From the ICU to the final stages of rehabilitation, discover how nurses and members of the staff at Cox Medical Center South, a division of the CoxHealth medical organization in Springfield, MO treated a patient with lazy, disgusting, insanitary and unsafe practices.
A Brief Overview
My Mother had emergency brain surgery. Upon the completion of surgery, she was admitted into the ICU neuro trauma center where my first experience with lazy care was easy to recognize. In short, I experienced nurses and staff who were extremely lazy, insanitary, unsafe, disrespectful and had no concern for my Mother’s care.
Some of the issues I had regarding my Mother’s care include..
- At Cox Medical Center South in the ICU, the nurse was playing on her phone watching videos as well as reading political articles online.
- At Cox Medical Center South in the ICU my Mother was coughing stuff up after surgery and after explaining to a nurse that she needed assistance with suctioning it out, I was told… " You can just do it ".
- At Cox Medical Center South on the eighth (8th) floor and after the nurses assisted my Mother to the bathroom, the nurses left my Mother’s oxygen tube off of her for many consecutive hours until I actually noticed it and brought it to the nursing staff’s attention.
- At Cox Medical Center South on the eighth (8th) floor and on two (2) separate occasions, once by a nurse and her assistant and another time by an occupational therapist and another nursing assistant, they all assisted my Mother in the bathroom and after wiping her, they attempted to give her a drink by grabbing her drinking straw with the same gloves they just used to wipe her with.
- At Cox Medical Center South on the eighth (8th) floor a lab assistant who was there to draw blood, used dirty gloves on my Mother directly before inserting the needle.
- Throughout this entire process I had spoken with 5 different members of management who I had addressed my concerns with. Even after speaking to each member of management, not one of them ever prevented my Mother from experiencing a continuation of this disgusting and disrespectful care.
ICU Neuro Trauma, Cox South
If you assume that the ICU is a critical environment, you would be correct, but the lack of urgency, the irresponsible behavior and the poor attention to care from the nursing staff in the ICU Neuro Trauma at Cox Medical Center South would be a strong argument against it.
I experienced nurses who not only decided it was more important to play on their phones and read political articles online, but who also told me that when my Mother needed her mouth suctioned out…” You can just do it “.
So, here I am in the ICU and after only a short handful of days, I’ve experienced a lazy nurse and now a nurse who is telling me that I can suction out my Mother’s mouth. Keep in mind that my Mother had a craniotomy performed on her and she was heavily sedated at this time, not to mention that she also had a feeding tube inserted into her. The moment I was told… “You Can Just Do It”, really freaked me out to say the least. My immediate reaction in my mind was WTF! I then thought to myself… I’m supposed to go in there and suction her mouth out? I don’t have a clue how to turn it on, let alone understand what button or switch operates which device. I was also concerned that if I go in there and somehow figure out how to use it, I might accidentally suction areas within her mouth that might cause her harm. What if I suctioned her cheek too hard and blood started coming out? What if I suctioned out the feeding tube by accident? All of these things crossed my mind and so I was at a stand still. Do I let my Mother who is heavily sedated lay there with a mouthful of junk and possibly choke on it or do I go ahead and try to figure this device out and proceed with suctioning it out? It was a very stressful moment for me. After contemplating for about a minute or so, I decided to wait it out because I did not want to be responsible for causing my Mother harm as a result of me turning the wrong switch on or off as well as hurt her by using the suctioning device incorrectly.
With the exception of being born and once when I was a very young child, I have no experience with being in the hospital. I also have never experienced anyone I know by overseeing them in the hospital, until now. My Mother’s ICU room had many different devices to manage her medical needs, which I had little to no understanding on how they worked. So for a nurse to say that I could suction out my Mother’s mouth is one of the many reasons why I am disappointed in the experience my Mother and my family were exposed to.
Cox Medical Center South On The Eighth (8th) Floor
View this image that represents the nurses at Cox Medical Center South on the eighth (8th) floor who irresponsibly left my Mother’s oxygen on the floor without reattaching it to her after they assisted her in the bathroom. This oxygen was left off of my Mother for many consecutive hours.
At Cox Medical Center South on the eighth (8th) floor I also witnessed a lab assistant who was there to draw blood and while waiting on my Mother to get positioned on her bed, decided to kill time by scratching her face while wearing gloves. While wearing those same gloves, the lab assistant touched my Mother’s arm trying to detect a vein and then used the needle on her arm without disinfecting the area on her arm that was now no longer sanitary due to her (the lab assistant) touching my Mother with those dirty gloves.
My Mother was in an occupational therapy session at Cox Medical Center South on the eighth (8th) floor. During this session my Mother needed to use the restroom. The nursing assistant and occupational therapist transported my Mother to the bathroom where they assisted her with getting situated and wiping. After my Mother was finished they both assisted her back to the bed and while wearing the same gloves used to handle her in the bathroom, they not only touched my Mother, but her bed items were touched including her nurse call light as well as her drinking cup and straw. The nurse assistant proceeded to give my Mother a drink by not only grabbing the cup, but her hand grabbed the straw as well to insert it into my Mother’s mouth. I had to demand that this filthy and insanitary procedure be stopped in the process before the straw was inserted into my Mother’s mouth.
Here’s what took place.
There are two parts to this conversation. Part-1 involves the occupational therapist and the nursing assitant. Part-2 involves the occupational therapist, the nursing assistant and the nurse, who came in to the room at a later point.
Note: By this time I am extremely frustrated so some of my questions and statements are slightly awkward in the way I delivered them. The nursing assistant involved was not the assistant of my Mother’s nurse. She was just there to assist the occupational therapist. You can hear questions being asked to my Mother, but my Mother’s responses were so faint, I did not include them.
Words included inside ( ) are not a part of our conversations, but I’ve added explanations within ( ) to help you follow along with what is being referenced.
Notation: Comments you find in a green box such as this one were not a part of our conversations, but rather used for providing feedback about the circumstance.
I had just come back into my Mother’s room, where she had been in a session with occupational therapy. This conversation starts with the occupational therapist and the nursing assistant who assisted my Mother in the restroom and after my Mother was finished, they both positioned her back in the bed.
Part-1 Insanitary Care Using Dirty Gloves
How did she do with her?… (me asking the occupational therapist how my Mother did in therapy)
She did good. We did, we did socks and then she grabbed her pants with the reacher. She did well with them. Um, it’s good for her balance wise to be…
Can you lift this leg up for me? (nurse assistant talking to my Mother)
sitting up and having to do that uh, at first. She was kind of a little more wobbly with her balance, but then she did better.
Just do the sheet only.
Just the sheet? Okay.
Mom, I’m going to leave the blanket off of you for now. After you get cold you just let me know and I will pull it back up on you.
Do you want your feet up a little or are you okay? (nurse assistant talking to my Mother)
She looks so sleepy. (occupational therapist referencing my Mother)
Are you okay? There’s a little bit of water left in here…
No, hold it, no no… I, I appreciate it and it has absolutely nothing to do with you, but since you’ve been in the bathroom handling wipes and stuff,
I’ll ask that you’ll completely remove that cup and water from the room and get her a fresh one please with fresh gloves.
Notation: I’ll admit that my statement wasn’t the most eloquent of all statements, but given the fact that I had already spent over 10 days in the hospital trying to protect my Mother from other forms of unsafe and disgusting care, it was the best I could come up with on the spur of the moment, especially after being awake for 30 + hours. I feel I at least made my point, but the nursing assistant, she had her own hateful agenda. (see below)
Um, I appreciate that. Thank you.
At this point I had already went to the nurses desk on the floor and asked to speak with a manager. This is a continuation of our conversation once I had arrived back in the room.
Part-2 Insanitary Care Using Dirty Gloves
Is it, is it common practice, for you know, to be transporting from the toilet and handling wipes to handling items that she’s (my Mother) going to be consuming without replacing those gloves first?
A lot of people wear 2 pairs of gloves. It’s common practice…
Well, she (the nursing assistant) didn’t have two pairs, so common practice to where, I have yet to see anyone wear 2 pairs.
And I’ve, and I have been with her nearly almost, eyes have been on her (my Mother) 24/7 almost. Is that common practice or…?
Um, no, we should be removing our gloves.
No, we do…
I had another sanitary issue…
and I’m about to blow my top. I know you (the nurse) weren’t here for any of it before. Uhhh, I can’t freakin’ take it anymore.
I wasn’t even, I mean what…
How much common sense does it take to work in a hospital and be sanitary? Um, let alone care about it? Um, So.
After I made my statement to the nursing assistant she instantly changed her demeanor. She was acting hateful and quite honestly, like a little child who didn’t get her way. The nursing assistant never made any type of statement to me in terms of her hatefulness, but it was easy to identify by her shameful behavior. After looking back on it, I assume that her pride was hurt because I called her out on something that she didn’t expect. I don’t pretend I know more than any staff member within the hospital, but I know what clean and sanitary care does and does not look like. It was a shame that she had to take that attitude with me. All I wanted was for my Mother to be treated respectfully and with sanitary care, especially since my Mother’s current state at the time did not allow my Mother the privilege of defending herself. What makes this scenario even more insulting is that the occupational therapist, after witnessing the hateful attitude portrayed by the nursing assistant, decided to mimic that same attitude and became hateful acting towards me as well.
At this point, I could care less that the nursing assistant and the occupational therapist were acting hateful towards me. I only cared about my Mother being maintained and cared for in a sanitary manner.
The scenario of my Mother being exposed to having her drinking straw inserted into her mouth by dirty gloves happened on two (2) occasions. On one occasion a family member of mine witnessed the dirty glove and straw in the mouth incident and the other was as I just explained, my experience with witnessing it. Fortunately, due to myself and my family overseeing my Mother, on both occasions, we were able to tell the individuals to stop before the straw was inserted.
Conversations With Cox South Nurse Managers – 800 JNC (Jared Neuroscience Center) Unit
This side of the story includes the CoxHealth nurse management team from the Cox Medical Center South JNC (Jared Neuroscience Center) 800 Unit on the eighth (8th) floor.
With the exception of one assistant nurse manager who offered a small… " I’m sorry " and… " Oh, I’m sorry ", my family was never once offered an apology that was followed through with by any of the nurse managers. You can even hear one of the nurse managers start to apologize twice, but then, it’s as if she stopped to protect herself from being reprimanded by upper management if she were to have followed through with her apology.
To this day, nobody from our family, including my Mother, has ever been offered a true apology by any of the nurse managers. However, what you can listen to are the conversations that included the nurse managers insulting me with terminology such as… " opportunity to educate, education, perception, how was this perceived ", etc.
Before you continue on to hear what the nurse managers had to share with me, you need to understand that between myself and my family, we had complained about my Mother’s neglectful care a minimum of four (4) times. Three (3) days had passed since my first complaint before I was finally confronted by a member of management to address the issues. Due to the nurse managers being unresponsive and unwilling to correct these matters, my Mother was unnecessarily exposed to additional unsafe, disrespectful and insanitary care.
The following is a 4-part overview on the conversations I had with nurse managers on the 800 JNC Unit. The Part-1 conversation is with the main assistant nurse manager. The Part-2, Part-3 and Part-4 conversation continues with the main assistant nurse manager and the main nurse manager. It’s also worth noting that at the time our conversations started, I had been awake for 34 + hours.
The following conversations are an overview. You will find grammatical errors, slang terminology and spelling mistakes. For example, I used the word " unsanitary ", when the use of " insanitary " would have been more appropriate. Words included inside ( ) are not a part of our conversations, but I’ve added explanations within ( ) to help you follow along with what is being referenced.
Notation: Comments you find in a green box such as this one were not a part of our conversations, but rather used for providing feedback about the circumstance.
- Family Member = ME
- Main Assistant Nurse Manager 800 JNC Unit = Katie Lane
- Assistant Nurse Manager (days) 800 JNC Unit = Tessa Baertschi
- Assistant Nurse Manager (nights) 800 JNC Unit = Kassi Epps
- Main Nurse Manager 800 JNC Unit = Shannon Rantz
- Assistant Nurse Manager ICU Neuro Trauma = Cassandra Mough
- Main Nurse Manager ICU Neuro Trauma = Tessie Bowmaker
- Heroic Nurse ICU Neuro Trauma = Holly
- Heroic Nurse ICU Neuro Trauma = Lindsey
- Neglectful Nurse ICU Neuro Trauma = Johnita
- Neglectful Nurse ICU Neuro Trauma = Misty
- Neglectful Nurse ICU Neuro Trauma = Matt
- Nurse 800 JNC Unit = Shalisha
- Nurse Assistant 800 JNC Unit = Nicole
- Nurse 800 JNC Unit = Natasha
- Nurse Assistant 800 JNC Unit = Addison
- Nurse Assistant 800 JNC Unit = Elisha
- Nurse Assistant 800 JNC Unit = Janelle
- Menu Delivery 800 JNC Unit = Shelby
- Nurse 800 JNC Unit = Ashley
Part-1 starts off outside my Mother’s hospital room with an introduction between the main assistant nurse manager of the 800 JNC unit and myself. After we introduced ourselves, we walked down the hall and entered a private meeting room where our conversation took place. This is where the conversation started…
Part-1 800 JNC Unit Conversation
And I’ll just give you my… so you don’t have to remember, here’s my card too, so you don’t have to remember…
who you talked to.
