I'm a nurse. Not a housekeeper!

Published

Ok, let me start by saying that I do not feel that I am above cleaning someone elses house. Since I have started with this last client I have already cleaned their bathrooms, washed the walls (because all the other nurses got gtube feed all over it), swept the floors.... so on and so on. Let me give you a little background on the situation. I care for a little boy. He has 3 adults living in the house with him and a teenager. Two of the adults do not work. The consumers mother and I had a conversation because she made the statement that a nurse she interviewed said that she is not an overpaid nanny/housekeeper. I explained to her that she may not have worded it the best but I think she was trying to tell her that she is a nurse and it is her job to do healthcare for her child and not clean because I have heard horror stories about families expecting their nurse to do laundry and dust and stuff. She looked at me like I was speaking chinese or something. Next thing I know I get an update on the all service plan from my case manager and laundry and light housework was added to the plan! ***!? Like I said, I am not above helping around the house when I am bored. I actually like to clean. The point is that I am a nurse not a housekeeper and their is no reason why I need to do these things. If I were caring for an adult that could not do these things on their own I would understand but a child with 3 adults living there. It is not my job to do these things. Does anyone else feel the way I do about this? I think it is outragious. :angryfire

Thanks for letting me vent.

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

So you mentioned something to the clients, then next thing you know housekeeping is on the care plan? Too bad your managers are not sticking up for you. I always let clients know that I am not there to do housekeeping, but I will tidy the patient's immediate area after my patient care activities are done, if they are done. My last client had several nonlicensed caregivers and she had them save her laundry for me to do on one of my two shifts each week. I told her that this was not in my job description, then she stated that her other caregivers were oh, so busy. What got my crock was the children's laundry and items of the other caregiver's that were left with the patient's stuff. I mean, really, thong underwear. The only support I got from my supervisor was to tell me that I shouldn't be doing anyone else's laundry but the client's. When I mentioned this to the client, she feigned ignorance, and next week, there it was, just like a slap in the face to me. I ended up coming off the case. I used to be a CNA, so I don't mind doing CNA duties when necessary, but there were seven days during the week with two shifts each day when someone else could have been doing this; but it had to be left for the licensed nurse. You are being taken advantage of in this case. I would get another case, otherwise, this will eat at you and undermine your ability to do the case without anxiety. In the long run it is not worth the aggravation.

Lovely_RN, MSN

1,122 Posts

Has 11 years experience.

Do you really need this case? :uhoh3:

I can understand tiding my work space but I draw the line at maid duties.

Specializes in Case Mgmt, Anesthesia, ICU, ER, Dialysis. Has 20 years experience.

Oh h*ll no! I did not go to school for as many years as I did and learn to deal with ventilators and trachs to be a maid! I clean my house, and I help my mother when she needs it. I'll help my gf's if they need help before inlaws or a party.

Get another case, or find another agency. One with managers that have some cajones.

nursel56

7,045 Posts

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 47 years experience.

Oh no, I would not be doing the family's laundry and cleaning their bathrooms ! :flmngmd: :flmngmd:

Luckily, where I work it is clearly stated on the admission paperwork that the nurse is not there to do housework or babysit young siblings. I clean the areas of my patient's personal space, medical equipment and wash dishes I use for them.

I have, at times helped the patient organize her closets, written letters for her, plan social occasions and other non-nursing duties that I choose to do. Families that employ home health aids do often have the attitude that the nurses sit on their butt all day, and get paid more than the aides. Realizing that, I try to take a helpful attitude and not talk down the the aides.

The family often doesn't realize that the nurse is there to provide skilled assesment tools. They can't see that. Most of the time things are stable, but when they do go bad, the nurse is there to handle just that contingency. That's when she's worth her weight in gold.

I wouldn't want to work for a manager like that.:no:

ArwenEvenstar

308 Posts

Specializes in med-surg, teaching, cardiac, priv. duty.
Ok, let me start by saying that I do not feel that I am above cleaning someone elses house. Since I have started with this last client I have already cleaned their bathrooms, washed the walls (because all the other nurses got gtube feed all over it), swept the floors.... so on and so on. Let me give you a little background on the situation. I care for a little boy. He has 3 adults living in the house with him and a teenager. Two of the adults do not work. The consumers mother and I had a conversation because she made the statement that a nurse she interviewed said that she is not an overpaid nanny/housekeeper. I explained to her that she may not have worded it the best but I think she was trying to tell her that she is a nurse and it is her job to do healthcare for her child and not clean because I have heard horror stories about families expecting their nurse to do laundry and dust and stuff. She looked at me like I was speaking chinese or something. Next thing I know I get an update on the all service plan from my case manager and laundry and light housework was added to the plan! ***!? Like I said, I am not above helping around the house when I am bored. I actually like to clean. The point is that I am a nurse not a housekeeper and their is no reason why I need to do these things. If I were caring for an adult that could not do these things on their own I would understand but a child with 3 adults living there. It is not my job to do these things. Does anyone else feel the way I do about this? I think it is outragious. :angryfire

Thanks for letting me vent.

