Have you ever felt as if you were the only person on earth that feels a certain way about things? Either I have gone bonkers, or society is a few fries short of a happy meal! Let me explain.
I was approached in the hallway by one of the nurses. last week, who reported to me a conversation she had had with a family member earlier in the day. Evidently, the family wanted a detail account of every medication “mama” was taking including who ordered it, why it was being given, how often it is given and how much it cost. The nurse explained all that was within her scope of practice….everything but the cost. Apparently the family was very dissatisfied with this …..
” I know what you people are up to. You are just keeping mama alive so you can collect her rent money”, the, family screamed through the phone. The nurse, who was caught totally off guard by such a powerful accusation had no clue as to how to respond. Scrambling for an appropriate response, she stated, ” I follow the doctor’s orders. If you would like, I can connect you to the Administrator to discuss the financial side of things…..”” The family chose not to talk to me, but rather, they slammed the phone down.
The nurse began justifying to me the medication “mama” was taking…carefully explaining how the resident needed each of the pills…one for acid reflux, one for edema, one for pain, one for fluid build-up, an aspirin and a B12 injection. Hmmm.
Let me get this straight. The family thinks we are intentionally keeping her mother alive so we can collect her “rent money.” Wow. I don’t think I have ever been accused of such!
I decided to call the family myself and sort through her concerns. I certainly do not tolerate anyone screaming at my staff and am quick to state my opinion to those who do so. Once on the phone with the family member, I could tell the conversation was not going to go well….
” Listen Jessi, I know you are doing the best you can over there, but look, I can’t keep paying these bills that come in, and the pharmacy bill is out of control. Some times I think you just keep half the people over that at your place alive just so you can make money off them. Admit it, you know so many of them would be better off if they died; put out of their misery, but that would affect your bottom line.” Before I could stop myself, I switched from Administrator to all HUMAN……..
” Mrs, Simon, stop right there. I am not God. I do not control anyone’s fate; their life, nor their death. It is my duty to my profession and to my own personal character to provide care and to indeed keep everyone alive! But you are the daughter and Power of Attorney, so the choices you make control life and death. Do not shift your responsiblity onto me or the staff. Furthermore, how dare you insinuate that we keep people alive for a profit!! We not only care for every resident in our facility, but we also CARE about them as well……….” I quickly regained the tone and volume of my voice, knowing I was treading a fine line of unprofessionalism. Mrs. Simon seemed unmoved by my rant.
” Do you know how much I owe the pharmacy?”She asked.
Before I could answer… she ylelled ” 72 dollars and 94 cent. You may as say 73 dollars.”
What is wrong with people?????????????????? The world has stopped for Mrs. Simon over $72. 93 and it is the fault of the facility that her mother is still alive. Just wow. Let me say it again…..WOW.
If she felt so strongly about her mother not NEEDING to spend $72.93, then why bother having her in a facility such as mine? Certainly there are much cheaper facilities, or why even bother with a facility at all. Why not drive her to an assisted suicide state and drop the hatchet?
People love to talk about their right to die……and they are right to do so. We all have an appointed time to die, BUT, we also have a right to live.
Just wow. 72 dollars and 93 cent.