Is it legal to refuse the part where a nurse has to carry your baby to your car? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums
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Birth and Beyond > Is it legal to refuse the part where a nurse has to carry your baby to your car?
the_lissa's Avatar the_lissa 12:22 AM 10-15-2007
I don't understand how you could be sued for something that happens after mom leaves the hospital. Could you be sued if she got in a car accident on the way home too?

phreedom's Avatar phreedom 01:35 AM 10-15-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
I don't understand how you could be sued for something that happens after mom leaves the hospital. Could you be sued if she got in a car accident on the way home too?
Realistically, the likelyhood of it is probably nil...but they (hospital administration, other coworkers) have it so pounded into your head you think of everything. Some people will try to sue for anything. If mom walks down the street and gets run over...family may try to say that it was the hospitals responsibilty to see that she was sent away safely, or she was under the influence of narcotics and couldn´t decide...anything. Doesn´t mean they will get anything out if it. There was a lawsuit recently against the hosptial over a patient that fell in front of the hospital when he went outside to smoke...it was a grown man in his 50´s. He was competent and wanted a cigarette. You can´t MAKE him stay inside...but he fell and now it´s the hospitals fault (so he says). I really don´t see him getting anything from that...but he tried. Usually it´s not the individual nurse...but she/he can be named in a suit.

It´s policy that we have to make arrangements for a ride home if the patient doesn´t have one. It frequently happens...just not usually with mother/babies. It´s fine to offer...but you can´t force it. People still have the right to choose.

You always think about it...but I can´t let it run me. I can´t make every decison based on whether or not I will be sued (in my job and in real life). Somewhere common sense has to kick in.
phreedom's Avatar phreedom 01:40 AM 10-15-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post
Phreedom, I'd probably do the same, not because I don't think a mother can make the best choice for herself and child, but just because I care about people and if I had the means and they might possibly not and maybe they made the choice between two not-so-attractive options, then I would feel priviledged to be able to help. If the mum declined my offer, that's the end of it.

Your concern is admirable; the reaction of the workers who enforce the punishment situation described by Ackray, is not.
When I worked on the heart floor...we had a frequent flyer patient (she was in there ALL the time...she knew everyone by name) She was discharged and had no ride home and a cab would not come get her (we have like 2 cabs in the whole town). I ended up bringing her home after I got of work. Probably not the smartest thing ever...but I just felt so bad for her. I was warned by co workers that I could have been sooo sued if something happened to her (eyeroll)

I don´t think I´ll be driving patients home anymore though...not very bright.
UberMama's Avatar UberMama 05:00 AM 10-15-2007
With our kiddos, we carried them out in the car seats.. but the bases HAD to be installed and a nurse had to verify this. Silly thing was, the nurses didn't check to see if they were installed correctly. The nurse would just glance at the base in the seat and then say, "Okay!" and back into the hosp she went.

I'd have a FIT if the hosp insisted a nurse carry the baby out. Gimme a wheelchair and give me my baby (hey, I won't turn down a wheelchair ride, even if I feel WONDERFUL!).
sunshine's mama's Avatar sunshine's mama 11:52 AM 10-15-2007
Wow, I have never heard of that....

Once they cut off that monitor that rings alarms and bells off my LO's ankle, nobody holds that baby but me....or daddy....

I know where I am, they ask they wheel you down in a chair...even if it's not needed and you can walk just fine and dandy....

I said that I was ok to walk down but they said it was policy...

