Getting too involved

Specialties Home Health


One of the hardest things about hh in my opinion is getting too involved with the patients. I make a very conscious effort to not, but sometimes one just sneaks in.

I had a pt with complicated wd care (diabetic, surgical deb., no c/g, dirty home, etc.) I had a c/g to teach at first but he ran her off in tears one day. I made daily visits until we could get him into the NH which I had to drive him to b/c of his 7 children only one has anything to do with him and she lives 3k miles away.

He was very active prior to this and lived ind. He only wanted to get better so he could get back to his life and really didn't want to go to NH for skilled care. His big concern was his dogs. 17....yes 17, and who would feed them. He lives in same comm. as me, very rural mountain comm. and had absolutely no friends who would help.

Despite knowing better, I agreed to feed his dogs for him. Well, for the past month I have been driving 6 miles one way out of my way to his house to feed his dogs, get his mail and bring it to him at NH several times a week. Needless to say, the money he gave me for dog food ran out several weeks ago and it has been coming out of my pocket. Add to this the fact that I drive on average of 700 miles a week, am taking 17 credits at college, working part time, have 2 children and a husband.

I called his daughter today to let her know that she needed to make some arrangements for her dad's mail, dog feeding plus electric bills, etc. that will need to be paid soon. I feel as if a big weight has been lifted from me, but a part of me feels badly.

I suppose it's a nurse's curse. What makes us good nurses also makes us easy targets in a sense. I feel like I have gone above and beyond for a month now and I just can't do it all.

Did I do the right thing? Have any of you ever been in these positions before?

Thanks, I had to let it out.


Erin RN

396 Posts

I Have...when I did disease mgmt with medicaid folks one of my pts asked me for $$ since she did not have any. I had to tell her , "no" and I felt horrible but it is a slippery slope as you are now involved in.

I am suprised you are allowed to drive him anywhere. When I did HH, disease mgmt and now with work comp it was made quite clear that, that was a big no no. One of my friends worked for another HH co and one of the RNs gave the pt a ride to the MD. They got in a minor fender bender..the pt sued not only her but her employer and this was apparently on of her "favorite" pts which is why she was doing the favor in the first place.

Be careful...not everyone has your empathy and some of these individuals may take advantage of the situation..:) Erin

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

I think this had helped you learn a lesson. Caring as we are we need to let this type of thing go to a family member/neighbor or such. You just cannot save the world even though we nurses want to.

Hugs for being so kind though.



328 Posts

We don't normally transport patients, but have from time to time. I was asked to do so this time because he literally had nobody to take him 25 miles away to nearest nh. I was "on the clock" during transport and all was well documented. I know that there could have been some potential problems but I felt I was pretty well covered.

I have been an RN for 10 years now with the last 3 in home health. I do try to distance myself but sometimes it's really hard to do and I find that I have to learn the same lesson over about every year or two.


This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X