Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Helper that Wasn't

Well, so our first skilled nurse turned out to not be what we really needed here with us.  It's all pretty sad, really, but it turned out that she had been cheating the company for a while, and it just so happened that I ended up asking the right questions of the right people, and her deception was discovered.

It's sad because I liked her as a person, and also because she said that she didn't really need the job, that her husband made the money for the family and she was just making extra 'fun' money, really, so it's not even like she was lying in an effort to make ends meet or because of financial hardship.

So why did she do it?

I guess I'll never know.

But, anyway, a new nurse started on Friday, and I hope she works out better than the last one, and that our family is a better fit for her.  The nurse we had before seemed to like the kids and the action here at the house, but I think that she was a bit overwhelmed by what Jimmy and I expected her to do with Hazel.

The nurses are here only for the good of Hazel.  They are not helpers for the house nor for the other kids.  They can if they want, but they don't have to do anything other than attend to Hazel and her needs.  But that meant that nurse #1 only sat on the couch, rocked Hazel's bassinet with her foot occasionally when she cried and hung her feeds and gave her her meds.

Well, I could do that.

What Jimmy and I are looking for is someone to hold and love on Hazel Grace to make up for all the lonely days and nights in the NICU.  Now, you could say that that is not part of the contract since it does not have to do with Hazel's medical well-being, but I would have to disagree.  To make up for the delays brought on by being a preemie, Hazel needs more attention and more interaction than a 'regular' baby does.  She also has to be both swaddled and let free to mimic the muscle tones and movements that she missed out on in utero by being born so early.  By being left on her back unswaddled for hours at a time is bad for her skeletal, muscle and cognitive development.  She must be able to and encouraged to bring her hands together in front of her to properly flex and stretch her muscles and frame as well as to be able to eventually 'discover' her hands.

Well, with nurse #1, this was not happening.  She was not familiar with nor did she know how to use the swaddle that we had which is the same as what is used in the hospital.

She also had issues with drawing up the correct dosage of Hazel's medicines.  She drew up a dose that was 5 times more than it should have been because she did not understand the label on the bottle.

That's kind of scary.

I mean, if she's been a nurse for years and years, and we are just now discovering that she does not know some of the basics of medications, breast milk and preemie care, then what has been happening to the other babies that she has cared for before Hazel Grace?

I guess I'm just trying to say what is said in books all over:

You have to be your own or your child's advocate in the medical world.  All because someone has a title or someone is employed by a company, that doesn't mean that they really know what they are doing nor that they have your best interest in mind.

I mean, what if I had gone along with the time sheet fraud like she asked me to?  She posed it in a reasonable way.  What she said about how she was paid and how 'the system' worked kind of made sense.  What if I had just trusted her without watching what she was doing or asking questions?  If the fraud had been discovered down the road by someone else, would we have been implicated since we are the ones who sign her papers every day?  And what would have happened had tiny Hazel gotten a dose of her meds that was 5x's what it should have been?  Would she have gotten sicker?  Would we have been able to trace it back to that incident or incidents to be able to know what happened to 'fix' it?

Anyway, hopefully this new nurse #2 will work out better.  I feel a little gun shy about the whole thing now.

I guess Hazel and I both need to work on just breathing through it all.

1 comment:

  1. poor, poor things. I can feel believe me. Almost 4 months ago we went through open heart surgery with our little LindyAnn and experienced some traumatic events involving the staff there. Thank God we are home with our sweet little one and she is recouperating wonderfully
    We have 13 beautiful children. One of my daughters and I are starting a Moms Blog and would love to see you there with us.