Why am I asked to fix things that are NOT my job?

Posted
by LPNwithBIGdreams LPNwithBIGdreams, LPN Member

Specializes in Dementia / Hospice. Has 12 years experience.

I work agency in nursing homes. Here is a small list of things I've been asked to fix as an LPN

1.) Microwave not working

2.) Toilet clogged

3.) TV not working

4.) Recliner chair not working

5.) Lightbulb out

6.)Internet not working

7.) Help me find a channel on the TV

8.)Remote control not working

9.) Replacing batteries on non medical things (like the remote control)

Is this my job as the nurse to fix these issues? What is the correct way to deal with requests like this?

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 43 years experience. 1,728 Posts

Are you known as a handyman?

Maybe you should bargain with whomever is asking you to do these things (if they are fellow workers). "I'll look at the recliner chair if you will take my patients while I'm doing this."

LPNwithBIGdreams

LPNwithBIGdreams, LPN

Specializes in Dementia / Hospice. Has 12 years experience. 25 Posts

I should clarify it is the residents/patients asking this of me, the LPN. What should I say to them? They don't want to wait for the maintenance man ?

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 7 years experience. 1,014 Posts

There should be maintenance that can help? Or IT for the Internet?

I would think finding a TV channel would be easy enough but the rest of it should be done by someone else. If it’s not a medical need, it can wait. 

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 7 years experience. 1,014 Posts

3 minutes ago, LPNwithBIGdreams said:

I should clarify it is the residents/patients asking this of me, the LPN. What should I say to them? They don't want to wait for the maintenance man ?

Sorry didn’t realize you’d already mentioned maintenance before I replied. I really do think a lot of what you listed is for them to complete, though.  Other than possibly not  having a working toilet or enough light, none of it seems too urgent

cardiacfreak

cardiacfreak, ADN

Specializes in Hospice. 742 Posts

2 hours ago, LPNwithBIGdreams said:

1.) Microwave not working

2.) Toilet clogged

3.) TV not working

4.) Recliner chair not working

5.) Lightbulb out

6.)Internet not working

7.) Help me find a channel on the TV

8.)Remote control not working

9.) Replacing batteries on non medical things (like the remote control)

1.  Definitely a maintenance issue unless it's just unplugged

2.  Depends if you work nightshift or dayshift.  I have plunged many a toilet in my time.

3.Again maintenance unless it's unplugged.

4-6 Call maintenance.

7.  Hand them the remote unless they are unable to push the buttons in which case do it for them.

8.  I try to troubleshoot

9.  I'll do it if I have batteries.

 

 

nursej22, MSN, RN

Specializes in Public Health, TB. Has 37 years experience. 2,768 Posts

Is it your job to fix these issues?

1) No

2) Heck, no

3) Is it plugged in?

4) Is it plugged in?

5) Don't have a light bulb

6) Did you pay your bill?

7) Maybe, if it's the baseball game

? Did you change the batteries?

9) Don't have any batteries

If you have an extra minute, I don't see the harm in many of these things, but a polite "I can try when I have a minute" would seem to suffice. I do many things for my clients/patients that technically isn't my job, but not at the expense of my official duties. 

Davey Do

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 10,127 Posts

10 hours ago, LPNwithBIGdreams said:

Is this my job as the nurse to fix these issues? 

If you have XY chromosomes.

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 43 years experience. 1,728 Posts

11 hours ago, LPNwithBIGdreams said:

I should clarify it is the residents/patients asking this of me, the LPN. What should I say to them? They don't want to wait for the maintenance man ?

It must be hard to have to always wait until someone comes to fix something, especially if it is something that you used to be able to fix yourself.

I'm not saying that it's your job. But it must be hard.

JKL33

6,382 Posts

I say come up with a basic amount of time that could be sacrificed in brief troubleshooting. Like ? 1 minute  (2 min. max) should cover the basics.

If a minute (or two) has passed, just stop fiddling with whatever it is and pleasantly let them know you will put in a maintenance request.

I suspect part of this can be mitigated by how you portray your role through your actions. It isn't meant to be unkind or uncaring of the fact that these issues are important to those residents, but you're actually there to perform a role that others there cannot perform, and no one is being well-served if you aren't devoting the large bulk of your attention to that role. This is a simple matter of "anyone can find some batteries but I'm the only one here to administer medications right now."

sevensonnets

sevensonnets

975 Posts

I don't know how nursing homes work, but I've read lots of horror stories here. Just wait till the entire kitchen staff doesn't show up and you're asked to 'fix breakfast' too.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,962 Posts

Seems everything related to patients/residents is nursing's job. I just let them know what I can and cannot do and make my apologies and call the ones who can.