Nurse bringing child to work

by adclay adclay (New) New

Currently working at a hospital that seems to run by some odd rules and one that I am having an issue with is that there is a nurse that is bringing her 11 year old son to work (6p-6a) and he is staying the whole shift. He is staying in a patient room but is in and out the whole night at the nurses station, break room, etc. and she is also back and forth from his room. Am I being too old school by having a problem with this? What happens when we have a code and he is wandering around? Just thought I would reach out and see if anyone has any thoughts on this. Thanks

Sour Lemon

Has 12 years experience. 5,016 Posts

I wouldn't even know what to think of that. I've seen a doctor or nurse "stop by" with their child on occasion, and it's very uncomfortable to have children wandering around in employee areas- even for half an hour.


RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience. 4,555 Posts

When you say "a patient room" , do you mean an empty room? Does this mean extra work for housekeeping, having to change sheets and clean the room? What if that bed is needed for an actual patient in the middle of the night?

I don't know what desperate situation that nurse must be in if she has to take a child to work; hope she finds a solution quickly.


6,382 Posts

Without more info, I will assume management is aware. It is certainly unconventional and problematic but it might be best not to judge the situation in and of itself. We don't know why the need arose, and one way or another the hospital needs her help enough to accommodate her situation.

Her coworkers do not need to worry about whether housekeeping will have to care for a room used by the nurse's child or whether the child takes snacks out of the kitchenette or anything else on that level. That is between the nurse and the employer. From a liability standpoint this seems extremely unwise but that, too, is for the employer to worry about.

The only thing this woman's peer RNs have an interest in is strictly any real effect this has on patients. The likelihood of privacy violations comes to mind, along with inadvertent interference with the work being done. If management were to be approached I would think it would be along the lines, "Is there a way to accommodate _______ while also maintaining patient privacy and preventing HIPAA violations?" I would certainly avoid any of the more catty concerns about this situation; I wouldn't discuss them with peers or stand around listening to them.



29 Posts

Night shift has a bit of a difficult situation finding child care. But if its allowed for one, it needs to be allowed for all unless just a temporary situation (like husband d traveling for work for 2 days or whatever ) I can't imagine it would be allowed regularly. When I worked nights, there were several single moms, nurses and CNAs, that would would take turns with each others kids on the off nights so the kids would always sleep at someone else house but all be together. I thought it was amazing how they all covered each other. And the kids seemed to all have a great relationship.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 30 years experience. 2,776 Posts

Disaster waiting to happen...

Sue Demonas

Sue Demonas, BSN, MSN, PhD, RN

Specializes in Maternal-Child, Women's Health. 38 Posts

Had a colleague in the past bring two children to work on night shift pretty regularly. The #$%^& hit the fan when one of the kids came down with chicken pox about a day or so after being on the unit overnight. (The unit had some heme/onc patients on it, as well as other immunocompromised patients.) Once management out together that her child had been up there, and now had chicken pox, the overnight children issue came to a quick stop.

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 20 years experience. 4 Articles; 4,642 Posts

I try not to judge people because as the saying goes do not judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes. When I first went to work on a noc shift L&D unit one of our unit secretaries brought her son to work every night. Management was aware and he slept in a room that had been set up for the doctors but they never used. He ate a dinner provide by the hospital. Slept and had breakfast so he was ready to be taken to school by mom after report.

She was a single mom with no one to watch her child. She could not have afforded 12 hours of paid childcare three times a week and she did not qualify for aid.

It was a creative solution to the problem of her having to call off due to no childcare and none of us minded.


mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 10 years experience. 3,131 Posts

That would never fly at our facility. We did have one nurse that brought her pre-teen to work (I think it was a snow day for school) and she stayed in our work room for 12+ hours. The nurse got away with it. She should have just called out. IMO. I have brought my older kids when I had a class for an hour, they could eat in the cafeteria or hang out in waiting area.

Daisy Joyce

264 Posts

Oh please. She brought in her kids? LOL.

Ive seen coworkers bring the family dog.


PeachyERNurse, BSN, RN

Has 14 years experience. 315 Posts

I'm not even 100% sure of what the policy is at my job. But I work in a procedural area where we're on call, and if my childcare falls through (it's happend 3x in the last year at least), my kid comes with. She's been there unfortunately 8+ hours. She either chills in the break room or in an unused pt room. She eats whatever meal/snack I buy, and I personally clean the room when it's time to go. It's that, or I'd have to call out and pts and/or the very minimal staff we have suffer. Management has heard about it and said nothing to me, and I obviously try not to make a habit of it. However single parenting sucks, childcare isn't easy to find in some places, and I empathize with anyone who has to bring their kid with them on a regular basis.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 11 years experience. 2 Articles; 6,837 Posts

It is the kind of thing that will irk me until I find out why the kid is there and then I get irked with myself for being irked.

Bottom line is just do like the quote says - be kind; everyone is carrying burdens you know nothing about.