Whats your feeling? - page 3

What are your feelings towards perinatal substance abuse?. Share your experiences, backgrounds, comfort in working with this problem in nursing.... Read More

  1. by   Q.
    Hi Brownie-

    I can see your point of view, but like Kday, I am unable to be sold on it.

    I see a difference between women who were beaten down by society or their upbringing and are seriously looking to stop the cycle of poverty, and those women who have had generations on welfare because, like Kday said, it is much easier than taking responsibility.
    Case in point: in Wisconsin, until recently, our welfare program was known nationwide as the easiest and the largest pay-out of any other state. We started to have problems when we would have people migrating here from Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana - to name a few, to take advantage of our welfare program. It began to place such a burden financially to our state, that we finally made some reform, one of them being the mandatory work act I described earlier. Three years ago, when this was first implemented, certain local businesses in our area embraced this program, and advertised themselves as a business that would hire these welfare recepients. One of the arguments against this program was "who would hire a welfare worker?" One of these businesses was a clinic in which I was working at during college. When I pulled up to work, thousands of demonstrators were there protesting the clinic because it supported the new welfare reform. Rather than embracing the idea of work and responsibility, and commending this business for supporting that, they condemned it.

    I once had a patient who, in her chart, we noted that there was an application for our WIC program (Women, Infants and Children). We asked her, for clarification, if she was enrolled in WIC. And her response was "HELL YEAH I'm on WIC" What I have seen, instead of a humble attitude towards being on assistance, there is now an attitude that displays one of deserving, gimme, gimme. I don't like to see that.

    There are women who purposely abuse the system, and know how to. Back when welfare rewarded you, so to speak, for having more children. These women would get pregnant to get more welfare money. They would use thier children to get them what they wanted, which was cigarettes, doritos, DVDs and stereos.

    I don't think there is hope for such women. I have tried first hand to educate and reform all to no avail. I have also learned, first hand, with my own father who is trying to stay sober, that you can't work harder than the person who you are trying to rehabilitate, or it will never work and you will be disappointed. If people don't want to help themselves, no amount of help or education you give them will matter.

    Brownie, and others, I think we will have to just agree to disagree on this one.

    Respectfully,
    Susy
  2. by   RNed


    Neonatal deaths are caused by many social factors, smoking, obesity, illegal drugs, etc. Social issues aside, we are talking about 50% of the problem. When male birth control "the pill" is available, I hope and believe we will see some reduction of negative social impacts associated with neonatal death, abortion, deadbeat dads, etc. Males need more tools to have more control. I agree they can't seem to control the tools they have, however, I believe many young men would take a more positive approach to birthcontrol if the "pill" were available to them. Just a thought!

    [This message has been edited by RNed (edited April 13, 2001).]
  3. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by Sunshine55:
    Hi, Brownie!

    I am in total agreement with your viewpoints and your obvious compassion. I am one of those registered "bleeding heart" Liberals. But, I do not believe the government should control our bodies as they do in China and elsewhere.

    I have a cousin who is mildly "mentally retarded". She was sterilized as a teenager to prevent further "deficient" children. The cause of her impairment was due to anoxia at birth. She is married, employed, and is wonderful with children. She'd give anything to be a Mom - of course - adopting is not an alternative for a woman in her situation. The government took away her right to conceive as they once did to many women. Certainly, would not want to see this country revert back to the dark ages.

    During my employment with an OB/GYN practice I saw such contempt from every Nurse I worked with when faced with a pregnant teenager. How could this attitude possibly help these girls? I began intercepting all the prenant teens because my heart couldn't deal with the coldness. I imparted whatever knowledge I could provide during their pregnancy and postpartum care and encouraged their boyfriends to attend all prenatal visits. Education, I believe, is the answer.

    Thank you Sushine55,

    You, and others have brought some much needed sunshine to this discussion. And Kday, I thank you for your clarification, and no apology is needed. I have read the book, and found it presented some truth along with many inaccuracies. Anytime someone present their experiences, this does not mean, they have a hold on the truth of all experiences.

    I will accept the fact, that some hold views that are distorted (in my view) by the experiences, they have encountered. No one still has said where you would send these children.

    Sushine55, I thank you for your desire to take care of those you saw being mistreated in your job setting. Indifference, feelings of superiority, the "I would have never let this happen to me" attitudes, the "I'm paying for you" mentality, are all too common, when dealing with the less fortunate.

