Am I asking for too much

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    Before I start I want to make it known that I hate conflict, I hate being a bug. And I know that the Nurses and CNA's that work in LTC do not have it easy, and I know many of you are under staffed and very busy. Hense why I don't like to be a complainer. I don't want to be one of those family members that give people a hard time.
    My mother in law is in a LTC as a rehab patient, and Well needless to say we have been concern with her level of care there and wondered if we should pull her out and find something else, or is it like this everywhere as far as LTC go.
    Is it too much to ask that a nurse help my mother in law find something without getting snippy with her and say listen I am not coming in here every 5 minutes, and then blame her when she gets into trouble for her attitude
    Is it too much to ask that my mother in laws room have some air ventlation without the DON saying something about the kitchen is pulling all the air and they are looking into it. while by the way there are empty rooms avalable that DO have some air venting and are less hot. My mother in law has COPD and CHF which is not helping with her room being hot and humid and her oxygen level was at a 85. Oh and when we talked to the doctor on staff about it that the humid room is making my mothers breathing worse he tryed to say oh that is not true. Well I have a slight asthma problem and I can tell this doctor that humid air DOES make it harder to breath.
    Is it too much to ask that when her lunch tray comes and the person accidently spills her juice all over her bed and says she will come back after the trays are past out that she NOT forget my mother. The poor thing had her leg in wettness for three hours without anyone cleaning it up. And at last when they did put her in her wheelchair and changed the bedding they did not wash her sticky leg off. which normally no big deal but my mother has diabetes, and history of infections on her legs including the flesh eating bacteria that almost took her life in 2000.
    The Don when seeing us go in my mother in laws room came up to us and tried to smooth everything, saying we are fine we are doing great, before we even knew what was going on. By the way All this happened in LESS then a 24 hour period!!
    So what are all your thoughts about this. Those that know what is going on. Am I being way to overly concern, and over protective and this was just how it is. Or are these signs of run and don't look back
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  3. 30 Comments so far...

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    I am not a nurse yet, but I did have a family member in LTC for a long time, and I did see the working conditions for the nurses as well as how the patients were treated. I agree with you that it should not be too much to ask to have proper air ventilation and humidity levels, but where it came to the spilled juice I have to ask myself that if a family member was present what was stopping the family from pitching in a little bit? I am not trying to be judgmental, but if I were present as a family member the least I could do would be to take a wash cloth and clean my loved one the best I could until bed linens could be changed. I also would not let 3 hours go by without saying anything to staff. If nobody was there with her, of course there is nothing that could have been done from a family member standpoint. My point is, the nurses are busy, they are usually understaffed as well so it would go a long way for visiting family members to do the little things that they can do to help to ease some of the burden on the nurses. At least that is what I saw when we had my loved one in LTC, and the nurses appreciated the initiative.
    lisaannjamRN, IowaKaren, Dixiecup, and 2 others like this.
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    It is sad that she cannot get the care she deserves, but it is sad how often LTCs are short staffed. I would say talk to the DON. See what changes they offer. If nothing start looking.
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    I was not there when it happened and the three hours had pasted before i knew about it. And I WAS the one that cleaned her leg off with a wash cloth when I found out they had not done it. And really no matter how busy you are how can you forget about a poor women that you dumped a whole glass of juice on and was sitting in a soaked bed for that long!
    Last edit by mvm2 on Jul 12, '12
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    Quote from mvm2
    I was not there when it happened and the three hours had pasted before i knew about it. And I WAS the one that cleaned her leg off with a wash cloth when I found out they had not done it. And really no matter how busy you are how can you forget about a poor women that you dumped a whole glass of juice on and was sitting in a soaked bed for that long!
    I didn't mean to offend you in any way. I am so sorry that happened to her. It's very sad to see people that are in LTC fall through the cracks due to under-staffing, and sometimes just pure negligence. I would have a talk with the DON and start looking at other facilities. I would try to tour any potential facilities as well.
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    oh you did not offend me in any way at all. I am sorry if I came across that way. You brought some very valad points. i just wanted to make sure you knew that indeed I did do what I could for her. There are probably family members that might just sit back and yap about the problem then help. But again there are somethings that we have to sit back and feel helpless and let them do it because there could be legal problems that while you are in their facility you can not help them. for instance she wanted to get out of her wheelchair and into her bed. Even though I have helped her 100 times while at home I have to let the CNA and the Nurses do it otherwise if something would happen there would be big trouble.

    As for a little update, I guess it did go better today, and they DID move her to another room (thank you Jesus) which I hope will be a better room for her overall. at least it has air movement, And she is in a different wing as well and the staff on this wing seem much more plesant and nicer. So we are just going to keep our eyes and ears open, and if anything else happens that we do not like we are moving her.
    IowaKaren likes this.
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    I spent the first 9years of my nursing career in LTC and skilled care.... i loved all of my patients and tried to make their days a little better... hopefully i did. Unfortunately what you described is precisely the reason i decided to move to a different area. I do believe most nurses and cnas truely love what they do but there is always a few that are just angry at the world... it shows in their work performance.
    The "do more with less" is rampant in all areas of healthcare but can be seen the best in the longterm and skilled areas. I hope the rest of your mother in laws stay is ok... just know not all places are like that. Some of us really do care for our patients. LTC and the elderly is where my heart is. If you asked my instructors in school they told me i was too smart for LTC.... our elderly population deserve smart staff too!!! That is exactly what i told my teachers too.
    You arejt asking too much.... you are being her advocate
    lisaannjamRN and IowaKaren like this.
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    thank you so much for your kind word. yes our elderly and sick are so precious and we need to know that they need our love and comfort and much as humanly possible. If enough nurses and CNAs could have your attitude what a blessing. The place you work has a gem of a girl that is for sure. I so wish that there was a LTC where people would be taken care of the way they need to be taken care of. and the nurses and CNAs could be happy working there because they would not have so many patients to care for, and they could do there jobs comfortably. If the almighty dollar did not get in the way, and enough nurses and CNAs could be hired things could be so different.
    ElSea and IowaKaren like this.
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    All of your requests are legitimate concerns except the nurse coming to help find things. The nurse has more important things to do than hunt down things for residents. I know that stinks but she is too busy, if I had to help find every lost remote, every lost sweater, every lost watch, I'd never get anything done. Ask the aide for help, but she/he may be too busy too. This is why patients sign a form when they come to the facility stating that the facility and the staff are not responsible for hearing aides, jewelry, glasses, clothing, prostheses, TV remotes/electronics, bedding, shoes, etc., etc., because residents lose them, they go off to laundry, the nurse doesn't know everyone's exact glasses/hearing aides/clothes/jewelry and cannot possible keep track of them all or search for them when they get lost, which in my experience several people daily "lose" something. I know that stinks for residents but it's just too much for the overworked nurses to track those things and look for them.
    egglady likes this.
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    It's hard to say if you're asking too much without putting it in context.

    The aide who spilled the juice and then forgot to come back, for example. Was the first time she did this? Maybe she was a perfect aide the 999 other times she came in the room, but this time she really did forget. It happens, she's only human.

    Looking for lost things? No way, 99% of the time we have no time for that. Sorry.

    And I'm gonna be brutally honest here, if you're going around saying that the "spilled juice incident" is a 911 emergency because your mother could get a flesh eating virus, then I'm sure the staff has labeled you as a drama queen and a nuisance. Not fair maybe, but I can guarantee it's true...
    JZ_RN likes this.


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