Saturday, November 13, 2021

This facility will go from a five review to a one

There has been a sea change in this country over the last two years. You see it in all the "Taking applications" signs lining the perimiters of every business, manufacturing plant, service industry, restaurant around you.

My friend Ann has run a kennel in Wisconsin for twenty years. At this year's end it goes on the market, and probably will sell only for land value. She cannot hire anyone who wants to work.

That is exactly the problem here at Regina. The "staff" see no reason to do a decent job. If reprimanded for a bad job, they leave. Another job literally is around the corner, down the street. Good wages, premiums are offered and taken.

From this bed I can see how understaffed it is here. I think. Perhaps enough people are not doing an honest day's work. I do not know how the "help"affects mobile patients. I know this immobile patient has learned some hard, hard facts.

I can lie as much as four hours in urine. I can go hours without a pain pill, especially if physical therapy is not on my schedule. I can amuse myself for hours finding another was of getting an aid into the room for help.

A friend called last night, in the midst of a four hour pee episode. She called the nurse's station and texted me "Susie is on her way down. Let me know." Forty five minutes later, Susie arrived. We all know I am not beyond climbing the ladder of authority for answers and help.   

I feel like Janis Joplin, dialing for dollars. "O lord won't you find me a helpful aid!"



50 comments:

  1. That is terrible! The issues are everywhere. It seems like they started with the pandemic but I'm not sure why. I hope you can get out there ASAP!

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  2. There's a lot of that job-switching going on the UK too. With all the staff shortages in so many sectors, a lot of companies are upping their wages and conditions and luring people from jobs that aren't so attractive. But I have no complaints about the way people are doing their jobs. My big grouse is phoning companies and being put on hold for half an hour.

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  3. Hari OM
    Yes, COVID has shaken a great deal up - not just the population numbers. I detest that you have had to experience such poor care levels, Joanne - and like others here, I'm sure, am frustrated beyond words that I cannot reach across and make it better... Stay strong dear lady! YAM xx

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  4. That's awful, being left like that. Unacceptable. Insulting. Dangerous as well. How has it come to this?

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  5. There are no words for this Joanne. Nobody allowed in to see you makes it impossible. You at least need an advocate.

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  6. I’m a nurse as well as a retired attorney. I don’t know where you live but every state has an elder abuse hotline. What you are describing is neglect, at minimum. If they can’t safely care for the number of patients they have, then they need to transfer some to other facilities. If you want, you could contact the facility’s patient advocate and/or your own doctor before calling the elder abuse hotline.

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  7. I agree with Marcy, Joanne. If they are understaffed and can't provide the care needed, then they need to transfer some to other facilities. I might talk to my own doctor first about what is going on.

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  8. Nursing homes are horribly understaffed. Most of the people working there are horribly undertrained and overworked. That being said if a person wants something more they should not work in a nursing home. Conditions for employment are not the fault or responsibility of the patients. They need care. That's why they are there. If you work at a nursing home have some compassion.

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  9. How terrible that care has sunk to this, keep strong in this time and get in touch with your family. Xx

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  10. I'm sure they are understaffed but still they cannot treat patients like that. I would definitely climb that ladder of authority!
    We now are almost constantly hearing about "The Great Resignation". I understand people moving to better jobs when they can but something should be done about keeping people in all jobs. Better pay and working conditions you would think would help but apparently not always these days. I never expected this result from the pandemic.

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  11. What Marcie said!! Everyone needs a champion, and advocate, when they find themselves in a nursing facility. Nursing facility abuse of patients is rampant. Poor wages and little education - the "helpers"- "anyone can work in a nursing home"...Follow the $$$.

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  12. Very frustrating, Joanne. I'm glad you're able to write about the experience, however I wish it were a better one. Thinking of you. x

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  13. First of all, what you are having to put up with is wrong and disturbing. The situation is the same in Ontario. “We are hiring” signs are everywhere. There is such a huge shortage in any form of medical care. Our “local” hospital has closed its emergency ward after 7:00 pm for at least a year now. Our provincial government’s answer is to hire more inspectors for care homes. They need to hire more nurses and pay them better.
    I feel for you and hope you are sprung from that place as quickly as possible. - Jenn

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  14. Oh gosh, Joanne... That sounds absolutely awful. I am so sorry. Our hospitals here are short staffed too.

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  15. Oh my! Frustrating and disgusting! I can only imagine what it’s like for patients who have no voice.

