View Full Version : Tasks for Nurses

05-03-2009, 11:37 AM
What do you require your nurses to do (aside from the general medical care)? I've been running ragged cleaning supplies, and was told that I should have the night nurses do it. I was told by our pimary day nurse to have the night shift do Mac's laundry, wash/prepare bottles, wash syringes, clean equipment, and even wipe down the furniture in her room. I don't know about requiring them to do all of that, but it would be nice to have them cleaning supplies at least. I feel like I've done nothing but scrub, scrub, scrub!

05-03-2009, 12:08 PM
Ours will do laundry, or at least all but one of them will. They also make bottles and do most of the other stuff you mentioned, except wipe down the furniture. We don't really worry about that too much, except for dusting when it gets obvious.

05-03-2009, 01:22 PM
We had the nurses doing things that didn't require them to be in Ayden's room. Although he might sleep though, the nurses that we afraid to not be in the room, I saw he wasn't himself the next day. Ultimately, we let those nurses go.

We have them soak the sux machine at night and then rotate it and she cleans the other one the next night.

I had the day nurse wipe down things during the day. When Ayden would be doing PT/OT in the living room, I would ask she wipe things down. Or let Ayden play on the floor and wipe things down.

Our laundry room is downstairs under our room, so I didn't do laundry. Instead I would do the laundry and let the night nurse fold the clothes. We had them change the sheets, take out the garbage (if needed), empty diaper pail.

Our nurse told us, anything that involved the rooms they are in, she could clean/ straighten up.

Alex's mom
05-03-2009, 02:06 PM
I just love the new pic of Mackenzie in your sig. She looks so much older!

I've never required the nurses to do anything. I'm a bit of a control freak and just don't like different people touching everything. Plus it always felt a little weird letting someone take out my trash. Some try to be helpful and I end up asking them to just hang out with Alex and I'll take care of whatever it is they wanted to help with.

I've always wished there was a way to trade some nursing hours for some time with a cleaning service. I'd be much happier if I could just hang out with Alex while someone did my floors, bathroom and windows. :D

05-03-2009, 02:10 PM
EVERY thing you mentioned is done by our night nurses....that is when I don't forget and do it myself. I used to feel bad about it....but frankly, they're getting paid really good money. Most nights, Kira's really very easy and is just monitoring. On the nights that's she's busy, of course the other things take a back seat if they even make the list at all. Our nurses actually ASK for more stuff to do. They get bored and it gets hard to stay awake!

05-03-2009, 06:53 PM
We had nursing 16 hrs/7days a week for 19mos. During that time, no nurse ever did Kate's laundry, but very occasionally, one would fold and put away her things (if the basket was laying around). Once we whittled down to 1 primary day nurse (6days/week) and 2 or 3 night nurses, things got easier. The day nurse cleaned and took care of all the equipment. The night nurses wiped down the equipment and kept the room clean. I vaccumed and dusted as needed and did all her laundry. I also pre made formula for her feeding tube. For overnights, I pre made bottles that they just dumped into the feeding bags. As she got older and started eating more orally, her day nurse (Sheila -- still a very good friend of mine) prepared all her food.

There's definitely a learning curve. You have to get used to Mac, her baseline and then get into a routine of what's normal with a nurse around. I had 3 other school age kids to take care of when Kate was born, so having any nurse around was something I learned to really appreciate. Honestly I got quite used to the nurses we had and I was able to let go of a lot of the daily minutae of Kate's care. When she was decannulated, and they left, I felt as if I gave birth to a 2 year old!

