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Home health nurse working as a maid?

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Hello! I hope everyone is safe during this his time.

My dilemma is I work for a small home health agency. I love the company and the hours, as it allow for me to study for my RN ( currently an Lpn).

Well one of my pt while she’s sweet and her family is OK. The things I experience there is starting to bother me. They have this motto as if your job is in my hands sort of thing. Like you have to do whatever, plus they down talk the other nurses which also upsets me. I tell them to let the manager know their concerns.

But these are some of the scenarios. My pt is 30, has a Trach but does everything else, smoke, drive, walk, can cook.. everything.

Somehow she doesn’t want to do anything. I make her bed and take out the trash for the whole house and will wash dishes occasionally.

She babysits her nephew who’s one. The baby will be up ( while my pt is sleeping) asking for food and drink. ( mind you I can’t eat while there because the baby and my pt begs for my lunch)

She will have her nieces and nephews over and they’ll make a mess, her and her family expects for me to clean up, vacuum and wash dishes.

The baby has a poopy diaper ( they expect for me to take it to the trash) they live in a apartment complex so it’s a walk.

If someone in the family is sick they bring them to me? For me to assess them. I ask them to f/u with their PCP.

Then my pt and her mom will talk about all of their financial issues in front of me.

My pt asked me to buy her $240 pair of shoes

$150 birthday cake.

shes always asking for things and to come to my home.

My pt is a lesbian I have nothing against LBGT.

but she makes comments like “ set me up with a girl like you” or sits to close to me and tries to touch my hand.

when family is over she’ll say things like it’s clothes in the dryer or things like she’s giving commands. Asks me to organize her closet and drawers.

Like I said it’s only two cases right now and both are full. What should I do? Am I being too harsh and over the top ?

Edited by mzsuccess

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

It sounds like your patient has boundary issues. You need to discuss with your manager, set boundaries that apply for all nurses from the agency providing care, and stick to them. If that doesn't work, then it may be time to find a new case and leave this one. The only one you should be providing care for is your patient.

3 minutes ago, Rose_Queen said:

It sounds like your patient has boundary issues. You need to discuss with your manager, set boundaries that apply for all nurses from the agency providing care, and stick to them. If that doesn't work, then it may be time to find a new case and leave this one. The only one you should be providing care for is your patient.

Thanks for responding!
It’s only one other case, which I have one day on. It’s also full, if I leave this case- I won’t have FT hours. But the manager ( the owner) agrees with them. She’s even told them she pays the most to her nurses in the area and we should be doing a lot more so there goes that.

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

Sometimes you have to choose between having money and being the professional that you are.

"Sitting close", touching, making suggestive remarks which make you uncomfortable - that's where I would draw a hard line while speaking with management even if the rest is not a problem. And if that doesn't work and you need to find a new case (or even a new job), so be it. You cannot afford to be involved into anything compromicing your professional integrity.

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 49 years experience.

Who's paying for this seemingly competent woman to have a nurse at her disposal? Why are you even there? Creepy situation.

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

WHOA!! Not good! Like PP subee asks, 'who's paying for her care'?

Put your concerns in writing to your agency manager or owner. You have no business doing care for anyone other than your pt and it sounds like it's unnec.

Anyone else thinking potential FRAUD? Sexual harassment?

Be prepared to make other work arrangements soon!

EDTA - you're an LPN. Are you sure you were hired as a NURSE and not home health aide or companion?? I just switched my home health services from CNA to a home companion who helps me with domestic tasks only. My agency was very clear on responsibilities.

Edited by amoLucia

2 hours ago, amoLucia said:

WHOA!! Not good! Like PP subee asks, 'who's paying for her care'?

Put your concerns in writing to your agency manager or owner. You have no business doing care for anyone other than your pt and it sounds like it's unnec.

Anyone else thinking potential FRAUD? Sexual harassment?

Be prepared to make other work arrangements soon!

EDTA - you're an LPN. Are you sure you were hired as a NURSE and not home health aide or companion?? I just switched my home health services from CNA to a home companion who helps me with domestic tasks only. My agency was very clear on responsibilities.

Excuse me? Just because I’m an Lpn you think those lines can easily get blurred. I am a nurse and was hired as a nurse. 🙄

3 hours ago, subee said:

Who's paying for this seemingly competent woman to have a nurse at her disposal? Why are you even there? Creepy situation.

