Alright, so I was sitting in a care meeting for a potential foster placement. The current foster home is closing- errr, moving agencies might be a little more politically correct- and the county wants to keep a continuity of care with services, nursing, MDs, etc. which means staying in the same county. We aren't technically in the same county, but we are literally on the county line so they had us sit in the meeting to see if everyone was mutually agreeable to the placement. There was also two other potential families. One of which resides not only IN the county, but perhaps two streets over from the current home. This home seems geographically ideal.
So we're in this meeting, hearing about the child and the specialized needs and we're going around the table asking questions of the team members, and them of us. I can see that at least one of the other foster moms is very
interested, she's extremely engaged in the conversation, and I'm thinking that she may be the best placement. The other couple are kind of like my husband and myself: reserved, asking questions as appropriate, but really just observing the meeting.
We break for a few minutes and the enthusiastic foster mom walks out of the room to use the bathroom. The main nurse on the current case leaves as well, presumably to take a call because she had her cell phone to her ear. Two of the treatment team leave the room. While they're out, the caseworker asks quietly if we're interested at all. I admit that we are, but I start school next month and there's no way I could do it without stable nursing; and after my last placement, I'm just leery of having to totally depend on nursing support. Same question is presented to the other couple, and their reservations are similar; work obligations and overall level of care required on a day-to-day basis are their main concerns.
The meeting resumes and now it's time to throw our hats in the ring if we're truly interested. Enthusiastic mom is absolutely gung-ho and submits her name for consideration. We did as well, but voiced our upcoming plans and expressed our concerns about being the best fit for the child. Our stance at that point was kind of "if you need us as a last resort" sort of thing. The other couple completely declined. Obviously, the County begins addressing interested mom, and it appears she's going to get the child. Nurse Wonderful speaks up and says something to the effect of: "No, I'm not sure that will work. You all are a smoking family. On your info sheet you said you weren't, but I just saw you smoke two cigarettes in that short break. He's a respiratory patient. You can't smoke around him."
Interested mom, obviously embarrassed, backtracks and says, she only smokes under stress and only outside. Nurse Wonderful then says,
"Well, having a medically fragile child in your home is a constant state of stress. Either you'll be outside all the time, or what you're saying about your smoking habits isn't entirely true. Either way, you'll carry the smoke on your clothes and linens, which can still affect him. I don't know if a smoker's home is the best environment for him."
I had to smile because I'm so proud of her advocating for her patient, despite what could've been real fallout.
Now the room is quiet and all eyes turn towards us. We don't smoke. It kind of defaulted to us, despite being just outside of the limits. In the end, we did end up declining because in our hearts we knew we weren't the best placement for him nor us right now. Once I'm in school and have a better idea of my course load I may be open to a sicker child, but right now it wouldn't be fair. Ha, but I just love my fellow nurses! If you're on here, thank you!!!!