Tammy (ex_dragones) wrote in bad_service,

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At-home health care idiots.

I mentioned this in a comment to someone else's entry but I just found out more about the situation.

Edit: I have to preface this by letting you know that the hospital told us before my mom was released that the at-home care place was supposed to come to our house every day for 10 days to check her incisions and give her a shot (they're those already put-together syringes with a self-contained needle).

So my mom had surgery two weeks ago, and she was released from the hospital on Saturday. On Sunday she called the at-home care people and told them she was home and ready for someone to come change her dressings, take her vitals, etc. For some reason they had the wrong phone number on file, so the nurse that was supposed to come out didn't come since the phone number she had wasn't being answered (it's the home phone which is kept on silent since everyone in the house has their own cell). My mom called the place back and told them she hadn't shown, figured out it was a mix-up with phone numbers, gave them the right phone number, and the woman came that day. (This isn't the bad service part - shit happens, they had the wrong number.)

The woman came, wasn't wearing scrubs or anything, just a hoodie and jeans, and as soon as she came in she said we were "lucky" the place caught her before her friend left her house, or else she wouldn't have come because she didn't have anyone else to watch her kid. I don't think it was really our problem if she didn't have someone to watch her kid. If you're on call you're on call. If you aren't going to be able to get someone to watch your kid if you get called in then don't be on call. Amirite or is this unreasonable? Then the entire time she kept getting phone calls from people wanting nurses, and her kid because he got locked out of the house (I thought she had a babysitter?), and then another call from her kid wanting to know when she would be home, etc. She started to change my mom's dressings (we had to tell her to do it because she wasn't even given instructions from the company to do it) and even though my mom was wincing in pain b/c of the tape, the woman didn't care, so I had to step in with the adhesive tape remover they sent us home with to do it more gently. Then she let ME take the rest of them off while she answered her cell phone and proceeded to have a conversation with someone for 10 minutes before finally saying, "well, I'm knee-deep in incisions right now so I'll have to call you back later." The entire thing was just a tad too unprofessional for my liking, but I wasn't worried about it too much because at least her dressings were changed and incisions were measured.

This was on Sunday (I think I said in the comment that it was on Monday but I was mistaken - my days sort of run together lately). My mom hasn't heard a single word from the company until today, when they called the wrong phone number again while she was at work. She called them when she got home and told them they had called the wrong number even though she gave them the correct one last time she spoke with them and asked if someone could come out today. The response she got from the nurse was that he had "already made other plans" and wanted to come out on Saturday. Seriously? Other plans? You work for this company in which you are on call during certain hours. My ex-boyfriend's mother was a nurse, and when she was on call she had to drop everything she was doing if they called her in. "Other plans" don't exist when you're on call like that. My mom told them flat out that if they were refusing to come out today (even though it was before 3pm) and tomorrow after she gets home from work at 1pm, then don't bother coming on Saturday and she'll be making sure the doctor's office knows she didn't hear from them for four days and were refusing to come out. He finally agreed to come out today after 5pm, and while I was typing this he called back and said he was on his way out now.

I don't know what kind of company this is, but it seems extremely unprofessional, and I honestly don't even want them in the house. I've been giving my mom her shots and changing her dressings just fine this past week (actually this experience has made me consider going to school for nursing), so we really don't need them anyway. I'm a little nervous that this jerk is going to come into our home with an attitude and handle my mom's incisions roughly or something. I'm going to tell her to go ahead and let her doctor know what kind of company this is. I don't know if there's any competition but they need to get their act together.

Edit: The second nurse just left so I'm gonna update again. This guy was a lot more professional in person than over the phone when my mom was speaking with him, and a lot more professional than our first nurse. He seemed a lot more knowledgeable and gave us some information we needed to know, like how to recognize signs of infection and stuff like that. He apologized for the mixup over the phone, and said that there was a communication breakdown between the "paper pushers" of the company and the actual nurses who do the work, which is why he didn't have the new phone number. He had a little bit of an attitude at first but after talking with us the mood lightened up a lot. I'm still not happy AT ALL with the first nurse we had on Sunday, or the fact that my mom was under so much stress trying to get him to our house to begin with, but I'm glad things are okay now. He did mention being a little burned out when my mom asked him how long he had been a nurse and wanting to pursue a different career, which I'm sure added to the frustration of it all. I'm still going to make sure my mom tells her doctor about the first nurse we had and hopefully something gets done about the communication problems that are obviously going on between the people who answer the phone and the nurses that come out to the house.
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