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  16. Dear Joanne, just read your last three postings and find myself appalled by all that is happening. I'd never really thought about what the "taking applications" signs meant beyond the fact that perhaps a job was available. You know, more and more, I'm realizing that I'm not an abstract thinker!!! But you--you think in abstract and concrete--moreover (when your leg isn't broken)--you not only talk the talk, you walk the walk and this set-back won't keep you from doing so in that nursing home.You are a woman of great fortitude--another Dorothy Day. So just show your natural gumption. I just can't stand this picture of you lying in your urine. Please know that I am sending your enfolding and embracing thoughts and prayers and visualizing and also a deep and abiding belief in your survival urge. Peace.

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  17. This is appalling. There are NO excuses for this! Ugh!

    Joanne, I hope you're out of there very soon!

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  18. Well that totally sucks. This is just one more indication that this country is in decline. Is there some adency you or your sister or daughter can report this neglect to?

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  19. Joanne, my heart goes out to you. I hated seeing things like this happen when my dad was in the nursing home. I'm sure that my visiting almost daily helped keep his care level better. It is so much harder when family and friends can't visit due to pandemic restrictions and/or quarantine. Hang in there, girl. Keep a spoon and cup from your next tray if you can and use them to make some noise when you need care. Lying in urine is not just an issue of dignity and comfort, it can lead to breakdown of the skin and further health issues. Talk to whoever you can, go up the ladder until you get someone who can fix it. Hugs. xx

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  20. What happened to people taking pride in the job they are doing, even if there are greener fields on the horizon? What you are experiencing is third world treatment. It is beyond my feeble level of understanding that it has sunk to this.

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  21. My sister-in-law works in a care facility and she posted a bit of a rant about what nurses and CNA's have to go through these days. The COVID pandemic started the black ball rolling, but then the government put out money to everyone, whether they were ill, working or not working. Many who were employed in low level jobs figured they'd just quit rather than risk getting COVID from the public. And people not getting vaccinated just overloaded the medical community, preventing seriously ill people (not from COVID) from receiving treatment and care. And so now we sit, with next to no one working--notwithstanding that the pool of potential workers has been devastated by COVID deaths and illness. A body is a body and we're vastly short of them in certain areas, especially medical care. I don't have an answer other than improving the working conditions, building more hospitals and training more people (and making the potential income a lure for people to enter that job market by gaining the training and education behind it). For now, I agree with Marcy -- JOANNE: You need to contact your doctor's office and see if you can't be discharged to home with home health care workers to come in for p.t. and see to your personal care. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

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  22. Is there any way you can get a health aide in from an agency, bypassing the staff? I did that one time with private duty nurses for a couple of days after surgery. Not sure if that's possible for you. But I hate to think that you're being so neglected.

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  23. Forty five minutes?? How far is the nursing station from your bed? In the next county?
    I read similar stories here in my newspaper about patients left unattended in wet beds or perched on toilets and forgotten about etc. It's a very sorry situation the world over. how much longer do you have to stay there?

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  24. I've heard about these problems for many years and expect it is now worse than ever today. Just as you report. About 15 years ago a friend had a knee replacement and went directly to a rehab. She was given lots of pain drugs and was displeased with the entire operation. She attempted to sign herself out of the rehab and they refused. My friend contacted her attorney and the attorney made one phone call to the Rehab and my friend was brought to her own home via ambulance. PT was done in her home and aids came in daily to help. Joanne, could this solution work for you?

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  25. What they need on the beds are giant sanitary pads/mats like puppy training mats, that soak away the pee and leave the surface dry. Those at "the top of the heap" who are pocketing the profits probably won't want to be forking out for them though.

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  26. Joanne, if you are sitting in urine regularly for extended periods then you are at serious risk of your skin breaking down, especially over bony areas in contact with the urine and the bed. You must be thoroughly washed, dried and thick cream applied with every change. Also need regular changes of position in the bed to distribute pressure. Since you are very slim, you have no extra padding to help protect you. A skin breakdown would progress very quickly. Good care would prioritise this. I’m sorry but your situation is really bothering me and if you are bedridden and unable to move around in the bed then there is an urgent need for something to change. Merely trying to hassle staff on your own is not likely to do it since they do not have to live with the consequences of their poor care and you would just have to start hassling all over again with every change of shift. Pain management is a whole separate issue which also needs to be addressed. I am a retired clinical nurse with many years of experience dealing with these issues. If one of your daughters is a nurse practitioner then perhaps she could help?

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    1. What Gardener said! And said well; thank you Gardener.

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  27. Wow. This is beyond awful. It needs to be reported. The Elder Abuse hotline is a good start. I'm glad you have a mind. What horrifies me are people with dementia issues or speech issues who cannot speak for themselves. Fight the good fight, Joanne.