    I wonder if the response received from the woman on WIC, was to the question, or the attitude, Susy K. I worked with Healthy Start in a rural community. I have seen women ashamed to pull out their WIC, or food stamp coupons, holding on to them until they had to show them. I have seen the attitudes of people change once they were presented. No, there weren't anything being purchased, except for what they absolutely needed, and was allowed. I have went into the homes, that were barely liveable, and dealt with landlords who took advantage of these women, because they couldn't afford better. I have seen them walk miles to clinics, because there was no transportation, and the home worker maybe wasn't there to help them.

    I have also seen how these women on assistance are treated by those who feel they're better than them, because THEY didn't need to ask for help. I feel the "gimme, gimme" attitude is in response to a system, that takes away a person's dignity, and tries to force people to kiss their behinds to get a little assistance.

    Since I know I can't predict the future, I have adopted the policy of never making light of the fact, that "I" never had to ask for help from the system. You never know what will happen in life, or what you might have to one day do out of necessity. I know parents right now, who raised their children through hard work, are now having to deal with the welfare system, because of their children who are now having families. I have talked with these women, who are dealing with situations, THEY thought they would never have had to deal with. Funny how life works!

    I wish to thank everyone, who looked at this with an open mind, and for all who allowed me the right to my opinion, and for those who accept the fact, that everyone's truth is just every ONE's truth. I appreciate those who have become entrenched in their opinions also. I offer to you, that there are many out there, parents, and children, who could use a little help from those who could show them a better way.

    If you're proactive, and involved, God Bless you. There is much that should, and could be done to help others, rather than waiting for government to solve the ills of society alone. Joining big brother/big sisters, volunteering at a youth center, or a home for unwed mothers, or a clinic, and presenting a humble attitude of service, rather than one of "you ought to be glad I'm here". We never know who will have to help someone we love! Peace.

    Brownie
  4. by   JennieBSN
    Man, Brownie. I like you. I must say something....I AM very supportive of my teen moms and drug moms, ESPECIALLY during labor. I like to have them...I feel like if they can just get a LITTLE tlc and guidance, have someone to sit there and hold their hand, it might make a small difference. It's just frustrating, though, to see some of them come back AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN. So here's my question, since you probably know about this stuff..

    For a while now, I've desperately wanted to get a job as a nurse at a home for unwed mothers, like Florence Crittendon home or a birthright center. I feel like I could really make a difference if I could work with these young girls and try to teach them that they are NOT victims and they CAN go on to finish school, get a job, and lead a productive life. I want to teach them that their lives do NOT have to revolve around a man, and that their worth as a person is not based on whether or not some flunkie guy says he loves them or not. I want to help teach them self-respect, to empower them with the feeling that they are WORTH more and that they CAN go out there and be somebody.

    I've looked on the internet a couple of times, but I don't see any places like that in my area. Do you know of any?

    Have a great weekend and a great Easter. Gotta go! Spending it with my Mommy!
    Happy Easter, y'all!!

    Happy Easter, Susy!!

  5. by   Brownms46
    [quote]Originally posted by RNed:
    Originally posted by Navy Nurse:

    Neonatal deaths are caused by many social factors, smoking, obesity, illegal drugs, etc. Social issues aside, we are working and taking about 50% of the problem. When male birth control "the pill" is available, I hope and believe we will see some reduction of negative social impacts associated with neonatal death, abortion, deadbeat dads, etc. Males need more tools to have more control. I agree they can't seem to control the tools they have, however, I believe many young men would take a more positive approach to birthcontrol if the "pill" were available to them. Just a thought!
    Amen to that!

    Brownie
  6. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by kday:
    Man, Brownie. I like you. I must say something....I AM very supportive of my teen moms and drug moms, ESPECIALLY during labor. I like to have them...I feel like if they can just get a LITTLE tlc and guidance, have someone to sit there and hold their hand, it might make a small difference. It's just frustrating, though, to see some of them come back AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN. So here's my question, since you probably know about this stuff..

