Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Progress with Nursing?

Well, sadly we made little to no progress on the nursing situation. In fact we actually learned a few more very disheartening facts that left us wondering how in the world did people become so complacent with this mediocre industry. More importantly, how are we going to get through the next few years of dependency to this system. Here are a few highlights of my conversations with several people the last few days.

  1. The grass is certainly not greener on the other side. In fact, it is full of weeds and dying.
  2. The agencies have very little power over the nurses. They are more like a temp work agency.
  3. Pick and choosing your schedule is the biggest draw for home nursing. An agency cannot require a nurse to work.
  4. Due to an overwhelming shortage there is no need for a nurse to care, other than self-pride and that does not exist in this day and age anymore. There will always be another case, another agency, and another need for them. So why should they be concerned with anything that is not negligent.
  5. The majority of nurses in the home health care field have little to no work ethic. This is not my opinion outright, while I share this view, it is sad that agencies, case managers, and other nurses in the industry we have discussed our problem with overwhelmingly chants this theme. How completely sad is that!

Those are just a few of the key things we learned and while they are pathetic and absurd, nothing is being done to improve this. While talking to each person I made a statement to them that they all considered to be thought provoking and profound, but also preaching to the choir.

"I am forced to have this nursing coverage to have Elias home. It is for his safety and the need for 24 hour awake and alert care, as the state mandate reads. However, you (nursing agency & state) are telling me you have no control to enforce or govern nurses showing up for their shifts. This makes actually having a nurse show up a luxury and not necessity. So how can it be required? How is not having a nurse show up and having to stay awake for 36-40 hours make it safe for Elias? Is this not grounds for negligence on the state's part for not enforcing provisions for the standards they created? If something were to happen to Elias while I had been awake for an extended period due to lack of nursing, who would be at fault? If my nurse does not show, should I not be entitled to that money for the shift for my struggles to remain awake to provide adequate and safe care for him? So my question is this, is it truly about creating a safe environment for Elias or is there an underlying agenda?"

I wonder if we have any legal recourse with this system? Being forced into having to accept care, but not receiving it fully? Truth is by him being at home it is less expensive to care for him. So the end result as we quickly learned the last few days is, we are stuck and have to play the hand of cards we are dealt everyday. It is just such a shame that parents like us must endure this stress on top of everything else that is going on. At the same time, everyone involved in the process tells you, "That is just the way the system is. You just have to accept that."  Well, I do not! Why don't you work on changing it? I'm not certain I have the time, energy and resources to do anything about it, but I will continue to make my voice heard about this ridiculous nature of accepting mediocrity and inconsistent receipt of benefits.

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