Published Feb 2, 2005
I am a NICU nurse and my primary (ex 24 weeker) is getting ready to go home. The parents asked me if I would like to baby sit one or two days a week until they feel comfortable having him home. He is doing well, had a very smooth course ( never intubated, never septic, feeds well) and not going home on any meds or oxygen. So I guess I am just wondering if this is ok, how liable would I be if God forbid, anything happened?
I am a NICU nurse and my primary (ex 24 weeker) is getting ready to go home. The parents asked me if I would like to baby sit one or two days a week until they feel comfortable having him home. He is doing well, had a very smooth course ( never intubated, never spetic, feeds well) and not going home on any meds or oxygen. So I guess I am just wondering if this is ok, how liable would I be if God forbid, anything happened?
It depends on the state but I think if you are reimbursed in ANY way then you are liable as a RN. I would check your hospital protocol as well.
This is a good question..I have been asked this question before as well as was never exactly sure how legit it was....I hope you get some good responses. The idea to check the state and hospital makes sense. t.
llg, PhD, RN
At my hospital it would be strictly against the rules and you might be disciplined for crossing the line from a professional relationship to a personal one. I work for a children's hospital and we have a definite "professional relationships" policy in writing -- based on guidelines from the American Nurses Association and other professional groups.
If your patients are not ready to take their baby home, then the staff needs to do a better job of preparing them and of fostering their feelings of competence as parents. Over-dependence on the staff is not a healthy thing. Our discharge teaching, family-center care practices, etc. should promote feelings of competence and independence.
It's not good for the parents to foster this dependence AND it puts both you and your employer in a precarious legal and financial situation.
llg (who's been a NICU nurse for about 20 years)
Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN
I would think it would be a conflict of interest and therefore inappropriate. If the parents are not comfortable, then they need more teaching.
I agree.I would NOT do this were I you.
Nurse Ratched, RN
Agreed with Marie and Deb - I don't have enough fingers to count the ways this could go wrong.
Definately crosses the boundry from professional to personal. Just tell them you would love to but cant due to policy. Everybody understands the politics of policies.
Thanks for all the responses. It is not so much that they are uncomfotable taking him home but uncomfortable with the idea of having someone who doesn't know him watch him. I did direct them to our social worker to see if she could help them out in anyway. I just wasn't sure what the rules were once the patient is discharged and since I would not be providing any kind of nursing care.
how about a vna referral to help them transition...even a "healthy 24 weeker "is still a 24 weeker with lots of potential health issues.
Dont do it.
Not only could it "go wrong" but is wrong in my opinion-
I understand what you mean..I have had parents ask me to babysit even when i know they are more than capable to care for the baby, but like the rapport I have with the baby enough to ask me to babysit once in awhile, since they are not quite ready to leave him or her with someone other than themselves. While it sounds appealing, I still felt not quite right with it, so declined. t
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