05-03-2009, 09:01 PM
Well, I'm one of those control freaks also and so I don't let my nurses do too much. I did decide to finally make a Tuesday cleaning list to at least help me clean her room. They wipe down all of her equipment and toys, change her sheets, take out the trash, and vacuum her room. I have one nurse that subs sometimes and she likes to do Autumn's laundry and will even do mine if I leave it in the laundry room. ;) Although I've noticed my nurses aren't cleaning as well as I would so I still find myself going behind them cleaning. I have let them clean out her suction machine at times. I though for the most part do everything else--even bottles. The one nurse who does the laundry I will sometimes have her cut trach ties as well. I have 2 male nurses though so they aren't the best cleaners. ;) No offense men. I don't trust too well so I feel as those since Autumn is my child I will make sure things are done and I'm afraid a nurse is going to forget to do something. It just gives me a peace of mind that it was done and done properly. I don't even let my nurses do trach care or changes. The good thing about it all though is that when they are not around there is not too much of a difference and so I manage just fine. My nurses are pretty much here to look at Autumn and be there in case of an emergency yet I feel I can handle any emergency better than they would. ;)

05-03-2009, 09:24 PM
Our night nurses didn't do much more than night breathing treatments, paperwork, put away some laundry and watch Donovan. It disturbed him too much to have someone messing around in his room and I wanted them to keep a good eye on Donovan, which they did. The main thing was to keep Donovan resting if possible and breathing!!

Gretchen(Celia's mom)
05-03-2009, 09:59 PM
I am a control freak too,,HOWEVER after 11 years at this I now DO have the nurse do things,,Looking back I should have all along and not tried to be super mom and do everything myself and perfect,,,I could have been spending time with Celia,Heather and Aimee!!!!!!!!
I have our nurse do anything realated to Celia accept trach changes and g-tube changes.
Let the nurse do things and you just be mom when you can!!

Nate's Ma
05-04-2009, 07:46 AM
For the most part we have only night nurses... Once a week they change our humidifier circuit. Every night they run a soap rinse through the suction tubing on both of our suctions and once a week they do a cold sterilization with vinegar. I am really anal, so I clean his room, empty his garbage, and wipe everything down.

When we first started I felt guilty about giving them things to do. I was doing everything also. My friends are working for me and they yelled at me. Most of the good nurses really want things to do to make their night go quicker.

05-04-2009, 10:18 AM
The new list at our house, outside of feeding, giving meds and suctioning and such includes:

Night nurses should clean all equipment, scrub down the humidifier and the suction machine, etc. If there are clean diapers (we use cloth) put those away. Clean up the room, put toys away, etc. Ensure diaper bag is completely re-stocked (our trach bag is in there, and we just use supplies out of the bag when we're out). Clean up any items used (syringes, feeding tube, etc). When we do trach changes, they clean the trachs, and have cleaned the little connecters that go between the trach and the vent tubing.

Day nurses should *play* with Alexander, and practice sign language with him. They should read books, and take him out on the deck if it's nice out (he's not good with the stroller yet, and gets really upset if he's strapped in, so we're holding off on walks for now). Clean up any items used (syringes, feeding tube, etc). There are specific therapy things they're supposed to do with him too.

The day shift list got kind of specific (there's actually a written page of stuff now) because one nurse was overheard to say that she was bored because he was little and there wasn't that much she could do with him. :censored: Other than that she's really good with him, so we're keeping her for the time being, but being really specific about what they should do.

We have a housekeeper 3 afternoons a week (a necessity when DH had a broken leg *and* Alexander was in the NICU, and while it's a bit of a luxury now, I'd rather spend time with Alexander than doing laundry). She does the laundry, washes dishes, takes out the trash, and so on, so that's not a huge deal for the nurses.

I keep thinking I should have the night shift make up his bottles for the next day...I'm just having a hard time letting go of that one, especially since we still have to do it on the weekends. :)

05-05-2009, 06:24 AM
We have a mix of nurses and carers based on our funding. I get them to do anything that they can do in Mitchell's room. He is on a vent and the priority is him. if he is hard work. lots of suctions etc, then he comes first. However - I get them to clean all equipment, suction, syringes etc. and also ask them to do our families ironing and clean the bathroom that is used by Mitchell and his sister. I don't get them doing anything outside of his room, purely for safety but have no hesitiation on asking for other help now. If you want to be anal you can do it yourself, but I am over that...
Cheers Cherie
PS. I don't give them any of my good clothes to iron - just in case...