Old 10-13-2011, 02:44 PM #1 (permalink)
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Angry Home Health Nurse!

Today the home health nurse came out to attend to the pressure sore on my husband's shoulder. We had used this agency before, so I had a good feeling about whomever they would send to our home.

Don't crucify me for saying this particular thing, but it always freaks me out when any "health" care professional is barely able to fit through a doorway. I declare! Sweat was beading up on her upper lip in breezy 60 degrees, just from walking from her car to our front door! She practically shuffled to our sofa. I remained positive and tried to overlook all that.

When asking all her questions about his activities of daily living, medications, and so on, she kept interjecting lengthy descriptions of her own health problems (and by the way she was 40 years old - she let that out to)! Then when she asked him about his pain level, my husband told her his ALS had atrophied his upper body so much that he was in constant pain and it was never below a 5 on the scale. This was her response: "Try living with diabetes and asthma!" OMG!

I thought my husband was going to levitate from his chair! He looked at me and back at her and back at me again indicating she was absolutely nuts!

This woman wouldn't shut up about her health woes. Then, wait for it.......when she took his vitals, she said, "You'll live." HUH?

After trying to explain to her numerous times about ALS, in between her dribble, I think she was highly insensitive to him as a patient.

Needless to say, I called the administrator at the agency after she left and told her that I was sure this person was a very competent (NOT) nurse and a very nice person, but her negative attitude upset my husband and we did not want her back out! She apologized and assured me she would send someone different next week.

He doesn't normally get negative when people are negative with him, he usually tries to turn it into a positive. He was so upset after she left that he had to go to bed.

It never ceases to amaze me, the level of incompetency found in the health "pros!"

Last edited by brooksea : 10-13-2011 at 03:12 PM Reason: I shoulda asked that nurse if she would like to trade places with hubby!!!
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:42 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Home Health Nurse!

CJ - What a nightmare! How do these insensitive people get a job like this, anyway? Aren't they screened? Hope your husband gets (and you) over the trauma. Bet you are really looking forward to whoever comes next week...

PS: You edit comment is perfect.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:02 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Home Health Nurse!

You know it just baffles me in this economy that people still have jobs that behave like that. Sometimes being polite is just not in the picture.(for us)
The home nurse (couldn't fit through the door either) that came last month to draw blood for the Dexi trial left me with a hematoma from fingers to elbow. I kept saying your blowing a vein and she kept saying one more vial. I told the clinic director and she said she has gotten complaints from others. Will they get rid of her? probably not. My other option it to drive a hour each way to USF to get my blood drawn.
Cj, I'm sorry about what happened. I'm glad you called. This seems to be a trend with home health.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:07 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Home Health Nurse!

I found there is a huge lack of supervision in Home Health. Im saying this as a person who used to work in Home Health.
Its just sad.
CJ- sorry your hubby had to hear her boo-hoo story, and was so affected by it. And sorry you had to deal with it too.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:17 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Home Health Nurse!

I would have reacted the same way and would not let her back in the house!-----------------Hugs Ken
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:24 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Home Health Nurse!

Oh my! Don't our PALS have enough to deal with let alone insensitive not to mention incompetent health care workers?!
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:25 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Home Health Nurse!

It's not just nurses its doctors too. If you remember a month or so ago I fell and the hospice nurse called for an ambulance to take me to ER since I was bleeding from my head. She figured I would need stitches.

The ambulance crew arrived and took over an hour trying to get me onto a back board worried about me breaking my neck. I kept loosing consciousness but do remember coming to in the ambulance and having trouble breathing so I told the nurse I needed to sit up. Then I passed out again.

After arriving at the ER I heard the doctor say that my head did not need stitches however I needed a CAT scan to see if I have a concussion. I told him I had trouble breathing and needed to sit up to breathe since I have ALS and my diaphragm muscles are starting to atrophy. He insisted I had to stay on the backboard until the results of the x-rays were read.

Both Tim and the hospice nurse were with me. They both tried to explain to the doctor what that meant. After saying Lou Gehrig's disease, he seemed to understand what he was dealing with. However he insisted I could not be elevated as my breathing was becoming worse and worse. I don't remember any of this but do remember Tim saying "She's turning blue. What are you going to do?" I heard things beeping, and things went dark.

I am told that Tim raised the backboard and elevated my head while the doctor and nurses started bagging me. I was in a hospital gown when I regained consciousness with sticky patches all over my chest. They told me I had to spend the night to be monitored since my heart had stopped.

Now get this -- the doctor came in the following morning to discharge me, and he said "I don't know if your insurance or Medicare will cover this stay. You can go home now. By the way, you do have a concussion and will have a headache for awhile."

All I can say is his bedside manner stinks! And he is an M.D.! My blood pressure goes up whenever I think about this. And your experience, while you told it in an amusing style, it brought out my experience and I just had to share. It happens everywhere -- and I have suggested to my hospice nurse that on a training day they learn about the disease and ask the doctor from the ER to sit in on the training! I'll be glad to come and talk about what's happening to me and others who I have read about on the forum. Education, education, education -- that's what's needed.

I sympathize with you and empathize with your pals.

Last edited by Ladyinn : 10-13-2011 at 05:31 PM Reason: Spell check
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:29 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Home Health Nurse!

I don't blame you for being upset. It amazes me how some people try and turn something into..oh my boo boo is worse than yours thing...really!
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:32 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Home Health Nurse!

Brooksea
I am so sorry that no one competent walked through your door. We are using United Home Care - we've seen the PT evaluator, nurse, PT, and OT and I have been impressed with their professionalism and caring spirit. Sorry your experience was the pits.

My husband started with kidney stones at 4:30 this morning so between the pain meds, throwing up and visiting Emory for two appointments today I am worn out and he is thankfully asleep in his own bed. Call me sometime. Sending good thoughts your way.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:02 PM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Home Health Nurse!

Sorry, Dianne! What a nightmare! Thank God your Tim was there!

GA PCH, we are using the same agency! You and your husband have been through more than one wringer lately, for sure!

I think this woman was just one of those losers! But still, it is infuriating to know there are healthcare professionals that are much worse than us cALS at providing care and support.
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:09 AM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Home Health Nurse!

CJ -
I don't think I could have contained myself long enough to wait until she was gone. I think I would have had to call her on the carpet AND THEN call her supervisor.

What a nightmare!

I'm sorry you had to deal with that.
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:03 PM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Home Health Nurse!

Unbelievable! Scares me at what might lie ahead for me. So glad you spoke up and it breaks my heart that your husband was so upset. Ugh, unfortunately I think the medical care and the system is just going to get worse. Hugs to you and your hubby. Diane your experience is flat out terrifying. We are blessed you are still with us.
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Old 10-14-2011, 03:44 PM #13 (permalink)
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Just wait if Obama care goes through. If it's bad now it will be a horror show with that mess.
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:09 PM #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Home Health Nurse!

You know I been thinking about
how you should have came back to her. You should have said yes but you can control your health problems with diet and exercise but we haven't found a way to get him better.
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:08 PM #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Home Health Nurse!

Caldona, if I could have gotten one word in edgewise, I would have said more than that. she just would not listen to us, as it seemed to be all about her. I don't know if in some warped way, she thought she would make us feel better by us focusing on her ailments or what. I just know she has a real mental problem, as well as weight problem! ;(
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