I didn't make a stink out of it (ok, a slight stink about it this time)
bc I know that it's the last of the help I am going to get for awhile......although this time around daddy was alot more help the first week home....
ThreeBeans's Avatar ThreeBeans 12:33 AM 10-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
She did mention previously that the hospital she works at is on a busy street/highway with NO sidewalks. So, ok, I get that it's not safe, in her particular case, to leave on foot. Hopefully, since the hospital could build sidewalks and hasn't, they offer free transportation options.
That's irrelevant.
malibusunny's Avatar malibusunny 12:38 AM 10-16-2007
Well, you could just check out at 11 pm. Then they pretty much let you do whatever you want, because that's not when people normally check out, so the nurses at that time have no clue what the procedure is. :
tayndrewsmama's Avatar tayndrewsmama 12:39 AM 10-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by phreedom View Post
I really don´t get why staff has to make such a big deal out of it. If a mama wants to walk then let her walk. Our mamas walk up to the L+D floor all of the time...why can´t they walk when they leave. I offer a wheel chair, but I´ve really got better things to do then get all upset and stressed out if a mama refuses it. I really don´t understand. It´s a shame this is even really an issue.
I agree with you. I was offered a wheelchair after giving birth to my oldest and I refused. I also blacked out and nearly cracked my head open on the water fountain. : It never would have occured to me to hold anyone responsible for that but myself. If I am old enough to have a child, I can take responsibility for the decisions I make, even if they are stupid and I was strongly advised to 'take a seat'.
Ironica's Avatar Ironica 01:06 AM 10-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
That's irrelevant.
I don't see how it's irrelevant. Hospitals are BIG. They often take up the whole block. If it's a busy street/highway and the hospital didn't include sidewalks in their development plan, they probably *are* liable to some extent for pedestrians that get hit by cars. Heck, when I worked at the MTA, we had a bus stop that, because of the curvature of the street, got crashed into about every other month, even though there IS a curb there... and there were liability concerns. The new owner of the property behind it (giant mansion in the sub-Bel Air portion of West LA) was concerned enough that he was talking with MTA about improvements that could be made to make it safer for people waiting for the bus. (Don't know if anything ever came of it, though.)

If it's actually a highway, it may be illegal for pedestrians to walk along the shoulder. Obviously, CPS is *totally* the wrong authority to call if someone insists; the Highway Patrol or local PD Traffic Division would be more appropriate. I agree that the particular policy *as described* isn't appropriate, but I do think there are situations where the hospital, by not taking responsibility for the immediate urban environment in front of their property, could be liable for what happens to a pedestrian there... especially if it's someone just released from the hospital. Therefore, they'd need CYA policies in place.

Obviously, what *I* think they ought to do is pony up and build a friggin' sidewalk ;-) but then again, my grad school advisor's wife is the second author on this paper.
WC_hapamama's Avatar WC_hapamama 01:35 AM 10-16-2007
I never argued about the wheelchair ride to the car. Yeah, I was capable of walking, but with those labial tears and perineal tears I had and the lack of sleep because I didn't ever send my babies to the nursery, I didn't mind the ride to the car.

It was by my choice though. I think when my youngest was born, they asked me if I wanted a wheelchair rather than assuming I wanted one.
Ackray's Avatar Ackray 01:42 AM 10-16-2007
I didn't say anything about calling cps. I said that I guess I'd call social services to help find the patient a safe way to get home. I'm positive they would not laugh in my face for this. I also said this has never happened to me so I don't see why people are feeling the need to make call me out as a terrible person for saying what I might do if faced with the situation. I wouldn't want to lose my job over something like me wanting to walk the patient to their car or finding a way for them to get home and them being confrontational about it. I guess I've been really lucky since I have never had an experience with a patient causing a big deal about our dishcharge policies.

Whatever.
Sharlla's Avatar Sharlla 01:52 AM 10-16-2007
I have never heard of that, I carried both mine out. The insisted that I sat in a wheelchair and come out and inspect the carseat.
paquerette's Avatar paquerette 03:53 AM 10-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ackray View Post
I didn't say anything about calling cps. I said that I guess I'd call social services to help find the patient a safe way to get home. I'm positive they would not laugh in my face for this.
What's the difference between social services and CPS, and is this a service they typically provide? Maybe your area is different, but I think most places, social services and CPS are one and the same, and if they are called they either open a case on you or not, no in between. If they determine you could benefit from their involvement in any way, then you've got an open file and your legal right to your child is being evaluated. And all they provide is "counselling" or parenting classes or whatever, removal of children from parents, or "sorry to bother you, have a nice day." Sometimes they'll hook you up with Salvation Army or other charities for baby furniture etc., or help you figure out WIC/fs/cash assistance whatever. But I've never heard of them providing taxi service. I'm pretty sure they would either decide it's not a crisis situation and do nothing, or it is a crisis situation and remove the baby.
uakt's Avatar uakt 04:02 AM 10-16-2007
I find this post very interesting. I had an unplanned/unwanted c sect, left the hospital after two days and wasn't even offered a wheelchair. I walked down several floors and out to the car in 110 degree heat. They never even asked how I was getting home or confirmed that the car seat would even be installed in a car. Two extremes in hospitals I guess.
Ironica's Avatar Ironica 04:20 AM 10-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ackray View Post
I didn't say anything about calling cps. I said that I guess I'd call social services to help find the patient a safe way to get home. I'm positive they would not laugh in my face for this. I also said this has never happened to me so I don't see why people are feeling the need to make call me out as a terrible person for saying what I might do if faced with the situation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by paquerette View Post
What's the difference between social services and CPS, and is this a service they typically provide? Maybe your area is different, but I think most places, social services and CPS are one and the same, and if they are called they either open a case on you or not, no in between.
In my county, if they're called, they are REQUIRED to perform an investigation, which includes:

