Nursing Boundaries...can I go feed my patients cats? - page 5

Not finding much information...actually any. I have discussed with case managers and received advice against this.. My patient gave myself and another nurse permission to go into his unlocked home... Read More

  1. by   notjustanurse
    Our facility is apparently blessed with an awesome social worker, because she has, on several occasions, arranged for someone to feed and care for patients' pets while they were hospitalized.

    I agree with others, that animal control is probably your best bet. And I am so happy that you care enough to go the extra mile to ensure that living, feeling creatures don't have to suffer needlessly!

    If animal control fails, you could ask your local shelter, rescue, or even a vet's office if there are resources in your area for pet needs.
  2. by   kakamegamama
    No! As another poster stated, he could deny ever giving you permission. Your responsibility is to him as your patient, IN the facility in which you work, no place else.
  3. by   sharpeimom
    as "mama" to nine cats, an elderly doggie, and a six-month-old puppy, i sympathize with you and my heart bleeds for those poor animals. we have keys for several friends and neighbor's houses and they have keys to our house.
    we all have various critters and we take turns feeding so no one is tied down if something comes up.

    another fill-in solution we've used when we all have plans at the same time (it happens!) is to use a pet feeder/
    dog walker. we found her through our vet. she has a job and feeds and walks around her job's hours and her
    three-year-old loves to play with our babies. she charges $10 per day no matter how many times she comes.

    does he have any neighbors with kids about 11 and up? they're pleased to be trusted and thought to be responsible enough for the job. they usually do it for next to nothing and it sounds as though he needs a friend
    about now.
  4. by   Anna Flaxis
    I, too, have been fortunate enough to have worked with an excellent social worker who arranged care for many a patient's pets while they were in the hospital. Neighbors, members of the patient's church, and even the local humane society have all been resources that have been called upon.
  5. by   TriciaJ
    In my experience, there is nothing social work can do. I have yet to encounter a single problem that social work could or would handle. In a previous hospital job, whenever social work blew me off (like anytime I called them) the pastoral care department would always save the day. Those people were always johnny-on-the-spot.

    About the cats, yes this is reckless of me, but I couldn't live with myself to just knowingly let them starve. Does your local Humane Society or animal shelter have any kind of respite services? If I couldn't get any help from anyone, I would just go and feed them.
  6. by   Bortaz, RN
    Quote from SuesquatchRN
    I'd be pretty pi$$ed if someone tried to feed me cat.
    You may not want to hear this, but and I surely think an awful lot alike. FIRST thing I thought when I saw the thread title. :P
  7. by   #1ME
    Feed the cats.

    In exchange for not being able to feed yourself, because you've lost your career and your license, because you wanted to 'save' a cat.
  8. by   suanna
    I was going to feed my patients cats but dietary wouldn't cook them and I'm not sure if they were on a no cat diet. Personally, I like cats, but I just can't finish one all by myself.
    Honestly- I feel your pain. If it were my patient I'd try to get ahold of a neighbor or family member, then I'd ask the patient to call the local police or ASPCA and offer to do the feeding if they would provide an escort. You are crossing the line a little but it were my kitty I hope someone would take the chance and provide for thier needs if I couldn't. I love my cat more than I love most of my family, and I don't think I would be able to recover from any illness if I didn't know my buddy was going to be waiting for me at home.
    I wonder- Has anyone thought about starting a pet boarding service for patients in the hospital. With a little help from the admissions office and the local law enforcement someone could provide a lot of relief for a few desperate patients. If it was an established social service outreach, rather than one individual going to a patients home, it would be easier to get bonded to provide for the patients needs.
  9. by   wooh
    Quote from FORTHELOVEOF!!!!
    Lol, I am so glad I am not the only one who read it this way in the beginning! I thought it was going to be something along the lines trying to be culturally sensitive and find a way to get the patient his ideal dinner while in the hospital, I almost fell over until I read the post!
    And people think I went above and beyond when I bought some almond milk and brought it to work the next day for a patient that couldn't have dairy or soy...
  10. by   sharpeimom
    if it were my client's cats, i would feed them if that were the only option available. in a pinch, i'd even buy cat food (and have) if i had to.

    every single one of the almost thirty cats we've had over almost three decades had been starved nearly to death,
    been beaten, or burned with cigarettes, neglected, etc. and it really takes so very little to make a cat feel loved and secure. our animals are all spoiled at this point, but both we and they still remember what it was like to be cold and hungry and thirsty and it is because of that that i would feed my patient's cats. i would definitely assume the liability.
  11. by   canoehead
    I wouldn't ask anyone or speak about it, but I'd go over to the house with a bag of cat food and a bucket of water in the dead of night. I'd deny ever seeing his house, or his animals if asked, but they would have food.
  12. by   IEDave
    Of course, you could always consider a career change:
  13. by   wooh
    LOVE that commercial!!!