July 2012 Weddings
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Torn...

Okay here's the situation. I don't know whether I invite these people are not.

As some of you know I'm a home care nurse, so I go from house to house visiting patients everyday Monday-Friday.  I've built relationships with my patients, some more so than others, 1 in particular I could almost call my family, we even exchange gifts at Christmas (they spoil me like crazy)  and when they go on vacation every year they usually bring something back for me (which is incredibly thoughtful).

This family in particular I see because I help take care of their son who has Cerebral Palsy. They are the first patients I see every weekday morning and I'll see them 3 times a week around dinner hour.
I'm not inviting any of my co-workers to the wedding, or any of my patients, however I'm torn about this 1 particular family.
We (myself and the boys parents) discuss hot topics, the wedding (they are always asking how the planning if going) and local events, I guess you could say we've become friends.

So.. I don't know whether to invite them. I know there's no way any of my other patients would know I invited these people, since none of my patients know of any other patients I see for confidentiality reasons, but I'm worried that one way or another my office would find out. How? I have no idea but with my luck they could and doing things outside of my job with patients or their families is against employment "rules".
 
I feel like if I didn't invite these people they would be deeply hurt and thats the last thing I want to do.
I'm Torn. Help!
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Re: Torn...

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    Well if you talk to them on a personal level can you say I would really love to invite you to our wedding but I can get into big trouble if work finds out so can you please promise me you will not say anything because I can lose my job. 

    From the way it sounds they treat you very well and would love to come to your wedding.  I am sure they will have no problem not saying anything.  But then again you always run the risk of someone finding out and catching wind of it.  You would definitely be taking a risk.
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    it sounds like this family really cares about you and is more than just a client. from the way you described them, i think you would be really disappointed if you didn't invite them.

    could you ask your boss if this would violate company policy? i know i would be nervous about breaking any sort of rule and would prefer to know one way or the other if this was a no-no. perhaps if you have a big HR department, you could ask someone in HR that you are comfortable with who knows company policy?

    assuming there is no company policy banning things like this, i don't think there is anything wrong with not inviting co-workers and inviting this family. you should invite who you are closest to, and it really sounds like you have developed a bond with this family.
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    I tend to err on the more careful side of dual relationships. If this family really means alot to you and would mean alot for them to be at your wedding then I'd ask your HR department if it is acceptable to invite them. If anyone else asks why you haven't invited them explain about guest list constraints due to either space or budget. They should understand.
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    I like Nikki's idea of double checking things with your HR department. If the policy will be upheld, then maybe the solution is to share a wedding album with them later after the wedding, but not invite them and explain that you love what you do for them, and would not want to lose this working relationship by violating office policies. I hope HR will let you invite this family though, they sound close to you!
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    I'm going to go with not inviting them. We had clients in assisted living last quarter in nursing school that we were helping to care for - and we weren't even allowed to accept ANY gifts or cards or anything from them nor give them any sort of cards - not even a personal Thank you card.

    They're really stressing how tangled things can become if things are kept strictly professional. 
     
    As others have said, you could check with HR - and see what their opinion is.  I'm not answering from my human side - just my "this is what they're forcing down our throats in nursing school" side

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    I would ask HR just to be safe, but I think I would invite them. For clarification, are you self-employed using a platform that patients schedule time with you through? Or are you an employee of this company? Because that would affect my answer as well.
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    I'm an employee of a company.
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    I would err on the side of caution.  I would talk to HR or a manager to find out how upheld the rules are at this point.  If they really want to come and you know you'll get fired for it they will probably also accept that you can't invite them.  I would just bring over an album after the fact and maybe bring back something from the HM.

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    I say no, just to be on the safe side...HR is tricky...I would be torn as well.  But I would  ultimately pick no.  =(
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    I'm a nurse as well, and I agree with PPs who said they would not invite the family. I would consider talking to my manager or HR, but might not even do that at the risk of them questioning my professionalism and possibly changing my case load (don't know if that would be a concern for you, depends on your manager I guess) - and for the record - I am in no way questioning your professionalism. You sound like a wonderful and caring nurse.

    I would probably comment to the family that you would love to have them there, but that company policy prevents you from being allowed to invite them and that you do not want to risk losing your working relationship with them. Then I would bring over an album after the wedding to share with them.

    It sucks that you have to make this hard decision. I've had a bit of experience in home and community care nursing and I know the special bond that can be formed with your patients. I still regularly think about (at least weekly, sometimes almost daily) and miss some of my regular patients I had during my time in community care. It even makes me tear up a little thinking of it sometimes. So I really empathize with you. 

    Ultimately, you have to protect your license and your professional reputation, as crappy as that is sometimes in terms of our relationships.
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    Yup I see where you guys are going and your suggestions are all ideas I've thought of exploring.  I've been with this family for over 4 years now.  I don't know anyone in HR, the company has made so many changes and I even now have a new Coordinator and supervisor starting last week so I have no strong relationships with any of my superiors, in fact I've never met either of my superiors I've only ever spoken to my coordinator in the phone since I don't have to go into the actually office very often. <Sigh>
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    I personally wouldn't worry about it. If you want them there, I would invite them. But I work at a company that is pretty laid back, so maybe my viewpoint is skewed. I just can't imagine a company reprimanding an employee for inviting someone to their wedding. It seems like there are so many bigger issues to worry about (plus seems unlikely they would even know).

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