    For a while now, I've desperately wanted to get a job as a nurse at a home for unwed mothers, like Florence Crittendon home or a birthright center. I feel like I could really make a difference if I could work with these young girls and try to teach them that they are NOT victims and they CAN go on to finish school, get a job, and lead a productive life. I want to teach them that their lives do NOT have to revolve around a man, and that their worth as a person is not based on whether or not some flunkie guy says he loves them or not. I want to help teach them self-respect, to empower them with the feeling that they are WORTH more and that they CAN go out there and be somebody.

    I've looked on the internet a couple of times, but I don't see any places like that in my area. Do you know of any?

    Have a great weekend and a great Easter. Gotta go! Spending it with my Mommy!
    Happy Easter, y'all!!

    Happy Easter, Susy!!

    Kday, right now I'm trying to keep from crying...again! What you posted, touched my heart greatly! My spirit leaped when I read of your desire to help the young unwed mothers, and I support you in your effort to do so. There are many Healthy Start programs out there, that take the services to the outlying areas, that have no such services. I worked in Williamsburg, S. C., in a city called Kingstree. There was no OB for a while, closer than 70 miles for most of these women. I LOVED IT! I couldn't wait to get to work each day. The first visit would take almost all day, and most of it was mostly doing teaching. I worked with an awesome bunch of people, who just wanted to serve. This was a contract, but I was willing to stay on, and take less money to do this job. Unfortunately, they were having trouble getting privileges for the midwife, and the OB, that was there to pay back the govt., for money he received to finish his residency. I won't go into the long story about this, but enough to say, it was one of the hardest jobs to leave.

    Healthy Start is usually found in areas with high infant mortality rates. I'm sure any clinic or unwed mother's homes would be thrilled to have your help. These young women desperately need help, especially the kind that you so elegantly posted about! You took the words right out of my own mouth!!! I feel this is a very worthy desire, and goal! I will do my best to find out about something in your area, and that is a promise!

    My heart is truly made happy this day! Happy Easter to ALL! I thank God the day you became NURSES!!!

  7. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by kday:
    Man, Brownie. I like you. I must say something....I AM very supportive of my teen moms and drug moms, ESPECIALLY during labor. I like to have them...I feel like if they can just get a LITTLE tlc and guidance, have someone to sit there and hold their hand, it might make a small difference. It's just frustrating, though, to see some of them come back AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN. So here's my question, since you probably know about this stuff..

    For a while now, I've desperately wanted to get a job as a nurse at a home for unwed mothers, like Florence Crittendon home or a birthright center. I feel like I could really make a difference if I could work with these young girls and try to teach them that they are NOT victims and they CAN go on to finish school, get a job, and lead a productive life. I want to teach them that their lives do NOT have to revolve around a man, and that their worth as a person is not based on whether or not some flunkie guy says he loves them or not. I want to help teach them self-respect, to empower them with the feeling that they are WORTH more and that they CAN go out there and be somebody.

    I've looked on the internet a couple of times, but I don't see any places like that in my area. Do you know of any?

    Have a great weekend and a great Easter. Gotta go! Spending it with my Mommy!
    Happy Easter, y'all!!

    Happy Easter, Susy!!

    I just have to say one more thing, and then I'll leave it alone. I DO understand the frustration, that comes with dealing with the ills of our society! It's not easy to see people throw away their lives, and destory the lives of children in the process. I unwittingly, while I was a new student just on the floor for the first time, helped a woman who was aborting twins. I had NO idea, that when this woman asked for a bedpan, that I would see the worst horror, I have ever withnessed!!!

    I won't go into what happened, but enough to say, that I ended up in the bathroom crying, not wanting to continue in nursing, another step! I also almost landed right in this woman's bed! When I had composed myself, I returned to her, to apologize for almost losing it! She was lying there laughing about what had happened, and I wanted to slap her! Then it struck me, that this person, had NO idea what so ever, as to exactly what she had did! She didn't realize she had just killed two children! When asked what kind of birth control she used, she replied ABORTION! My head was reeling!
    I said, LORD, how do you reach someone like this?

    For a long time, I couldn't bring reason to how this could be prevented. One day after many other experiences, I realized, that this was someone, who had little regard for her own life, just as she had for her unborn. She couldn't be expected to care for these children, if she didn't care about herself.
    And that for me, was the answer!

    I feel you can only get someone to stop, and question how they treat their unborn, when you get them to love themselves! If they don't respect their own bodies, how can they respect, and care those inside their bodies?

