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Old 05-10-2016, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Texas
1,310 posts, read 1,337,767 times
Reputation: 1923

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^^^Exactly ^^^

Been there, done that! Highly effective technique and when that fails follow through with attorney.
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,326 posts, read 35,864,624 times
Reputation: 62697
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post

I also decided that there is no way in H%LL that I am going to wait around for a doctor for 10 to 12 or more hours, like I have done numerous times this year. BTW twice when I had waited 12 hours, or more, for a doctor I missed them when I stepped out of the hospital room for a few minutes to urinate. I will call the doctors, leave messages for them, and write huge notes plastered all over the room for them to call me when they make rounds.

I will also contact the Nurse Supervisor, Medical Compliance Director or whatever it is called in the hospital right away to make sure that my spouse gets appropriate care before they drop the ball or immediately after they drop it the first time.
I think this is one of the things that irritates me the most about current health "care." When we were trying to coordinate the interview by the behavioral health CONSULTANT (not even a doctor) the social worker actually said these exact words to my dad and me: "Are you going to be here all day tomorrow? Because we're not sure when she will show up." (She actually didn't even show up at all that next day - it was the day after.) My dad said, "It's the 21st century. Surely she has a cell phone. Are you saying she can't call and give us a window of an hour? Because no, we weren't planning on just hanging around here all day long hoping she will show up."

Same with the doctors - they expect families to just sit around waiting to be graced by their presence for 5 minutes. The other option is to get all information from the RN on staff on the ward, which we often do resort to - but it's nice to actually luck up and get to talk with the doctor.

The arrogance of the medical system and community continues to astound me.
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:54 AM
 
2,632 posts, read 3,356,668 times
Reputation: 6961
Care in the hospital is different from care in the clinic. It is impossible to set fixed times for many specialists to see patients because they never know on any given day who they have to see and how sick the person is. People are constantly being admitted to the hospital, so every morning is a new list of patients and issues.

They often have to see the ER patients first, since they are the most emergent..... Maybe they just tried to commit suicide. Then they see the patients in the hospital, and sometimes even those have to be prioritized. For example, the acutely psychotic patient swallowing razor blades or the person biting the nurses will likely be seen before the stable person in a hospital bed. One day, the doc may show up in the afternoon, but the next it could be 6am or 6pm because they have clinic all day so can't come during normal hours. So the doctors do not deserve all the blame here. It is kind of an impossible, unpredictable system.

I usually take my Dad to larger teaching hospitals. Sometimes the nurses can be helpful and can page the doc you want to see and ask them to stop by when you are there. Sometimes the nurses know when certain docs tend to show up. Sometimes the nurses can page the docs and ask them to at least call you after they see your loved one.

In general, the residents (junior doctors) will come around and see the patients in the early hours (6am - 10am). Sometimes they know the basic plan. Usually the senior doctors come by in the afternoons or early evenings. Often the come by with the whole "team" on rounds.

I suspect smaller hospitals or private hospitals have different systems.

It is always a stressful, nightmare when your loved one has complex needs. I now sleep in the hospital to protect my Dad, and only leave the room when someone else is staying with him. Rough, and impossible for most people, I know..... Early morning visits from the resident doctors are valuable as I can get an idea of the plan for the day and I can let them know if I have questions to be addressed later. The amount of miscommunication between the junior resident doctors and senior doctors can be staggering.......

Once, while my father was in the ICU in critical status with dozens of injuries /problems after being nearly killed by a taxi..... I struggled for nearly 2 WEEKS to get the attending neurosurgeon who emergently operated on my father's broken spine to come talk to us to tell us what was going on with his new paralysis and his prognosis. Those were the longest 2 weeks of my life....... Finally, a friend of mine's father.... Who was a respected surgeon at a nearby hospital ...... called the neurosurgeon directly and basically shamed him into coming to talk to me. Just...... Ugh.

BUT........ Try to remember that most docs and nurses are decent people, trying to help, and their jobs are very stressful. Try to remember that no matter how serious your loved one's situation may be, there are probably several other patients worse off who need even more nursing and Doctor attention. Try to prioritize your requests, cluster them, be patient, make signs as reminders, bring in friends and family to help when you can't be there, ask nurses/Nurse's aid/nutritionist/social worker/case manager etc... for help whenever possible INSTEAD of the Doctor so the doc can focus on the big issues.

And just imagine what it is like for the many, many elderly patients in the hospital that don't have an advocate there with them.

And take a breath.....
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,888 posts, read 17,203,069 times
Reputation: 40787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
In a similar situation I called the doctor's office repeatedly and left messages for him to call me to give me an update. Before the age of cell phones I once looked up a doctor's number in the phone book and called him at home after I'd waited around all day hoping to talk to him. I spoke to his wife and she was surprised, but he did call me back. I figure my time is just as valuable as the doctor's time. That sitting around all day hoping to catch the doctor is ridiculous (not on your part, germaine--on the part of a supposed professional).

