What to do? Roaches, no heat...

  1. I've started with an agency recently to do private duty. I was mislead from the beginning. I was lead to believe that I would have peds cases and was put on an adult case. I'm very uncomfortable with this. To add to that its a complex case. I had/have my hesitations but desperately need work (haven't worked in months). I've been trying hard to make it work and to learn what I can.

    I've done private duty for years and I have seen roaches before and other unsanitary conditions. This is no shocker to me at all. So I arrive at this patients home to find that it is in the ghetto of the ghetto. The majority of the homes around this place are condemned. I still decided to give it a chance and not judge the book by its cover. What I discovered was a home infested with roaches. The family keeps the windows open year round and doesn't run the heat. Even the window in the patients room is open. The high temp has been in the 30's. My assumption is that they can't afford the heat. I addressed the roach problem with the agency and they claim they have discussed it with the family. I have to watch for roaches constantly to avoid having one crawl on me. The family is very sweet. They don't have much of an education and I see an opportunity to do lots of teaching. But I don't think I can work in this environment. The thought if it being that cold in the home and having to give the patient a bath is disturbing...so are the roaches I have to keep from crawling on the patient.

    I desperately need the paycheck as being out of work has left me almost completely broke. I don't feel comfortable with the complexity of the case, but I can learn. I'm comfortable with very complex peds cases. I just lack the experience with adults. So I do feel capable of learning what I need to know. I'm not comfortable with the roaches or the freezing cold home. I can't work in that kind of environment. The agency doesn't have any other cases available. I'm not impressed with the agency at this point. They have mislead me and the training has been poor. The orientation for the company pushed safe driving and made us watch a video about it. I won't be driving any patients. I have had 1 ticket in 17 years of driving and don't need to be told how to drive! But they never taught how to do paperwork in orientation. I would think the paperwork would be more important to learn than safe driving since I won't be using my car for work purposes. Its obvious the DON wants a warm body with a license...but this warm (when not on the case) body has a brain in it!! There isn't much work around here and it took me months to find this job. Any options? I'm already back to looking for other jobs in case anything else comes up. But until then?
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    About SDALPN

    Joined: Apr '07; Posts: 1,041; Likes: 1,414
    Peds Nurse; from CU
    Specialty: Peds(PICU, NICU float), PDN, ICU


  3. by   KATRN78
    Eww! RUN!
  4. by   tothepointeLVN
    I can knit you a sweater.
  5. by   rn/writer
    You'd be better off working retail or high-end food service than freezing your patootie, trying to keep roaches off yourself and your patient, hoping bugs don't hop a ride on your stuff into your own home, and, last but not least, risking your license with a complex case that you are not comfortable with. There's having a sense of adventure and then there's sticking your neck on the chopping block. No matter how sweet these people are, this just isn't safe.

    In many areas, utility companies are required to provide heat to homes where a member is medically fragile or compromised. Has anyone looked into this? Also, I don't get the desire to have the windows open. Not having heat is one thing, but letting in the cold air is another. What's the deal?

    Is there a social worker involved?
  6. by   dirtyhippiegirl
    You've contacted your agency about the conditions and *they* didn't tell you to contact whatever the appropriate governmental agency to report is? Are they receiving social work assistance at all?

    I'm not entirely familiar with adults but I believe adults with disabilities are considered vulnerable in the same way that geriatric folks are, so it would be your duty to report. Hopefully, said government agency would be able to put them in contact with the services that they need to properly take care of your client in their home. I know you said that this would be a good opportunity to teach, but if you're familiar with pediatric patients, I don't know if even you would have the scope of knowledge to hook up an adult client with appropriate services in the area.
  7. by   systoly
    This case is not in the US, is it?
  8. by   GitanoRN
    unquestionably, we all need our paychecks, however, this scenario is the main reason why when i did private-duty i would get as much info: from the agency and the conditions that the pt. lives in; plus what's expected of me. for example many moons ago, i had to work on a private case prior the holidays for extra ca$h. the private case of a 65yr. male with ms. however, i wasn't told that he expected extra personal favors from his male nurses. needless to say, i declined, and dropped the agency.
  9. by   SDALPN
    This is an old post that was dug back up. I'm no longer on that case or with that company.
  10. by   tothepointeLVN
    Well the sweater offer is still on the table