Saturday, December 20, 2014

Culture Change: There's A Co-Ordinator For That, at least in the State of Missouri

How many Seniors die every day waiting to be recognized as individual human beings living in Long Term Care Facilities?

My stomach, quite frankly, turns when I read that in my State of Missouri there is a philosophy, as in others, of “taking your time” to use “An Organizational Readiness Assessment Tool” for Cultural Change – change that refocuses from an institution mentality to a human being mentality.

Mom didn’t have the time and neither do many who enter the doors of facilities.

This attitude, in fact, is exactly what I’ve been blogging against for so long – taking time and making more backwards than forwards progress on the part of Long Term Care Facilities.

We even have a Missouri State Culture Change Coordinator!  As if adult human beings, supposedly skilled as Medical and Social Welfare specialists cannot on their own, of their own accord, with their own trained abilities, IN specialized Long Term Care “Medical” Facilities, recognize the need to honor the human being entrusted to their care through ensuring individualized treatment and service. We need to employ someone who can manage and ensure the word is delivered in a “tone” and with a “positive directive” to bring about “willing compliance”. Interesting. Human lives lost or greatly negatively impacted and we’re willing to wait for LTC’s to “adopt” and “adapt” to cultural change providing basic human rights?  Where do we live?

 What exactly does that say about the progressiveness of the United States society and its treatment of an exploding Senior population?

 Does a Dr approach all his/her patients with the same diagnosis and treatment?

That's what Long Term Care Facilities have often done OR treated them like a “group” with similar needs or the need to eat, use or take part in whatever is “offered”, “available” and “in stock”.

Why change? Why make the expense? Take the time? Do anything “radically different”?

Medicine is supposed to be individualized care – if it’s not, you might get the same surgery or medication the person who walked through the door before you did. Does that make sense?

Watch the Dr make rounds at a facility.  How much time does he/she spend with each patient? Two to three minutes?  How often does he/she actually do more than take a pulse and listen to a heart and possibly review a chart?  

What privacy is given even to these “prelimnary” medical procedures?  NONE usually. I’ve seen LPN’s administer shots to residents at the dining room table because it’s more convenient and easier for --- WHO?--- staff, of course.

On websites I’ve seen Drs and other medical professionals cite the LTC faclities as being “medical facilities”.

Really???  I’ve not visited one that has any type of examination room to provide privacy for examinations. What about equipment?  Do they have any medical equipment?  Resuscitation Paddles?  Guess everyone’s supposed to just “pass” once they move through those doors?

From what I’ve seen, everything has to be “brought in” by a medical service; many of the services “just happen” to be owned and/or operated by the same people who own the facilities.

MEDICATIONS?  There’s an “ap” for that – meaning there’s a connection with a specific pharmacological company. Ever notice how your loved one is “switched” to another type of drug that, in the opinion of the Facility Dr. is “better” for her/him? Oh, it might take a few months, but more likely than not that will happen.

WALKERS, WHEELCHAIRS . . .  if you’re one of the “lucky few” to have the personal funds or wherewithal through Insurance coverage, you’ll have the ability to get your choice of equipment.

Medical equipment at every LTC facility I’ve visited is “brought in” and not kept on premises.
TESTS?  A Nurse can draw blood or collect a urine specimen – SOME CAN, THAT IS.

One of the hardest times I witnessed in Mom’s last months was the horrible attempts made by staff members to collect blood – poorly trained and infrequently requested to make a draw, they’d poke, prod and create area after area of black and blue skin.

And don’t get me started on the incapabilities of the LPN’s to catherize or to get a Urine sample through catherization. TRUST ME, you’d run as fast as you could away from this type of “medical care” because you’re able. Our Seniors have to take what they’re given, endure whatever “haphazard” pokes and resulting infections they receive AND THEN WE, THE PUBLIC, ARE TOLD HOW RAMPANT URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS ARE IN LONG TERM CARE FACILITIES!

LPN’S are the highest level of medical service mandated within a Long Term Care Facility in the State of Missouri any time after the “regular” Day Shift, usually between the hours of 7 AM and 5 PM.

To me, if I'm supposedly in a Medical Facility, like a Hospital, or this "step down" which is what LTC's are supposed to be, I want someone trained and experienced at a higher level of medical expertise, an RN, at least "1" for the whole facility, around the clock.

DO YOU GET SICK DURING REGULAR HOURS?  DOES YOUR CHILD OR YOUR PET?  Do they really want us to believe, the Administrators of LTC’s, that older men and women all sleep through the night and have no need for qualified, competent, experienced medical personnel round the clock?

Truth will set you free but first truth will make you sick to your stomach if you face it and see if for what it is.


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