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Is it wise to work from home?

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Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

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At work, I’ve recently been given the opportunity to bring a laptop home to complete work without distractions from others and theoretically cut back on hours.  

In theory, this seems like a good idea, but I’m not sure how well this would actually work. If anything, this might resolve in me working even more since I would have access to check up and follow up on things over the weekend and other days I have off.  I can see myself checking in frequently too, since  I almost always have at least one or two patients I’m worried about.  

Is this wise? 

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

The way you work, I don't think so.  You need boundries between you and work. IMO.

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

Not wise. Pass. I work at home full-time and it is very important to create boundaries, and I am glad you recognize that you'd struggle with that. When I am done for the day, I shut my office door and don't log into my work laptop until the next workday. 

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

It doesn’t matter what we think because you seem to post for the attention and drama, not for actual sound advice, and will continue to do what your want and provide dramatic updates for us all. 
For what it’s worth though since I’m a sucker, you answered your own question in your post.

Hannahbanana, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Physiology, CM consulting, nsg ED, LNC. Has 51 years experience.

I work from home and I love it, but I agree with SmilingBlueEyes and Pixie. You sound like the kind of person whose brain is so wired for the dopamine shot you get when you look at a screen that having it available to you 24/7 would be deleterious to your health and contribute to your already-evident downward spiral.

If you deny this, then think.... how often do your look at your phone? Are you like the alcoholic who says, "I could stop anytime if I wanted to"-- but you know they can't? The smoker who hasn't really thrown away every pack, the lighter, and the ashtrays?

If you are bound and determined to try this, promise yourself you will get and install some of that productivity software that absolutely prevents you from logging on for at least 14 hrs/day (or more). It will be horrible for you at the beginning, as breaking any kind of addiction is. How much do you want to quit?

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

Don't recommend it. I briefly had access to charting at home when I worked at a community clinic, and my friend and I who was an NP would find ourselves obsessively checking on pt's labs and imaging that we were worried about, and calling pts to follow up =/

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

I did it; worked way more than I would have if I had not charted from home. Work should stay at work. AND you need to find your own happiness and self-fulfillment away from work. You have a lot of work to do on that.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

5 hours ago, JadedCPN said:

It doesn’t matter what we think because you seem to post for the attention and drama, not for actual sound advice, and will continue to do what your want and provide dramatic updates for us all. 

 

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macawake, MSN

Has 13 years experience.

Sure. You could set up a weekly delivery of one pallet of a cola beverage of your choice and one pallet of Peanut Butter Cups and have at it. Make sure to work at least 20 hour days and limit your sleep to a maximum of 90 minutes per 24 hours. Also, you should probably cap your water main lest you’re tempted in a moment of weakness to drink something that is actually good for you. 

You know, if I thought you were being serious about asking for advice and at least considering listening to it, I would happily offer you a genuine reply. As things stand, I don’t think you are. I’ve watched other posters offer you tonnes of advice out of concern for your well-being, hoping to get through to you. To me, it seems like a Sisyphean enterprise.

Your post tells us you already know the correct answer to your question (and I happen to agree with your assessment), so why are we doing this? What need does it fulfill? This forum is full of people who’d be happy to help. We’ve chosen to work in healthcare after all. But you have to want help in order for it to work. 

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

1 hour ago, macawake said:

Sure. You could set up a weekly delivery of one pallet of a cola beverage of your choice and one pallet of Peanut Butter Cups and have at it. 

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SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

5 hours ago, LibraNurse27 said:

Don't recommend it. I briefly had access to charting at home when I worked at a community clinic, and my friend and I who was an NP would find ourselves obsessively checking on pt's labs and imaging that we were worried about, and calling pts to follow up =/

This sounds like something I would do.  I worry about work and patients who aren't doing well even on days I am gone.  In theory, I'd like to be able to monitor patients, even from afar, with the hopes of preventing anything bad from happening.  Unfortunately, it seems that no matter how much I keep an eye on patients, some of them end up declining anyway. 

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

2 hours ago, macawake said:

Sure. You could set up a weekly delivery of one pallet of a cola beverage of your choice and one pallet of Peanut Butter Cups and have at it. Make sure to work at least 20 hour days and limit your sleep to a maximum of 90 minutes per 24 hours. Also, you should probably cap your water main lest you’re tempted in a moment of weakness to drink something that is actually good for you. 

LOL, the sarcasm is great 🤣😅😂

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

3 hours ago, macawake said:

Your post tells us you already know the correct answer to your question (and I happen to agree with your assessment), so why are we doing this? What need does it fulfill? This forum is full of people who’d be happy to help. We’ve chosen to work in healthcare after all. But you have to want help in order for it to work. 