I’ve been up for far too long.
I’m so sorry.
No, you’re good, I just, you’ll have to bear with me on.
No, you’re fine.
My… I’ve blown my steam more than once and perhaps maybe more than I have available to blow, so I, I’m trying to keep my cool. Um…
It’s, It’s hard when, especially when you’re sleep deprived too and you’re stressed and I, I do, I get it. but, what, what can I, can I help with?
So what is your position here Katie?
I’m the assistant nurse manager.
Are you considered what I would call a charge nurse or are you over charge nurses?
I’m over charge nurses. I work right beside Shannon, who is the nurse manager.
Are you also similar to a Tessa?
Tessa, well Tessa still works the floor as an assistant nurse manager, um, I do not work the floor, I’m considered an ANM2. That’s what they call me.
So you would be over Tessa so to speak? Okay. So, I think I should start by at least explaining that I understand that I am a family member of a patient.
Because you’re her son.
I understand at times we can be emotional. I understand that we can be passionate and I would like to at least acknowledge that I have no idea what nurses are required to do and what they are not required to do. Uh, It’s come to my understanding over the time Ive been here that they have somewhat of a work order and they do charting etc. and, you know, handle the dosages and monitor etc. We started in ICU.
Um… I think it was my first or second night in, I don’t recall exactly when that was, but it was very early on, uh… it, I started taking over the, the evening shift for my family.
I would spend the majority of the time with my Mom and my Sister and my Dad would come in sparingly throughout the day and nights, but uh… I would be in there anywhere from, you know 12 to 14+ hours. Johnita J O H N I T A.
I would be scared to death to have her working in my hospital, period. I would be scared sh***less to have her on my staff.
Was this, was this down in neuro trauma? I’m trying to figure it out.
That is correct.
Okay. But I think she was a traveler or something?
She is one of the lazy traveling nurses, yes. So, I can’t control what happens with my Mom. The only thing that I’ve learned in this first-time process if you will, experience rather, is that I can help at least acknowledge that she is uncomfortable and bring that to the awareness of whoever I have available to either, to share it with.
In this case, the majority of the time, it’s been a nurse.
So, whether she needs to go to the bathroom, she needs to be turned, she has a back cramp, something to, to that extent, that in my experience, would not be something that would necessarily be on a work order. Turning perhaps yes, every so hours etc.,
but they don’t know when she has a backache. They don’t know when she has a cramp. They don’t know when she needs to go to the restroom. So I brought that to Johnita’s attention initially and I experienced uh… one or two of the nurses prior to that, so I was able to see how they operated, the things that they paid attention to and worked with and when I saw Johnita, it was night and day difference. She didn’t do this, she didn’t do that, she didn’t do this as much, she didn’t do that as much. I’m not arguing against the fact that maybe perhaps she had the same identical work order, she may not have, but I’m pretty, fairly confident that it was the same. She just did the certain things less. So I started to take notice that she was a little bit more lackadaisical and lazy. My Mom was in some… she needed something, I went over to Johnita to grab her attention and I noticed that she was playing on Facebook on her phone, okay, uh watching videos. So, I’m thinking to myself, here my Mom is in ICU and forgive my small town country boy ignorance, but I would just assume that ICU is fairly critical, I would assume that the attention that a nurse needs to provide to their patients would be efficient, regular, especially when it’s my understanding that in a lot of cases they have no more than usually two patients and in some cases one if they are super critical. And I noticed a difference in the change of pace between the previous nurses and her. Then when my Mother needed something I was trying to catch her attention… Slow to get up, slow to respond, you know, playing around etc. I said okay, so I’ve got a lazy nurse. Then it started to become more and more apparent, well, my Mother needed something again and I brought it to her attention and I said hey, what are you doing? I said my Mother, my Mother needs this what you doing? She goes… " Oh… I am just sitting down reading an article that my Sister had sent me it was a political post on Trump ".
And so I dealt with several of these scenarios with her and it got to the point to where it was obvious to me, and, and, and I’m not saying I’m a master at reading people, but I feel like I have a fair amount of experience at understanding people’s true genuine self, she didn’t give a sh**, at all. Now, I understand that a lot of those nurses down there I can see how they are lackadaisical, I can see how they’re joking around and I can see how they’re just taking their sweet time, especially at night things go from night and day, literally and figuratively.
Um, the attitudes drop, the mood changes, it’s a lot more laid-back and quite honestly, lazy.
There’s a lot of gossiping and stuff going on down there and so I thought… man I feel really sorry for all of these other patients who don’t have a set of eyes on them that’s family related because these people (the nurses) could care less. So anyway, I dealt with Johnita a few times on what she was frustrating me with in terms of her negligence, her efficiency on responding on my Mothers needs, her lack of care for even paying attention to her regularly in the room as much as what I had previously witnessed from other nurses. A day, a day or so goes by and I come back and I think the night rolls into the day might have been the case and Misty was her nurse.
Okay, still down in neuro trauma?
Yes, we were still in ICU.
And so I could tell right away that Misty puts on a good front to the family members to let you feel like she truly does care, but in reality she’s going to do as little as she possibly can and that’s how she strikes me. Well, as it turns out, she’s not as caring, she’s not as efficient as what the other previous nurses were. And at the end of the day, pardon me, at the end of my day rather, which would’ve been maybe mid morning…
ten, eight to 10 o’clock range I brought to Misty’s attention that you know my Mother, she was coughing a lot and you know, she needed that suction, she was literally out of it and she needed that stuff removed. And uh, she said… " Oh… You Can Just Do It ". And so, I, huh, I’m doing all I can to monitor my Mother who’s in ICU, who has no freaking clue she exists, perhaps maybe she does, but she hasn’t acknowledged it to us and she’s telling me that I can just do this suction thing and here I’m thinking to myself… we are in ICU unit, she’s sitting down whether she’s working, charting or you know, reading another article like the previous girl, I don’t care. I would imagine that whatever is on the computer can wait. And she can get up and she can go at least make my Mother comfortable and suction out what she has. So those few things in itself right there really threw me over the edge and…
Sure, it would me too.
It was at that point that I determined with certainty that I was not going to let my eyes off my Mother the whole time that I had available access. From 2-6 plus, from, yeah from 2 – 6 (I meant 10pm – 6am) I stayed in the room with her nearly 98% of the time, except when I needed to go to the bathroom and when they bathed her. Holly, un-freakin’-believable, a freakin’-rockstar, if you had a thousand of her,
you’d be, you’d be the most cared for, your patients would be the most cared for patients in the world. Because she is absolutely outstanding and amazing!
Holly…, I don’t know how to pronounce her last name, but I believe it’s *****.
In neuro trauma?
Absolutely outstanding! Second to her was Lindsey (Lindsey was an amazing nurse as well), who upon me bringing to Holly’s attention… I don’t want uh Johnita, I don’t want Misty, and my Dad and my Sister, this is the part I left out sharing with you, my Dad and my Sister experienced a guy named Matt, a nurse named Matt, who they did not care for at all. They felt like he was not attentive as well. I didn’t witness that with my own eyes. I just happen to be taking their word for it. I figured if it happened to me twice with these two, I’ve got to at least except that my family can recognize one person not meeting their expectations. So, I let it be known to Holly that I didn’t want Matt, Johnita or Misty touching my Mother anymore. So that made, they made that happen, it was good to go.
Okay, then what about Lindsey? You said that Lindsey was second…?
Fantastic! Fantastic! And it’s my understanding that she would have taken her place, uh taken Johnita’s place because Johnita was scheduled to come in. And normally it seems like when you have a nurse that works with a patient they tend to stay with them because they are familiar with them.
Uh, and then the night that Johnita came in it was Lindsey. So, I was so thankful for her. I was super impressed with her. In fact, her and Holly were super super close, but I got to spend more time with Holly, so… uh, but Lindsey was just absolutely outstanding. Uh… I understand she started from the ground up here along time ago. She’s a rockstar as far as I’m concerned.
Bear with me, I’m collecting my thoughts right now.
No, you’re fine. You’re fine. Absolutely fine.
Uh… so we dealt with those two things and at this point right now, it’s really come down to a matter of how can I best serve my Mother. And the only thing that I’m fully truly honestly capable of is acknowledging her discomfort and bringing awareness to anybody who has responsibility…
of, you know, tending to her.
So, I was disappointed in that urgency and that deficiency and the mere fact that I was told to do something…
when in fact, I am not hired by the hospital to do anything…
Nope. No, I’m shocked that, I’m, I’m shocked that they would ask you to do that too. I would… That disappoints me.
Okay, um… I have all this written down um… in other places where it is more thorough.
So this, you’re getting a real choppy version.
It’s okay, it’s okay and I, and I think some of this, because it sounds like patient experience has kind of talked to you too. Has some of this been said to them too? Is that might entertain…
Who do you define as patient experience?
Patient experience they…
Is that a person?
There’s yeah, there’s a group…
Is that a position?
Yeah, we have a patient experience group.
I have yet to be confronted by anybody except you. I have had to confront everybody, since…
from my initial complaint to this very complaint, you are the very first person who’s truly come to me…
based on my complaints.
I complained to Holly, which she obviously made a few things happen by not allowing certain nurses to access my Mother.
I complained to Cassandra, who is a charge nurse…
on… in the ICU neuro. I complained to Kassi Epps…
Yeah, she’s the.
when I got here. And you are the first person after my fourth complaint, did I finally get confronted with…
for anybody to at least hear me.
Beyond who I complained to.
We come up here (8th floor), and I’m perhaps, maybe, might be leaving some things out the ICU. It will be a lot fresher tomorrow, trust me. Um… my biggest concern and I addressed this with Cassandra, I said look, we are going to a different place, a nurse who perhaps has more patients than the ones that we are currently using and if the service is this shi**y down here for these customers, or, for these patients rather, with one nurse that handles one to two and Mom is going to someone for one nurse that perhaps, handles as many as four to six, I’m going to be real concerned about her well-being because at this point we don’t really know the stage of her recovery and how well she is going to progress, which she has done really great, but regardless, I don’t know.
Well, and your trust isn’t there. You don’t…
Especially after the first few incidences, sure.
So, I wanted to try to see if that chain of command could get transferred up the ladder to at least prepare to be aware that we are at least a family who cares and we have been through this, so give us a few extra benefits of the doubt and show us that you do care. That didn’t happen. Um, so I would have stayed here (8th floor) with her the first night I believe, if it, if we came in in the evening, which we did, so I was the first one here. So it was Shalisha and it was Nicole.
Nicole, oh my God, you need to make her a full-time nurse, she’s f****n’ outstanding, pardon my language…
No, you are okay.
But she is terrific, super great. I don’t really have any complaints about Shalisha, uh she did a decent job from what I could tell, based on what I understood my Mother’s care required.
However, one of the biggest, I guess a few different things beyond the matter of a nurse caring, and I’m not talking about in terms of caring being that the, the role of their position, I’m talking about passionately caring for someone’s well-being. That’s really lacking and people are lazy in general, I get it, but you are in a profession that tends to require a true amount of… I don’t know if you guys would define it as empathy or um urgency, maybe a combination of both, I don’t know, but awareness that certain things are going to be expected of you. Hey, sometimes I might have to wipe someone’s a**. You know. Hey, sometimes I might have to go suck some sh*** out of the mouth that is gross as hell, but I got to do it.
If you signed up for the job, you should be willing to except those nasty circumstances, it is what it is.
