my patients...even the jerks. I work really hard to keep them at home, to make sure they are at least trying to do what they are suppose to, to advocate for them with their physicians and work with their families. I enjoy this part of my job a great deal. But I’m really wigged out by the lack of boundaries some of my patients have.

I realize that a nurse coming in to one’s home is a rather intimate relationship. But boundaries are so hard to keep clear in healthcare as it is. Like patients want you to be their friend, they want to feel you know and understand them, and they want to feel like you care. I can’t particularly fake any of those feelings so I usually connect well with people because of it. However, recently, after trying for many years, I finally got pregnant. I am truly excited to be a mom and as I can’t hide the fact anymore I have shared with my patients my pregnancy....mostly to prepare them for my maternity leave. 
I have now had one patient ask me when she is going to see my baby. I assured her I would share pictures when I returned to work. You would have thought I slapped her in the face with the look she gave me and then stated, “ You aren’t going to bring the baby here so I can meet her?” I backed out of that as gracefully as I could. But then I had another patient ask me, “My daughter and I were planning on coming to the baby shower, when is it?” There have been a few other incidents like this with 2 other patients.

I’m sorry, I really do care about these people, but what????? My mother claims that this is no different than co-workers wanting to be at a baby shower and that I’m being rude because I’m not willing to invite my patients in to my personal life. I really beg to differ. And I think most other people in my profession can see that these patients are crossing the line and that I apparently need to back off the friendliness of our interactions and be more professional. But it is sooooooo very hard to do that when even my own mother expects that nurses should care about their patients so much that she is admonishing me for not allowing them in to my life more.

Anyone else have this issue with not just their patients...but their family members as well?

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

3 Followers; 1 Article; 1,255 Posts; 18,148 Profile Views

Yeah, no, you are completely right. Set your boundaries, stand your ground. Their expectations are completely unreasonable (I seriously can’t believe that someone would expect you to bring your baby to a home health assignment. Ummm wut???) If you did actually do any of these things, you’d be crossing some serious professional boundaries.

All you can do is precisely what you’ve done: graciously decline and change the subject. Maybe try to bring up agency policy (i.e. ‘that sounds lovely, but I could get fired.’) If your mom gives you any more trouble, we’re here whenever you need to vent.

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9 Posts; 1,082 Profile Views

I would say something like "That would be absolutely lovely but, I don't want to lose you as a client.  The agency frowns upon stuff like this.  Crazy I know but I see their reasoning. "  

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Orion81RN has 7 years experience.

863 Posts; 8,631 Profile Views

That's just crazy. I don't have any advice, just wanted to give you support so you know we understand and agree with you. Is your mom a nurse? 

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Orion81RN has 7 years experience.

863 Posts; 8,631 Profile Views

Crazy. I just gave this scenario to both my parents and grandma (60's and 80 yr old, and my mom is a nurse who has done home health!) and they each said that yes. They would think the nurse would bring the baby to meet him/her 🤯 So then I said, "Ok, so this nurse has 20 other patients and is just as friendly with them as they are with you. Do you expect this nurse to bring the baby to everyone? They said no. Wow. Just wow. I feel like this boils down to people truly think they are more special than other people. Just like in a hospital/ltc they think they are the only patient. My mind is just blown. I'm so disappointed in my parents pov.

Edited by Orion81RN

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KalipsoRed21 is a BSN and specializes in Currently: Home Health.

234 Posts; 4,693 Profile Views

4 hours ago, Orion81RN said:

That's just crazy. I don't have any advice, just wanted to give you support so you know we understand and agree with you. Is your mom a nurse? 

 

Thanks for the support. No I am the only medical person in my family.

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

12 Followers; 3,503 Posts; 36,056 Profile Views

Your situation actually made me laugh, even though I know it is not the least bit funny.  It is not customary for nurses to bring their babies to work, even on Bring Your Child to Work Day.

One thing:  you know you're doing something right when your patients want to be that close to you.  But you're right; their lack of boundaries is alarming.  If I was your patient, I would probably give you a small baby gift when you're at my house.  Not ask to attend a shower or receive a visit from the baby.

Is it possible to request a new group of patients when you return from mat leave?  It sounds like it's time to break their attachment to you before it gets any worse.  Good luck and congratulations on your upcoming new arrival.

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