Unsafe home

  1. Hello everyone,

    I was wondering how your agency handles visits in a potentially unsafe home? Are you notified before your visit of the situation in the home? Do you complete visits in pairs?

    Today I was assigned a visit and given no warning about the situation in the home. It was completely disgusting, dust on the walls, dirt everywhere, moldy high chairs etc. The pt was mentally unstable and during my visit told me stories of the other house occupants. Including a woman who "was raped in one of the rooms while two men watched and did nothing." Later on this woman came down stairs and talked to my patient about her sexual assault case so I believe this story was true.
    Later on in my visit my patient let me know 20 people live in her home and that she had a sign outside stating "homeless shelter, inquire within."

    After I completed my visit I called in to report the situation and my office supervisor and the case manager were already both well aware. The case manager even shared that she was almost positive the patient's son was on drugs most of the time. The office supervisor stated they had already called APS and the hospital had called CPS for the child previously in the home but that the father had taken the child and never returned.

    I was incredibly frustrated that I was sent into this home blind without anyone thinking they should give me a heads up. I have visited other "shady" homes and will always let someone know where I am and what the address is.

    We are going right into someones home and cant always know for sure what the environment will be like but I believe your agency should have your back and want their nurses to be and feel safe at all times.

    Thanks for reading and letting me vent
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    About LVN_

    Joined: Apr '18; Posts: 2; Likes: 1
    from CA , US

    7 Comments

  3. by   Elfriede
    Our management let us also "walk right into the trap".
    I asked one of them - in privat - : "Why that ...?"
    He answered : "Why should I ? If you would know about the situation, you may refuse the visit. But if you are there first, your nurses honorably will let you do the job."
    (We have a lot of staff turnover !)
  4. by   LVN_
    Wow that sounds terrible!
  5. by   Kaisu
    Such a poor agency. I am sorry you have to work for such unethical uncaring agencies. My agency has told me repeatedly that my safety comes first. They have reassigned/discharged patients where the working conditions are unsafe. I had a patient verbally berated me for a repeated length of time. I had no issue with it as I have the proverbial thick skin of a nurse. The patient was cautioned and reassigned.

    I don't want to say get another job because that is easier said than done, however, I would certainly be looking.
  6. by   caliotter3
    Initially I was surprised to find out that I was nothing more than a commodity to be used and then discarded when my personal safety became an issue with the agency. Just wasn't expecting that attitude from nursing employers.
  7. by   Have Nurse
    Quote from LVN_
    Hello everyone,

    I was wondering how your agency handles visits in a potentially unsafe home? Are you notified before your visit of the situation in the home? Do you complete visits in pairs?

    Today I was assigned a visit and given no warning about the situation in the home. It was completely disgusting, dust on the walls, dirt everywhere, moldy high chairs etc. The pt was mentally unstable and during my visit told me stories of the other house occupants. Including a woman who "was raped in one of the rooms while two men watched and did nothing." Later on this woman came down stairs and talked to my patient about her sexual assault case so I believe this story was true.
    Later on in my visit my patient let me know 20 people live in her home and that she had a sign outside stating "homeless shelter, inquire within."

    After I completed my visit I called in to report the situation and my office supervisor and the case manager were already both well aware. The case manager even shared that she was almost positive the patient's son was on drugs most of the time. The office supervisor stated they had already called APS and the hospital had called CPS for the child previously in the home but that the father had taken the child and never returned.

    I was incredibly frustrated that I was sent into this home blind without anyone thinking they should give me a heads up. I have visited other "shady" homes and will always let someone know where I am and what the address is.

    We are going right into someones home and cant always know for sure what the environment will be like but I believe your agency should have your back and want their nurses to be and feel safe at all times.

    Thanks for reading and letting me vent
    Your company sounds unethical and unsafe for you. I too did home care for years and was assigned to houses in "gangland." But I had someone with me and was very mindful of my surroundings. Still, there were homes that I did not go to for safety reasons.

    You need to set your own boundaries. Some companies with respect them, some won't.

    If your nurse manager wouldn't be comfortable going, you shouldn't go either.
  8. by   Daisy Joyce
    I've been in a couple of dirty or hoarder homes.
    One night I was verbally abused by the parents of my patient for an extended length of time. Then they went to bed and I called my agency and informed them that I would tough out that shift, but I would never go back.
    The mom was real mellow the morning, almost sheepish, but I gave report, picked up my coat and bag and left without saying goodbye.
    To be fair, I've had worse things said to me in LTC, but it's scary when you're in another person's house, and pretty much at their mercy, without any witnesses who are on "your side". You could get accused of anything.
  9. by   caliotter3
    Quote from Daisy Joyce
    I've been in a couple of dirty or hoarder homes.
    One night I was verbally abused by the parents of my patient for an extended length of time. Then they went to bed and I called my agency and informed them that I would tough out that shift, but I would never go back.
    The mom was real mellow the morning, almost sheepish, but I gave report, picked up my coat and bag and left without saying goodbye.
    To be fair, I've had worse things said to me in LTC, but it's scary when you're in another person's house, and pretty much at their mercy, without any witnesses who are on "your side". You could get accused of anything.
    When the male in the house is under the influence of something and he starts in on you, raising his voice making accusatory statements, in conjunction with the other two family members in the house, you do what I did, start for the door, keeping my back to the door as I sidled on out. As typical, I waited until inside my car before making the call to the agency. That's why it is always necessary to at least start your shift with a full charge on the cell phone.

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