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Worst experiance yet

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maztbo grew up in boston,but live on the cape now with my wife and three teenagers Find out more about maztbo
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  • Worst experiance yet

    Hope everyone has some cheese for this 'whine'. First off my wife is a nurse of 30yrs and I'm a dyed in blue union member. Being a close observer of the issues that nurses are dealing with today my sympathies are wholeheartedly with them even if I didn't depend on them for my HCM care I've been receiving, but my recent hospitalization has left a new and sad impression on me. I've spent a little more than three weeks total since Sept at Tufts for things recounted elsewhere on this board, I have been more than pleased with the attentiveness and care from the nursing staff there with no more than very minor issues arrising from personality conflicts (I know my BODY and I know what I need), so I know I'm not a 'problem' patient.

    Tufts is in the middle of a labor dispute with their nurses over, nurse to patient ratios and forced manditory overtime, with rank and file voting today or tomorrow on whether to strike.I feel that I've been caught in the middle and it's outragaous patients never should be pawns.

    Had my surgery last Thursday, uncomplicated and transfered out of SICU right away that night,about 5am Fri. morning no more than a foot from my bed I fell to the floor on my rump of my just operated leg, Whose fault for this ultimately lies on the NA at my side, I have the most purple bruise nunning from my waist to almost my ankle that the VA nurse today said that it was the worst one she has ever seen.(thanks coumadin) No damage so far to the knee.

    Things seem to be amiss with getting my pain meds on time but I'm a patient person, then it seemed impossible to get attention on the call button with some very preoccupied NAs, they seemed to be consumed pushing around the upright laptop carts that the nurses normally do, I never got my bed changed after Sun morning or helped at all to doing personal care. The Tues, and Wed. daytime RN was elusive and terse, being frantic with every interaction with me, her smile just didn't cut it.I needed my knee in a CPM machine for 6hrs a day(2hrs at a time) and under her care it was difficult to get the attention from a competent NA to put me in it, mandhandling my leg and ignoring the proper use of the sling provided on the bed.

    Mon.the person in the bed next to me was discharged, notified in the early morning but not released till late in the afternoon and he walked out totally disgruntiled.That night it took over 45 mininutes and a sermon from a NA that the RN was too 'busy', to get my pain meds.(when the RN came in she told me she only been notified a few min. before) Yesterday was a day in hospital h**l, we knew the day before I'd be discharged Wed. so my wife showed up at 11am to reclaim me the nurse from hades was possessed arguing with my wife saying that she didn't say things which she had and then that she didn't have to go over with me the discharge instructions and then disappeared at 3pm (end of shift). After waiting for a hour for transportation to escort me out, my wife roamed the the halls for a wheelchair so she could get me out of there.Leaving, (outside the unit in the hallway) we encounted the floor nurse manager complained to her and she grabed a 'floating'NA and had her escourt me out , I never signed any discharge papers and I'm still waiting for her to contact me. Saying goodbye to my new roomate, his wife told me how disgusted she was that there was still urine on the floor from when the RN took out the foley earlier and her husband was still laying in blood stained sheets so it just wasn't me getting abused in that room.

    The doctors,food service staff, PTs, and most of the RNs and NAs were fantastic, but the few that weren't, indangered my health and a institution's reputation to others. I've been on three different units at Tufts and this doesn't reflect what I've recieved in the past. I hope this was just a anomally but it could reflect what we can expect if we get caught in the middle of a labor action in our Medical institutions.

    I'm still smarting from yesterday, I spazimed all the way home in the car from all the stress and writing this has been an effort, but I wanted to put this to words while I'm still upset. Hopefully I'll never experiance something like this ever again, I like Tufts and this ain't the time in my life to switch institutions again.

    John F.
    Last edited by maztbo; 04-21-2011, 05:21 PM.
    had HCM since birth
    'enlarged heart' identified in 96'
    HOCM dx in 7/08
    Myectomy 8/09
    extended Myectomy 5/10
    'End stage' HCM dx 8/10
    CRT-D implanted 9/10
    evaluated for Transplant 11/10
    Listed for transplant 6/11

  • #2
    Re: Worst experiance yet

    Sorry for your horrible experience. I think you need to send this post onto the hospital administrator.
    Midge

    Diagnosed in 1977, Myectomy in 1981 @ Mayo Rochester
    ICD&Pacemaker 1996
    Heart transplant March 19, 2004 @ Mayo Rochester
    Mom of Kaye.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Worst experiance yet

      John,
      Sorry you went through this. I've read a bit about this struggle at Tufts; I hope the nurses are able to get the administration to stop their staff cuts.

