Is your hospital DIRTY ??? Does housekeeping clean the empty room and bath in


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Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,958 Posts

I started working in a hospital as a housekeeper in the late eighties. At that time, I would be assigned for the entire 8hr shift in one area. I took pride in the job I did. All patient floors were cleaned, all garbages emptied twice, all stock check & refilled (soap, paper towels, TP), all furniture wiped with disinfectant, all bathrooms on the unit cleaned, etc. To sum it up every room and the nursing station was cleaned and I mean cleaned. Also I was able to work around/with the nursing staff.

After being an RPN and then becoming an RN over the next ten years, I noticed an appalling changed in how housekeeping was done.

Some intellectual giant had come up with a computer program that had calculated how long it took a housekeeper to perform a specific task, for instance, how long it took to wash a floor. Based on more findings from the genius, it was determined that it was not necessary to wash each floor every day nor was it necessary to disinfect all furniture each day. Apparently it was not necessary to do a lot of things each day. Needless to say this provided the "Enviromental Service" dept. an excuse to cut back on housekeepers. The remaining housekeepers had specific floors, bathrooms, etc to clean within an alotted time frame. Not all of their assigned duties were on the same unit, for instance, they may wash 2 floors on a unit on the 3rd floor and then trek on up to the 4th floor to do 2 more floors. :rotfl: :smackingf Unfortunately have been "washed" into a corner by housekeepers who due to their "time frame" could not work around/with me.

The real kicker is now the housekeeping staff hands out dietary trays to patients, after having cleaned a few things we are all familiar with. They just had them don a plastic apron and gloves, and of course they had a specified time frame in which to complete this task.

I now work at a different hospital, and housekeeping isn't any better. I have on numerous occasions went to wash my hands at a sink only to find no paper towels or soap or both. :angryfire I have figured out a way to jimmy the paper towel dispenser to replace paper towels, but I'm still working on figuring out the soap dispenser. I'm also careful where I step so that the "TEENAGE MUTANT DUST BUNNIES" don't bite my toes off.

HOUSEKEEPING hands out diet trays?


I am shocked at some of what I am reading here. And in the other posts. And we wonder why so many nosocomial infections exist. Convenient to blame on nursing isn't it?! :angryfire


HappyNurse2005, RN

Specializes in LDRP. 1,640 Posts

Know what's funky? My current unit has carpeting in the hallways/nurses station. We are in a temporary unit, though, for a few more months, then will be back to unit w/ no carpeting.

THey do vaccuum it, but I don't think they steam clean.



274 Posts

We have beeen talking about this at work. I walk into rooms sometimes and stick to the floor. Housekeeping will not clean a room that has a patient in it. I don't care if they have been in that room for a month.

Guess what

Jahco came a couple of weeks ago and they released housekeepings supervisor and hired an outside firm. Their supv is still employeed just over something else. We now have housekeepers from 0800-2100. I have to say that since jahco left I haven't seen housekeeping at all when I come in at 1830.




1,119 Posts

The minute a facility hears that JACHO is coming there is an instant increase in housekeeping staff. Prior to them inspecting our facility things that I have never seen cleaned were cleaned. When they moved our PYXIS from its alcove, you would not believe the size of the dust bunnies there. The walls were scrubbed from floor to ceiling. The halls were stripped and waxed, unfortunately the stripping and waxing went on throughout the night shift. Both patients and staff c/o headaches and/or nausea from the fumes. One patient was adamant that the staff was hooting and hollering and having a gay old time because of all the noise, she was screeching at the staff to be quiet and quit partying.

I feel its pointless for JACHO to inform facilities of their visits. I think they should come in without notification and see how things really are on a regular basis. :eek:


helpinghands, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Home Health. Has 3 years experience. 131 Posts

What I always wonder about are the PILLOWS! So many times have seen people grab a recently used pillow change the pillow case and hand it to another pt. We all know where some of these pillows end up using them to position and reposition pts, not to mention people drooling while they sleep. Not a pillow I would want to lay my head on! If I'm ever in the hospital, first thing I'm telling my hubby is to bring me my own pillows!

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER. 12,126 Posts

Think about where sheets have been before you were laying on them...



Specializes in ICU, ER, HH, NICU, now FNP. Has 23 years experience. 1,622 Posts

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Specializes in Case Mgmt; Mat/Child, Critical Care. Has 18 years experience. 705 Posts

Think about where sheets have been before you were laying on them...

Well at least the sheets have been washed and bleached....the pillows, I agree I think that is so gross!

Also, I've noticed lately that some of our bp cuffs are downright disgusting...they smell mighty funky....I would be so grossed out if I had it put on me smelling like that, Yech! :eek: I try not to use those ones, but sometimes it is all we have!

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER. 12,126 Posts

Well at least the sheets have been washed and bleached

But how well, though?

I remember several times when i used to do laundry in an LTC facility that our washer temperature wasn't up to code. It would be one day, then off the next.

Jo Dirt

Jo Dirt

Has 9 years experience. 3,270 Posts

I hate seeing sharps containers overflowing with blood smeared around the opening. Or dirty overflowing trashcans.

And drops of blood or other body fluids in the floor.

Nurses shouldn't be expected to be scrubbing the baseboards but we shouldn't think we're too good to do some of our own cleaning.

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER. 12,126 Posts

I will say that at least half of the cleaning i did as a housekeeper was caused by the staff (i.e. not aiming for trashcans with tube feeding bottles. That is VERY hard to clean up when it's died, and it usually was, because the bottle sat in the floor overnight).



24 Posts

I too work at a hospital that is downright FILTHY!! On more than one occasion I have entered a 'clean' room to check for set up prior to admit and found dired BLOOD on the call bell, phone, side rails etc. I have also found dried crud on the bedside tables. Our unit is carpeted, even in the pts rooms. It is absolutely disgusting, we all hate it. When an 'accident' happens (whether it be poop, pee, blood whatever!) we have to call for a carpet extraction. After an hour or so a guy shows up to clean the affected area, by simply running dirty stinky water over the area. It is very hard to eliminate odors from the rooms.

On a weekly basis when no one in housekeeping can be found (on nights). I regularly wipe down surfaces throughout the nursing unit, empty trash cans (better than watching them overflow on the floor), fill alcohol sanitizer dispensers that are empty. When I am really gung-ho I have actually gone around with a broom and dust pan and swept up all little pieces of gosh knows what off the floor.

The place is gross!!!!!!!!

I hate that I have to clean up the place at night, but it is SO dirty, I cant stand the sight of the place. Not to mention, I truly believe that what a units atmosphere portrays presents an image of how we take care of our patients.

oh PS wouldnt it be nice if while housekeeping was 'cleaning' the rooms they would turn the tv off, stop yapping on the phone and stop entertaining their co-worker who is comfortably lounging in the chair while they 'clean'!!!!


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