The more I travel down this path, the more I become painfully unaware how important it is for a patient to have an advocate. Otherwise, Lord knows what would happen.
This week something happened that almost took the cake. I called my mom after work like I normally do. She sounded very stressed and said that they need to know that they can’t take her out for these long trips – that she was very tired. They brought her back to her room and turned the TV on but neglected to put the nurse call button next to her. I immediately thought that she was in the Land of Oz.
She began telling me how they took her to Kaiser Permanente (A specialized health care provider in the area) and then took her to McDonalds. She said she kept telling them that she did not want to sign up for Kaiser and that she would not sign anything as her daughter is her eyes and takes care of all of her medical needs. Oh boy, la la land again. But she was so stressed that I told her that I would call the nurse and see what happened.
Lo and behold I find out that they nursing facility’s driver had picked her up and taken her mistakenly for a blood work up at Kaiser. When I questioned the nurses why, they said they did not know how it happened.
I was fit to be tied. I told them that I wanted the administrator to call me the next day, and they said she would call me in the morning. The next day, when I had not received a call by twelve noon, I called Lynn, the admissions director. She told me she had heard what went on and apologize profusely. She told me she would have the administrator call me.
The administrator finally did call and explained that the driver was talking on the phone and writing down the room number of the patient who was to go for the blood work all at the same time and wrote down the wrong room number. Apparently my mom was pretty stressed when he went to pick her up and the acitivities director noticed that and decided to ride with her. When they found out the error, they took her to McDonalds for dinner.
The administrator told me that they would give a verbal warning to the driver, and they added to their policy a procedure to double check all trips with the nurse. They could not apologize enough, and when I asked my mom how far she thought I should pursue it, she told me to drop it.
I just have to shake my head. I just don’t get how something like this could happen and yet the mistake was relatively harmless and mistakes do get made. Mom has forgotten all about it now, and the nursing home really bent over backwards to apologize and to deal with the driver. I just wonder what would happen if my mom did not have someone in her corner checking up on her all the time. That’s why I say, when and if I ever have to be in a nursing facility, I hope that I am blissfully unaware – because I’m not sure there will be anyone around to watch out for me.
I leave tomorrow to go to Seattle for a week to attend the National Recreation and Park Association Conference. I am looking forward to a little time away although I will be in a ton of meetings. I will check in with you all next weekend.