Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A MALE "Nurse Ratched"????

Continuing with updates on my sister in law Betty, we encountered a very poor excuse for a nurse a couple of days ago.

Here's what happened (as a former medical professional, I despise this kind of behavior in my peers):

1. Betty has rheumatoid arthritis and there's a BIG sign over her bed informing the staff of this and that she cannot raise her arms above her head and to be gentle.

Well this guy Mark walks in and proceeds to roughly move her up in the bed, causing her visible pain.

2. He then informs my two nieces that they need to "stay real" and realize their mother is "paralyzed" and may not recover. This was said in her Neuro-ICU room.

3. Then to compound this idiocy, he's overheard commenting on her prognosis with the statement: "We're not doing anything for her. She's just taking up a bed."

At this point the family decides to complain to the nurse in charge, who tells this jackass he needs to apologize.

So said jackass comes to the door of the room, stands there and accuses the girls of "eavesdropping" on his conversation, with no apology given!

Okay. First of all signs are there for a reason and they better be adhered to, or there might be real danger to the patient.

Case in point: If a patient has a shunt in his her/arm, then no blood pressures or blood drawing are allowed on that arm.

What should he have done? Asked for help in pulling her up in the bed.


Secondly, one never ever speaks of a patient's condition or prognosis while in the room with the patient. Y'all know this, right - I mean that's just common sense? Never assume a patient cannot hear because she has had a stroke.

The third error was discussing his patient not only where he was (at the desk - which is like an "aquarium" - we're always "on-stage" there and a family member could walk up at any time!).

What should he have done? Stated his opinion in "report" or with the nurse in charge away from the desk. Even then, it was a cruel thing to say: The family is very optimistic and very thankful for all that is being done for Betty. We all have a great rapport with her physician (we tape his conversations with us, so we don't miss anything when we report to the rest of the family), and all of the nurses except for this guy.

So? He screwed up and had that one chance to make it right, and he blew that as well!

The only consolation we have is that this guy will never "care" for her again, and that when his Director of Nursing gets back from vacation, she's going to get an ear-full, and the family will get an apology.

I have suggested going to the patient advocate and filing a formal complaint and that will be done.

So, our Betty is still in Neuro-ICU, now has pneumonia, a breakdown of skin which necessitated a special bed to help with that and her lungs as well.

We're not a large family my in-laws), and many of us are senior citizens, but we do the best we can getting back and forth to Atlanta as much as possible.

Shooooo! After all that I need me some Green Day! There are many versions of this old Bobby Fuller tune, but I like this one the best, because being a drummer myself, I like the quadruplets Tre' Cool plays.

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Timespanner said...

The attitude of that guy was disgusting. If he doesn't want to do the job properly and ethically, he shouldn't be there at all. If someone like that had treated my mother like that in hospital, there would have been hell to pay.

Darn right the family deserves an apology!

Anonymous said...

It's truly sad when we HAVE to put our loved ones in the hands of the so called trained medical professionals and catch them being negligent, inconsiderate, indifferent and even abusive.

There are some good ones, but when it is your family or friend, the bad ones make you very leary and on guard all the time.

I've gone through this with both my parents and some friends and I had to check in on them often or be there most of the time they were out of my hands. I found along the way that you do have to speak up and make a big stinken deal with higher authorities before they pay special attention and even then they made big mistakes.

Just think of all those that have no one in the world who have their backs in these circumstances. Good you have each other.

Stay strong, stay tuff, Becks

Margaret said...

I'm glad you're planning to take this up with the Director of Nursing and to lodge a complaint. In doing so you're helping all patients including those who have no one to support them, as Becks wrote.

I hope Betty's health improves soon. Humans can be surprisingly resilient, and I hope she bounces back.

Bill Craig said...

Thank you all for your kindness and compassion.

Sometimes it's tough for the family, but we help each other through, and it's so nice to see your notes caring about Betty, even though you don't know her.

I know I have written this before, but Betty is a very STRONG force in our family. She is very kind-hearted, and is always ready with advice or to lend a hand.

If the word "matriarch" would fit any woman I know closely, it would be her.

Me and God have been estranged for a while (well, me from HIM), but since re-joining this family, I have experienced a lot of love and strong faith.

That's something I didn't get much of in my youth and is also something that made me rebellious as an adult.

Anyway, thanks for being here, ALL of you who read the blog.

Becks sent me the story of "The Wooden Bowl" today, and at the end of it, there was a candle, and the among the other words were these: "You are NOT alone".

That touched my heart, thanks, Hon!