Parent/camera nearby...can u read?

Specialties Private Duty


There's downtime with GB kids where I would have liked to check my phone, read a book etc. They could be napping, feeding, standing in stander etc. I normally try to talk and sing to my pts all day even though they are all cognitively impaired, nonverbal and non responsive. But sometimes i do need a break and just let them feed or whatever. but one of the moms is always sitting a few feet away and i feel bad about reading/doing something not work related since she can see and hear everything ( theres no door to the room, its open to where she sits all day in the dining room). If theres no pcg there, I worry they are watching me on camera. Am I being paranoid...? Do you all talk and sing to the pt all day or also take time off for yourself when there's nothing to do?

I discuss this matter with the family at the start of the case so there is a clear understanding of expectations. Always work as if you are on camera. Some client families actually do hide their cameras and tell no one. I interact at a reasonable level, never do I "perform" for the entire shift with the exception of careful observation of the patient. And although most of the families tell me it is OK to read a book, etc. during down time, I always feel self conscious if they are observing me. That goes even for charting, a legitimate activity. It is usually best to break up periods of time for all activities to insure you are caught up with hands on care before spending a great deal of time charting or otherwise. In other words, don't let the patient lie in a wet diaper for half an hour while you write the great American novel on your nurses note. HTH

Right, of course not!! I too always feel self conscious if they are observing me. And yes even when charting. You are so right, it literally is "performing". Singing mary had a little lamb,the itsy bitsy spider and old mcdonalds has a farm all day long i feel like a preschool teacher. But worse, cause at least they get responses from the kids.

Are your PCGs home a lot too? I seem to always get patients where mom is always there (weekdays), in some cases many family members there, all the time.

Lately, family home around the clock, but in the past, somebody was usually at work during the day or sleeping at night, or a combination. I do not like it when they are underfoot, especially when they act like the gestapo with eyes in the back of their heads. If the parents are going to be standing next to you critiquing your every move, then the bottom line is that they don't really need nursing care. Having a nurse in the house is supposed to free them up to do something else, not provide an outlet for their neurotic tendencies.

Exactly carliotter3!!! I had a mom from hell who did exactly that, watched me continuously on camera then stormed into the room critiquing my every move. She was a micromanaging dictator control freak.

Exactly carliotter3!!! I had a mom from hell who did exactly that, watched me continuously on camera then stormed into the room critiquing my every move. She was a micromanaging dictator control freak.

And agency personnel wonder why nurses ask to leave cases.

Exactly. She went through a lot of nurses. I was warned but thought I could handle her, I was wrong. She was once furious with me I gave the kid tylenol when he was thrashing in pain. She said you should have come to me and asked me first! I said I didn't know I needed her permission to give tylenol....and of course now I know to ask permission to give tylenol next time...

I still stayed after that but another outburst a few weeks later was the last straw for me !

Specializes in LTC.

The case I have now the mom is home all day long, but for the most part USUALLY leaves me alone. She doesn't micromanage me. After all the care is done, they do not care if I read a book.

Specializes in Home Health (PDN), Camp Nursing.

Over the years I have had a few productive conversations with parents and staff about cameras. A few points.

1. Visible camera are not only honest but are trouble deterrents. They are impartial when reporting serious events, but also let everyone know they are under supervision. This allows bad actors to leave I their own, before issues occur

2. They capture everything, much like overhearing a conversation that wasn't meant for you, the camera may capture things you don't like but wouldn't have been aware of. (You're going to catch people picking their nose and scratching their butt). Discression and tact the are required.

3. Hidden cameras are a gotcha game they are only useful once and are dishonest at the base of the issue. They don't protect they catch after an issue has already happened.

4. Cameras should store footage. Direct to monitor cameras are not useful for real evidence collection or settling disputes.

I like camera cases when they are upfront and store footage. Cameras have solved more issues for me than they have created.

So Alex , knowing all this do you read/ play on your phone....?

Specializes in Home Health (PDN), Camp Nursing.

Yep. It falls into the catigory of picking my nose and scratching my butt. You may not want to see it, but it's happening. I entertain my clients plenty. The trick is to avoid the cases where the parents believe that by rolling at ball around the tray enough times or using hand over hand to play twinkle twinkle little star on the keyboard 20 times a day is gonna cure their kid. Or worse yet the dreaded "you get paid x amount so you better make sure Jr is happy" meanwhile Jr hasn't responded meaningfully in his entire life and they just sit him infront of the tv when you're not there. It's more about the case then the cameras

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