Quote from RNOTODAY
OT, I know, but when you mention "cut throat" in reference to home care, what do you mean? I worked home health, I did only work for one agency, I but I didnt experience this....
When I signed on with this HH agency, it was teetering on the edge of being shut down by the state inspectors. So there was a new DON and ADON. Within two months the ADON managed to see the DON was fired so she could move into the DON position.
She did work hard once she got the position, and when I would say I felt too inept to take on some of this stuff (like flushing port-a-caths) she assured me she had confidence in me and told me that all you do is palpate the port-a-cath and aim for the middle, sink it to the hub until you get blood return...won't go into details but I wasn't about to go out by myself and do something alone I had never done before, and this stressed me out a lot. I didn't want to let them down, though, because all the nurses were quitting and I knew they needed help. So, unless there was a willing nurse to come out and help the port-a-cath would have to be flushed at the doctor's office which stressed me out a lot more because I knew I was supposed to have done it.
Same thing with blood draws. If I couldn't get blood it would make me lose sleep.
But they kept assuring me things would get better.
Since most of the nurses were quitting (some lasted only a month) I was expected to cover their areas, which literally meant sometimes more than 2,000 miles every two weeks on my car.
Not to mention this was the first DON position this new DON had and there was chaos in the office, so the office staff was left to figure out what to do themselves. We didn't really have any direction, even things like, who did we turn new referrals for PT and OT into? Papers would get lost in the shuffle and have to be redone.
I don't really believe there is anyone to blame, it was just like a lot of inexperienced people thrown together in a swirling toilet that was about to go down the drain.
But then, things started to happen that really bothered me. For example, when the DON would get frustrated with something it would be taken out on me. I can deal with this once in awhile, but it was all the time. One particular example is a patient had a new doctor, everything had been changed months ago, but somehow when the new oasis was printed the old doctor's name showed up on the 485. The office help went ahead and faxed it to the doctor and the doctor called back and told the DON off. So the DON said loudly in front of a bunch of people that if I had changed the doctor like I was supposed
to have done this wouldn't have happened. Heck, I wasn't even working there when this patient changed doctors.
It was just things like that happening all the time and you get worn down. Not to mention when the state inspectors came in and found mistakes the DON threw me and the only other nurse at the time under the bus. And a lot of the mistakes they found didn't have anything to do with us. But then the state pulled a fast one and sided with the nurses! They told the DON it was RIDICULOUS to expect one RN and one LPN to cover 11 counties and 100 patients! But it wasn't entirely the DON's fault, either, because the owner of the company wanted a skeleton crew to save money.
And of course my pay was salaried
. So even though we were on the road 7 days a week we got paid for 40 hrs. I became burned out, cynical, dreaded going to work. The final straw was when a workman's comp case worker for a patient accused me of not doing my job. I told the DON I wanted out. She told me she understood and would always give me a good reference but after that it was kind of like she snubbed me. Stopped talking to me in the motherly way she used to. Which is why I don't want to even count on her for a reference.
It's a bad experience I want to forget.
But I also know how you would be suspicious of someone accusing HH of being cut throat. When I would hear how horrible some of the nursing homes were I didn't believe it, because the nursing home I worked for right out of school was top notch. The CNAs worked hard, the DON was excellent. The patient's were taken care of, there were hardly any skin breakdowns, the place was spic and span, people would comment on how there was no odor in the whole place, we always got good reviews at inspection time. Then I would hear some people from other LTC facilities talk about patients with moldy dentures and maggots in wounds and CNAs who would sit around in the lounge all shift while call bells were going off and I couldn't believe it.
But knowing what I know now I do believe it, which is why I say if you find a good job you'd better consider yourself extremely lucky and appreciate it, because for every good place to work I'd bet there are a dozen horrible ones.
Even talking about this has rehashed horrible memories...I'm traumatized.