Thoroughness, following through with realizing all steps that have been taken and steps that were taken in the midst and then what you have to do next and not understanding what is left in the middle. So, my first example that I am referencing based on that poor analogy, is when they first took her to the bathroom, they took off her oxygen mask and whatever other stuff they needed to do to escort her to the restroom, spent a lot of time with her in that process, uh that was her first attempt and her first go at doing that, got her back in bed, seemed to be good to go, and a minimum of three to perhaps five hours had gone by since they had last put her in bed, and I looked down at the floor and I’m like holy sh***, her oxygen is down there. The tube that feeds her with oxygen, it’s laying on the floor. I know it had been a minimum of three, perhaps maybe as much as close to five hours that she had been without it. This whole time from ICU to this very room that room that we are in now currently, I’ve seen oxygen on her. You see it, you assume she needs it.
So I bring it to their attention, Nicole apologized, I don’t know how much Shalisha was or was not aware at that very instant, but I know Nicole, I’m certain brought it to her attention. She (Nicole) apologized and put it back on. She actually did the right thing and she (Nicole) replaced it with a fresh one so that it wasn’t something that was left from the floor that was going to be inserted around my Mother’s mouth and nose, so she did a great job there. But the fact that it was left off…
It’s just laziness. It’s not thorough, you’re looking after somebody who almost fu***** died. Why are you not paying special attention to every single minute detail? I understand that these things have battery backups, but why are you not checking to make sure that you plugged it back in? Which is also one of the other things that happened. I’m sure that can happen occasionally, but it’s just thoroughness, uh… doing, checking all, all of your must do’s if you want to call it that, whatever you guys have in place for these nurses to ensure that they have in place.
Several of those things were not getting done. So that kind of flipped my lid on that oxygen thing. I thought well f**k me, we just came from that sh***y experience to maybe an absolute nightmare. Okay so, I guess, are we going on my Mother’s third night in here? (3rd night on 8th floor)
I’d have to look exactly when she came in.
I think she came in on the evening of the 3rd or the 4th,…
I’m not for sure, but Shalisha had her the next night, she had a different aide with her or an assistant, Elisha, so that would have been last night actually.
Yeah, so we’re into today. Elisha was terrific, really great, but during the day, between my shifts, between, oh, okay, so Natasha, Natasha and…
So this is yesterday then?
That is correct.
Natasha and Addison, was her assistant, Natasha’s assistant was Addison. My Family was up here, again, this is strictly me taking their word on it, but my Sister told me that Addison was very lazy with my Mom when she was getting her up and to and from and back on the bed after using the restroom and careless to the point to where my Mother literally almost fell over on her, on her side without any falling support in the process. Do you understand what I’m saying? Like if you are falling, she wasn’t even there to help assist that it was like…
She just let her kind of…
Almost, almost fall completely over. So, I think my Sister brought it to her attention just in time for her to barely catch her, but I think there was a lack of attention to respect for the possibility that she might fall over. Had it not been for my Sister watching she probably would have. Addison, apparently, based on what my Sister shared with me, wiped my Mother in the bathroom, wearing the same gloves, they transported her to the bed…
I see, okay.
and then, and then from there, proceeded to grab my Mom’s cup and her drinking straw in hand with the same gloves that she had just wiped her with and was in the process of trying to give her a drink from that straw, that she just used the gloves, that she used to wipe my Mother with in the restroom. Is that sanitary?
Okay, so in terms of sanitary, that is one thing um and I’m sure I could go on and on about that, I have all of these other details, but these are some of the bullet points that are…
that are fresh enough in my mind to a degree.
This is pretty bad how, how not so fresh this is, but moments ago and I’m going to miss a few things I’m certain, but moments ago, uh, wait a minute, Addison, Shalisha, okay. So, last night when I came in on my shift, after my, after Natasha and Addison…
Yeah, so last night?
Apparently my Sister spoke with Tessa down here, that day. I came in for what we call the night shift for us.
About six to eight o’clock. Close to the same thing you guys have.
And I spoke with Kassi Epps.
Shalisha was sitting at the desk at the same time and I brought many of these concerns and addressed these concerns to her (addressed concerns to Kassi).
She told me she sent an email to…
She did, she…
neuro, she sent an email to here and one to lab.
Speaking of which, last night, no, the night before, when we were working with, no, the next morning, when we were working with Natasha and we were working with Addison…
there was a young girl from lab who was drawing blood, she had short blond hair, she had a nose ring. I wish I could remember her name.
I know it wasn’t Shelby because that’s the girl that brings around the menus, but I want to say, no maybe I’m not going to try and remember. Do you know who I’m talking about? The little gold nose ring?
So, she’s sitting there waiting for a fair amount of time, while my Mom gets repositioned on the bed and she’s rubbing her face with her gloves on etc. You know doing this, scratching it up and down with her gloves on, I thought well, okay, surely she’ll have enough common sense to change her ways and change out her pair of gloves, if that’s necessary. She gets over to my Mom and she uses alcohol on her arm, or, I’m assuming that’s what it is? Is it alcohol?
Rubbing alcohol? To sterilize the area before she… okay, but then she uses the same gloves that she’s been rubbing her face with…
And she does not sanitize those gloves with any alcohol, she starts rubbing those gloves in the area that she just sanitized, after massaging and scratching her face, she, she takes those gloves on top of what would be the sanitized area and just starts rubbing those fingers all over that area before she pricks her with, to draw blood. Not sanitizing the glove itself, which at least would have been somewhat, you know, uh, give my Mom a fairer shot at this, of not being contaminated, then, then not doing it at all, when true in fact she should have just replaced those gloves altogether.
And it was one of those moments where I was just caught up in such, I don’t know, I was off in Lala land I think maybe because I was exhausted and I was tired and it was one of those things where you are like… that’s not really happening is it? And then for some reason I just, I didn’t say anything, and boom, it happened! Just like that. So, at that point obviously there’s nothing that I can do, so, uh, the next, that night when I come back in and it’s Kassi, Shalisha is at the desk, I bring these things to her (Kassi) attention.
And I said you know I don’t try to assume I know how to do a nurses job, the one thing that I know I can control and the one thing that I know I can do for my Mom in this time of her need, is to protect her comfort and to protect whatever possible option I can protect against in terms of, uh, being sanitary and safe. I made it very clear that I did not want to have to experience any of that anymore, period, there’s no excuse for it.
You are in a hospital. (“loud sound”… me banging my arm on the table) I’m done with that. I had to get that out I swear to God I don’t do that, but I had to. I’ve blown my top, that’s all I’m going to do. I apologize for that. Uh dammit “ME”. I’m so sorry. Can we take another break?
Can we at least open the door?
So I can get some fresh air. Let me do it for you. I’m good. I’m good. Will this prop open hun?
It won’t, um…
Can I just use the chair right here like this?
Okay, fresh air. I asked very specifically that I wanted her to be kept safe and secure and attended and I wanted things to be kept sanitary. I don’t see how that is so hard. I really don’t. Just moments ago, the two young girls, who assisted my Mother with, what do they call that… occupational care?
Oh, Okay, so it was like therapy?
Uh, thank you, yes, occupational therapy.
They assisted her to the restroom, gloves on, apparently did a great job, wiped her, grabbed the wipes that she used to wipe herself, threw them away, brought her back to the bed, start grabbing her hand call button, right? I, I don’t know if that’s what you call it.
Um, the call light? Yeah.
The little hand held thing.
I’m really sorry that happened. (me apologizing for my arm on table) And another girl grabs her cup and grabs her straw and starts giving it to her to drink out of. How many people do I need to explain this to? How much and how much, how much, how can that small amount of common sense not be comprehended by so many people? They don’t care. It’s the only thing I can think of. Surely you can’t tell me that the majority of people with or without a medical education, the majority of them surely have the ability to acknowledge the fact that if I touch something that’s unsanitary and I go touch something else, that I plan to perhaps maybe ingest, that’s unsanitary. It’s not safe. Why am I now complaining for the fourth, perhaps fifth plus time for someone to finally hear me out? Why was there not attention, day one, the moment I drew these concerns…
Why was it not brought to anyone’s attention to say hey, pay attention to this, be aware of this, do this, do it right, respect the sanitary procedures, you know. Care for someone when they need it. That one little tiny bit that just happened, (me referencing my arm on table), I’m done. But, I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever done that. It must be because it’s my Mother, honestly. You know and I can deal with her being… going through what she’s going through, I’ve dealt with it quite well. I feel bad for her. I wish she didn’t have to. I can deal with that. I can deal with all the struggles she’s going to face. What I can’t deal with is what’s out of her control, that happens to be in someone else’s control, and that someone else happens to be irresponsible, lazy, does not give a rats a** and is very unsafe and perhaps, causing my Mom a tremendous amount of harm.
So, are you able to answer me why was none of this brought to the correct people’s attention when I originally complained about it?
I, I don’t know, I have to do some research to see. I know I was, um, Kassi did inform Shannon last night with your concerns and I know was talking with Shannon and so Kassi, who you talked to last night…
Gotcha, I’m with you now.
Um, and then Shannon, who is the nurse manager, I know she was made aware of them. Um, but I was, I was starting to look through that chain to see where that breakdown was, where um… you know, especially from neuro trauma to up here. Um, why that wasn’t, but I, I don’t have an answer, I’d have to research it and see exactly.
So you don’t have an answer for why I wasn’t, why these things that we were constantly drawing attention to and addressing as a concern, weren’t, weren’t fixed? Weren’t corrected? Weren’t prevented?
Yeah, I don’t have an….
So you do not have an answer for why that wasn’t? Is that correct? I’m just asking. I just…
Uh, I don’t. I’d have to, well, especially relaying those concerns too, to make sure, especially when she went from neuro trauma to up here, making sure that we were made aware of those concerns, um… that’s what I have to research and see exactly. But, it’s not right, I mean that’s typical sanitary that we should be doing every day. It shouldn’t be something that you have to complain about for it to be fixed either. And so that’s what concerns me too, um, on that hand. And um, I apologize that… (she decided to pause right here for about 5 seconds) And I know you’re frustrated and I would be frustrated as well. I’m frustrated right now that, you know, that I don’t have staff doing things dirty (I think Katie meant to say… “that I have staff doing things dirty”), you know, I mean just washing their hands and… you know what I mean, like, that’s just infection prevention right there and I, I don’t know why, I don’t have an answer for you why this is happening.
How do we get one?
Ehh, I, I’d have to do research and see. I don’t know if there’s you know, there’s times that we, it’s more education, more going to be more disciplinary of the…
Can you, can you answer me this? And, and I am more than willing to admit when I’m wrong, believe me I’ve been wrong so many times in my life, but am I wrong to address any of these as a concern for my Mother…
based on what information I have shared with you?
No, you’re not. You’re not wrong at all.
Am I, am I over the top in my matter of concern for these things?
No, you’re not.
I mean am I, am I blowing my lid for no good reason? or… or…
These are legit concerns. I mean absolutely. I am concerned that my staff…
I’m just trying to base, base my understanding of how this medical arrangement…
facility should operate and work and it… and it… to me, it’s common sense, to me it makes sense, but if I’m looking at it incorrectly, I would love for you to set me straight. Um…
Because I, I can’t see how, you know it, to me, for the most part, it… it seems to uh… I’d say it’s… man… It’s hard to really define, but I know there’s some laziness mixed in there and you know the part that scares me the most, is I don’t truly believe that a lot of these people that are, with these unsanitary procedures and steps that they are obviously overlooking, or whatever is, you know, is considered a concern or an issue, I don’t even know if they’re aware enough to realize that it’s unsanitary on what they’re doing and that’s the scary part.
Is it okay for me to scrub my face and then go prick somebody in an area that I touch with a needle and draw blood?
Is it sanitary for me to wipe someone’s bottom or handle those wipes and then go handle their drinking straw where I’m about to insert it into their mouth, is that sanitary?
I didn’t think so. Okay, so, that’s the scary part. Are they, I mean are, I’m sure training is perhaps extremely thorough and I’m sure extremely difficult to maintain and manage, but you know, can you teach someone to care?
Well, I, you know, you can’t. You can’t teach somebody to care. They have to come with it, they have to be, you know, they have to come with that. Um, but we do train them with the infection prevention and all the education and stuff that we do. That is something that we do teach, but I don’t know why that’s… I don’t know. I, I wish I had an answer for you and, and maybe that comes back to we need to drill down and get more education and individual disciplinary with you know, each one of these that where the concerns are. You know where that’s, that’s where I go back and look and research and um, especially reaching out to the therapy manager, letting them know your concerns, so that they can individually…
You know what’s even worse? Is, I got attitude from, well, pardon me, my Sister shared with me that she got attitude from Addison, after she brought it to her attention that she needed to change her gloves. I just got attitude from that girl in there who I asked the very same thing to.
What the therapy’s attitude?