      Gordon
      Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Worst experiance yet

        I heard they were authorized to go on strike at any time.So they have given their 10 day notice.

        http://www.bostonherald.com/news/reg...&position=also

        Sorry John for your difficulties.
        Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
        Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
        Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
        SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
        [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
        Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
        Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
        Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Worst experiance yet

          I have also had hospital experiences similar to this in a very reputable large hospital near my house that has also had issues with its nurses.

          Very unpleasant. But I agree with passing it along to the hospital administration. If nothing else, they will make sure you are treated better next time.
          Daughter of Father with HCM
          Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
          Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
          ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
          Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Worst experiance yet

            I'm sorry you had a really bad experience. I have had my hospital nightmares too.

            One time, after my thyroid cancer and thyroid removal surgery, my throat was very sore... after a 4 days they said I could eat solid food... I wrote on the menu in huge letters: "Allergic to Sunflower Seeds!!"

            The meal they brought me was a sandwich with whole grain bread that had sunflower seeds in it.
            Thankfully, I knew it when I saw the bread, I called the hospital Dietitian and she said that the bread is very good for me. They never even looked at the menu.

            Having my stomach pumped with my thoat and voicebox infamed from the surgery would not have been fun. Thankfully I did not have to.
            I have more stories.


            .... I hope that if you have to go back to the hospital, it will be much better.
            49 yrs. old
            Diagnosed at 31.
            Cardiac Arrest 2003, RF Ablation in AZ, no positive result -
            First ICD 2003 - In 2006 lead went bad, abandoned lead, threaded new one & new generator
            Myectomy 5-5-05 at The Cleveland Clinic - Dr. Lever & Dr. Smedira -heart surgeon.
            Currently have Grade 2 Diastolic Dysfunction with pulmonary hypertension & pulmonary edema.
            My brother passed away suddenly at 34 yrs old from HCM.
            2 teenage children, ages 17 and 15.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Worst experiance yet

              This kind of reminds me of my ICU experience, except that I never actually had anything happen that actually caused me harm, just slow responses or general neglect.

              Since you actually got hurt, and seemed to have trouble getting the treatments you were supposed to get, that is far more serious.

              I would take some time to write a detailed description and send it to the hospital. It's hard, but I'd encourage you to really stick with the facts as much as you can; things like not responding to a call button are pretty subjective unless you actually timed it, but getting a giant bruise from being dropped is not. Save the outrage and disappointment for the opening and closing paragraphs.

              I expect a distracted staff is one of the side effects of a looming strike. Since Stanford also had a pending strike, that may have been a factor with me as well, but it's hard to say - my regular nursing staff in the step-down ICU was fine, so I suspect all I encountered were local management and staffing issues.

              Good luck,

              Frank S.
              Father had "IHSS"
              "Exercise induced asthma" since age 40
              Diagnosed with HCM age 44 (2004)
              Myectomy and L Ant Artery unbridging Stanford Dr. Mallidi 3/17/2011

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Worst experiance yet

                Franklin, unfortunately in my life I've spent probably a few years of my life living in hospitals, and nearly dying a few times in ICU.The competitive atmosphere of the hospitals in the Boston area is like no other in the country. Tufts has been recently successful in creatating a 'brand name' as a new comer both locally in growing faster in aquiring a more prefered and cheaper place for insurance companies to deal with( also delivering a 'quality'product), and nationally in their heart transplant team and their HCM COE designation underlines this fact.Providing inpatient health care is not like providing a human service like waiting on tables, as I said earlier my wife is a acting nurse for over 30years, my sympathies lie with them not with management. My point is not about being indignant about quick service but being treated like the reason or cause of their labor dispute. Both sides should take it 'outside' inpatient care should never be compromised no matter who's right or wrong. Tufts reputation is damaged and the nurses union's argument is subverted by willfuly amplifying the issues with what I witnessed,it wasn't just me that was affected by the nursing staff's activity in being consumed with this labor action, other patients were just as appalled and angry of their treatment(and my was wife also).This is a nation wide issue that will get louder as the health cost debate intensifies, this is the second hospital here under the threat of a work stopage.I'm no worse for the wear and I'm healing nicely but I was trully amazed at the confict I got to be caught in the middle of,I am reporting this episode ,but with mixed emotions being a union member, to the administration Mon.I have no plans on going anywhere else for my health care.
                had HCM since birth
                'enlarged heart' identified in 96'
                HOCM dx in 7/08
                Myectomy 8/09
                extended Myectomy 5/10
                'End stage' HCM dx 8/10
                CRT-D implanted 9/10
                evaluated for Transplant 11/10
                Listed for transplant 6/11