Medicaid, like I said now I ask myself why am I there but it’s all I can do as of now to focus on school and being a mom. As soon as this pandemic is over I’m switching cases if one comes open and if not I’m leaving.

3 hours ago, KatieMI said:

Sometimes you have to choose between having money and being the professional that you are.

"Sitting close", touching, making suggestive remarks which make you uncomfortable - that's where I would draw a hard line while speaking with management even if the rest is not a problem. And if that doesn't work and you need to find a new case (or even a new job), so be it. You cannot afford to be involved into anything compromicing your professional integrity.

WOW!! I hate switching jobs but I will have to soon I know. It’s very uneasy going there. But truth of the matter is agency won’t protect me or back me up. Thanks!

44 minutes ago, mzsuccess said:

Excuse me? Just because I’m an Lpn you think those lines can easily get blurred. I am a nurse and was hired as a nurse. 🙄

There are nurses who work as companions or home health aides because they are desperate for work. It is entirely possible that your agency pitched your services to the client this way, especially since your manager talks the way you report. Your problem lies with your employer since they won’t support you working as a professional. You need to find other employment or make up your mind to put up with this.

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 33 years experience.

Moved to the Home Health forum

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Yep.. you are a maid... or a buddy, or whatever. You are not performing as a nurse. Medicaid is paying your salary and paying the agency big bucks as well. Whatever, during this crisis.. you have a job.

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 45 years experience.

4 hours ago, mzsuccess said:

Medicaid, like I said now I ask myself why am I there but it’s all I can do as of now to focus on school and being a mom. As soon as this pandemic is over I’m switching cases if one comes open and if not I’m leaving.

The way I interpreted the questions about why you're there it sounds like your patient doesn't have the limitations that would justify skilled nursing vs home health aide, unless they now pay nurses such a pittance the difference would be negligible, except if something goes wrong.

Then it won't matter if you do housework all day the way the law sees it.

Sorry there are so many unscrupulous agencies out there. Hope it all works out for you there.

22 minutes ago, nursel56 said:

The way I interpreted the questions about why you're there it sounds like your patient doesn't have the limitations that would justify skilled nursing vs home health aide, unless they now pay nurses such a pittance the difference would be negligible, except if something goes wrong.

Then it won't matter if you do housework all day the way the law sees it.

Sorry there are so many unscrupulous agencies out there. Hope it all works out for you there.

They have her down for skilled nursing. I guess because we are sitting much of the day it irks the pt and family. But I’m not going to be a maid, sometimes I completely ignore her demands. I also know that I have no grounds with the other nurses on the cases doing whatever the pt ask such of maid duties and an agency backing their request.

4 hours ago, caliotter3 said:

There are nurses who work as companions or home health aides because they are desperate for work. It is entirely possible that your agency pitched your services to the client this way, especially since your manager talks the way you report. Your problem lies with your employer since they won’t support you working as a professional. You need to find other employment or make up your mind to put up with this.

You’re absolutely correct. However, it says skilled nursing and she’s had nurses for 5 years now so I think she gets it. I think this pt tries to take advantage of the nurses a lot and like having ppl to boss around. She feels just because she has a nurse she doesn’t need to do things and the nurses are her arms and legs and it’s not happening to me. Like to ask a nurse to buy you sneakers for over $200 and a birthday cake for $100. I’m there for 12 hours and starving because the patient literally begs for my lunch and her nieces and nephews.

The client treats you this way because your employer encourages this behavior by not supporting you or previous nurses. Previous nurses either quietly walked away from this case and/or the employer or they were forced away from the employer after they spoke up for themselves. This is nothing new in extended care home health. Agencies get away with this because nurses will not stand up for themselves and demand respect. As long as there is one nurse who accepts their paycheck for being treated this way, the agency will continue to encourage and enable the client’s behavior.

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

8 hours ago, mzsuccess said:

Excuse me? Just because I’m an Lpn you think those lines can easily get blurred. I am a nurse and was hired as a nurse. 🙄

Once in my life, when I finally went home after over 2 months in ICU I had services of private duty LPNs. I made it very clear that I (with extreme politeness and additional pay) ask them to cook, clean, run basic errands and otherwise help with "non-nursing duties". No one of them refused and they literally saved my sanity at that really awful time.

I also asked them to buy groceries which, by their account, were improperly expensive or they had to idea what to do with them. When it was all over, the whole team thanked me for providing a free culinary arts course of a kind 🙂 And, of course, the fridge content was communal and free for everyone in my house 🙂

Edited by KatieMI