And if you do talk to a nursing supervisor or hospital executive, don't just say you're upset about the lack of care. Be sure and drop the word "negligent" in the conversation more than once and follow up with an email so it's in writing. As in, "the nursing staff has been negligent because it has failed to make sure he has had something to eat and drink." "Negligent" is a code word for lawsuit and the hospital executives know this.

I get that hospitals are short-staffed. But Medicare and your insurance will be billed thousands of dollars a day for your husband to sit there hungry and dehydrated. The system is broken, but it's not your fault or your husband's fault and he shouldn't have to pay for it with his well-being.

Glad you're home now and hope you can get some rest.
The hospital called yesterday to see how my husband was doing. I explained a few of the slip-ups and frustrations and the person patiently listened but did not seem very interested. Then I mentioned that I had discussed this with my caregiver support group (you on C-D) and they suggested that the hospital "may have been negligent" in his care while in the hospital. Wow! Her attitude immediately changed to being very attentive and solicitous. She asked a lot more questions and said that the nursing supervisor would call me soon to discuss the issues in depth.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,578 posts, read 14,193,916 times
Reputation: 30198
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
The hospital called yesterday to see how my husband was doing. I explained a few of the slip-ups and frustrations and the person patiently listened but did not seem very interested. Then I mentioned that I had discussed this with my caregiver support group (you on C-D) and they suggested that the hospital "may have been negligent" in his care while in the hospital. Wow! Her attitude immediately changed to being very attentive and solicitous. She asked a lot more questions and said that the nursing supervisor would call me soon to discuss the issues in depth.
Well! Good for you. Let us know if they contact you.

I'd forgotten that hospitals do call for an update after a hospitalization. What a good time to bring up problems you've had.

When I was hospitalized 3 years ago, the hospital called, and I complemented their care and expressed how happy I was that they kept the floor quiet at night. I also liked that the nurses coming on duty introduced themselves before starting their shift. It was obvious to me that the caller was not used to being told how happy a hospital stay had been.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:34 AM
 
15,254 posts, read 16,772,448 times
Reputation: 25416
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
The hospital called yesterday to see how my husband was doing. I explained a few of the slip-ups and frustrations and the person patiently listened but did not seem very interested. Then I mentioned that I had discussed this with my caregiver support group (you on C-D) and they suggested that the hospital "may have been negligent" in his care while in the hospital. Wow! Her attitude immediately changed to being very attentive and solicitous. She asked a lot more questions and said that the nursing supervisor would call me soon to discuss the issues in depth.
It's a powerful word and not one to be used lightly. But from what you were telling us your very ill husband was being neglected and IMO that is negligence in a hospital setting. In any case, I'm glad you got her attention and I'm so happy that you have a caregiver support group here on C-D.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:40 AM
 
15,254 posts, read 16,772,448 times
Reputation: 25416
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfcambridge View Post
Care in the hospital is different from care in the clinic. It is impossible to set fixed times for many specialists to see patients because they never know on any given day who they have to see and how sick the person is. People are constantly being admitted to the hospital, so every morning is a new list of patients and issues.

They often have to see the ER patients first, since they are the most emergent..... Maybe they just tried to commit suicide. Then they see the patients in the hospital, and sometimes even those have to be prioritized. For example, the acutely psychotic patient swallowing razor blades or the person biting the nurses will likely be seen before the stable person in a hospital bed. One day, the doc may show up in the afternoon, but the next it could be 6am or 6pm because they have clinic all day so can't come during normal hours. So the doctors do not deserve all the blame here. It is kind of an impossible, unpredictable system.

I usually take my Dad to larger teaching hospitals. Sometimes the nurses can be helpful and can page the doc you want to see and ask them to stop by when you are there. Sometimes the nurses know when certain docs tend to show up. Sometimes the nurses can page the docs and ask them to at least call you after they see your loved one.

In general, the residents (junior doctors) will come around and see the patients in the early hours (6am - 10am). Sometimes they know the basic plan. Usually the senior doctors come by in the afternoons or early evenings. Often the come by with the whole "team" on rounds.

I suspect smaller hospitals or private hospitals have different systems.

It is always a stressful, nightmare when your loved one has complex needs. I now sleep in the hospital to protect my Dad, and only leave the room when someone else is staying with him. Rough, and impossible for most people, I know..... Early morning visits from the resident doctors are valuable as I can get an idea of the plan for the day and I can let them know if I have questions to be addressed later. The amount of miscommunication between the junior resident doctors and senior doctors can be staggering.......

