Nurses are often necessary to treat patients in their own homes. Oftentimes, such nurses are designated as providing two types of care, palliative and hospice. Palliative care relates to services provided in hopes that the person can recover from injury or surgery, for example. Hospice care is often associated with end of life care, concentrating on the quality of one’s life in terms of comfort and assistance.
They have a tough job, don’t they? They either are doing their very best to nurse the patient back to health, or trying to help their patient get through the last days of life. The toll on their days and bodies can be overwhelming at times.
Not only that, delivering in-home care can be hampered for reasons having nothing to do with the care itself. The nurse often needs to bring along equipment, supplies, and medication, in order to do the job. The ability to bring those items into the patient’s home, in turn, depends on traffic, parking, and weather. As a result, while such nurses may be scheduled to see a certain patient at a certain date and time, they might be delayed for reasons beyond their control, in terms of traffic and parking to visit the home.
Why does this matter? How, exactly, is this a threat to a nurse’s health, i.e., her/his well-being? Some medical providers set up a schedule identifying how much time a visit should take, and want to pay not a penny more for the visit. So when one has to take more time, whether they get paid for all that time depends on the nurse’s recording all the hours and minutes needed that day.
Nurses! Document that time, along with heavy traffic, parking problems, or anything that interferes with your ability to get to the patient on time and provide that treatment. Sooner or later, maybe sooner than you think, you’ll want to be able to show all this time – in case you find yourself shorted, whether it’s for straight time or overtime. If you depend on your employer to do this, you might need a further check-up on down the line.
Employ prophylactic care! Keep your own complete record (including all unavoidable delays, e.g., traffic, parking, etc.) of all your time worked each day – and do a check-up with your earnings statement from time to time. You protect others. Protect yourself.