Feeling Helpless... - page 2

This is too sad. We have the sweetest patient at our dialysis clinic... an elderly black gentleman who is one of the kindest, most gracious people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. His... Read More

  1. by   jnette
    Thanks everyone for your kind and thoughtful replies. I know there's no magic wand, but I was hoping for, and did receive a few other thoughts of what might be helpful in his situation. I will mention these to him and to his social worker.
    I have this man as a patient 3x a week, and we have bonded really well. I was the only one he told of his situation. When our DON returns from her vacation, she and I will put our heads together, too. She is a wonderful, caring, compassionate person and I know she'll be more than happy to work on this with me.. and him.

    I wish we had the kind of nursing homes you describe. But this is a small, rural area in Appalachia. Forget computer classes, etc. ! We're lucky our patients that DO come in from the local nursing homes here for their tx. are even given breakfast or a bath before they come ! We've had some of our patients sent in nothing more than a flimsy nighty.. no sox or shoes even ! It's pathetic and infuriating ! So there's not much of a good outlook for him if he does have to go. Our patients have to follow special diets, and the nursing homes are aware of what they may and may not eat... IF they even remember to send a snack for our diabetic pts. on dialysis, you can bet that each time it consists of those very foods thay need to avoid !

    I do appreciate your responses, and will take action on several of those mentioned. He did tell me today that his HH social worker found someone to come in for an hour and a half on Sat. and Sun.
    So that's a start. He said he was breathing a whole lot easier already just knowing this...Now if we could find some one to get him into bed in the evenings, the doc might be willing to hold off awhile.

    We'll keep working at it ! Keeping fingers and toes crossed....
  2. by   petiteflower
    Would assisted living be an option?? That way he would be able to keep possessions and have help when he needed it but still maintain independence?

    jnette--I admire you for wanting to help that man---you are what the heart of nursing is about.
  3. by   petiteflower
    sorry sassy nurse-----I should have read your reply closer--I thought I was being original.:imbar
  4. by   jnette
    The nearest assisted living places are at least an hour or two away... don't know if it's sth. he'd consider or could afford... but will certainly mention it. Will give it all a go, certainly something will work out... must inquire more about what family is available.. I know he had twin sons of which either ONE or possibly BOTH drowned when they were little... never did pry on that one. Too heartbreaking for him. No wife left, don't know about who all is there, but shall ask.

    Will keep plugging away and see what develops. Thanx !
  5. by   tizmonster
    You know what...I think your relationship with this gentleman is solid enough that you could do some probbing about his history. And I believe he'd be happy to share about his life with you and his network of friends. Another option for him may be to have someone come in and be a companion to live @ his home. That could be a blessing to someone - as he sounds like he's a pretty nice gentleman. It would be good for both parties. Secondly - I want to compliment you on your approach to nephrology nursing. I place chronic/acute/CAPD/CCPD dialysis nurses all over the country...and you have exactly the right attitude for my clients. Your company is very blessed to have you on board. Thanks for being you! Major thing you have to do is "don't give up." Exhaust every avenue - no matter how silly it might sound...out of that can spring a solution that can work for this gentleman. Give him my best wishes - and I wish you well in coming up with the right solution. All the best! Bobbi Hashem
    Last edit by tizmonster on May 16, '03
  6. by   jnette
    Thank you all, again. You have givien me new hope and motivation to keep pushing.

    I often wonder if I care "too much". I don't see the other nurses getting "involved" and wonder if perhaps I should just be "doing my job" like they... but I have this little voice telling me "this IS your job!" And even if it weren't, I would want it to be... not a "job", but sth. I would just do, nurse or not... it comes so naturally for me.

    We stay so very busy at our unit, there's not much time to chat with our patients, but I find my heart always looking..scanning the patients.. to pick up on any unspoken needs. Our patients know how busy we are, and often don't speak up and express what's on their mind or in their heart, even though they might want to.. need to.
    I wonder if the other nurses assume it is for the social worker to explore or deal with, because they ARE good, caring nurses. But sometimes we have to go that extra mile to get a smile. Or to open that door to possibilities....

    just thinking out loud here...