* Home visit -- where does the child sleep, is there food in the fridge, safety hazards, yadda yadda
* Interview with parent
* Physical inspection of child (they don't necessarily have to touch the child, but they have to have ample opportunity to see them and verify that they're healthy)
* Recording Pediatrician's name/phone number and copying immunization records

Now, when some nut at the supermarket didn't like how I put the shopping cart away and called the cops, fortunately, I knew enough to cooperate COMPLETELY with the social worker. We were also somewhat lucky that we'd elected to do all the baby vaccinations (on a somewhat delayed schedule, but up-to-date by the time this happened) and she didn't care about MMR or varicella.

But the fact is, Stephanie, in most places, if you call Social Services, or for that matter ANY authority (i.e. cops) because of concerns about the care a child is receiving... the family *will* be investigated. And if they're co-sleeping, delayed/selective/non-vaxing, exclusively nursing, babywearing type folks, and get a straight-arrow social worker who doesn't truck with that hippie nonsense, you can easily get a newborn baby removed from its parents' care... because they wanted to walk home.

So, I hope you're never in this situation, but if you are, you need to consider carefully what is the bigger risk: the family walking out the door and taking their chances on the shoulder, or the newborn possibly being removed from his/her family? Even a few day's separation that soon after the birth can ruin the family's chances to establish nursing, and would dramatically interfere with bonding.

And, frankly, if my choice were down to risking my job or letting a family I felt were otherwise well-prepared for parenthood make a crazy decision about transportation, I don't know that I'd want to keep that job. :-/ I've worked in a lot of places with a lot of policies, and I ALWAYS made absolutely sure I understood the backwards and forwards of every policy and how we were to enforce it before I accepted responsibility for it.... and yet, none of those decisions were ever quite as BIG as the one you might have to make one of these days. I hope you spend some quality time with your employer's established policy and your actual enforcement responsibilities, and aren't afraid to ask your supervisor(s) uncomfortable questions if you're not satisfied with what you read.
Ackray's Avatar Ackray 10:33 AM 10-16-2007
I guess it's just completely different here because none of that would warent a follow up of any kind.
tayndrewsmama's Avatar tayndrewsmama 11:44 AM 10-16-2007
If I felt the need to call someone about a ride for a newly released patient, I would call a cab, the bus company, ride share program, a church, a community center, or drive them home myself. What I would not do is call CPS or social services. Even in our area, where there really aren't any CPS/SS horror stories, that would not be a good idea at all. Everything requires a follow up, even it is just for paperwork reasons. Ackray, I think it's great that you would go the extra mile to help ensure they get home safely, I just disagree that CPS/SS would be the right call to make.
mommy_e's Avatar mommy_e 01:10 PM 10-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by paquerette View Post
What's the difference between social services and CPS, and is this a service they typically provide? Maybe your area is different, but I think most places, social services and CPS are one and the same, and if they are called they either open a case on you or not, no in between.
I don't know about the PP's hospital in particular, but most hospitals around here have social workers on staff aka "social services". They are NOT CPS employees, but rather liscenced social workers who are there to help patients navigate the system. I have a good friend who is one and she routinely works with patients to make sure they are signed up for any programs they are eligible for (and want), helps them find social service agencies and charities for assistance and makes sure they have an adequate support system before discharge. She is not part of the CPS system, but is a mandated reporter like other heathcare workers.

