Help with Nursing Bag technique

  1. Does anybody know what is exatly the point of using a barrier underneath the bag when placed down in a patient's house? Is it to keep the patient's surroundings clean or is it to keep the bag clean? I am confused bc I just recieved a nursing bag from Hopkins with wheels and I am afraid to use the wheels as that will certainly make the bottom dirty. But if the barrier is used to keep the patients surrounding from getting dirty then I am safe for using the wheels. Please help, this bag is really heavy to carry on my shoulder.
    Thank you.
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    About Sana2007

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 29; Likes: 3

    12 Comments

  3. by   Kymmi
    Its been a few years since I have done home health however in my opinion the barrier is used for both reasons. Logically it will both keep the bag clean from the patients surroundings and it will also protect the patients surroundings from whatever your bag has been in contact with.
    When I did home health we had shoulder bags with our supplies however we did not carry all that much stuff so it wasnt that heavy. Basically all we carried was the barriers, hand santizier, soap and towels. Blood pressure cuff, thermometer, stethoscope, alcohol preps, a few syringes and limited dressing supplies and whatever supplies we needed to draw blood and gloves. Any thing else we needed was patient specific and it was already in the home or we took it in a separate bag and left it in the home. We had a car box that had extra supplies and supplies we might need but didnt need for every visit.
  4. by   caliotter3
    Same answer as previous post. I have never seen a nurse using correct bag technique in the home except for when I did home health visits with a preceptor during nursing school. But just because people don't follow good practices, doesn't mean we shouldn't use good practices.
  5. by   DKS3132
    Hi:

    I've been in homecare for about 11 years now. I have always used a shoulder bag until I started at my recent job where they offered me a bag on wheels because I was having shoulder pain from the heaviness of the bag.

    I agree with the last two posts that bag barriers are to keep your patient's home clean and to keep you from dragging something from one house to the next.

    I, too questioned how I could use the bag on wheels and still keep a clean bag. I opted against it.
    Instead I got a shoulder bag and then spent $20.00 at Target to buy one of those folding grocery carts.
    Now I can pull my bag without having it touch the ground or the floor of the patient's house.

    The other problem with the rolling bag is that you shouldn't put it up on a chair or table to get into it, which means a lot of deep knee bends during your day!

    Hope this helps.
  6. by   Sana2007
    Thank you DKS3132! Helped me tremendously. I indeed had the feeling that there was something not right using the wheeled bag. Thank you for the information.
  7. by   nursemarion
    We now are supposed to keep our bags inside a trash bag. It makes me feel strange keeping it in a trash bag, but I have been in homes with roaches before, so at least it makes me feel a little safer. Other places use newspaper, or even paper towels. I don't think that there is any perfect way to do things. Most of the nurses I work with leave almost everything in their cars and just carry a really small bag, then they run out to the car if they need anything.
  8. by   milrn59
    I have used both types of bags during my career...shoulder and rolling bags. The rolling bag was primarily for my computer and paperwork supplies and the shoulder bag for nursing necessities. I was able to keep the handle of the computer bag extended and slip the handle of my nursing bag over it to support and keep it in place on top of the computer bag. The downfall and concern I had was not so much in keeping my nursing bag clean, but the bottom of my rolling bag. With it being on wheels, it was easier to clean/sanitize than my nursing bag. The bottom of my rolling bag could be wiped down with a santicloth real quick before placing back in my car.

    While that sounds like a like to manuever in and out of homes, it actually was easier for me, as I could set my bags on top of each other to navigate from the car to the home and saved on my shoulders and back in the long run. Plus it gave me a free hand for other things.

    We recently underwent Joint Commission survey and one of the items the surveyor focused on was bag techique.
  9. by   HmarieD
    Just a funny story... once when we had State survey, I called one of my pts to schedule the visit for the next day & get permission for State to come and observe. I explained to her that we are supposed to use newspaper for a barrier and to please not act surprised when I did this the next day, as I usually did not use it unless the home was dirty.

    When the surveyor and I arrived, we were both surprised to see that to "help me out" she had already laid newspaper out ON EVERY FLAT SURFACE in the home. it covered her tables, furniture, bed, etc. The surveyor got a chuckle out of it although I thought I would die of embarrassment. Bless the pt's heart, I never let on that she had done anything wrong. She was quite pleased with herself.
  10. by   caliotter3
    Now that's my kind of client!
  11. by   nursemarion
    These poor patients that get the surveyor visits. Don't you feel sorry for the extra stress it places on them? It usually goes well, but sometimes... Makes me wonder - do surveyors ever go in during patient care in a hospital? Something about the whole process just seems wrong to me. I think they should be allowed to interview patients, but not to observe.
  12. by   caliotter3
    I was warned by my DOCS that my patient/family would be receiving a visit from the surveyors, so I got stressed and briefed the family members. I didn't have to worry, because I was working night shift. Then, after all that, they never came to the house. Whew! Made me happy to hear that!
  13. by   nursemarion
    Are you talking about private duty? Do they do that there too?
  14. by   Sana2007
    Quote from cxg174
    These poor patients that get the surveyor visits. Don't you feel sorry for the extra stress it places on them? It usually goes well, but sometimes... Makes me wonder - do surveyors ever go in during patient care in a hospital? Something about the whole process just seems wrong to me. I think they should be allowed to interview patients, but not to observe.
    Agree 100%!

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