When I created this thread, my goal was to see if maybe being able to do some work from home might overall create a better work schedule and reduce anxiety.  I was wondering what the thoughts of others were, and if others have had success in working from home.  However, the more I think about it, the more I believe that completing work from home will probably only enhance my anxiety since I'll have access to monitor patients continuously.  Knowing myself, I'll probably end up logging in multiple times a day.  So you're probably right in that I likely knew the answer to my question even before I asked.   I'm off-the-walls at times, but realistically I'm not completely unintelligent either.   

Edited by SilverBells

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

16 hours ago, SilverBells said:

 I can see myself checking in frequently too, since  I almost always have at least one or two patients I’m worried about.  

If you aren't on the clock and directly responsible for the patients in question, isn't that a HIPAA violation? Unless you are directly responsible for the care of a patient you should not be accessing their chart and information. And if you're not on call, or their primary care provider, I don't think you qualify as directly responsible.

I'm also glad to see that you feel that this move may not be in your best interest for finding a good work life balance. 

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

46 minutes ago, SilverBells said:

This sounds like something I would do.  I worry about work and patients who aren't doing well even on days I am gone.  In theory, I'd like to be able to monitor patients, even from afar, with the hopes of preventing anything bad from happening.  Unfortunately, it seems that no matter how much I keep an eye on patients, some of them end up declining anyway. 

Sweetheart, people are not eternal. We are not meant to live forever, and sometimes it's just time. It doesn't mean that the people who are at work aren't competent, or that you are going to be supernurse and swoop in via computer for the save. If you get in everyone's charts off the clock and away from work, you are also setting yourself up for trouble. You really can't claim a need to know at that point. There are limits to your responsibilities. 

I know you form strong attachments to your patients. Honestly, I think you should look for a role where you have "normal" 12-hour shifts with acute care patients who won't be in your life more than a week or two. Just a thought. Your current workload is not healthy to your body or mind.

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

1 hour ago, JBMmom said:

If you aren't on the clock and directly responsible for the patients in question, isn't that a HIPAA violation? Unless you are directly responsible for the care of a patient you should not be accessing their chart and information. And if you're not on call, or their primary care provider, I don't think you qualify as directly responsible.

I'm also glad to see that you feel that this move may not be in your best interest for finding a good work life balance. 

Valid point.  Whether or not it could be a HIPAA violation could be a "gray area" as my hours aren't really defined.  Although I typically work Monday through Fridays, I technically can be available any day of the week.  Because of this, I never "clock in" even when I'm at my workplace.  I can see where concern might come in though.  

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

8 minutes ago, SilverBells said:

Valid point.  Whether or not it could be a HIPAA violation could be a "gray area" as my hours aren't really defined.  Although I typically work Monday through Fridays, I technically can be available any day of the week.  Because of this, I never "clock in" even when I'm at my workplace.  I can see where concern might come in though.  

It’s not about your hours/clocking in or not, like JBMmom said “Unless you are directly responsible for the care of a patient you should not be accessing their chart and information.” So for instance at 9pm if one of the staff members didn’t call you, you really have no valid reason looking through a patients chart at that time. 

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

On 3/27/2021 at 8:27 PM, Pixie.RN said:

Sweetheart, people are not eternal. We are not meant to live forever, and sometimes it's just time. It doesn't mean that the people who are at work aren't competent, or that you are going to be supernurse and swoop in via computer for the save. If you get in everyone's charts off the clock and away from work, you are also setting yourself up for trouble. You really can't claim a need to know at that point. There are limits to your responsibilities. 

I know you form strong attachments to your patients. Honestly, I think you should look for a role where you have "normal" 12-hour shifts with acute care patients who won't be in your life more than a week or two. Just a thought. Your current workload is not healthy to your body or mind.

"Swoop in via computer for the save..." 🤣  Sorry, that did make me laugh. 

As for the rest of the post, all valid points.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I never clock into work even when I'm at the facility, so HIPAA/privacy concerns are a "gray area."  With that said, probably better to play it safe and not look if I'm only wanting to make sure someone is doing alright.   This gives me a much needed break away from work while ensuring that there's no chance there is no breach of privacy.  

I also have been looking at other jobs.  Non-management positions.  I think I may do better in a position where I focus on my job only and don't feel responsible for everything that happens to every patient.   Because as of right now, I blame myself for everything.  If I send a patient into the hospital, I blame myself for the patient being ill in the first place and not having caught something sooner.  If someone else sends a patient in, I also blame myself, because I start ruminating on any change in condition I may have missed.