Specialties Home Health


what do you do when you are offered a "tip" Money, food, or anything else. I know that my company does not allow this, but I had some old fellow become very upset the other day when I said I couldn't take his offering. I felt really bad, didn't want to hurt his feelings, but didn't want to get in trouble either.


839 Posts

food i accept...whether or not i consume it depends...if ya know what i mean.....

i nevernevernever accept money.....


65 Posts

It's the same with me. I'll take the food and depends on the situation whether I use it or not. Tell them to keep their money! I know it's hard when you feel like you have hurt someone's feeling, but you have to draw the line!


839 Posts

We had an obese bipolar client w/hep c....she would've given you the shirt off her back, but who knows when that shirt had last been washed, or the back she took it off of, either....

she had a bird of some sort, used to fly freely through the house. and land on the head of whoever. I finally told her to "put the @#$%@ bird away before i get there or you can go without your shot!" she did.

anyhoo...her curtains were light blue at one time. they had become light blue with irregular white strips. I think you can see where this is going. She had also once in a slightly manic phase decided to cook eggs....when the nurse arrived, every pan she owned was strewn haphazardly along the counter. Seems every time she tried to cook those eggs, Snoopy the Poop Machine (not his real name) would fly over and let loose over the pan.

She always made us brownies and cookies. We always took them. Then returned the empty container a week or so later and told her how good they were. Would've really hurt her to think we wouldn't eat her cooking...

gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Any money given goes into teh patient donations fund and is used as we see fit. But I am Australian and we do not have a strong tradition of tipping over here.


37 Posts

NEVER take money but one time we had a patient like that too. He tried to give 4 of us, $20. I refused and they became upset. They wanted to know why and demanded a answer. I tried to explain but they still wanted me to take it. I went to our nurse manger and she said to take it. They then donated it in our names to the "nurse fund" for the hospital. Nurse fund does things like recruiting, special gifts or education for our nurses, etc.

sphinx, BSN, RN

326 Posts

I usually would take food, didn't always eat it. I once had a woman (who was on medicaid, neither she or her husband worked) try to give me $20. I was D/Cing her that day. We'd become "close", at least in a nurse/patient way. (we had really good rapport). I explained why I couldn't take it. She was upset, and asked me to take it, buy myself something nice. I let her hand it to me, but on my way out I left it on her kitchen table with a quickly scrawled note saying thank you so much, but I can't accept, etc. There's just no way I could've taken that money from someone who goes without, even if it was ok to take money in the first place!

hoolahan, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,721 Posts

Specializes in Home Health.

My agency just re-did all their P&P's, and I was QUITE surprised to learn, we CAN accept a gift up to a $25 value. I think this was mostly for the beneift of the HHA's, who get offers of gifts more often than the nurses. The pt's get very close w the aides, and spend a lot more personal time w them, see how the office harrasses them w phone calls, etc...

I had a lady give me $40 once. I told her I could NOT accept, finally talked her into allowing me to donate it to Hospice in her name. I have had people make me towels, or give me a small box of candy, or an icy bottle of lemonade from the freezer on a hot day (that was the best "tip" ever!) But, I have not had a lot of offers for food, well people offer to feed me while I am there, but I always decline.

Only once did I accept, and that was b/c the family was eating eggs benedict for breakfast, and offered me some fresh fruit they also had, I mean I declined twice, but they just went ahead and got me a bowl, and scooped some in there for me, and would NOT take no for an answer. It was yummy!!! And house was like a palace!


735 Posts

Wherever I go I am usually offered something to eat and drink as soon as I walk in the door.

This is a hispanic tradition. It is considered rude not to offer food and drink.

I accept most times but if the house is unclean then I will politely refuse.

Once I had a woman give me $100. (in the nursing home).

She shoved it in my hand and when I tried to refuse she said "shut up and take it".

It kind of freaked me out! So I kept it and took all the cna's out for drinks after work.


Jay-Jay, RN

633 Posts

Did an admission last week...VERY painful rectal abcess dressing. The hospital screwed up on the supplies royally....had to make THREE trips out to my car in the pouring rain. Dr's order called for packing the abcess with 1/2 inch ribbon gauze. Now, how the heck am I supposed to do that if they don't give me any gauze ribbon, or the sterile q-tips we use for inserting it??? Thank heavens for the mobile hospital supply cupboard in my trunk!

I was a gentle as I could be, but still it was a real ordeal for the patient. When I was done, he tried to stuff $15 into my hand. I refused, and when I wasn't looking, he put it in my nursing bag instead!

I used it towards supper out with the husband that night. It helped make up for the aggravation of a really cruddy day. :)

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

I have seen to many ugly situations when people accepted gifts when they were not supposed to and the client became confused and acused the employee of stealing it so I do not accept much. I have accepted food and one time a homemade potholder.


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