Yeah, the, the, not the occupational therapist…
Occupational… but just physical therapy?
But she (occupational therapist) had a little one there at the end. Kind of like she was stickn’, sticking up for her friend, but the first girl who helped, the one with the curly dark hair, the one who helped the occupational therapist. The occupational therapist was the shorter, tiny…
She was probably like a tech or something?
Yeah, she, she’s the same thing as uh Janelle.
So the attitude came from the tech then?
Yeah, after, after I… I mean completely shut down, snooty looking and then you know, the occupational therapist kind of started that trend to after she caught, started sniffing it from her, from her teammate there. And all I asked was I said… whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I said I, you know, you just handled her in the bathroom, with those very same gloves and the wipes, etc. So I’ll ask that you’ll please get her a brand new cup and straw that you just touched, replace those gloves, wash your hands and get new ones. And It just turned into a just kind of a hateful, snotty attitude. It’s sad.
Oh, I’m so sorry.
And all I want for my Mother is is to be respected.
From a sanitary point of view, A safety huh, you know, I mean…
what more should I be, be looking after, what more should be asked of me? It’s been an absolute nightmare! From down there in the ICU to up here. It’s a shame! If I ran this hospital, I would be so worried. I would be sss… I would be flippin’ out. And maybe this is the standard thing in the industry, maybe it just goes on, but if I was any type of person with any significant authority, I would be scared sh***less of how lazy, you know how ridiculous it is down there (in ICU), how those girls in the ICU are when they are not around patients? It’s ridiculous. They’re lazy. They’re just lazy and they get away with it. They’re just lazy. They could take every ounce of their extra time that they have to gossip around the coffee table, to play on Facebook and stuff and go look at their patient. I feel so sorry for all of those patients down there who don’t have an extra set of eyes on them from a family member. I probably already said that, but I’m sharing it with you again.
You’re Okay. No I’m…
And I’m thinking to myself… my God, you know, what if they’re in pain, they don’t know. " Oh, we watch their heart rate " (what the ICU nurses told me on how they monitor patients). Give me a freakin’ break. That’s not always going to determine what that scenario is. You know, do you, can you see if they need to go to the bathroom when they have their heart rate? Can you tell if their back is cramping with their heart rate instantly? Or right away that very second? Are you even watching the monitor that measures that? Or are you back there gossiping and playing on your phone like you’ve been doing half the night? It’s embarrassing. I mean I was shocked. I expected when I went down there I was like holy crap I’m in, this is like, serious. It’s a freakin’ joke. It is a freakin’ joke. So, back to my point, if I ran this place, I would be scared sh***less of, of that lack of care and responsibility. It is, it is embarrassing. And I am embarrassed for you, for this hospital, just for that fact. I can’t imagine that the people who want this place to be a success would want that for their hospital. It’s embarrassing and I am embarrassed for them, it’s terrible.
That’s definitely not what we strive for.
If I, If I experienced it with my Mother, not only in ICU, but up here as well, I, I just believe it’s everywhere. It’s got to be everywhere and what a shame. That is truly a shame. So, I’ll try this again with you. Um, I don’t know how much more time my Mother has in here, do you by chance?
Okay. And I know I’m not necessarily in any position to make any demands, but I want my Mother taken care of…
I want her respected sanitarily, I want her respected and cared for when she’s in need, whether that’s needing to go to the bathroom, needing to be wiped down, bathed, whether that, and I don’t even know if they bathed her, they may have done it when I left the room. I don’t want any more safety concerns.
I don’t want my Mom being subjected to unsanitary needle pokes or having her a** wiped and then stuck in her mouth. That’s not fair to her.
She’s not able to defend herself.
And all I can do is keep as close of an eye as I can as possible to ensure that maybe I can prevent the majority of that stuff. And even as careful and as meticulous as I am, not only with my Mother, but just in life in general and my work, I couldn’t prevent it all. So…
Well, I’m, will take it from here and I’m gonna go and talk to Ashley too, to make sure, the nurse, um, and then I will be talking to the therapy’s manager and stuff and we’ll, we’ll take it from here and I apologize that… yeah, I am embarrassed. And I appreciate you talking with me. I know you’re exhausted and I know…
And that, that little… I pfff, I, I needed to do that so bad. (referencing my arm on table) I didn’t mean to (mumbled)
Is um, are you… how long, have you been up all night?
Oh, all night and I can run forever, yeah. I’m good.
But you know, you tie you know, a lack of sleep in and because I don’t go to bed when I watch my Mom I stay up all night to make sure…
she’s not getting neglected or whatever. But you know, it’s easy, there’s a little bit of that mixed in there right now, obviously, there’s no denying that, but I’m good, thank you. I don’t know who to, else to talk to, I don’t know who else even cares about understanding what’s going on. If it took four to five complaints to even finally get approached and for my Mom to have to suffer through multiple unsanitary circumstances,…
let alone a lack of, what I would consider, personal care, not just work order care, I just, I don’t know what else needs to happen in order to ensure that it’s spot on. Um, I just, I don’t and I don’t know how much longer she’s going to be in here. Maybe it’s one day, maybe it’s several, maybe it’s a week or better, I don’t know.
But even with my best effort, my best foot forward, it is extremely difficult for me to monitor 100% of everything that she’s going to be subjected to, when I don’t have an outline or an understanding of when that may or may not exist and let alone, be able to prevent it. You know, so something has got to happen drastically, something needs to change.
Well, let me go grab Ashley so we can figure out too, when, what the plan is for discharge so we know that part.
What are you talking about?
Um, You were saying something about you don’t know if she’s going to be here discharge wise? Is that what you were talking about?
Uh… discharge wise… Um… what’s that…
This is Part-2, where the main nurse manager of the JNC 800 unit comes in to join the conversation.
Part-2 800 JNC Unit Conversation
Um, we can do about the Addison and the, the Natasha thing yesterday. (Katie addressing Shannon)
Yeah, Kassi called me last night.
Notation: It is now approximately mid-day and she just confirmed that she knew about these issues last night. My Sister had already complained to Tessa, one of the other assistant nurse managers a little over 1 day ago about Addison’s and Natasha’s incident of using dirty gloves in my Mom’s mouth. The most recent filthy glove in the mouth incident occurred earlier today. So, why didn’t she do anything last night to prevent a continuation of these sanitary issues that we have just faced today? Why did she let these issues get overlooked for almost an entire business day?
Um, but then today, physical therapy (I think Katie meant “occupational therapy”), went in and took her to the bathroom and then did the exact same thing, handing her the cup with the gloves on. Um, and then also he witnessed lab um, having gloves on and everything and then touching their face while they were waiting for them to get his Mom situated and then used those same gloves to then go and then draw blood. So, took the alcohol, you know wipe out and cleaned like they’re supposed to, but gloves were already dirty.
So, um, he has not yet talked to patient experience personally, nobody else has came and talked to him on that. Um, now would have patient experience came and maybe came and talked to your Sister or your, um, or have they mentioned that cause I was trying to read through the RL to see you know what…
If anyone we’re to have spoken with my Sister it would have been prior to my complaints.
And, my understanding from what she shared with me, if I recall correctly, they initially sent her a chaplin, she asked for what’s called… patient advocate.
Yeah, patient advocate, patient experience they’re the, yeah they’re the same people, but they sent a chaplin?
They sent a chaplain first and I think later they may have actually sent a patient advocate.
And I believe that was prior to my first complaint.
Would that be in neuro trauma?
My breath probably stinks like he**, I’m sorry.
He’s been up all night, he’s exhausted. Um, but that was down in neuro trauma.
It feels like it. (me referencing my breath)
Um, the meeting I was just in I actually um, had Tessie, who’s the nurse manager of neuro trauma in that meeting with me. Um, and I did ask her to come up and speak too so we can have, what had happened down in neuro trauma, have her aware. So, she’ll be coming up too.
Um, but what can we do? That, this is where we are going now is what can we do?… (Katie asking Shannon)
Is someone watching my Mom right now?
Ashley. And Ashley was standing there when we, when we walked out.
I did not mean to interrupt you, but go ahead please.
No, that’s fine. No I, I told her (referencing Tessie) that we have some concerns and she really needs to come up and and speak with you guys about what had occurred down in neuro trauma too.
Okay, So Tessie is the ICU?
She’s the ICU Manager.
Okay, Is she coming up right now?
Um, I don’t know she was with the director, um, I just kind of interrupted them since I saw her I can say hey, huh…
I need you to come up here. So I don’t know that it will be right now, that she’s coming up because she, they extended their meeting, my part was done. So, I can try to email her here in a little bit and see what, what…
I, I, yeah, whatever, whatever you, you feel needs addressed and whoever you feel that I need to be speaking with.
Now, I can, we can take what we have here and I can discuss that with her if you want me to so we have, so we are all on the same page, but if you feel like you really want to talk with her too, we can do that, it’s up to you.
Right now he seems very frustrated and I think what part of it is, is he’s expressed himself on now his fourth or fifth person to talk to and nothing has changed. And that’s kind of where his uh… correct me if I’m wrong. If, If, um, but nothing has changed, it keeps happening and so he doesn’t know that things are being, you know, is it really being passed along, or is…
This is Part-3, a continuation of the conversation I had between the main assistant nurse manager and the main nurse manager for the JNC 800 Unit on the eighth (8th) floor.
Part-3 800 JNC Unit Conversation
you know he’s expressed his concerns, but nothing has changed.
Well, what we can do on our floor is I can, I can do our floor, our patient care with you guys. Um, I can talk to the lab manager, um, with the lab and I can discuss this with all those departments. I can talk to their leaders on that. Um, process change, for them, I’ll have to work with that on there, I can’t say that it will be changed immediately because I’m not over them, but I can make it very apparent this is what needs to happen. And I can work with that. Up here, we can work very diligently to make sure she gets what she needs. I can control up here. That part I can assure you we will…
Why wasn’t it controlled when I first addressed it?
I’m, I’m not for sure. I, I got all of this stuff yesterday from both the assistants um, from days and nights that there was issues yesterday um, and that’s why we’re trying to follow up from what I found out yesterday.
Notation: In my opinion, the is just a lazy mentality. To not address an issue the moment you found out about it is just lazy and careless, especially when it involves a patient who is recovering from brain surgery.
Cassandra was the first quote unquote manager that I spoke with.
About these complaints. And I addressed very specifically, that I wanted to ensure that when she gets, you know kind of moved up, that what we were experiencing isn’t going to happen up here because I was fearful of that. Because one nurse, more patients. I’ve got no more than two (ICU nurses tend to have no more than 2 patients) with one nurse and they can’t even quite handle that or at least care to handle that. So…
Well, we were…
It was addressed, it was brought through the only channel I had available to me after requesting it. Um, and I appreciate that you’re sharing with me that you’re here to address this now,
but a really big ball got dropped between when I first addressed it and at this very moment now that we are sitting at this table. I wouldn’t be nearly as upset. Perhaps half the things that have happened up here and more specifically the sanitary issues and the safety issues, that I feel are of those two natures, maybe not would’ve happened, maybe never have happened. I don’t know. You have a lot of people in your hospital that don’t care. You have a lot of people in your hospital that cannot comprehend an understanding of what’s sanitary and what isn’t, and what’s safe and what’s not, and that’s a shame. And it scares me to death to have my Mother in your hospital knowing that those people exist. I know there is generally speaking someone over someone over someone that manages and controls those things and it is a shame that we have to entrust certain methods of practice to individuals based on how we hired them to perform. Like hey… this is what you’re responsible for doing, make sure you do this, and you entrust that that’s going to be followed through with, but it isn’t. None of it, I’m mean it’s not! It’s not being followed through with. You don’t just go rubbing your face and then go poke somebody with a needle and infect it with whatever you might have. You don’t wipe someone’s tail end, handle those sanitary, or those wipes, whatever they are, they are obviously not sanitary, but, hu-hu, once they get used, and then you don’t go just grabbing their drink and sticking it in their mouth. You don’t go handling all the things that they’re actually going to be touching. Do you know they spent more time on wiping down that E-400 (I called this the wrong name, but it is a device that rolls patients around), than they did wiping down anything on my Mom’s bed with all those gloves. I, uh, okay, so, somewhere in their understanding they comprehend that things need to be sanitary.
How is the patient’s immediate accessible equipment, whether it’s bed related, or it’s call button related, or it’s drinking related, not getting comprehended that that’s just as equally important to manage and maintain the sanity (I meant maintain the sanitary) of that, when you are talking about a piece of metal on wheels? They don’t care. If they have the comprehension to sanitize this device that rolls them around, and, and they can, they can grasp that reality, then they can certainly grasp that other stuff that they are touching should be clean.