If they really felt it was a case of neglect, they could call CPS, but in this case, most likely the social worker from the hospital would just call a cab for the person and provide a voucher.
Ironica's Avatar Ironica 11:14 PM 10-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ackray View Post
I guess it's just completely different here because none of that would warent a follow up of any kind.
Really? So, if someone calls the cops and says "I just saw a parent endangering their child," there's no follow-up? That's disturbing. Why do you think they'd help you stop the parents from walking home, then?
canadiannancy's Avatar canadiannancy 01:30 AM 10-17-2007
I felt very powerless when I had dd1. I was told I "had" to be induced....I "had" to let them take her to the nursery for weigh ins and check ups daily...we were not "allowed" to leave until were were told we were allowed to and we "had" to have a car seat to take our daughter home in....even though originally I planned on taking the bus home and we had no car or any plans to get one.

So....baby number two was a home birth and baby number three will be a home birth too...along with any other babies we have unless there is a serious problem needing medical attention in a hospital. DH was worried about when we would legally be allowed to homebirth...after much research....I am allowed to homebirth anytime now....not legally...but after my first experience...I am 36 weeks today and would deliver any time at home...I agree with some previous posters....I am the one who should make rules about what is allowed to happen to my baby and my body. No one else!
Ackray's Avatar Ackray 10:30 AM 10-17-2007
: I'm not answering that. It has nothing to do with this conversation at all.
the_lissa's Avatar the_lissa 10:43 AM 10-17-2007
If you mean Ironica's post, it certainly does.
phreedom's Avatar phreedom 05:31 PM 10-17-2007
If the parents wanted a ride and was willing to wait, I guess I could see where social services (not CPS) might come in handy. But if you have a parent that is ready to leave NOW and wants to walk, I don't see what good calling a social worker is going to do. Most of them work certain hours and even then they aren't going to be down there STAT for that situation (if at all).

If there were a sudden, clear child endangerment issue involved, I would first call the police (have a substaion in the hospital). Social services/CPS would come after. (and no, child endangerment doesn't mean walking home, taking a bus or refusing a wheel chair)

This thread has really got me thinking... I know policy and state laws say that an infant must be in a car seat. We tell the parents this and all of them (in my experience) have always had one. I really don't know what I would do if I was walking someone down and they had thier own private vehicle and no carsear to speak of and were adamant about leaving right that second. I guess I would inform them of the laws and the safety issues...give them a chance to get one. Then if they didn't I would call CPS to investigate the car seat issue. I would feel really weird calling the police on them, but we aren't supposed to let them leave like that. But really how can you FORCE them? I don't think I'm willing to put myself in danger like that, but what about the baby?

What do yall think should be done in a situation like that?
phreedom's Avatar phreedom 05:35 PM 10-17-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
Really? So, if someone calls the cops and says "I just saw a parent endangering their child," there's no follow-up? That's disturbing. Why do you think they'd help you stop the parents from walking home, then?
Chances are that's all they would be able to do is follow up. I can't see them getting there that fast to be able to speak with the parents. I think security or the police would be the best people to call in an immediate situation of child endangerment. CPS at THAT point would be kind of useless.

Not that I'm saying that this is a dangerous situation. But in the event of a child endangerment situation. Yeah they do happen sometimes.
4 in 2005's Avatar 4 in 2005 02:42 PM 10-18-2007
Heathenmom- Elizabeth-

I had quite the oppisite reaction. I was in labor with my first. My husband took me to the hospital and his best friend showed up as well. I got out of the car as a hard contraction hit. I want to stand still when contractions hit. I told my husband give me a second. Next thing I know I am being forced into a wheelchair by these 2 men that are just freaking out.

I decided to humor them because they would not hear of me walking into the hospital. OMG the nurse in the Er and the L&D nurse both had a fit. "Well we are going to make you walk when you get up here." UGH. I wanted to slap her. She would not listen that it was not my idea, I thought it would be easier then arguing with these 2 that wouldn't listen anyway. She made a big deal about it to the other L&D nurse on shift.

They check me and I am 6cms dialated and he is very low. "No wonder you didn't feel up to walking." Now all of a sudden it was ok. I though how rude.

BTW my local hospital has a policy that mom and baby have to be taken to the door by a nurse. Mom in a wheelchair and baby has to either be held by mom or a nurse. However mom has the option. They push that suggestion. If you have a bucket seat the want you to bring it in. If you have a convertiable they let you leave it in the car. They have to see you have a car seat. I asked what would happen if I didn't want to be pushed in a wheel chair. I can refuse but I would have to sign waivers and that seemed like a hassle to me. They won't let me carry the baby out however, because if I fell the wouldn't want the baby injured on htie property and they have to ensure there is a car seat.
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