Neglect or??

  1. Hello everyone! I am a nursing student and have been a nursing assistant for the past 6 years (the last 2 working at a pediatric hospital). Though I love my job and I feel I've finally found my niche, there are many frustrations I encounter on a daily basis (as I'm sure you all know too well), but one that angers me the most are parents who NEGLECT their children!

    I work on a Oncology/Renal/GI unit and there have been MANY occassions where patients who have been on the unit for several months without leaving whose parents NEVER come to visit, yet, at discharge, they come in, pick them up and go home! How is this okay?? It is a rare occassion that the doctors will inforce a 72 hr hold, and even though social work is involved, they are actively addressing the problem. How is it okay to have a sick child, not have a job, be provided housing by the hospital nearby (mind you are rooms are state-of the art and have plenty of room/accomodations for parents) and never come visit your child or stay with your child until it is time for discharge? Can we assume they are going to be grade A parents when they take this poor child home? I think not. These are babies/kids that are going to have life-long medical needs and NEED good parents.

    As you can tell, this is a frustrating subject for me.... I don't know what to do. Should we (as staff) be filing reports directly to CPS? Is this gorunds for neglect? Granted, I love each and every one of these kids, we are not babysitters and as much as I'd like to spend every moment with them, that is not possible and most of all, they need their parents!

    Any advice/experiences you've had, please feel free to share! Thank you!
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    About kemmn

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 1


  3. by   hikernurse
    In our unit, we go through SW to report to CPS.

    Can you do research on the topic and present it to staff? You might even be able to use it in your class work as well. Evidence based practice guides our care and that might be a great starting point.

    It is heartbreaking to care for these children who really need their parents. For parents who do not show up, our nurse practitioner or physician will talk to the family and set up a behavior plan (with SW) where they are required to come in to care for their child and for discharge education.

    Unfortunately, we can't change their home situation. That is what it is. I don't know well the population you care for, but maybe parents need a break and time to spend with siblings if the patient is one who requires a great deal of care at home. In that case, information relating to respite care might be useful, although in my own community it can be hard to come by. In any event, if it were my kiddo, I'd be there all the time, but others may not have that luxury.

    Good for you to care for your young charges the way you do!
  4. by   KelRN215
    Not coming to visit the child in the hospital- as reprehensible as it may be- is not neglect. The child is hospitalized and, therefore, his/her basic needs are being met by the hospital. If the parent brought the child in for treatment, they noticed something was wrong and are caring for their child by seeking medical treatment. There are any number of reasons why a parent may not be at their child's bedside.
  5. by   canned_bread
    At our hospital we actually make a report to Children's services in regards to that. The nurses are not baby sitters. We work in tandem with the parents to achieve the best outcome, and strongly believes that parental involvement is critical in getting that child home and well. We also like to see how the parent's cope, especially if it's a chronic illness. I LOVE the parents who say to their childs nurse "I am popping out for a smoke and some lunch, I have my phone on me, I should be back in 45 minutes". Recently we had a case where a child came in and mum wasn't seen for 3 days. We called, we did everything. A report was made and the mother went crazy. What do you expect?! She had no other children, no other reason to be away. If they don't want to stay overnight, that's fine. If it's a baby, you are expected to be there. Obviously if the parents have work or something that's a different story.