Advice please

  1. I started my new job today, as a kind of home help assistant/ auxillary nurse, basiclaly it should have been washes, dresses and cooking meals, and prompting a patient to take their meds.

    My first nine calls were okay, it was the last one that got me, and i don't know what else i could have done.

    I arrived to cook the gentlemens tea, and prompt with his medication (not allowed to pass meds, I had a days training for this job) . However when I got there he was very upset, sat crying and had been for a while by the look of it. He said no one had been to him earlier in the day, so he had nothing to eat or drink and he missed 3 sets of meds. I gave some food, and some drinks, as well as some fortisips, I also phoned the office to tell them what was going on. And they said someone had done a breakfast and lunch call. But there was no charting, the meds were still in the dispenser and the breakfast porrige in the oven waiting to be switched on.

    I got the gentleman as settled as I could before I left, and then I sat outside crying that someone could put another human being through that.

    I don't know what else I could have done, or should do. It was my first day there, and I am trying to decide if i want to stay there for the experience, or go back to MacDonalds???

    I felt so helpless, like i wasn't doing enoughI just don't know what to do or think.I stayed as long as I could after my shift was over, but I had promised to pick my friends kid up, so I had to leave, and I feel I had not accomplished enough...

    Okay, enough ranting, advcie would be nice. Now where is that chocolate???
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   mattsmom81
    You sound like a very kind and caring person..someone who should be in homecare for elderly clients...as I can tell you care for them!

    My advice is focus on preventing this happening again....it was probably someone's mistake or miscommunication that this gentleman was not attended to and it needs to be researched and corrected. What happened certainly was not your fault and you cannot be everywhere, can you? This is common throughout the world in healthcare...the feeling we can't do enough...but we are only human so we do what we can. Best wishes to you...I'd bet your patients love you!
  4. by   SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    originally posted by mattsmom81
    you sound like a very kind and caring person..someone who should be in homecare for elderly clients...as i can tell you care for them!

    my advice is focus on preventing this happening again....it was probably someone's mistake or miscommunication that this gentleman was not attended to and it needs to be researched and corrected. what happened certainly was not your fault and you cannot be everywhere, can you? this is common throughout the world in healthcare...the feeling we can't do enough...but we are only human so we do what we can. best wishes to you...i'd bet your patients love you!
  5. by   Whisper
    Thankyou very much for your kind words.
  6. by   hoolahan
    Whisper, you are a kind-hearted person. Why someone missed his am visits, I cannot answer, but before you take the weight of the world onto your own shoulders, ask yourself, why does this gemtleman choose to live alone, knowing he could be so vulnerable if his help doesn't show up? Remember, he has chosen this, instead of an assisted living type situation, or to live with his family, etc... I'm not sure what kind of places are available to assist older folks in England. (I am not sure about this, but I have heard there are no nursing homes??) I worked with a disabled woman for a while, who clearly was unable to take care of herself. She was aphasic to boot. I suggested she get a TDY line, for the deaf/mute, so she could call the agency if there was a no-show. Only to find out, she had one, but refused to use it. After I heard that, I decided not to work with her anymore, as she was given the things she needed to help herself, but chose not to. I have to say, it's not easy to watch someone struggle, but believe it or not, some people choose that, and it is their choice to make. Next time you are there, ask him to make a plan in case anything like that ever happened again. Is there anyone he can call? Family members? In the US, our Medicaid program allows for an up to 20% absence rate before an agency would be in trouble for not showing up. Most agencies try to find replacements, but often can't, which, in that case, it is in our consent form the pt signs that they are responsible, or their family is responsible to provide the needed care. Can you purchase him some crackers and cheese to have on a shelf with juice boxes or something like that in case of an emergency, or is he disabled and unable to prepare anything for himself? In that case, he really needs a back up plan. Look at your agencies consent form to see what was actually promised.

    Home care is never easy. You will see heart-breaking things, but you have to always remember, the pt has the right to choose the way they live, unless they put themselves or others in immediate danger. Sometimes their choices are not wise, but all you can do is your best.
  7. by   nursedawn67
    originally posted by mattsmom81
    you sound like a very kind and caring person..someone who should be in homecare for elderly clients...as i can tell you care for them!

    my advice is focus on preventing this happening again....it was probably someone's mistake or miscommunication that this gentleman was not attended to and it needs to be researched and corrected. what happened certainly was not your fault and you cannot be everywhere, can you? this is common throughout the world in healthcare...the feeling we can't do enough...but we are only human so we do what we can. best wishes to you...i'd bet your patients love you!


    my thoughts exactly!
  8. by   MPHkatie
    I don't mean to play devil's advocate, but for a while there, where I live, every few months I would hear about a home care RN who documented visits he/she never made. SO, you might be doing a favor in calling the office. I find it hard to believe that a visit was made and the man was not fed or helped to take his meds. Or, it could be an honest screwup, which unfortunately also happens.
    Good Luck it's all good experience you will see a lot worse in your career, but you do have the power to make a difference here.
  9. by   Whisper
    Once again thanks,

    And hoolahan we DO have nursing homes in England, and Residential homes, and sheltered accomadation.

    However in this case the gentlemen wanted to stay in his home, and his family no longer live in the UK support his views. Moving into a home can be expensive, as the government uses a type of means tested scale to see how much a client or their family should pay.

    Unfortunately the call, was early Sunday evening, so no shops were open to buy any easy to eat food. I made him some sandwiches for later, and poured some juice into non tip cups for him.

    I went past his house this morning, on my way to hand in an assignment, to see if he was okay (please don't tell work, as I would not have been insured) and if he had got some food, however while i was sat in the car, turnign the lights off etc a homehelp pulled on the drive, so I left. But as I got to the end of the street I recognised one of the management cars pulling onto the street.
    Debated whether to turn back, but I am new there and with no id or uniform they wouldn't know me from Adam (well Eve,) Nearlly missed my deadline, so now I am just hoping every thing gets sorted.

    I'll probably never get sent there again, I just wish someone would phone me and say 'yes someone was there and it was me that made a mistake', or 'no nobody went, but it has been sorted out'

    Thankyou all for putting up with my whinging,

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