Published Apr 5, 2009
You are reading page 2 of would you do a home care shift in an unsafe area at night?
I wonder if any of the agencies I know of actually provide security for the nurse, especially for one that is going to remain in a home for an entire shift.
I would refuse to take the assignment because I owe it to myself to be safe, and what DeeAngel said is true...many people need home care, but, unfortunately, that does not have to mean that nurses and HHAs have to compromise their safety to provide it. I feel for those patients, believe me. I also feel for me.
I had an arrangement once to go to a home to be trained how to give vent care because my agency was filled with these sorts of cases and I am a clinic nurse with no experience. I was supposed to meet the nurse in that home to learn. I went there and saw it was not a safe situation...in fact, it seemed that this family sold drugs, so I promptly left. No regrets there, believe me.
My agency treated me as if I was the guilty party, instead of the persons who assaulted me. I no longer work for that agency. I would never divulge info on whether I am carrying a weapon for self defense. That is one of the quickest ways to become unemployed. As I said before, the employer doesn't care about the nurse.
It is extremely difficult to have control when you are in the atmosphere of the client. No one to really call for assistance, the client has the advantage of knowing the layout of the house, and essentially, we can be prisoners in the place of work if we are not careful. I am glad that you got out of the situation.
I don't think you should work anywhere that feels unsafe to you.
I guess, since the woman got mad, you were out of line by her standards. Don't let it disturb you, though, as the Pimp Productions thing certainly threw you off balance.
Bottom line - just work where you feel safe - if you can get enough work when being selective.
Home Health agencies are required by law to supply security guards when sending nurses or anyone else to dangerous neighborhoods, at any time of day or night; and they could lose their license if they don't. If everyone refused to go without security, the agencies would stop trying to get someone out there without a guard. They and all their employees need an inservice about standards to keep in situatiuons like that. Like locking outer doors, once you're in.
Years ago I was sent to assess (not do a shift) a baby in an area I'd had a friend I visited long before that. So I really didn't think twice about taking the case in daylight. Hardly a block into the area, a police car had its colored lights revolving behind me, and I tried to think what I'd done. The officer really didn't want to leave his car, nor did I, so it was a standoff/ sitoff, at first. I guess he tossed a coin with his partner, and the one who lost, came to my car.
He asked what on earth I was doing there (I'm caucasion and the neighborhood wasn't). Those days were pre Hippa, and I showed him the outside of the file, and said, "I have a patient to see, a sick baby". He replied, "Doesn't that agency like you?", and said he'd follow me there, and I should get the family to take me to my car after the visit. Then he pointed in one direction and said, "There's a gang there", pointed in another direction, saying "and there's another one there, spoiling for a fight. Don't come back!" It wasn't even a "project'!
None of us challenged our assignments (and we all had read the regulation about having security with us in predictably dangerous situations) ! No one was shot, molested or died by some miracle, but we all tried to get out of going to places where we could be.
The agency had never called, and didn't know how to get a security guard. The supervisor would con us saying, "That's really not so bad a place........." So I got to examine babies in unfurnished "crack" houses, on stone floors, interrupted drug deals on front porches, and didn't get my heart out of my throat until I was back at the office.
They wondered why their staff turnover was as high as it was.
My agencies don't even follow the laws regarding the payment of overtime. When I've inquired about escorts, they looked at me as if I was crazy and told me they wouldn't do that. Never heard about any laws concerning escorts in my state. We all know there are no criminals or gangs in Cali.
Yes we have Gangs and Criminals in SoCal, just like everywhere else in this country. Do I carry a weapon most of the time yes. Maybe I will be able to help an innocent in danger some time.
But when it comes to work, there is one rule in life. I do not work where I am not safe. I may be young, but life has too much to offer me without taking risks with little regard for myself. So no I do not work in unsafe environments
I agree with carrying a weapon. But one of the rules of carrying a weapon is to avoid a situation all together when carrying the weapon (unless your the Police or Military). I would STRESS the importance of having an armed guard with you also being armed.
Most of the time if you lay low and mind your business you will be okay. I would also carry Mace (Pepper Spray) along with a fire arm.
I agree with carrying a weapon. But one of the rules of carrying a weapon is to avoid a situation all together when carrying the weapon (unless your the Police or Military). I would STRESS the importance of having an armed guard with you also being armed.Most of the time if you lay low and mind your business you will be okay. I would also carry Mace (Pepper Spray) along with a fire arm.
I hope to hear that there are agencies that provide security, but I don't see it as such. If they exist, then, that is perfect. Also, having security with you means nothing if they are not armed, because then, there will be two victims at the barrel of a gun. The security person has just as much right to want to go home in one piece as the nurse.
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