So the story begins about a month ago...
We *finally* got our nursing agency to get most of our hours covered. We had to train a lot of new nurses, but they did it. Well, Charlie had a couple of med changes and our 2 main nurses were having difficulty getting the "official" orders form the doctors who ordered them (the nurses can't legally give a med or change a dosage unless they have the correct paperwork). I knew they were having trouble, so I just said, "Ok you guys give the 1.5 ml and I'll give 2 ml, until we get this sorted out." I didn't want them to get in trouble. The other med was a PRN med (give as much or as little as needed, not necessarily on a schedule). I decreased the PRN med because she was doing so well and I assumed it was ok.
The nursing supervisor FLIPPED OUT. She called ME and told me I was being irresponsible and needed to have a doctor oversee any changes, blah, blah, blah. Um, I DID. Her pedi told me he'd like to see her on less of that med. And I agreed. So I decreased it. Oh but it's not good enough if he just TOLD me...we need and "official" order. No lady, YOU need an official order. I'M her mom, not her nurse. If you want an order, get it! It's not my responsibility! So after going round and round over the phone for 15 minutes and getting more and more agitated with her, she finally apologized for taking my time and let me hang up.
So the next day, Roxanna had Charlie, but I happened to be home too, taking a nap. She got a phone call and even though I was half asleep I knew immediately who she was talking to. Roxanna kept having to repeat herself, the nurse wouldn't listen, Roxanna was getting agitated...sound familiar? She was telling her the SAME things I had told her. It's a f'ing PRN med! We are ALLOWED to give less if needed, you dumber-than-a-brick, sad excuse for a supervisor! So I got really ticked off when she wouldn't let Roxanna off the phone. She kept saying, "I can't do this right now, I have to take care of the baby." Finally she hung up on her. Which I wish I'd had the balls to do the day before.
I got a call 2 hours after Roxanna left. It was Dumbass again. She said Maryann would be working the next day, not Roxanna, but Roxanna doesn't know yet since she isn't answering her phone, so if she shows up, I'm supposed to tell her to go home. Excuse me!? It's not my job to fire your employees! So I called the agency back a few minutes later and asked to speak to someone about the issue. They tried to put me back on with Dumbass. I refused to talk with her. I talked with one of the guys instead (they do things like manage schedules and handle the customers and stuff). I told him I was PISSED about how I was treated by this woman and I wasn't going to say anything, but when she called up our nurse and harassed her on her shift, and interfered with her caring for MY daughter, I was on the verge of dropping the agency altogether. He said that Roxanna didn't handle herself well on the phone and that was an issue. I said, "Oh I heard THAT conversation, would you like me to tell you how it went?" I told him that Dumbass won't listen to a word you say, twists your words around, and refuses to let you end the conversation. I told him that Roxanna tried more than once to get back to her job and Dumbass wouldn't let her. It was NECESSARY to hang up on her. I was holding Charlie at the time and I put the phone next to her face and I said to him, "Do you hear this? Do you hear my child breathing? Do you realize that it's our nurses JOB to handle this?" He said he understood and if I could get a hold of Roxanna and tell her to call them, we'd get it handled.
So she finally called them and they fired her. There was no "handling" of it. They had no intention of that. Oh well. Roxanna just happened to be employed by a second agency, so first thing in the morning, I switched to them. Dumbass lost them an 87 hour a week case. So the new agency has been wonderful. They let Roxanna work overtime so we have been able to get ALL our hours since day 1. The first nurse they sent out was *wonderful* (I'll call her "A") and was really competent, even though she was fresh out of nursing school. I really, really, REALLY liked her. But I had an independent nurse lined up and when her other case ended, I invited her out to work out a schedule and all that. The agency asked me the nextday if I was sure we were using her. I said yup. The ind. nurse called me an HOUR after I got off the phone with the agency to tell me she probably has another job. WTF!? I called the agency back and they'd already assigned A to another case. And she took it because it was closer to her. I don't blame her.
So we have a new nurse. She seems nice, but not very enthusiastic about caring for Charlie, so I don't know if she'll work out. She'd just come from the case they sent A to and she said the dad is crazy (apparently he's super strict about every little thing...everything down to how you use the microwave to nuke your food) and that's one reason she left. So I'm hoping the other nurse decides to come back when she realizes this. :-D So the nurse now was also fired from the other agency. She was taking care of a little girl and she took her temp with a new thermometer. She couldn't figure out how to change the thermometer from C to F so she wrote down the C temp and estimated it to F. She ended up being off by .3 degrees and they fired her for falsifying information. Okey-dokey. Guess who fired her? Yup. And I found out that Dumbass has NEVER WORKED IN HOMECARE. What a tool.
So there you have it. There are some good agencies and some bad. And hiring independents is not all it's cracked up to be. :-/