Accepting Gifts

  1. I was just reading another thread and saw someone say something along the lines of "I hope you didn't accept the gifts your patients offered you. that would be extremely unprofessional."

    huh? do you agree with this statement? If so, could you explain your reasoning to me? I would think it would be more rude to turn someone down...maybe as a student I'm just not aware, but if we're always doing what's best for every patient anyway, it's not like they can bribe us, is it? I guess I'm just confused here.
  2. Visit feralnostalgia profile page

    About feralnostalgia

    Joined: Jan '09; Posts: 184; Likes: 217
    from US


  3. by   chare
    Every facility in which I have worked had a policy regarding accepting gifts from patients. I have copied the following from my current employer’s Code of Conduct Handbook.

    Employees may accept small, low-cost items that are gestures of appreciation for the services provided to patients or families. Gifts from vendors may be accepted as long as their value does not exceed a nominal amount, occurs very infrequently, and is not provided with the intent of influencing decisions regarding ___ Health Care. Management has not defined “nominal” as a specific dollar amount. Rather, ___ Health Care management expects employees to use good judgment and discretion when accepting gift.
    Accepting a gift can create the appearance to other patients/families that that gift giver has or is receiving special consideration, or the gift giver might come to expect special consideration afterwards.

    On the rare occasions that a patient/family member has mentioned gifting, I have found that requesting that they instead make a donation to their favorite charity usually works.
    Last edit by chare on Oct 1, '09
  4. by   elkpark
    Yes, most facilities/agencies have a written policy against accepting gifts. You don't want clients to feel obligated, or concerned that they won't get the care they should if they don't "pony up," or create the impression that some people are "buying" special consideration.

    If someone really feels strongly about making a gift, you can always suggest that they provide something the entire staff (of the unit) can share, like candy, muffins, etc., or make a donation to the hospital auxiliary or foundation.
  5. by   feralnostalgia
    both wonderful suggestions =)

    I'm not a nurse yet and it was not at all unusual at either of my former full-time jobs for appreciative customers to drop by with donuts or to tip generously. I guess I've just never worked in a context it was inappropriate in before.
  6. by   elkpark
    Wait staff and hairdressers get tipped for their services -- nurses and other professionals don't.
  7. by   deleteaccount
    It is against professional practice to EVER accept a gift from a patient. When in doubt---don't do it. Look up Stark laws.
  8. by   Sarah Hay
    As students, we are forbidden to accept gifts per our clinical instructer.
  9. by   voraciousj
    The OP mentioned donuts...I don't think that accepting treats and snacks would be frowned upon.
  10. by   Nurturer3
    Gifts that family members/patients drop off such as food, bakery etc. is perfectly acceptable. But something of higher cost or something valuable is inappropriate and most facilities have codes of conduct in place to prevent this. It is not rude to decline a gift offered by a patient or their families.
  11. by   2BSure
    You can say that food items for everyone to share are OK but do you know how much a basket of muffins cost? Not really nominal.
  12. by   2BSure
    Quote from elkpark
    Wait staff and hairdressers get tipped for their services -- nurses and other professionals don't.
    Yep that is why we get the big bucks