So either, they were either trained to sanitize that device or they weren’t trained to sanitize their straws and cups or weren’t trained to even remove their gloves after they’ve wiped them. I don’t know what it is, but it’s just laziness, it’s a lack of understanding, comprehension, I don’t understand. It’s just…
I think some of it is they get into a hurry and they don’t stop and think about stuff. I don’t think it’s a matter that they don’t care, I think it’s more of a lack of getting into a hurry and not paying attention 100%, 100% of everything. When you get into a hurry you can’t do everything 100% and I think that’s a big struggle.
Okay, so the young lady that was taking her blood, she had a lot of time to stand there while my Mom was being repositioned in bed, she didn’t seem to be in a hurry, I’m not saying that she was or she wasn’t, but she had plenty of time to scratch all over her face, rub it down with her gloves on, plenty of time to handle other things within her tray with those same gloves. Which may or may… Do those typically include other people’s blood too?
Hm-mm. The gloves?
No, the little trays they carry with the vials that, she carries vials of blood around, what I call a vial.
That has other people’s blood in it too that she’s taking when she’s going and making her rounds. So, she’s touching all of that stuff as well and I don’t know It’s just, It’s, It’s disgusting, I don’t know the right, there’s so many usable words… hu-hu in that circumstance it’s just, it’s really, it’s so frustrating.
Some part of it’s education that we are touching on right now. Some of it is getting into a hurry and not paying attention. Some of it is seen as um, there are services that are not sterile, so they don’t treat them as sterile. So, this is a lot of educational items that we’re, that we’re talking about. And a lot of just people getting into a hurry and not slowing down to pay attention to what they need to be doing. That type of stuff right there is what we bring, when we have the situation, this happen. So, this is one of those moments that you take and you educate. And you say… how do you think this was perceived, when you did this… how was this perceived, and then you use that to show them, this is what your education was, this is what happens when you get in a hurry, and this is how your care is perceived. So, that’s how I use these situations to teach. Now, I can’t fix what happened before, but now that I’ve known this from last night, I can go forward from this and help with my part, with my staff.
Notation: This explanation feels like a slap in the face. My Mother was exposed to neglectful care on multiple occasions prior to today and including today. So, not only did she know about these issues last night, even though these issues were brought up long before that, but she had the audacity to insult me by saying she’s going to educate by asking her fellow co-workers… “How was this perceived?”. As if I am not fully capable of witnessing something I saw accurately with my own eyes and providing them with an understanding on what happened. It appears it’s just something that CoxHealth managers are trained to say to avoid admitting fault.
Shannon, how do I pronounce your last name?
Rantz, okay. Like I said I do not know how much more time she’s going to be in here, but you know, I’m exhausted of trying to be concerned over every little meticulous detail and there’s only so many times I can tell, what I assume to be the correct and proper channels. My next option, I mean goodness, I’m thinking to myself okay, I’ve got BON (board of nursing), I’ve got HSS (health & senior services), I’ve got my contacts locally here and you know, I’ve got my own set of platforms and resources to work with, and I don’t want to have to do any of that, but I want her taken care of.
I can have you talk to the, my director if you would like, but… to talk with us, but from my standpoint on, I can do what I need to do with my staff here. Again, I can’t change what’s happened. I can’t go back in time, but I can take what we have here and work with that from her (my Mom) staying with us on. And if you have other outlier resources that you feel you need to go to, then that’s… if that’s what you feel, then that’s, that’s what you need to do. But we have a couple other ways that we can go here for you to be heard too, if that’s what you need. I have no problems with that. And I feel it would be very beneficial for Tessie to hear from you guys too.
What would you do if you were me and if it was your Mom who experienced poor care downstairs after you brought it to their attention and then she, what would you do if a nurse said… hey… go suction your Mom’s mouth out yourself?
I would be doing…
I, I’m almost finished. What would you do if she’s being poked and prodded unsanitarily and she’s being handled, by wipes are being handled and then they are trying to shove it back in her mouth? I mean what would you do?
I would be doing, this is, you’re, you’re doing the right path so we can take care of it, so we can educate, so we, but I, you have absolutely every right to be frustrated with us.
When a problem occurs and you come and talk to us, we have to have the opportunity to fix that. We have to be able to understand what’s going on and what has happened and we have to have the opportunity to fix it. This is our first opportunity to do that.
Well, that’s incorrect! Your first opportunity was more than a handful of days ago when I brought it to everyone’s attention upfront, was the very first initial time. Now, I brought it to Holly’s attention, she instantly had something accomplished, which the next day there were no, none of the nurses that I, we weren’t going to allow accessing my Mother, she wasn’t there. So, she obviously accomplished that. She (Holly) shared with me who I might speak with. The next morning I stayed through and I spoke with Cassandra.
So, she’s (Cassandra) the first management, if you will, that I was able to channel this information to.
What took place at that moment? Do you know what she told me? I’ll tell you what she told me. She told me that you’re just going to have to expect that the care up there (8th floor) is going to be less than it is down here (in ICU) because the nurses have more patients than we do here. So you need to get used to that and you need to be comfortable with that understanding, that you, in some cases they will have 4 to 6 patients per nurse. She’s prepping me to get ready for and more laid-back, less attentive environment. I am praying that she, I asked her for Tess (short version of Tessie’s name)… Tessie, whoever is down there. Is it Tessie down there?
She’s the manager.
I asked her (Cassandra) for her, she wasn’t there. I said, I, I said… I am talking to you Cassandra right now because I want to ensure that if the care I’m experiencing here doesn’t get channeled up the chain to what might be an even more laid-back environment, a more careless environment, and sure enough, that’s what has happened. She did nothing for that. She did nothing to do it and I brought it to her attention. The very next morning when I had finally been fed up and had it, I was done. You’re saying it’s an opportunity for education, great, more power to you, it’s a great tool and a resource for you to teach your team,…
but your team is currently failing! Your team has failed! Even your co-team, if you want to call Cassandra in management a co-team member, however you guys are structured, I don’t know. But…
Well, neuro trauma is a separate department…
I don’t care, they are in the hospital. Somebody there needed to relay the information based on where I said we we’re going and it didn’t happen. I’ve been failed on all aspects of this and this today, and I appreciate and value your all’s time, I appreciate it, it’s a sh***y deal. Because you are the first time that I’ve truly been acknowledged and, and confirmed that, hey, this guy has an issue and here is what has taken place. So.
This is Part-4, a continuation of the conversation I had between the main assistant nurse manager and the main nurse manager for the JNC 800 Unit on the eighth (8th) floor.
Part-4 800 JNC Unit Conversation
Um, and like I said, I will have to go back and research to find out why that wasn’t uh, communicated between neuro trauma and I, but from, from this standpoint…
Notation: This is an example confirming that not only are people lazy, but CoxHealth does not have adequate measures in place to ensure a patient’s safety and well-being are managed properly.
And it’s something that we can talk to Tessie about too.
I expect, ahh… You know, I say that and it’s almost a funny thing to say because I’ve expected it since my first complaint, but I’ll just say it again… I expect that my Mother will be handled sanitarily, safely, respectfully and with urgency when she requires it, based on her needs of comfort. Whatever that requires.
I don’t want anymore safety concerns with her getting poked and prodded with the wrong stuff that’s not sanitary and… I don’t want them not addressing the sanitary issues when she’s going to the bathroom or they are bathing her etc. I want the laziness to stop. I want, I want people with some, I want people that care to be here. And if they don’t care, I don’t want them in the room, period.
If they don’t feel like being here today, I can respect that, don’t mess with my Mother if that’s the case. So, thank you for your time.
Are you going to go home and go to sleep, get some rest?
Is your Sister up here?
I don’t know.
We’ll work it out when she does. I may end up staying all night, I don’t know. Um, I haven’t slept any of the nights that I have been with her, but tonight might be the first night, um, because I’m, I don’t know if I will be able to be comfortable with being away from her. So.
Well, just let your Sister also know to come and get me. All she has to do is ask for the charge nurse and they will come and get me.
If there’s another issue. Give us a second to make sure that we don’t, I can talk to lab and all that and I’m gonna, I’m gonna do a little persistence with it. Is it okay if Tessie comes up and talks to your Sister if she’s the one here?
No, she, don’t, leave my Sister out of this. If anybody is going to deal with anything about that, you just bring it right to me.
They brought all of this other stuff to me initially anyway. Some of the concerns that I shared with you about Matt, and the, the very first sanitary issue..
Neuro trauma stuff, yeah.
Uh, with Addison actually.
Matt is neuro.
Neuro trauma, yeah. I was just making sure I was like…
Yeah, I never met him, I just took their (my family) word on it. All right.
Well, thank you for…
I got my steam blown off.
talking… you’re welcome.
Go home and get some rest.
Yeah, I will when I’m ready. Um, I don’t, I don’t want her (my Mother) being subjected to anything so I’m gonna, even if I have to sleep in that room. So…
We got a nice…
Who are we going to have… yeah, who are we going to have making sure like… moving forward, who’s, who’s going to access her? Like, who’s going to have access to her?
The nurse and the aide…
Will anyone who’s previously done anything that’s been brought to your attention be back in there accessing her?
Well, definitely not Natasha or Addison, because you did not want them back in there, we know that. The other, you, um, you said Nicole was great, but she did have that issue with the uh, with the uh… oxygen…
I think you misunderstood me on that because I said that Nicole was…
There you go and… (I actually used other words to describe Nicole, but I just let it go)
And then you said Shalisha you didn’t have any complaints, but basically didn’t do her job…
Someone left, someone left that oxygen mask off of her for…
Right, which Nicole apologized for…
three to five plus hours.
So, let me, uh, you want to make sure that Shalisha and Nicole don’t…
So, someone there out of the two of them dropped the ball and didn’t, you know,
Um, you said Elisha, that had her last night with Shalisha, was great, terrific.
Elisha, the nurse assistant. So was she okay to uh, stay in there to take care of her?
But, we’ll make sure Shalisha and Nicole isn’t um, is there anybody else that I’m missing besides Natasha and Addison? I was trying to…
Okay, I’m trying to remember who…
And nobody from neuro trauma will be…
Right, neuro trauma won’t come up here to work. So, it’s just…
Nobody from neuro trauma will come up here.
I know, but Nicole, help me out…
Nicole, used to… that was the night…
Assistant or nurse?
She’s the nurses assistant. She’s the one that came in and apologized with the…
Got it, she was great. She’s from Puerto Rico.
Okay she’s great.
But she’s wonderful? So, she’s okay to uh…? Okay, so we’ll make sure to keep Shalisha and Natasha and Addison out of there. Those are the only names that I had.
I know you were not in here for all of this conversation. (me addressing Shannon) Uh, I just want to briefly point this out. The reason why I questioned her (Katie) on, on a what would you do scenario is… When my Sister brought it to Addison’s attention that she needed to change her gloves and replace her glass (my Mother’s cup), she gave my Sister an attitude. It’s common, people take pride in what they do and they think they know better than the patient’s family, I get it. She took a little snappy attitude, is what my Sister shared with me. I sss… the same thing happened with this young lady today. In fact both of them.
The occupational therapist…
It was the tech (Katie explaining to Shannon)
It was the tech assisting her who, who I initially had the concern with on her sanitary. She started throwing a little snappy fit, you could tell, her demeanor changed drastically. And then slowly but surely, the young occupational therapist started catching on to that groove and that attitude and started mimicking it. So you see, I was a little disappointed in that. That they were both a little snappy and, and all I was trying to do is protect my Mother from something unsanitary. I, I did not like that. If they are capable of being that type of a person and not responsible enough to admit their mistakes and handle their selves with professionalism and maintain a proper attitude within a patient’s vicinity, I don’t want either one of them back in there.
Sure. Did, you didn’t mention anything on Natasha… I, I know, did she have any attitude or anything?
Natasha was with Addison.
She was the nurse.
I know Addison did, but I don’t know if Natasha…
Right, I am basing that strictly off of my Sister’s feedback.
And the only thing I have to share with you there was a matter of her not paying very close attention to her uh… handling her on the bed and almost letting her fall. There may have been something else, but if I’m not there and you know, I just kind of trust whatever my sis… You know, if my Sister and my Dad said hey, Matt wasn’t attentive, we don’t want Natasha anymore, I’m not going to sit there and nitpick every little detail about somebody I could not personally witness or experience.
