Handling Inappropriate Requests

Occasionally, you may be asked to do something that is not in the care plan or your assignments.  Because each client’s situation is unique, you will not be assigned to the same tasks for every client.  For example, the care plan may specify grocery shopping for Mrs. Singer, who lives alone and cannot drive.  But if another client who lives with family members asks you to run to the store, you have to say no if it is not in the care plan or your assignments.

Several things will help you handle requests that you must refuse.  First, explain that you are only allowed to do tasks assigned in the care plan.  Explain that nurses familiar with the client’s condition give you your assignments.

Emphasize that you would like to help, but you are limited to the tasks outlined in the care plan and your assignments.  After explaining this to the client, contact your supervisor and discuss the request.  Your supervisor may add the task requested by the client to your assignments.  It is possible it was left out of your assignments by mistake.  Be sure to document the client’s request and the actions you took to address it.

Establishing a work schedule will also help you handle inappropriate requests.  If a client and family know what to expect of you, they may not be tempted to ask you to do other tasks.  Sharing a schedule of everything you must accomplish in a visit may help the client understand your job.  If inappropriate requests continue, refer clients or family members to your supervisor.