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Worst experiance yet

                  While being on both sides of this in the past it is not a fun one! Stories like you describe are the norm now in Central Florida. I can't remember the last time anyone assisted me in ADLs (activities of daily living) a clinical technician will run in throw a gown and towel at the foot of the bed. It is standard now that bedding is changed only once a week (to save the environment) unless soiled. I believe the definition of soiled now is soaked in blood! On most floors these days RNs have 4-7 patients with four being PCU and seven on med tele. When I was a clin tech I had it good. I only had seven patients on the day shift. This was on surgical oncology. As one who was frequently a patient myself I made everyone's bed everyday got the soapy water ready and washed their backs. I barely got done at the end of my 12 hour shift! And I got yelled at frequently when refusing to take on more patients. The night techs get the whole floor up to 20 patients!

                  I don't think it will change in the near future. I do know that NEMC has a good management response team if there are problems. When I had $50 disappear out of my wallet during my AICD surgery I did end up getting reimbursed. It really saddens me though that NEMC is getting just as bad down here. I went to the ER the other night and the doc wouldn't even recognize HCM kept saying IHSS is the proper terminology. In essence he called me a drug seeker and refused to give me anything for my chest pain and told me that I shouldn't have come to the ER that night or the night in Feb. when I had myocarditis and had to be airlifted.

                  I'm so over hospitals!

                  Mary

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Worst experiance yet

                    The worst place to be when you are sick is in a hospital whether there is a looming strike or not.

                    People go into the health care profession for mainly all the right reasons but with all the administrative and clerical duties they get hit with patients and their immediate care become second. Who is to blame for this - hospital administration, insurance companies, the economy? I don't have the answer.

                    Once again, before everyone gets on my case this is only my opinion - health care workers should come under the same umbrella as other key personnel (police, fire, etc) in that they not be permitted to strike but be subject to arbitration, mediation (is this what the call collective bargaining, not sure). There is no union member that will agree with me but but this argument over money puts lives in danger and that is not to be tolerated.

                    OK, off to get my coffee and meds.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Worst experiance yet

                      Go get your coffee Marian! Common sence should prevail but national agenda and dogma might be driving this issue with the unions,being a union member I unfortunately agree with you about a 'no strike' designation in regaurds to inpatient care but mediation(which is not collective bargining)or arbitration is usually a joke always seeming to favor managment.The nurses at Tufts are demanding a reduction from 7 patients to 4 per nurse per shift, my wife (a RN) has 19 at her facility with the brunt of personal nursing interaction being shifted to the NAs(techs) they're cheaper and easier to get rid of. The real issue is a common one in the national labor debate, forced or manatory overtime, which is abused to achieve other purposes that managment could get in no other way, 'floting' is the other issue but all three indanger a patient's care. I wish everyone's priorities was delivering good nursing care not the bottom line, I hear ya Mary.

                      John F.
                      had HCM since birth
                      'enlarged heart' identified in 96'
                      HOCM dx in 7/08
                      Myectomy 8/09
                      extended Myectomy 5/10
                      'End stage' HCM dx 8/10
                      CRT-D implanted 9/10
                      evaluated for Transplant 11/10
                      Listed for transplant 6/11

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Worst experiance yet

                        Certainly sounds familar Brett! Best thing to do is to complain to the highest person you can.I got a letter of apology from the Director of nurses and one from the head of Tufts.
                        had HCM since birth
                        'enlarged heart' identified in 96'
                        HOCM dx in 7/08
                        Myectomy 8/09
                        extended Myectomy 5/10
                        'End stage' HCM dx 8/10
                        CRT-D implanted 9/10
                        evaluated for Transplant 11/10
                        Listed for transplant 6/11

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Worst experiance yet

                          Above all, sorry about your experience, but most importantly, I would be concerned about your range of motion. Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you had a total knee replacement? The CPM Machine is not just a gadget for assistance w/ pain. ROM is important all throughout your recovery. If your appliance (new knee) locks, there are problems. It it what the PT will work on with you at home and in the outpatient setting as well as the Home Exercise Program you went home with (Hopefully). Another thing is, please makes sure your Ortho. knows that you fell, just in case he wants to x-ray you for dislocations.
                          Take Care!!

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