Sigh. Sigh. sigh. The frustrating issues we encounter in private duty. YOU ARE RIGHT. I totally agree with you. I can not believe that the manger then added laundry and light housekeeping to the care plan! Good grief!! Do you really need this case?? If not, I would go to another case that also has a different case manager. Who needs a case manager that is such a wimp and can't even support you but caves into the families every whim?! With this family being like this, and with a case manager that won't back the nurses, I would worry that bigger issues could arise.

HeartsOpenWide, RN

2 Articles; 2,889 Posts

Specializes in Ante-Intra-Postpartum, Post Gyne.

just a question. are these people paying for your services out of their own pockets? I bet Medicaid and any Insurance would not be happy they were paying for maid services....

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

Sigh. Sigh. sigh. The frustrating issues we encounter in private duty. YOU ARE RIGHT. I totally agree with you. I can not believe that the manger then added laundry and light housekeeping to the care plan! Good grief!! Do you really need this case?? If not, I would go to another case that also has a different case manager. Who needs a case manager that is such a wimp and can't even support you but caves into the families every whim?! With this family being like this, and with a case manager that won't back the nurses, I would worry that bigger issues could arise.

Unfortunately, this behavior is the norm for the nursing managers that I have worked for. Only one in all these years has stood up for her nurses. I admired her gumption and respected her. The others were not worth remembering.

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

just a question. are these people paying for your services out of their own pockets? I bet Medicaid and any Insurance would not be happy they were paying for maid services....

The clients do not care who is paying for the services. They want what they want, and they want it now. If the agency managers would not give in to their every little whim, then nurses could accomplish their nursing tasks. Really, if I wanted to be a maid I would not have bothered to even finish high school much less attend all those years of college, listening to nursing instructors tell me what I had to do to be considered a professional. I have noticed over the years that the clients of cases paid for by medicaid are the most demanding. I have had these people tell me in no uncertain terms, that if their wishes were not followed, that they would complain to the medicaid people and get what they want along with apologies. Now that is what I call cheekiness.

I am an independent nurse. I do not work for an agency but the client has a case manager that writes up the all service plan for the pt. We are told not to do anything that isn't on the all service plan because that is all we can bill for. This is actually my first case in a home health setting.

I have no problem helping the family do things around the house if they ask me too. I have a problem being told I have to do it. It is not my job to clean their house. I have no problem with having something along the lines of keeping his equiptment clean or cleaning the things I use for his care. Laundry and light housekeeping. What does that even mean? What is next? Clean pts mother's car!? I already cleaned because I like to clean and the pt is also at a high risk for respiratory infections and the house was very dusty.

I sent an email to the case manger and explained to her that I do not feel it is my job to do these things. I do not have another case lined up. I have an interview tomorrow and I am hoping ti goes well. I do not want to leave this case because I am very fond of the child I care for and I am also very fond of the family in spite of all this. They are very warm and caring people. I think that the case manager needs to do her job and explain that this isn't something that should be expected. We will see. I will keep eveyone posted.

GoldenFire5

225 Posts

Specializes in ICU. Has 5 years experience.

I used to do private duty. Light housekeeping was always on our care plans, but I believe it was understood that it was part of the nurse's duties if the patient could not do it for themselves, and there was no one else living in the home who could do it either. I would wash dishes after preparing a meal for the patient, and once in a great while do laundry. But everyday household cleaning, never. You can say to the patient, "I am a nurse and here to support the medical plan of care. It is my goal to promote independence as much as possible." But you also have to be willing to leave the case if the patient/family keeps pushing inappropriate demands.

tabkat

1 Post

I am not sure why the "private care" companies would think that cleaning the bathroom should go into a care plan but that is why I got out of home care and really don't want to go back. I don't mind cleaning up after whatever occurs with the patient and I, but I am not cleaning up everything else. I used to have to vaccum the whole house when I was a tech. Somewhere along the way..a company set the precedent when they were hard up for clients.

But I can say, I am an LPN on a hospital, and we pretty much end up cleaning too. Our housekeepers are told that WE have to clean up the bulk of whatever hits the floor then call housekeeping just to disinfect...okay...mop with a mop that smells like a wet dog.

When I worked at walmart during nursing school...and lotion busted...I wasn't TOLD I had to clean up all the bulk, then call the cleaning crew....it spilled, I called, they came.

Clean up aisle 4! doesnt exist in nursing. you have to stop what you were doing, and clean it yourself.

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