Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nurse error nearly cancels Mom's physical therapy

A few days ago I caught a nurse in an error that could have cost Mom a chance at some physical therapy. She really needs some regular PT to keep her as limber as possible and it's also some diverse activities to keep her mind active.

Here's the scenario:

  • Mom's doctor calls the ALF to order some physical therapy but the nurse tells them that the Physical Therapist (PT) won't return because Mom refused it last time.
  • Doctor's office calls me to get Mom to agree to do the PT and tells me she refused it. I tell the Doc's office Mom did NOT refuse it that she was discharged because they could not make any headway since her knee was so bad.
  • NOTE: The doctor was about to cancel his PT order until he heard from me that the ALF was mistaken.
  • So, I call the LPN at the ALF and ask her to check Mom's records. She INSISTS that Mom refused more PT. I had to press her to look in the files and she saw that Mom refused one day because she was ill but that she was discharged from by the PT.
  • The LPN then called the doctor's office to confirm that Mom HAD NOT refused PT so it was ordered and she began this week.

This scenario really got me worked up. This nurses ASSUMPTION based on something she was TOLD nearly cost Mom a chance for some needed physical therapy. The nurse would not have checked unless she had been pressed by ME. The PT is necessary to strengthen her muscles and keep her as limber as possible. It's necessary to keep her mobile under her own power even though that's limited.

What about those residents who don't have pushy family members? What about those who don't have doctors willing to call daughters to get another perspective? I realize that the ALF has budgets to worry about; I realize they are short handed and everyone does more than their share of hard work but..... My concern must be my MOM not their work load. If they can't handle it, they need to hire more people.