    I know the problems we face in dealing with these women, seems too great to feel we even make a difference sometimes. I do hear the frustrations in your posts. But if we let ourselves be overwhelmed by what we see, we will never be able to make a difference. The only thing anyone can do, is try. My mother always said, "NOTHING beats a failure, but a TRY! We have to continue trying, as these children are the future of us all. Whether we like it or not, one day we're going to have to deal with them. I'd rather work with them now, than later.

    I still do believe we all want to make a difference, and I believe we all can, and do! I KNOW ALL of YOU care deeply, or you wouldn't continue doing the work you do!

    Brownie

  8. by   janbeveridge
    I just want to say Happy Easter,and thanks for some very refective discussions. I hope that all of you that celebrate Easter have the opportunity to spend the holidays with family and/or friends. Jan
  9. by   nurs4kids
    Originally posted by Susy K:

    Hi Brownie-
    Ok, ok, ok. I hear you.

    But the problem that I see is these women, or girls some of them, are repeat offenders. We offer them what we can - WIC assistance, car seat rentals, referrals up the ying-yang. These things are all paid for by our taxes. We try and try to educate these women, but in 10 months, they are back again, pregnant, drinking, doing drugs, not complying with thier welfare conditions (in Wisconsin, we finally implemented a mandate that now you don't automatically get more welfare with more children. Now, you have to work to get your aid. Our government will also GIVE you a job)
    But these women don't show up for work, all their other 9 children are in foster care. I see it as a disgrace.

    I am torn because I see having children as someone's right. But at the same time, too many people have children simply out of irresponsibility. They don't think of children as people that need love, a home, two parents if possible, food, shelter and guidance. These are little lives, not toys that just "give" you love! How selfish to have children just so you aren't "lonely" or because you need someone to love you. I view having children as the most important decision anyone can make.

    My mom works with someone who is 24 years old and has 2 children already. She is unmarried, but living with the father of the children. My mom asked her when she plans on getting married. Her response was, "well we're not sure if we are ready for that kind of committment yet." Committment??? Marriage?? And having children is not as serious a committment??? It is this mentality that disturbs me.

    I just am so bothered by women who rely on society to support them, and not because they are scared and/or confused, but come into our hospital with an attitude! They bring all of their friends and clean out our refridgerator so that now our patients who delivered have NO food, are disrespectful to us, steal from our patients and us, and then leave AMA only to return again. They come in with PTL after using coke, seeking care I assume, and then refuse care when we try to stop her labor. Then she delivers in the street, ends right back up in our unit with a sick baby who's in the NICU for months. We are paying for that!

    These women aren't having children because they love children. They are having sex for the simple fact of having an orgasm. My patients don't want condoms because it doesn't feel as good, and they like the feeling of the man ejaculating inside them. They don't like Depo because it is a shot and they are "afraid of needles" yet they are covered in tatoos and shoot up heroein. They "forget" to take the pill. If they "forget" to take a pill, or "forget" to see thier OB, how are they going to care for their 6 children? Will they forget to feed them, give them thier medicine?

    These same women who come in and we give them everything from formula, diapers, car-seats, MD visits with our residency program, free birth control - also come in with cell phones and gold jewelry - designer clothes and shoes. I don't even have a cell phone and I have only my wedding ring!

    I once did post-partum home visits in inner-city Milwaukee - these small apartments had children running all over, unclothed, dirty etc. But inside their apartments were better stereos, DVDs, 60 inch TVs, etc than I ever owned. I can't afford that, how can they? These women go into the stores with food stamps and either sell them for booze, neglecting thier hungry children, or buy food for themselves like a bag of Doritos and soda. These women are smart. They know what they have to buy, they just refuse to. They refuse to go to their WIC classes on nutrition, they refuse to go to interview/resume building classes, MD visits, etc. To have more children is a disgrace! Why should someone be allowed to continually make mistakes, and not just on themselves, but mistakes that affect lives? To me that is the greatest injustice and form of abuse I can ever imagine.

