LTC facility,disaster plan is a joke

  1. I have just had a night from hell.I work at a LTC facility,with approx 80 residents,has a nursing side,and a residential care side.We had a 2 hour power outtage,starting at 2:30 am(why dont these things happen during normal business hours???-LOL)Anyway...first...looked all over..no flashlights.Luckily,backup generator was on,had some lights in the halls,none in the rooms.So..I go over to the RCF side,talk to them,find the emergency policy book,which..is a joke....it says to call the electric company(using a number which is out of service)Oh,and did I mention the phones were out too?Thank goodness one of the aides had his cell phone with him..not sure what I would have done.Anyway,call the DON..she doesnt know the maintenance guys home phone number..and has no idea where to find it(I only had his pager number)she asks if she needs to come in(which she asked once before when something happened..I was like..NO,never ******* mind,Ill do it myself)I say I dont know..its up to you(she couldnt have done much,other than help me calm everyone down and find stuff)
    I call the administrator,she tells me RCF should have his number,and why dont we have it there she wonders.tells me if they dont,how to get into her office,and a couple other helpful things.She was very nice(but still didnt come in)I finally get his number...he says he will be in..he lives an hour away...OH...the administrator has told me that the backup generator only lasts for 2 hours at max capacity.Which...by the time the maintenance guy gets there,it will be 2 1/2 hours.No one has a plan for when IT goes out...Ive called the elec company and police,they are working on it is all Im told.The power is out at the nursing home next to us,and all along the street.
    Oh,and get this..in the wonderful emergency book,it says to call the nursing home next door,we can ask them for assistance and shelter for our residents in the event of a power outage.NOTHING ABOUT IF THEIR POWER GOES OUT TOO.
    *sighs* well,ok at 4:30 am,the power comes back..after one person has fallen,and the cook has come in...the psycho cook..who is MAD that the power is out.He was about to have a cow..I think..he was almost belligerent.
    K..powers back..then..THE FIRE ALARM GOES OFFF!!!YAAYYYYYYYY
    More scared little old people just what I need...there is no fire...not sure why it went off,it still wasnt fixed when I left at 7:30
    So,we silence it..another person falls...I go check her over,nothing hurt..vitals fine..back to bed she goes..spend 10 minutes calming down the several old ladies who were there when she fell..as well as everyone else I encounter on my way back over to the NC side.K..now,its time to pass meds.I start...the maintenance guy keeps messing with the alarms...I finally go and dial the number on the alarm board(the service number)it says"our regular business hours are...call this number for emergencies"I call it,and ask the maintenance guy if wants to talk to them."Yeah I guess so!!" is his answer(duh)They arewnt much help..as they are located 2 hours away.GEESH!!!!
    OK..if anyone is still with me....what can I do to make this better...I wrote the administrator a note about the outdated info in the emergency book..and what went wrong...hopefully now,they will see whats wrong and fix it before something a bit more serious,like a fire happens.
    Sorry this is so long..I had to vent....ALOT
    Christine
    *off to bed now*
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    I think the operative part of your post is the last sentence, "a bit more serious, like a fire happens." I hope you personally document your communication with the administrator about the outdated policy manual. Then follow-up at regular intervals. If nothing is done, perhaps you should bring this to the attention of the state authoriities. Imagine how you would feel if a tragedy did occur. This is a wake-up call.
  4. by   fedupnurse
    Did you ever notice they have all the disaster drills on Days and all the floods, fires and power failures (with generator failures) that I have been through over the past 12 or so years all happened after 5 pm and before 7 am. I have asked each of the dozen or so managers/supervisors I have had over the years what I am supposed to do if they call a disaster (internal or external) and none knew what to tell me. SO when we have had all of the above happen we let instinct and basic common sense take over while we ran over the suits with the coffee cups in their hands who were not only NOT helping but were only IN OUR WAY!! Phones died on us one night too. The switchboard ended up on generator and no one knew until the battery died. SO we used the "BAT PHONES", red phones for in house only and only to be used during an emergency. Unfortunately, when they were installed the ringers were left in the off positions so no one knew when someone else was trying to call them. THIS IS IN A "MAJOR" REGIONAL REFERRAL MEDICAL CENTER!!!! TRAUMA/HEARTS/BABIES, ETC.!!!!!!!!!!
    Crispix, I feel your frustration and annoyance. I have been there and done that and nothing has changed!!
  5. by   crispix
    I plan to...and the tech on the RCF side,God bless her..she saw what all went wrong too..and we're both going to keep tabs on what they do.Also,we're bringing in flashlights,and battery operated radios.I had no idea what had happened..still dont know what caused it...But,if an emergency had been going on outside..it would have been nice to know.I also will be bringing my cell phone to work with me.
    I *WILL* follow up on this..cause..ya know this stuff never seems to happen at normal times.And,I work nights,so,its gonna be up to me to take care of it.
    Thanks for your reply.I love this place
  6. by   crispix
    Did you ever notice they have all the disaster drills on Days and all the floods, fires and power failures (with generator failures) that I have been through over the past 12 or so years all happened after 5 pm and before 7 am.


    Yup..like I said,it never happens during normal business hours...and I just found where the fire extinguishers were a few weeks ago...they tell me they had a fire drill last week,and everything went fine....sure...uh-huh.
    I just hope they see all this,and get it fixed.I plan to follow up,definitely.
    I might just ask if we can have a fire drill at night.I know many years ago at the nursing home I started at,we did at like 6 am....I will ask.And educate my aides.
    I felt sooo helpless.
  7. by   crispix
    BTW,fedupnurse..Im with ya..C'MON OCTOBER!!!!!The AC of course was out too..lol..and I began to sweat a few minutes after it quit.Geesh...gonna have to move in with the polar bears,I think...Keep cool...
    Christine
  8. by   Youda
    I hate to tell you this, but I've been there, done that, too. I now carry with me to work at all times the following items:

    --pen light flashlight (good for finding the right spot when catheterizing someone, too, and not knocking your shins on the beds when walking around in the dark on the noc shift),

    --cellphone because most places I work, the phones are tied to the electrical system so you have no phones in a power outage, and also good to look cool at work, and keep you available if your mother wants to talk.

    --a pair of bandage sissors because you can never find a pair when you need them, and if you do find one it always has unidentified sticky stuff on it.

    --three pens because at least two people will borrow your pen and forget to give it back

    --and my own stethscope, because I don't think most of the CNAs ever bathe and I won't use one afterwards without autoclaving it.

    --and in my purse, my bottle of xanax. That's self explanatory.

    Crispix, you just gotta get your survival kit together and clank when you walk like I do, so the CNAs know when you're coming and aren't doing anything they shouldn't when you get there.

    And on a more serious note: if the procedures aren't updated, and the problems corrected within a reasonable amount of time, call the Division of Aging. Nothing like a good inspection to get them interested in updating emergency procedures. You can always say when the inspectors walk in the door on a complaint, "Oh dear! I overheard Mrs. ____ telling her daughter about our bad night. I bet that daughter called the DOA on us!" There's a family like that in every LTC, so you can avoid anyone knowing you called. (half-serious here, but only by half).
    Last edit by Youda on Aug 31, '02

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