Right, but I, I just like to have feedback so I can get that nurse (mumbled)…
I appreciate it…
um because I kind of had a little bit for everybody of what I needed to give them feedback and what I needed to educate on them so that was the only one I didn’t have any real…
And I, I don’t know 100% of the details there. I just know they said they didn’t, didn’t want her so.
Okay. And we’ll respect that. That’s…
She (my Sister) can refresh my memory on what the deal is with her if it helps you.
We’ll take it from here.
Crummy deal, huh?
Yeah, I’m sorry about this.
Shannon, have you ever dealt with anything like this before?
Um, I have once before. And…
Here, at this hospital?
Yes, yes when I used to be up on nine (9th floor).
Was it a sanitary issue or was it…?
It was more of an education and slow down type of thing. They get this whole thing stuck in their head that hey I’m going from here to here to here to here and not paying attention to the small things. It’s the big things are in their head, like I have to do this task, I have to finish this, I have to make sure that I walk with the patient from here to here so they don’t fall. So those big items resonate because of that safety part. You take them to do the smaller things, like hey do this in between this, watch what you’re doing here. When you get people that go 100 mph they don’t pay attention to that. That’s where you take moments like this and do some really heavy education. I feel it’s important to bring it back to them in the same way… what would be your perception of this?
I won’t take anymore of your, the two of your’s time. So, I appreciate it. Thank you for acknowledging me, finally.
Hm-hm… So, uh, yeah, but if you want me to be set up with uh, Tessie.
So, that’s where I’m confused… there’s a Tessie down there and…
there’s a Tessa up here. Right?
Yeah, Yeah. Tessa is our ANM and Tessie is the nurse manager down in neuro trauma.
All righty, I’m going to wash my face and get something, something to drink and get some fresh air if I can.
Thank you very much.
Conversations With Cox South ICU Neuro Trauma Managers
This conversation took place shortly after I had spoken with the JNC 800 unit nurse managers at Cox South. There are two additional staff member’s names added to this conversation and one has been removed.
The following conversations are an overview. You may find grammatical errors, slang terminology and spelling mistakes. Words included inside ( ) are not a part of our conversations, but I’ve added explanations within ( ) to help you follow along with what is being referenced.
Notation: Comments you find in a green box such as this one were not a part of our conversations, but rather used for providing feedback about the circumstance.
- Family Member = ME
- Main Assistant Nurse Manager 800 JNC Unit = Katie Lane
- Assistant Nurse Manager (days) 800 JNC Unit = Tessa Baertschi
- Assistant Nurse Manager (nights) 800 JNC Unit = Kassi Epps
- Main Nurse Manager 800 JNC Unit = Shannon Rantz
- Assistant Nurse Manager ICU Neuro Trauma = Cassandra Mough
- Main Nurse Manager ICU Neuro Trauma = Tessie Bowmaker
- Heroic Nurse ICU Neuro Trauma = Holly
- Heroic Nurse ICU Neuro Trauma = Lindsey
- Neglectful Nurse ICU Neuro Trauma = Johnita
- Neglectful Nurse ICU Neuro Trauma = Misty
- Neglectful Nurse ICU Neuro Trauma = Matt
- Nurse 800 JNC Unit = Shalisha
- Nurse Assistant 800 JNC Unit = Nicole
- Nurse 800 JNC Unit = Natasha
- Nurse Assistant 800 JNC Unit = Addison
- Nurse Assistant 800 JNC Unit = Elisha
- Nurse Assistant 800 JNC Unit = Janelle
- Nurse 800 JNC Unit = Ashley
- Charge Nurse ICU Neuro Trauma = Mindy Grant
- House Supervisor ICU Neuro Trauma = Nate
This is the conversation I had with Cassandra and Tessie, managers of the ICU neuro trauma unit at Cox South. I had just finished my conversations with Katie and Shannon a few minutes ago prior to this one beginning.
ICU Neuro Trauma Managers
I’m sorry about that. I just needed to freshen up. How are you?
And you are?
I’m Tessie, I’m the nurse manager.
Tessie, what’s your last name?
Do you want to go in here?
Wherever is comfortable for you guys.
Yes, let’s go in here. At least it’s kind of quiet… until a doctor comes along.
Where would you like me?
Anywhere, it’s fine. It’s fine, yeah, we’re good.
Am I okay here?
There you go.
Did your shift just get started? (me addressing Cassandra)
No, no, uh, you know I work every weekend and then I’m hit and miss during the week and…
You didn’t get called in for this did you?
No, no, no, no, I was here today. I had a little one that had uh a scope this morning and so I (mumbled)
Cassandra, I didn’t get your last name…
Mough, M O U G H.
Okay. Thank you. Okay, how are you doing?
I’m doing okay, how are you doing?
Fine. I’ve been more tired than this so I am good. I just care about my Mom is all. So…
Okay, where should we begin?
Just, you know, tell… I’m only concerned about neuro trauma most so…
I’m sorry, is it Tessie or Tessa? Because I…
Tessie is fine.
Okay, so it’s Tessie Bowmaker. Correct?
Okay, Because there seemed to be another Tessa I think that someone, my Sister may have spoke with…
On this floor.
She’s a charge nurse.
Okay, I did not mean to interrupt you.
Oh, no, no, no, you’re fine. I just want to make sure that, um, your experience down in neuro trauma was addressed to your liking. Uh, because Shannon kind of told me that maybe you still had some concerns with neuro trauma. So, I wanted to make sure that those are addressed.
You want to make sure that my concerns with neuro trauma…
were addressed. Are or were addressed?
Are, have been, yes.
Okay, so, that’s a difficult thing for me to acknowledge, uh, affirmatively, simply because I feel like my issues were initially brought to the attention… Cassandra, you and I had that conversation…
in uh, in fair amount of detail. So, it maybe, would it maybe help a little bit if I perhaps kind of started from my initial experience and worked my way through it? It would be easier for me.
That’s fine. Yeah, that’s fine.
To the best of my recollection, um, the majority of my concerns started when Johnita, Johnita?
Johnita, okay. Am I pronouncing that correctly? When she was in charge of my Mother’s care.
I had some experience with some nurses prior to Johnita. I got a chance to become familiar with kind of how they operate and what I anticipated to be kind of the procedure etc. When I experienced Johnita, it was a night and day difference. It, the amount of attention to maybe it was a small detail or maybe it was something that was regularly occurring with prior nurses that did not exist with her.
And so I was instantly able to tell that she seemed a little bit more laid-back and quite honestly, apparently lazy. Had not near as much care or concern to be overseeing my Mother, and when I say overseeing, I don’t mean simply by reading these charts that are on the computer monitors, I mean physically being in the room. So, uh, with what limited understanding I have of how things operate down there (ICU) I got somewhat familiar by the prior nurses and their procedures and how they handled it and Johnita was different. She was not near as attentive, seemed a little bit more, well, I already said this, lazy. So, I understand I’m a family member’s patient, or, a family, a family member of a patient and I understand that our emotions can run high. We don’t obviously have the knowledge, the schooling and the training that professionals here would hold. But, it is easy to determine whether or not my Mother is in discomfort or needs something addressed, based on what time I have spent with her since she has been here.
I brought some information to Johnita’s attention that my Mother needed addressed. As I was doing that, I can see that she was playing on Facebook, on her phone, watching some videos. I thought… well, that’s great, she’s got time to sit down here, watch these videos, but yet, she doesn’t have the extra energy, nor apparent, does she have the care to get up and go simply walk in to the room, which was what, 20 feet away at best?
And so it kind of frustrated me, um, and she was a little slow to respond to get up, but she did and she went in and addressed whatever that issue was at the time. Later on my Mother had another issue that needed addressed and when I say these issues, I’m talking about things that aren’t necessarily present on the monitor. Uh, she coughed up a lot, had a lot of stuff occurring in her throat that needed cleared out. And I understand as it’s been explained to me that sometimes you can acknowledge pain by heart rate, etc. (the remote monitors that the ICU nurses use to monitor vitals, etc.) Um, but I don’t know how well they are at monitoring whether or not someone’s back is cramping or whether they need turned or whether they are uncomfortable. It would make sense to me logically that, that’s something that doesn’t present itself near as efficiently on the computer screen as it would right there via the patient.
So, I needed something for my Mom addressed and I went back to her and said… hey, what are you doing? I said my Mom needs this… She goes… " Oh, I’m just reading an article that my Sister had sent me, it was a political post on Trump. " and so I’m like, okay, that’s, that’s it. I made up my mind right then and there that I did not want her accessing, having anymore access to my Mother. Here I am in the ICU, assuming that this is a critical place, that with the understanding, in most cases, apparently nurses have only one to two patients, in some cases only one if they are extremely critical. I thought… How hard can it be to simply get off your tail end, when you’re 20 feet away at best to just go peek in the room and look at someone? Which only really seemed to happen with her (Johnita), when in fact she was scheduled to do something, perhaps on what I would define as a round. I don’t know if that is accurate terminology here or not. Uh, perhaps something on a work order? Does that sound… somewhat accurate?
Or a task.
A task list.
A Task? Okay.
It’s something that… yeah. Scheduled to do…
So, I understand that these nurses do these tasks and I understand they also chart etc., but she (Johnita) has time to play on Facebook, she has time to read posts and articles etc. and not pay any visual attention to my Mother other than what she may or may not get notified via an alarm sounding off on this computer. So, at that point, I said okay, that’s not, that’s not going to fly for me. You know, I’m, and as a family member I can only, you know, I can do the best that I can with what limited understanding of how things work in this medical environment and what I’ve come to realize really quick, is the only thing that I can truly focus on is… alarms that may or may not be going off and I can also focus on my Mom’s comfort to ensure that that’s managed to the best of, of my ability…
that means that I’ll more than likely need to entrust the help or assistance of a nurse or someone else that’s able to do so. And with those two things happening, in her time of need, had it not been for myself being in there, she would have suffered through a period of who knows how long before that was truly addressed. So, at that moment, I knew that I was not going to leave her side during any available time that I had access to her. The very next night I had Holly. And I’ll come back to Holly here in a minute, but I will just say, from out of all the nurses that we’ve had, she is outstanding, amazing, terrific! You’d be so lucky to have two of her, let alone half a dozen to a hundred of her because she’s that amazing. So, Holly, in her professionalism, was very kind, uh, I think it was… perhaps maybe I dealt with Holly before Johnita, uh, but regardless, Holly let me know the first night that, you know, I need to come in there sparingly between the hours of 10 and 6 (10 pm – 6 am), you know, maybe 20 minutes at best every hour.
I said… Okay. So, I respected that. So, it must have been Holly first and then Johnita must have followed, uh, her the next couple of nights.
So I experienced Holly first and then I experienced Johnita. Well, Johnita’s shift is over and she goes back to Arkansas. Uh, and then Holly comes in and Holly again addressed the fact that, you know, from 10 to 6 we need to limit our time… I said no, that’s just not going to be acceptable. Now, I trusted Holly, but it didn’t matter. I trusted her, but I’m not gonna let anybody out, I’m not, my eyes on going to be on my Mom like a hawk the whole time that I have the capacity and ability to do so, so that’s what I chose to do. Through her chain of command she got that approved and it was good to go. And so, uh, I stayed out of everyone’s way the entire time and acknowledged anytime something needed to be addressed with my Mother. And everybody was great about that. I can’t say enough about Holly. Absolutely outstanding, terrific.
Um, the day rolled into the night, uh, pardon me, the night rolled into the next morning, uh, one of these nights and we had Misty. Now, I can fool anybody like the best of them and she’s pretty talented at it, but it was fairly easy to acknowledge that she’s kind of putting on a little bit of a front, on, in terms of how much she truly cared. She said she did, but you could kind of see through that fake attitude a little bit. And sure enough, shortly there later, I would ask Misty to address certain things with my Mother. One of which, very specifically was… she’s coughing up a lot of stuff and she needs it sucked out. And she said… " Oh, you can just go in there and do it ". She’s sitting on her computer, I have no idea if she’s working or if she’s charting and quite honestly, it doesn’t really matter. I would have to assume, with a fair assumption, that what she’s doing on the computer could probably wait, while my Mom has a mouthful of junk that needs sucked out, let alone, to have, to explain to me that I can do it. That morning when I got there (ICU) and something that needed to be addressed, she’s (Misty) at the, what I would call the coffee table with all the girls chit chatting, laughing and having a good time and you know, I had brought something to her attention that she (my Mother) needed addressed and she’s like… " Oh, okay, I’ll be right there " and finishes up a few more conversations with her friends and then this happened (telling me to suction out my Mother’s mouth scenario) later when I brought it to her attention again that she needed it suctioned out and she’s telling me that I can just go in there and do it. So, those two things in itself just tipped me over the edge.