    If these women knew that if they got pregnant one more time, they would have to have a tubal, you know they would be more careful. We wouldn't see them again. Somehow, they would get over their fear of needles (except with tatoos, piercings and drugs) and they certainly would remember to take a pill. The women I see and the women I am talking about are not the indigent ones you are describing. The women I see are smart enough to abuse the system, and use their desire for self-gratification and their own children to help them.
    EXACTLY, SuzyK!!! I see the exact same thing you're describing. It infuriates me to no end. As a peds nurse, I must defend my patient. I can not believe the posts here defending the mother. This is like the serial killer getting off because he was abused as a child. Every single day I go to work, I care for a child who has severe CP, will never eat by mouth, drools constantly, contracted beyond repair, has seizures every day, trached for life, incontinent (if their lucky enough not to have an ostomy), at ten years old has the mental capacity of a two month old, NO HOPE OF ANY QUALITY LIFE. More often than not, a grandparent is caring for them, because mom is still using drugs. If grandparent isn't caring for them, they're in foster care. Either case, their on medicaid. Aside from the torture these kids are put through (which is the saddest), the WORKING taxpayer funds this child's medical care for life.

    I'm not sure how I feel about abortion, as I think Suzy posted earlier, I can't determine when I feel life is "life". BUT, I know these children did nothing to deserve a life of pain and suffering.

    For the previous post defending these women by stating that smoking causes more birth defects than drugs, let me say this. Yes, smoking causes birth defects and shouldn't be done while pregnant, but you have to review the study where you got your statistics. Did they account for the childhood diseases that are not found at the time of birth? My experience and personal opinion is that many (NOT ALL) of our childhood diseases are the result of abuse during pregnancy. Many of the patients I care for (brain tumors, hirschsprungs, etc) have parents who are still using drugs and alcohol. I feel many of these diseases may be linked back to perinatal abuse.
    Just one pediatric nurses opinion.




    [This message has been edited by nurs4kids (edited April 15, 2001).]
  10. by   theboss
    nurse4kids, susy k, kday,
    I have been reading your posts tonight and my heart goes out to the babies of abuse. It must be hard to see this everyday, and i have to admit i only get a glimpse of it in the er. But i think in order for this large problem to be tackled it has to start with the men and woman of this country. I do feel we need reform in our systems , at least its a start. In california years ago the more children they had the more money they got!!!Thank god that has changed! They had to start somewhere and that was a good place.But its still not the answer, there is more work to be done...You guys have alot of passion and it is exactly what the problem needs.. Im sure after all the bad stories weve heard there are just as many success stories, the young girl in labor in which you held her hand because she had no one to turn to and she was scared, or the many babies you took care of and help save.. THAT IS ALSO A START!! I do have to say that i dont want to work in L&D , its takes special nurses to see these babies everyday and i am not one of them. So i do my part by helping in the community and try to stop the abuse before it starts. I just wanted to say that i see where your coming from just dont see it as the answer, i dont know maybe for some it is but we have to find other solutions.. I have watched children in other countries , homeless, sick, hungry , i have thought why dont they just stick these women on BC, if they know that the babies are going to be born into that kind of suffering then why have kids?? But it doesnt start there it starts with education and giving them choices and with their country!! Not all weman on welfare want to be there, some have no choice it is curcumstamces for some. I could say casterate the men but thats not the answer either, although it may sound like a solution. With the passion ive heard in you guys im sure you make a dent in the problem even if it doesnt feel like it at times !!! thanks alicia
  11. by   Navy Nurse
    First of all Brownie, I didn't say you were personally a liberal, I said your words were spoken like a true liberal.
    This is a very difficult situation to discuss and points can be made for both sides, but look at some of the evidence. You say we need to educate these women and men, I agree.
    I don't know where you are from, but here prenatal care is FREE. Transportation to and from the clinic is free and yet we continue to see a majority of patients with no prenatal care. I hear remarks like, "nothing was wrong with my other babies, so I thought I didn't need care" They don't have means to support the baby, other than welfare. I just spent 16 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday trying to keep a infant with hypertrophic right heart alive until we could get them medevaced to the States. The nurses at the hospital raised thousands of dollars to pay for the cost of the trip, but with no insurance, no hospital would take the infant. I had to sit and watch, only being able to hope that I was maybe comforting this infant for it's short life, this baby die.
    Most of the people here you talk to, want start birth control because they say the Church does not support birth control, so where is the Church in the education/suport process. When you bring up the Church doesn't support unmarried sex, they usually get mad and leave.
    I don't know what they answer is, nor do I think it will be solved anytime soon, but I do know that as long as people continue to have casual, unprotected sex and trade sexe for drugs and money the cycle will continue.

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