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baby sitting primary after discharge

NICU   (2,398 Views 10 Comments)
by iHeartNICU iHeartNICU (Member) Member

iHeartNICU specializes in NICU.

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Hey guys, I have a questions. I have a primary, former 25 weeker who is looking at discharge around Christmas. The parents asked me the other day if I would be willing to baby sit their daughter every once and a while. Mom will not be working so she said it would only be so her and dad can get out of the house every so often. They said they felt more comfortable with somebody who had been around her and knew her rather than a baby sitter that they just hire. Honestly I would love to be able to see her and take care of her outside of the hospital but at the same time it scares me. I told the parents that I would think about it and talk to them next week. I know there are other people in my unit who do it but just wanted to get some opinions. Thanks in advance for any information!

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AnnieRN2B specializes in diabetes ed, cna ed.

12 Posts; 1,045 Profile Views

And if they ask you to tidy the kitchen... do a little laundry, before long you are their maid!

Are they going to pay you your current per diem, no? Didnt think so. Do you have your own malpractice insurance policy in case something does go wrong?

You might want to talk to your other co workers first, then have clear boundaries and a work contract so everone is clear as to what your role could be. If it's out of your scope of practice....Wont do it on a dare!

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2 Followers; 14,620 Posts; 103,884 Profile Views

I'm in a different specialty, but I would never pursue or maintain a relationship with a client/family outside/after the professional relationship in the hospital. Too many potential problems, too many boundary violations.

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Mags4711 has 21 years experience as a RN and specializes in Newborn ICU, Trauma ICU, Burn ICU, Peds.

266 Posts; 3,797 Profile Views

Many, many, many of my co-workers do it. Quite a few go to birthday parties and exchange cards and go to lunch together, too. I do not.

I feel like I'm putting them out of the nest and sending them off to fly, once they've been discharged, it's time for them to establish a life without me in it. I appreciate when they send Christmas cards to the unit and include updates and pictures. We have a reunion every summer and all graduates get invited back, so there are opportunities.

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NeoNurseTX is a RN and specializes in NICU Level III.

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I would love updates or Christmas cards from primarys' families but I don't think having a relationship with them outside of the hospital is a good idea.

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hikernurse has 8 years experience and specializes in NICU.

1,302 Posts; 10,082 Profile Views

I think seeing primaries after discharge is lovely--there are some I keep up with; it's hard not to love these little guys after caring for them for so long :redpinkhe.

I would be concerned about babysitting one of them. Since you're a NICU nurse, you would legally be held to a higher standard if something happened to the baby.

It's nice you want to do this, though. What a kind heart you have :).

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iHeartNICU specializes in NICU.

293 Posts; 4,694 Profile Views

And if they ask you to tidy the kitchen... do a little laundry, before long you are their maid!

Are they going to pay you your current per diem, no? Didnt think so. Do you have your own malpractice insurance policy in case something does go wrong?

You might want to talk to your other co workers first, then have clear boundaries and a work contract so everone is clear as to what your role could be. If it's out of your scope of practice....Wont do it on a dare!

Definitely not going to be their maid! They asked me to baby sit every once and a while, that's it. I'm not a pushover.....just someone who cares about a family and their situation. As far as them paying me my per diem amount, absolutely not. I wouldn't imagine of even asking to be payed at all. I would do it because I care about this child and her family....it's hard not to when you have taken care of someone's child for 3 months and cried with them, laughed with them, etc.

I do understand the liability issues since I am a RN in the NICU but does this mean I can never babysit another child in my life even if it's not a patient. I would imagine if anything happened to any baby I baby sat for the NICU RN card would be played. So, thinking of it that way, why does it matter if she was a patient of mine or my niece or a next door neighbor?

I'm thinking I will just tell them that while I would, I don't think it would be in their best interest. That they should find somebody else who they trust to care for her but that I would still love to get updates, pictures, maybe come to her b-day party if they would like.

Thanks again for the differening opinions, just wanted to see how everybody felt.

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BittyBabyGrower is a MSN, RN and specializes in NICU, PICU, educator.

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Babysitting an ex-patient is very different than babysitting say your niece. You have established a professional relationship with this family and yes, you are going to be held to a higher standard if something were to happen to this child under your care. And if you are babysitting this child and see the parents doing something wrong, how would you handle this? And if they ask you for advice, what would you do or say...they can turn around and say so and so told me it was fine when in fact you didn't tell them to do xyz. Also, if they were to give you a gift for watching the baby, that is considered payment and puts your liability higher.

We had a case go to court a few years ago and our risk management was not happy to find out that several of the staff members were going to the house to watch this child. We are told not to do this now. I know what it is like to care for a child for months, even a year, but you have to keep your relationship professional, which means leaving it at the hospital. We love for the kids to come and visit us at the hospital and get cards and pictures.

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

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You will need your own Liability Insurance if you do this, but it's pretty inexpensive and good to have anyway.

If I wanted to babysit I would do it, but I would also have a conversation making it clear that I'm not the nurse anymore, just a friend. So if you happen to give your opinion it's just that, and they are in charge of making decisions. Otherwise you'll always be weighing your words, and worrying about being quoted as a hospital employee.

You might want to just be buddies for a year before you commit to babysitting at all, just to let them get in a groove. Go over for coffee, go shopping, then after a year or so you're just a friend, not a nurse.

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TakingCareOfBabies specializes in NICU.

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I think that I would be very hesitant to do this.

If you decide you might want to, I think its very important to set very clear guidelines as to what your responsibilities are and to make it very very clear that you will be there as a babysitter... not a nurse. I think it is a good idea regardless to get your own personal insurance too.

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