Um, now before I proceed with any other additional details about this, I wasn’t present to witness Matt, but I am taking my Dad and my Sister’s word for it. That, they felt uneasy with him because they felt he also, was not very attentive.
When Misty asked me to suction out my Mom’s mouth, told me I could just go do it, I was so super exhausted, it didn’t really set in with me too well, at that time, until I got back home and I woke up the next day and I was like… wait a minute, she just, she told me to do that, that’s ridiculous, she’s the nurse. I’m not being paid by this hospital to maintain my Mother’s well-being, she is. And so that finally came to blow and I finally realized what really truly took place and I comprehended it fully. And I, it would have been Holly on the next shift.
Mm-hmm, I think it was.
I was very fortunate and very glad to see her (Holly). And I took her aside out of respect to let her know in advance and said… hey look, here’s some issues that I’m having. She asked me what it was and I told her. And she was very respectful, she was very, uh, thoughtful in her processing of what I had to share with her. And she said… look, I’ll, I can make this happen, which was to ensure that Johnita, Misty and Matt would no longer have access to my Mother. They would no longer, my Mom would not be in their care. So that was great. So I felt really confident at that point. I asked to speak with the charge nurse, which I assumed might of actually been you (me addressing Tessie) at the time, but I think you weren’t there. Um, so you were the name that was brought up Tessie, but I don’t think you were on, I, I don’t think you were scheduled that night.
I think it was Saturday. It was Saturday. Friday into Saturday.
So, she kind of gave me a few names of the chain of commands etc.
And so the night went on and I stayed through the night into the next morning and Cassandra, that’s when…
I sought after someone, and you were who I, I found. So, you are very familiar with the concerns that I addressed to you and as a refresher, Tessie, since you weren’t there, it was, uh, I explained to her a few of the things about Johnita, the attention that she obviously didn’t care to show my Mother. Uh, I explained how Misty told me that I can just go in there and suction out my Mom’s mouth. And so, I’m realizing that soon, one of these days very soon, my Mom is going to be transferred to different department and I’m thinking to myself… okay, if this is ICU and it’s supposed to be super critical, I would assume that everybody is on their A-game and that they’re, they’re, they’ve got it covered. Well, that’s just not the case down there (in ICU). So, now if we are going to move my Mom out of what I consider to be the most critical place into a less critical place, I have to assume that that level of care and attention to detail and concern, is going to drop even more drastically. If it’s as good as it only gets down there (ICU), based on what I experienced, then I have to assume that the next stage of my Mom’s stay, is going to be subject to perhaps even a greater lack of care and attention to detail, in terms of her well-being. So, I brought it to your (Cassandra) attention, I said look… I’m trying to follow the chain of command so that when it gets transferred up the hill, that wherever she goes, they are going to know, hey, we want her taken care of, we want her maintained, we want her comfort level managed, we don’t want any laziness, we want some urgency behind taking, you know, getting her taken care of… this did not happen.
Okay, so, I’m going to share a little bit of the remainder of the story that may or may not have anything to do with you because it is now up here on this floor (8th floor). And forgive me if I am leaving out any details with the ICU. I’ve got some of these other notes, notated, that, that’s not fresh in my mind at this moment.
Um, but we brought her up here the very first night and I stayed with her. I had a couple of nurses, Shalisha and Nicole was her assistant. Both seemed very great. Um, it was the first night I experienced my Mom was able to go to the bathroom and they positioned her on the E-400 (I called this the wrong name, but it is a device that rolls patients around) and toted her into the room and managed to go, brought her back to the bed, took several hours, but finally got that managed. And I had sit in the room with her all night and 3 to maybe 5 or more hours had passed and I looked down and I said… Oh man, her oxygen is on the floor. Now, I just came out of ICU, I had a lot of feedback, wonderful feedback on why the oxygen level is important. I know it started at maybe 6, dropped it down to 5, tried it at 4 and they fluctuated it from 3 to 4 between the respiratory therapist and the nurse. So, I just assumed that this is really critical and important to her health and her healing. And I’m seeing that on the floor and I’m like… Oh my God, I said somebody didn’t put that back on her. And I wasn’t, I don’t have the experience to truly comprehend… hey, I need to pay attention to this, pay attention to that like a trained and licensed nurse would have. So, I see it sitting there and it had been such a long time, so I instantly came out here and told them about it and Nicole instantly helped me, she apologized, she got her a fresh, uh, oxygen tube, if you want to call it that. Connected her back up, apologized some more, at that point we were good.
I came in the next day and Nicole had gone and it was Elisha, who was assisting Shalisha, the nurse. And as soon as I arrived, I stopped and spoke with Kassi… Kassi Epps and I addressed some of these additional details yet, once again, just like I did with you. I said hey, look, this is what happened, this is what happened last night, I want her taken care of, I want her managed properly, I want her respected, I want people to care. She said okay. Long story short, she sent this information up the chain etc. Here we are today, which is technically tomorrow (I meant the next day), for me, because we were here last night. Two days ago or a day ago, somewhere in there, my Sister and my Dad were here during the day and it was Natasha, who was the nurse, Addison was her assistant, assisted my Mom in the bathroom, Addison wiped her, they both had gloves on, assisted her back in the bed and then without removing the gloves, Addison was getting my Mom a drink, grabbed her cup, grabbed her straw, with her, with her gloves still attached, still on, that she had just used to wipe my Mother and dang near proceeded to give her a drink with it. Thank God my Sister was there to stop her. Brought it to her attention and said… hey, look, you just wiped her wearing those gloves, don’t touch her straw and stick it in her mouth. I wasn’t there to experience this, again, similar to with Matt downstairs…
I’m taking my Sister’s word for it, which I trust. Apparently Addison, that’s correct, uh, had a little attitude with my Sister after that. I think it kind of hurt her pride and kind of like she knows better than my Sister, kind of an attitude.
So, that happened. I came in after understanding all of that and I brought it to uh, uh, Kassi Epps’ attention, told her how things were going, what I expected, how I had already spoke with you (me addressing Cassandra) and addressed some of these other concerns. So, I stayed with her all night. Shalisha was her nurse, Elisha was her assistant. Everything seemed to go really well, really great and to the best of my memory, I don’t believe anything there was troubling to speak of, except what seemed a little fuzzy, in terms of conversations in not quite understanding what my Mom’s medication was intended for, whether it was a urinary tract or something else, but I think they may have gotten that cleared up. I think, uh, Shalisha admitted that she wasn’t always, we don’t always know what the patients need, um, it was confusing, but none the less, that’s about the only issue I can recall.
Today Ashley, bear with me, Janelle, her assistant, seemed really terrific all day, they seemed to do a great job, I was really happy with them. Now, occupational therapist, some young, uh, I would say she’s twenty something, I don’t know, uh, she came in to assist my Mom and I asked her what she was doing and she said she was occupational therapy, help her get dressed, brush her teeth, things of that sort. I said okay, um, and then another assistant, who was not Janelle, because I believe Ashley and Janelle were tied up. Another assistant came in to assist my Mom going to the restroom, both wearing gloves, great, both assisted her going to the bathroom, great, wiped her, got her up, both wearing the same gloves. Now, brought her into the room, put her up into the bed and instantly, both of them started touching the things on the bed, her call light, the thing that she (my Mom) is going to touch. The assistant grabbed her drink and her straw again, of all things, ironically, the same exact scenario, and was proceeding to get it and I just stopped and said whoa, wait a minute, hold on, you just were in the restroom with my Mother wearing those gloves assisting her go to the bathroom and wiping her and taking care of her, you need to change those gloves, you need to get rid of that cup, throw it away and get her a fresh one. Instant attitude. At this point, the attitude I could care less with. All I care about is my Mother’s well-being. I could care less if the young girl has an attitude over me calling her out on something. Shortly thereafter, that attitude existed and the occupational therapist started to breed off of that and started to mimic that attitude a little bit more. The longer she (occupational therapist) stayed in the room her attitude started slowing adjusting to the same pattern that the assistant aide did. So, I was frustrated with that.
What I skipped over unfortunately, was when I switched from Shalisha and Nicole into the next morning with Natasha and Addison, there was a lab assistant who came through. And this may just be the icing on top of it all, I’m not certain, but this young lady was waiting for my Mom to get repositioned after, uh, she was getting adjusted on the bed. She had on her gloves, had on her, had her tray of all of her gear and blood and, and needles etc. Starts rubbing down her face, scratching it etc. like that and she had a nose ring, I don’t remember the girl’s name. Am I keeping you from time? (Cassandra acted disrespectful towards me right here by looking at her smart watch as if she had something more important to look into, so I asked her if I was keeping her. She shook her head no) Okay. And so, at this point, I’m super exhausted and I’m, I’m not really, I mean I understand what’s going on and I can see this, and as my Mom finally gets adjusted she (lab assistant) gets over to the bed and I can see her wiping alcohol on her arm, I’m assuming this is alcolhol, rubbing alcohol before they?…
Before they take and draw blood? But she never did anything to her gloves that she had just used all over her face. And before I could even comprehend the reality of what’s going on, she’s rubbing my Mom’s arm, trying to get that vein or artery ready, whichever she was after and then boom, sticks her. So, those are the things that I’ve experienced that I can recall at this very moment without all of the notes and everything that I have in front of me, but, uh, that’s what I’ve gone through. So, in a nut shell, I understand, I don’t care what profession you’re in, you are going to find people who don’t care about what they do for a living. And that’s really hard for anybody, whether it’s management, ownership to enforce the people that work for you to care about doing and performing, but it leaves no room for excuse, especially in the medical field, especially when things as concerning as someone in the ICU who needs constant attention, regular care, awareness that they may or may not be in a good spot. And even more so when someone needs attention to sanitary respect and safety concerns when you’re needling somebody after you have just scratched and rubbed your face all over and never sanitized that glove that you have just destroyed all sanitary consideration. So, these are the things that I’ve dealt with.
I will say that I am embarrassed for this hospital, from all levels that I’ve been at and there’s only two so far. I’m not surprised, but I am embarrassed for the hospital because sometimes when you have not quite as much responsibility, it almost breeds a little bit more laziness, than if you had more to handle. Now, I wouldn’t dare assume I know what it’s like to maintain critical patients in ICU, whether it’s 1 patient or 2 and I’m sure there’s a bunch of terrific nurses down there. In fact, I’ve experienced them and they are outstanding, especially Holly. And don’t let me forget Lindsey, incredible. Two most, you need to duplicate them as much as possible. But I saw a lot of joking around, I saw a lot of gossiping, I saw a lot of lack of urgency in responding to what I’m bringing to their attention that my Mother needs. I don’t have experience with dealing with patients in pain and you could maybe argue the fact that it’s my Mother, so I feel that it’s a little bit more urgent, but I, I might disagree with that because I feel anything that you could do to help a patient in their comfort, should, maybe, help towards that healing process, I don’t know, I’m just a small town country boy, who has no education, but I would have to assume that it has some healing aspect to it, to a degree. But I was really disappointed and embarrassed for this hospital to see how lazy they were down there, downstairs (ICU).
Now, I haven’t been able to see as much here (on 8th floor) because I’ve been solely stuck in that room watching my Mom like a hawk, but the stuff I saw downstairs (ICU), I, I couldn’t believe it. And when it goes from day shift to night shift, it is a completely different atmosphere down there. I mean, you just, you can sense the urgency in the day and I don’t know if that’s because all the doctors are making their rounds and people (the ICU nurses) are trying to be on their toes for that, but at night, man, it just drops! And to see them (the ICU nurses) fussing around, joking about, talking about where they are going over the weekend, playing with the pretty flowers, playing on Facebook watching videos, reading stuff online, if you’ve got the time and energy to focus on those things, could you not take an extra few seconds of your precious play time and go focus it on the person laying in that bed? I feel so sorry for every single patient down there (in ICU) who didn’t have the privilege of a family member being able to watch them as much as possible like my Mother did. And even with that, having me there in place for that, she still didn’t get the urgent attention that I would want and I’m certain that neither one of the two of you would want if you were in the same position my Mother was in. And I’m embarrassed for you because to have that type of mentality in the profession that you have chosen, and that’s another thing. I can deal with somebody not caring about their job for a day and I can totally respect somebody who is just burnt the heck out, but if you are in that position, especially in something as critical as caring for a patient who may live or die, you better recheck your mentality and say look, this is what I signed on for. I may not like wiping someone’s tail end when they need to go to the bathroom, and I may not like giving them a bath, and I may not want to get up from this article that I’m reading, but you know what, so what, that’s what you signed up to do. If you don’t want to do your job, don’t come in, don’t show up, period. Be responsible with yourself. Have a little respect for your profession, in what I would assume to be required,
maybe even by law, I don’t know. So all of those things are where we stand today and I am scared to death to take eyes off of my Mother. I was worried Cassandra, when I brought it to your attention. That I didn’t want the same lackadaisical or lazy mentality, that I experienced first hand, and brought it to your attention to be transferred up hill into what I assumed to be a worst environment, a, a worse environment, and it ended up being a worse environment.