Once, while my father was in the ICU in critical status with dozens of injuries /problems after being nearly killed by a taxi..... I struggled for nearly 2 WEEKS to get the attending neurosurgeon who emergently operated on my father's broken spine to come talk to us to tell us what was going on with his new paralysis and his prognosis. Those were the longest 2 weeks of my life....... Finally, a friend of mine's father.... Who was a respected surgeon at a nearby hospital ...... called the neurosurgeon directly and basically shamed him into coming to talk to me. Just...... Ugh.

BUT........ Try to remember that most docs and nurses are decent people, trying to help, and their jobs are very stressful. Try to remember that no matter how serious your loved one's situation may be, there are probably several other patients worse off who need even more nursing and Doctor attention. Try to prioritize your requests, cluster them, be patient, make signs as reminders, bring in friends and family to help when you can't be there, ask nurses/Nurse's aid/nutritionist/social worker/case manager etc... for help whenever possible INSTEAD of the Doctor so the doc can focus on the big issues.

And just imagine what it is like for the many, many elderly patients in the hospital that don't have an advocate there with them.

And take a breath.....
I know that doctors and caregivers are good people who are trying to do their best. I also appreciate that they're very busy, deal with emergencies and have unpredictable schedules. But as someone said upthread, we live in an age of instant communication and there's simply no reason to go 12 hours, or in your case, 2 weeks, without hearing from a doctor if s/he knows you need to talk to them. And the fact that your doctor responded when a colleague contacted him means that he had the time but you were not a priority for him.

I respect doctors, but they're not gods. They aren't the only people who are busy, or have emergencies or whose priorities can change in the blink of an eye. All anyone is asking for is mutual respect and some basic communication.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Garbage, NC
3,124 posts, read 2,032,178 times
Reputation: 8113
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
The hospital called yesterday to see how my husband was doing. I explained a few of the slip-ups and frustrations and the person patiently listened but did not seem very interested. Then I mentioned that I had discussed this with my caregiver support group (you on C-D) and they suggested that the hospital "may have been negligent" in his care while in the hospital. Wow! Her attitude immediately changed to being very attentive and solicitous. She asked a lot more questions and said that the nursing supervisor would call me soon to discuss the issues in depth.
Wow! I bet her attitude did change! Good for you for saying something.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Garbage, NC
3,124 posts, read 2,032,178 times
Reputation: 8113
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I think this is one of the things that irritates me the most about current health "care." When we were trying to coordinate the interview by the behavioral health CONSULTANT (not even a doctor) the social worker actually said these exact words to my dad and me: "Are you going to be here all day tomorrow? Because we're not sure when she will show up." (She actually didn't even show up at all that next day - it was the day after.) My dad said, "It's the 21st century. Surely she has a cell phone. Are you saying she can't call and give us a window of an hour? Because no, we weren't planning on just hanging around here all day long hoping she will show up."

Same with the doctors - they expect families to just sit around waiting to be graced by their presence for 5 minutes. The other option is to get all information from the RN on staff on the ward, which we often do resort to - but it's nice to actually luck up and get to talk with the doctor.

The arrogance of the medical system and community continues to astound me.
So ridiculous! I get that they are busy, but it's ridiculous.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,888 posts, read 17,203,069 times
Reputation: 40787
Default Friday, May 13

Friday, May 13

Quick Update.

We just got back from the doctor. All physical signs of the pneumonia are gone. Cognitively hubby is still more goofed up than usual. He continues to think that we are in a hotel in various cities. He is more irritable than usual and making more "errors" than normal. A couple of times he spilled something on his clothes and threw them in the garbage & not the clothes basket. I realize now that he may have done this before as there are several specific articles of clothing that have simply disappeared over the last few weeks. I now try to look in the garbage more often and look under stuff like a big pile of newspapers.

I am still pretty worn out from the last big push to downsize the condo & from his hospital stay. He did not go to Brain stretchers/adult day care for almost two weeks, which did not help my exhaustion. But, I did send him back yesterday. While he was there I made the time to go to MY doctor and get some blood work done. We will see if I am sick, too.

The hospital did not call back (about my concerns over his care).

The neuropsychologist fixed the major errors on the report (still a few minor errors but I'm not worried about those). I took a copy to his primary care physician and she said that she will make sure that it gets in his file.

My "to do" list keeps getting longer and longer. There are more & more boxes from the condo to look through and my brothers are still pushing to get it empty. I keep getting farther and farther behind on things around the apartment. I first moved in here in mid September (when my husband was released home from the first of his three hospital & two nursing home rehab stays). He moved in for good in mid November and we still do not have living room curtains or pictures up. And, who knows when I will ever be able to get my taxes done (I filed for an extension, but I am missed A LOT of the necessary paperwork) or even get started on those taxes again. Plus there are several other very, very important things (similar in importance to taxes) that have to get finished but I just can't find either the large block of time or the motivation to do them. I'm just worn out.

Thank you to everyone for your help and assistance.
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