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  28. Please follow through with what MarcieB and Gardner have said. I just read that the government is going to permit some nursing homes, facilities to close due to poor staffing. Part of this is because over half of the staff refuse to be vaccinated, so the facilities will be closing. Yes, talk with your surgeon, the facility's patient advocate, and the state to report them. It may not improve staffing, but you may be able to be transferred to a better facility. I'm so sorry the medical system has fallen apart when you need it most. Having your pain under control is a patient right, so is proper hygiene in order to keep your skin intact. Good luck; keep notes. Make calls. Linda in Kansas, RN

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  29. Debby and others are right. This should be documented and reported. I am sorry for the stress lack of good care in your already complicated situation.

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  30. Oh Joanne, horrible, horrible, horrible. And terrifying. I can only wish that you are soon able to leave that station - I really, really pray for you! xxx
    The words of Gardener should be heard, I hope.

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  31. When I was working long ago and the economy was much better, I found there were always those people who don't pull their weight. They seem to do well too. Now with everything much changed, I can only imagine how bad it is in most places staff wise. They are really hurting here too in all sectors for staff. The other day and again today I dealt with new staff at the cash register. Very, very slow to catch on to anything but what can the owner or the customer do. They are "lucky" to have someone willing to try and do the job.

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  32. Joanne, I am truly shocked to read of the conditions in your hospital. I don't understand why, if you can't get up to go to the toilet, you haven't been fitted with a catheter. Thinking of you. Please keep reporting for all your blogging friends. XXX

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  33. The neglect is dreadful. As has been said above, you need to have it reported and seek a change of facility. It is nothing new, however...Leo's time in French hospitals - state of the art facilities - showed some disgraceful practices, from fully trained and well paid nurses.
    On the other hand, the employment worm is beginning to turn. Low paid jobs cannot attract takers and business models are going to have to take this into account. All through the experience of COVID the comfortably off have been cushioned by the shop workers, the delivery drivers, the warehouse staff - all underpaid and suffering poor working conditions - and people are no longer, it seems, prepared to put up with it.

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  34. Good grief Joanne, this is totally unacceptable. We are having the same problems here with regard to all low paying jobs. It's like the poorer classes are having this quiet revolution. Covid has done this I believe.

    I so feel for you caught in this horrible situation. I do hope you get the proper care that you need. I know a lot of these workers/carers are run ragged.

    big hug
    XO
    WWW

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  35. When I broke my tibia ( 4 places with rod inserted) I also had problems with getting bathroom aid. So I worked in making myself able to use a bedside potty chair... I finally could get from bed to the chair and back again. Independence is the key to a "pleasant" rehab/nursing home stay. Plus having someone who could visit daily!!

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  36. Can you move to the other home? Independence will get you out of there...I say speaking from lots of experience.

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  37. This is untenable. Lying in urine for that long is not only highly unpleasant, it is also a threat to the integrity of your skin! This makes me furious! Please do go up the chain of command. Also, there must be a state or local elder care agency who investigates these things. Report what's going on!

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  38. Good grief, I am so sorry this is happening to you. Would the pee pads actually help? You can order them from Amazon if they would. It shouldn't be necessary to be having this conversation, this should not be happening to anyone. I hope you can get our soon.

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  39. Such issues arose at the nursing home where I worked when, supposedly, we were fully staffed. I'm sure it's much worse now. The patients who got attention from the less-engaged staff members made it fun to come to their rooms. They joked and made a fuss over how adorable the girls on the staff were. I don't know if that still works, and you shouldn't have to do it; but I felt I should tell you. It also helped if family could come into visit regularly, but I know it isn't possible right now because of the person who tested positive for COVID.

    Love,
    Janie

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  40. We went through this with my mom. No communication, no interest, little compassion or professionalism. It's a difficult but important job - if the medical profession is hellbent on keeping us alive for a longer and longer period, they sure as shooting should be focused on supporting us when we most need it. I am way behind on my blog reading, so will back track to see what put you there. Make as much 'noise' as you can.

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  41. Wish there was something I could do to help Joanne. As it is all I can say is thinking of you and sending you my love.

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  42. Joanne, that is horrible! So angry that you had to put up with this!

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  43. I wish we could break you outta there.

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  44. Just checking in here ... hoping your situation has improved. Keeping you in my thoughts...

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  45. I am so sorry this is the level of care you are getting. I am an old nurse, graduated in 1974. Our instructer ingrained in all of her students the importance of every aspect of caring for a recovering patient. We were also taught that no task was beneath us, the patient's needs came first and if you saw a patient being neglected, you offered your services for whatever they might need. Things have changed, the nurses stay at their station, relying on read-outs from al the various equipment the install on your person. The human touch and compassion are equally important as medications.

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