Dismissing My Care

The meeting was a bitch-fest.

Nurses had called a conference, because they were having difficulties with the patient’s family.

She could have been sent to short-term rehab after her hospitalization, but her family knew that they could provide better care. Three of her daughters are nurses and they could make arrangements to be certain that someone would be there with her 24/7. Meanwhile, her physician (a family friend) was willing to make house calls to coordinate care. This arrangement afforded her the opportunity she needed to return home and avoid the nursing home.

If only everyone could be so lucky.

Meanwhile, the nursing staff was frustrated. Sending in a different nurse every couple of days, communication was difficult and the situation proved to be unique. The nurses with the agency are accustomed to coordinating care with the family after receiving orders from the physician, not the other way around. In this instance, a new nurse would enter the home to discover from the family that the doctor had changed the orders and they were concerned that this woman’s family was directing care instead of the agency. This has lead to a tension-filled relationship.

The nurses presented their concerns and frustrations to management before the attention was shifted toward me, her only therapist for four weeks. The manager asked, “So what are your concerns with the family and physical therapy?”

“Oh him?” the nursing case manager interrupted, “he’s a guy. Of course they love him.”

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