Can I? Can I?
The safety, the sanitary… absolutely, go ahead.
Okay, well I just want you to know, that when we spoke, I not only took it to charge nurses, I took it to the charge nurse up here (8th floor)…
and so we had…
And who was that?
Uh, the charge nurse that day, I think it was Tessa.
So you…when I addressed you that morning you instantly brought that attention to Tessa?…
Mm-hmm. Yes, so I was not the charge nurse…
What’s Tessa’s last name?
No, I need to know because I have a…
I understand that…
Is that uh…
but listen to what I have to say first.
Is that Baertschi? Is it Baertschi?
So… I don’t know their last names up here.
So, what I, here’s, here is what I did. Okay, you and I spoke, I was also taking care of 2 critical patients that day. Okay, they are my number one focus, okay. So, when I’m, after I’m done taking care of those 2 patients, I contact our charge nurse (the ICU charge nurse) that day. And I explained everything that you and I talked about and I wanted to make sure that our charge nurses communicated effectively with the charge nurses up here (8th floor). Those charge nurses up here come down for a 4 o’clock meeting every day with us (in ICU). So we are in constant communication about our patients.
The charge nurses on this floor (8th floor) come down to have a meeting with you?
Yes. Yes, everyday. Everyday, even at night. They come at 4 am.
Okay, so we tried to maintain that communication. I am not here all the time. I have my own family. Unfortunately, if I could have just spearheaded all of this to make sure everything was perfect, then I would for you, but it’s just not possible, it’s not in line, you know, it’s not my, my way of doing things. So, my only way and my only avenue, was to be, make sure that we were in communication with the needs that you guys had, with the experience that you had so far and I was really trying to set you up for success up here, not for failure. I came from medical surgical floor.
Okay, so let me interrupt you…
Before I came to the ICU, so I know exactly what these nurses do every single day. And that’s what I was trying to explain to you.
So, when you explained to me that I needed to be prepared for a little more lack in care and attention…
That is not what I said…
Well, you told me that I need to be prepared that my Mother is not going to see as much attention up there (on 8th floor – this is me revisiting my conversation with Cassandra as we had it downstairs in the ICU) as she does downstairs.
I’m saying that up here (8th floor), the ratios are greater. The acuity of patients is less.
sharpness or keenness of thought, vision, or hearing.
But you specifically said… you need to be aware that she’s not going to receive as much attention up there (8th floor) as she does downstairs.
No, what I’m saying is that… I don’t have a glass door sitting in front of me where I can see you at all times. You’re taking what I’m saying out of context.
That’s not true.
I’m trying to prepare you for what up here. Did I not explain… the rooms are private, they have doors, these nurses are helping 6, 5 or 6 other patients.
After you explained what I shared with you, it was at that point that I said… I don’t care. I want to ensure that her care is provided for and implemented.
And that’s what I attempted to do, okay, but I can’t single-handedly manage that for you. What I did, is I developed resources within our CoxHealth system, and that’s what I employed. Now, now that was a failure on your part, you found things since being up here that have not met your expectations, I 100% agree with you…
and I’m not saying
What is a failure on my part?
No, it meant it was a failure for you to experience that.
So, our failure.
Oh, it was your failure, okay, I misunderstood.
Yes, what I’m saying is… like you have experienced failures in care here. If I could prevent all of those from every single department in this CoxHealth system, then I would love to do that, but it, it, I , um, I can’t do that. So, I did everything in my power to make sure that there was clear, clear communication between our units and our floors on what you have experienced so far…
So, you told Tessa after I spoke with you when you had the opportunity…
Our charge nurse…
You told your charge nurse…
Our (ICU) charge nurse and their (8th floor) charge nurse with our house supervisor everyday at 4 o’clock.
Who was your charge nurse at the time that you spoke with?
On Saturday… that was Mindy. Mindy.
What’s her last name?
And she (Mindy) took it to our 4 o’clock meeting with our house supervisor, Nate. And I believe it was Tessa (mumbled)
in charge up here (Tessie referencing that Tessa was the charge nurse on the 8th floor)
She (Tessa) took it to a meeting with Nate?
Yeah, they do a staff meeting every, everyday at 4 o’clock.
What’s Nate’s name? Last name?
hmmm… I don’t know what Nate’s last name is. He is a house supervisor.
He is a house supervisor.
He is a house supervisor.
He is our next point of contact as far as administratively on any evening or weekend.
Okay. Well, um, I appreciate you sharing that with me. Um, and hearing me on what, what I had to say, so…
Well, I want you to know that we, I totally agree with you, 100% agree with you…
and we have addressed it with our staff. Can I promise that, like you said… I won’t get nurses in here that don’t act like that, I can’t. All I can do is encourage them and tell them… this is what my expectation is.
And without people like you to tell me that that’s not what is happening, then I don’t know and I can’t address it. So, I appreciate the fact that you are telling me this because a lot of people don’t tell us this. You know, they don’t, they are not that specific on the kind of care they receive that they want different…
and that we are not caring for your loved one. So, I don’t always get that. So, I do appreciate that from you and I appreciate your honesty because I can’t do anything more about it. But I’ll let you know we have addressed it with those individuals and um…
I will say this… I would be… and I’ve shared this with uh, Shannon and, and Katie, I would be scared to death to let… and, and don’t get me wrong, I, I’m not vindictive enough to wish anyone ill-harm or, or loss of job, but in this industry, in this profession, when it comes to caring for people who are life or death in some cases, I would be scared to death to have Johnita. I would be scared to death. I would. Um, you know, and I, I mean I… it kind of goes back to my earlier example… If you’ve done something for twenty plus years and you know, I can see how you can get burnt out on it, I can see also how you can get confident in your own, so called assumption of abilities, in terms of I do well for my patients, I only need to do this and do that and I can manage my time and… I don’t care, she’s missing it. She’s lost her understanding, if it ever existed in the first place, of some extra things that require, a patient requires of them. And she’s not getting it for them. So…
I agree. Also, you know, if you ever want to talk to us about anything that’s going on, definitely do what you did today and let the management know…
You know, I feel so awkward having to go down this road because all I care about is my Mom getting better and maintained and cared for.
And I’ve been trying to ask you know… Is there anything different I should have been doing? You know, if I noticed that somebody is obviously lazy and not attentive, if someone is telling me that I need to go do something for my Mom instead of them doing it, and then when I see these sanitary issues and the safety issues with the dirty needles and all that, I mean… I can’t comprehend that I’m looking at it incorrectly. I mean it seems like, what I’ve chosen to spoke up about, is correct. What I’m disappointed in, is we’re now on what… that was what… roughly around Saturday?
Tuesday morning. You know, so, we are several days past when I addressed it affirmatively. And, it’s still existing! And while you say you’ve (me addressing Cassandra) shared it with me that you’ve passed it up the chain of command, through, you know, your charge nurse etc., you know, I’ve got Katie and Shannon telling me that they don’t know anything about it.
Notation: Katie told me… " I will have to go back and research to find out why that wasn’t uh, communicated between neuro trauma and I "
Notation: And Shannon said… " I’m, I’m not for sure. I, I got all of this stuff yesterday from both the assistants um, from days and nights that there was issues yesterday um "
Katie and Shannon may not, they don’t work the floor. They are never on the floor, but they are the management on this unit (800 JNC unit), so I would hope that they would know about it like I knew about it.
So, I’m scared to death of the care she’s going to get. Um, you know, and I think, you know, from a… I’m sure the medication, the type of equipment that she is required to have on her person, I’m sure all of that is adequate, but I’m scared of the sanitary aspect, I’m scared of these safety concerns, especially when it comes to dirty needles, the things of that sort. I’m worried about my Mother, so taking eyes off of her is not an option. Because I can’t trust anyone. I’ve been barking about this and barking about it and tried to ensure that hey… in case you don’t know, I’m a fairly smart guy and if it’s this way down here (ICU), I’ve got an assumption that it’s going to be pretty crummy up there (on 8th floor), help me out. Make them (the 8th floor) aware that we are dropping the ball here. Well, it’s happened! And it consistently happens. So, I mean, I want my Mom to receive all the care she requires and I, and I certainly want her to get better, but I sure as hell don’t want to see her get harmed…
as a result of trying to receive the care she’s supposed to be receiving. Is there any recommendation or advice that you can provide me with that will help to ensure that I can maintain that for my Mother?
All I can do is go talk to um, Shannon, which I know you’ve already spoken to her. I’m pretty certain at this point she’s going to make sure that the people who take care of your Mother are those that care and are safe and are, you know, doing the right thing. I’m pretty certain she’s going to go in there and look at the schedule and say… I want this person taking care of his Mother, this person taking care of his Mother. I’m certain she’s doing that.
We have certain… what nurses… like…
I’m sorry, I can’t hear you.
We have, we have an idea of which nurses, um, can seem to be more compassionate than others.
Right, um… we can pre-schedule…
There are some that are better communicators.
There’s some that what?…
There are better communicators, there are some more compassionate to patients and we can pre-schedule them to certain rooms, um, for care. Now, I’m not certain that’s what Shannon can do up here, and I will talk to her about that, um, pretty sure that’s what she’s going to do, um, that’s probably the best that I can do at this point up here. And I’ll, I’ll let my director know the things that are, that are occurring for sure and then she has routes that she can go.
Okay, um, you know, I know my Dad obviously and my Sister are a part of all of this, um, if anything needs to be addressed, please bring it to my attention first.
If that’s even something that needs to come up. So…
Okay. I can do it. I appreciate you sitting down with and telling me the whole thing over again. I do. And, just like I said, we’ll do everything we can.
Questions I’ve Asked CoxHealth
Why are your ICU nurses not managed to ensure that they are responding to the patient’s needs adequately?
Is it common practice for your ICU nurses to kill time while overseeing patients by gossiping with their co-workers, playing on social media and reading non-patient related articles online?
Why do you allow your ICU nurses to tell a patient’s family member to use equipment on the patient instead of the nurse performing it?
Is training offered for friends and family members of a patient to learn how to use medical equipment that the patient will require? If yes, why was there no training offered to me?
How serious does a complaint provided to your nurse managers need to be before the complaint is taken seriously?
What quality assurance measures do you have in place for communication between your nurse management staff to ensure it is followed through with?
Why are your lab technicians, who draw blood samples from the patient, not trained to perform a safe, sanitary and sterile method of operation?
How many complaints need to be brought to your management’s attention before you take the complaint into consideration?
Why do you allow your nurse managers the leeway to delay addressing concerns that affect the patient?
Why do you not allow your nurse managers the courtesy of apologizing to the patient and their family when a failure in care has been brought to their attention?
Instead of offering apologies, why do you train your staff to use phrases and terminology such as… " What would be your perception of this? ", " How was this perceived? ", " Opportunity to educate. ", etc.? Is it meant to prevent from admitting your fault?
My Final Thoughts On Cox South’s Lack Of Common Sense & Careless Behavior
If you remember my statement from earlier, my entire family was involved in keeping an eye on my Mother almost 24/hrs. per day. However, even with our own protective oversight, it was almost impossible to prevent my Mother from being exposed to the disgusting and incompetent care brought on by the nurses and staff. Since then, it’s not surprising that I was able to discover that Cox South Hospital has a poor rating and poor reviews.
Some people are lackadaisical and do not care about performing their best when it comes to their profession. On the other hand, that leaves no room for excuse when it comes to a profession within the medical field. Patients place their trust and even their life in the hands of nurses and medical professionals who are taking care of them. So how is it that these nurses and medical professionals do not have the common sense to at the very least, respect their patients with sanitary care? To this day, the only answer I have to that question is that they just simply, do not care.
The saddest part of this entire experience was not the fact that CoxHealth literally ignored all of my initial concerns, but to this day, the nurse managers have yet to apologize to my Mother and my family for the disrespectful and neglectful care during what was already an extremely stressful circumstance.