Thursday, May 03, 2007

Will the real me please stand up?

the weather was perfect for a lunch time run...the schedule said 4 but i needed to workout some frustration and the weather really made it easy to crank out close to 8 miles.....i took an extra long lunch...one of the perks at my job is that i'm not stuck in a 9 to 5 schedule...i have a caseload and it's basically up to me how i manage it.

since changing management the facility where i work has been undergoing several changes some good others not so good. a unique feature in our facility is we have an independent living apartment....or rather we used to.

at one time there were 2 "apartments" where a resident on the final leg of their rehab could demonstrate that they could manage their self-care with less physical assistance....while still in a supported environment. instead of the nurse coming in and providing meds, the pt. would be instructed on what they were taking and given a schedule and would be responsible for seeking the nurse when it was time to medicate, another plus was they had their own bathroom allowing them to leave their belongings in there and not worry about carrying stuff while they managed their walker or wheel chair (w/c), also pts. would complete a daily task list and discuss with therapy any issues they had during the day or night.

the whole idea is to promote greater independence and in some cases illustrate that a person maybe wasn't going to manage well on their own. the program for the most part was well recieved and pts and family members felt more confident in their ability to return home safely.

whew that was long...if your still with me...the program has now been shoved to the wayside essentially to accommodate more beds. one of the apartments is now a private pay room and the other has 2 beds in it making it difficult to maneuver around in especially if the pt. is in a w/c.

the layout of a nursing home has ease and convenience of staff in mind Not that of the patients. have you ever visited someone in a nursing home? notice the inaccessibility issues. bed controls, light switches, faucets and toilets there all usually out of reach. the independent living apartment program has been my baby for the past three years....the facility loved using the concept as a marketing tool and i beleive it was successful program. however since changing hands and needing to have more beds the whole program has been compromised.

i'm the first to admit i'm not particulary low key or pc. if ever i'm in the hot seat it's usually the result of bumping heads with a case manager when i think a pt. warrants more therapy. i'm a patient advocate bottom line. for beter or for worst. the thing is i'm getting tired. tired of fighting no win battles. tired of trying to function in a system that's never going to embrace change. i tell ya, i'm just tired.

i've been feeling like that alot...hence the long run at lunch. the truth is i'm
in need of a change but i don't know what. i don't have a four year degree and my program was so specialized that it doesn't open alot of other doors academically...i'd be starting over and a grade schooler and a mortgage don't exactly scream..."oh yes, quit your shitty job and go back to school!"

i'm just so tired. i think i've come to the age where i've missed my chance. to be anything better or maore than a assistant. the harsh reality is "oh well, this is the way it is, so suck it up." lots of days i do, lots of days in the midst of medicare and hmo dictated services i find something meaningful in my work. i just want my efforts to matter, i hate going through the motions and losing this program that i've worked so hard on has really taken the wind out of my sails. i know i'll be alright in a day or two. adjustments will be made. components of the programm can still be implemented but right now i'm in mourning and i feel more than a little invalidated.

1 comment:

jez said...

That all does sound dispiriting. Those transitional rooms are amazingly beneficial and it's ridiculous that not every rehab has them, say nothing of having them and cutting back! Healthcare can be so unspeakable frustrating and nonsensical and, for those of us who value advocacy, often a constant battle that always feels losing. Good for you for recognizing those moments when you know you've made a difference (though I'm sure there's plenty more times you have that you're not even aware of!), sometimes it's all that keeps us going. Don't write yourself off! If you come to the point where you truly believe you have done all you can in this situation, let your mind open up. Joe Campbell says if you follow your bliss, doors open where you didn't even know there was a door. Sorry for being long-winded. I probably should have said 'I feel ya' and left it at that.