A home health nurse is visiting a client who is due for a dressing change for a diabetic foot ulcer. While at the client’s home, the nurse notes open cleaning products sitting on the counter next to a plate of chicken. Which is the best response by the nurse?

  1. notify the health care provider about the hazardous conditions found in the client’s home
  2. explain to the client that this situation is unsafe, then offer to check her home for other hazards she may not be aware of
  3. perform the dressing change without commenting on the chemicals, then notify social services to intervene
  4. do not say anything; the nurse is there to address the client’s dressing change and not criticize the client’s housekeeping
Number 2 is correct.
Rationale: The client may not be aware of the danger of keeping chemicals so close to food, so the nurse should gently explain to the client in a respectful manner. The nurse can then say that a home safety inspection for other hazards is free and ask if the client would like one. The nurse can point out fall hazards, such as slippery rugs, or a frayed cord on a lamp that may start a fire. The nurse should always be on the lookout for environmental hazards to the client so that corrective action may be taken. There is no need to notify the health care provider or social services in this instance. The nurse should never keep quiet about situations that may place the client in jeopardy.