The setting: My patient's family's apartment. It's 9:00 PM, time for me to head home. I can't just walk out and leave, I have to make sure there's a responsible adult in the home. I open his bedroom door and the rest of the apartment is dark, except for a light in the kitchen. I peek in and see my patient's younger brother, playing on his iPad at the kitchen table as he eats a bowl of cereal...
Me: Hey, Pete! Is your mom or grandmother home?
Pete (9 years old): I think my grandma is upstairs at my uncle's, I dunno where Mom is...ask my sister.
Me: OK, thanks!
I peek into the kids' bedroom, the door is open, and Hazel (age 11) is on the top bunk, perusing HER iPad...
Me: Hey, Hazel! Do you know where your mom or grandma are?
Hazel: Grandma is upstairs, sleeping at my Uncle's place. I think Mom's in her bedroom.
Hazel proceeds to climb out of bed, leaves her room, and blithely walks over to her mother's room and opens the door, WITHOUT KNOCKING OR WAITING...
Mother's boyfriend (scrambling off of mom and off the bed): I'M CHANGING MY CLOTHES!
Hazel meanwhile calmly closes the door, turns and walks back to her room.
Me: Okay then, Hazel! Your mom is home, your brother is doing fine, I'll see you next week! And you should really knock on doors before opening them. BYE!
Then I hightail it out of there, probably leaving a contrail.
How hard would it have been for mom to poke (ha!) her head into my patient's room when she got home from work, just to tell me she's actually home. Or she could've even texted me if she didn't want to do that. And have people forgotten how to lock their bedroom doors? And hell, what about WAITING TO GET BUSY WITH THE BOYFRIEND UNTIL ALL HER CHILDREN ARE ASLEEP AND THE NURSE HAS LEFT?!
I'm so glad next week is my last in homecare. I can't wait to work in the hospital, which will bring its own challenges, I'm sure, but hopefully nothing quite this crass. I move to New Hampshire a week from Monday.