Tuesday, August 9, 2011

thoughts on nursing

I've been trying to write a post on having nurses at home for months. Not that I don't appreciate them, but it's appreciation tempered with irritation.

Having nursing at home is like a cross between having a roommate and having a houseguest who overstays their welcome. There's no privacy - at least when you have a roommate, your roommate is usually as invested in privacy as you are.

We have 5 nurses in our house each week. Each of them has their own quirks. And their interactions with each other make most polyamorous relationships look sane. Think Jerry Springer material, and you'd be close.

We had a nurse who was marking the equipment with an ink pen, to see if others were cleaning the way she thought they should...except that the pen marks still won't come off. Another is afraid to write anything about the pen marks in the communication book, because she thinks someone else will go off on her and then call and get her fired.

Acorn's nebulizer parts and syringes have migrated from the shelf in his room to the bathroom. His trach care supplies have migrated from the closet to the dresser. He's developed a stack of blankets on the nightstand, when they're supposed to be in the closet...and even if I leave a blanket on him when he goes to bed, and put the others away, there's at least one new one on the night stand the next morning. I keep finding a stack of books over the vent in his room....which has a lever to close it if it's too cold. One nurse puts a new diaper cover on every other diaper...and we only own 7 of them, so he's usually out of covers at the end of her shift. Another refuses to use the prefolds - not that she can't, but she won't, and she won't have him sit on the potty either.

When it's good, it's good - no sitting up all night suctioning, no worrying something will go wrong and they won't know what to do. We have consistent people who show up for their shifts.

When it's bad, it's awful. We've never had someone show up who couldn't change a trach, but I know people who have. Our nurses have never eaten all our food, but I know a family who's had that happen too. I know people who've found their nurse sleeping through their child's vent and pulse ox alarming. In most cases, no nurse is better than a bad nurse.

This past week, one nurse decided that crying and stomping his feet because she didn't put in the video he wanted warranted a time out....in his high chair. That's right - my kid who is still in feeding therapy, even though we're g-tube free, is being punished by being put in the same place we're trying to make enjoyable. Oh, and no time limit on her time outs - if my 3-year-old took 10 minutes to calm down, that's how long he sat there.

Needless to say, we had a long talk.

One night nurse has decided to park in the driveway. Either behind one of our cars, or only half way up the driveway. So...if she gets to talking with the day nurse, we can't get out to go to work, and then she's cranky about being asked to move her car.

You know, I'm sure daycare will have its issues....but I'm so looking forward to having my house to myself and having things stay where I put them.

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