What housework duties are mine?


So I’ve worked a Peds HH case for 6 months now. 
There are lots of issues with the child and the parent  and I just grin and bear it, but have wondered many times if the fine line has been crossed and I need to call CPS. But that’s another post. 

Today I see the mother has affixed a dry erase calendar to the client’s bedroom wall with a list of duties written on it. 
It’s everything I do every shift, with the addition of:  1) clean and disinfect bathtub (I already rinse the tub out after use with hot water several times, and mother knows this)

2) Sweep and vacuum all floors except mother’s bedroom (which I never go in anyway) 

Now I do a lot of picking up/ cleaning up after the very mobile and destructive (and extremely ill-behaved) 3yo. The house is always clean at the end of my shift.  I even wipe off counter tops, if I see they need it. 

Where is the line drawn with house cleaning duties? 

The sudden list of duties appearing has rubbed me the wrong way I guess. Seems passive aggressive. 

I’m supposed to clean out and disinfect the bathtub and sweep and vacuum the floors? 
(Obviously I clean up any messes/spills the child makes in my care) 


7,045 Posts

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 47 years experience.

Hi mustlovedogs-- your situation is unfortunately not unusual in private duty nursing, and the answer is more complicated than it seems at first glance.

Are you working through an agency?  If so, I would review the contract the parent or primary caregiver is obliged to sign. Generally speaking, nurses are specifically excluded from household chores unrelated to the client,  and their immediate area, and babysitting for siblings.

Is the child covered by Medicaid?  If so, they will have already allocated funds to pay for skilled nursing hours and hours to pay for a home health aide to assist with housekeeping services.

In reality, there are families who you get to know and trust, so you blur that line sometimes and help out with household chores. Then there are the manipulative families and agencies willing to take sides with the family and insist you are responsible for almost any task the family should take care of themselves. They can't see the assessment skills that differentiate a licensed nurse from an unlicensed caregiver.

I wish I could give you a more definitive answer, but if you check the Private Duty Nursing forum you'll find quite a few topics about your exact situation which may give you some ideas on how to handle this.

Here's a recent one. 

I would just add that you 100% need to listen to your nagging doubts about a CPS referral, not only for the child, but for yourself as a mandated reporter.  All the best to you!