Sunday, September 27, 2009

Home Sweet Home

She made it home from the hospital. She did survive although not without her share of pain. Just as the other patients on the ortho ward at St. Josephs', she cried out in pain and could hear the other patients screaming also. It must be a horror show on that floor. Nobody had continuous infusion of a pain control; they all had medicine by mouth with the occasional IVP of Dilaudid. This would have been sufficient had the nurses known how to administer for break through pain. If the patient called for the Dilaudid and it was 1/2 hr before their routine Percoset was due to be given, the nurse gave the Dilaudid IVP and then moved the routine med ahead 4 hours. She would not give the Percoset "routine" and this is where the trouble lies on that unit.
I spoke with the doctor; he said "no" that wasn't how it was supposed to be done. Then why don't the nurses know this? If those patients had a IV pump giving them continuous pain relief, the patient wouldn't be at the mercy of the nurses who were too afraid to give narcotics. There is no excuse for this stupidity with these kinds of patients. I'm afraid I'm still angry about the whole experience.
Now she is home and the nurse at the hospital told her to take only one Percoset every 4 hours so she wouldn't become addicted. She said she took one and was in pain. I told her to read to me what the instructions on the bottle of Percoset said. She read "1 to 2 every 4 hours as needed for pain".
Again the instructions she received from that nurse was faulty. How sad.

I was given Percoset for 3 months following my knee replacement. For the first week or two I took two every 4 hours. Eventually I dropped back to one and then before the second month was finished I didn't take any. I still have some left as of this writing.

How do you let the doctors there know what is going on with those patients? Do those doctors think these patients are getting their medicines as ordered; not how the nurse thinks he wants them given. There is a communication and education problem on that floor of St. Joseph's Hospital in Parkersburg, WV.

I can only hope that the patient knows what will happen to them once they check in to the orthopedic floor there at St. Joesph's Hospital.
Do some research. Demand the pain be managed by an IV Drip of continuously infusing medication. Don't rely on the nurse to know how the doctor wants the medicines administered.

I'm so fortunate that I live where I do. I never heard a patient in pain while I was on the ortho floor here in Lafayette, Louisiana. I've worked on a lot of orthopedic floors and never seen this happen. Shame on those hospitals there, the doctors and the nurses for their lack of compassion.

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