Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Give-a-Damn's BUSTED

Last night at work...*argh*

I work at a residential/teaching facility for adults with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. The client/residents are great (ok, for the most part). It's the administration and some of my co-workers that are driving me right over the edge.

Yesterday, we had 3 trips for residents going out at 3:00 (which is when the shift officially starts). One of the bigger bosses decided recently that everyone in our unit would clock in in one place. That's about 50 people or more clocking in at one clock in the space of 5 minutes. Naturally, my home is farthest from the time clock. So, we don't even get to the home until 5-10 minutes till 3. Then we have to do "shift communication". Then we have other ladies to transport to classes, etc. (That's another post right there.)

There were 6 staff scheduled for my side of the home. Five of them were going on trips at 3. That left one person to transport 4 ladies to classes. Of course, you can't leave them alone in the home, so we were "out of compliance". So, my co-workers going on the other trips, took a couple of the ladies, and brought one back who had a trip (and requires two people with her at all times outside). Then the supervisor calls and says to send a staff to the salon to relieve the person there so she could go cover in the swimming pool. I told her we didn't have anybody, because 5 of us were going out...(by this time we were already 5 minutes late).

Someone had told me that the trip I was going on had the form already picked up (another blessing from our big boss, that we have to walk to the administration building to pick up the trip forms - instead of having them in our home offices - what are these people thinking)??? So I take my lady out, partially to pick up the form, partially to make sure the R-TEC bus does not leave us because the 2-on-1 resident is also going to the same place. My charge requires a "gait belt" outdoors because she is unsteady on her feet. They special order diabetic shoes for her (she is not diabetic) at exhorbitant prices, in order to use up the money in her account. The shoes are too small for her - giving her ingrown toenails and red marks on the top of her feet. Anyway, she falls on the way down, skinning her elbow (no other injuries). So I have to call the nurse and my supervisor.

Then the bus driver did not even have my lady, "G" on his list and could not take her unless his dispatch called. So I had to call my supervisor again. "G" and I went to get the forms, including the one for the other resident. One bright spot of the day was that they 'allowed' me to pick up both forms even though I was not listed on the 2nd form. There was no way the trips would have gone off if "S's" staff had to bring her down. Oy! Ok, bright spot #2: the bus driver was extremely accommodating.

We were all pretty hot by the time all the trips were said and done.

The later, two of the staff on my side of the home 'disappeared' for about an hour. They did not, to my knowledge, let anyone know they were going, nor did they assign their clients to anyone (this is like one of the "HAVE TO's" that the DOJ (Department of Justice) and OIG (Office of the Inspector General) look for. So, I called the other side. A co-worker told me that they had been in there a while ago, but she did not know where they were at that time. So I called the supervisor, who said that "they did some baths on the other side of the home, then covered some breaks for me". Fine. I did not have a problem with them being gone for legitimate reasons.

I was, however, worried. Most of the residents are great. Some you do not want to meet outside in the dark with no other staff around, if you KWIM. (One resident, who within the last year, sexually assaulted a mailroom staff, has been calling one of my co-workers who was gone his "girlfriend".

Well, I was a little hot, and had written in the log that they were gone and we were informed by the supervisor that they had been off the floor at her request, but that their clients had not been re-assigned. Shortly after I went to break. While at break, I thought over the situation, and decided I would go in and re-write that page of the log, because the administration might take things the wrong way when really no harm had been done.

While I was out there, I strongly suspect that one of these ladies called the nurse (who was sitting across the picnic table from me at the smoking area), because she said "...and I bet I know who put her up to it." I knew they had seen the log.

I went back inside. They had taken the page off the log and when I walked out of the hallway, one of them folded the page over, and another one started tearing it up. I explained that I had been going to change the log, but that they really needed to let someone know they were going, log when they are going and make sure to assign their clients to someone. What if there had been a fire or tornado...or a drill? Getting 5 ladies in wheelchairs out of beds or recliners, covered up, taking two ladies (one of whom required two-on-one transport) outside or into the bathroom (depending on the emergency) takes a lot of co-ordinated effort.

Now, I always second guess myself. But I felt I was unfairly "shunned" after this event. These women are young enough to be my daughters. Maybe that's why they felt like they knew everything. Whom they assumed had put me up to this, is another older co-worker, and these two groups have always butted heads.

Anyway, the whole situation reduced me to tears for about the last two hours of the shift. My husband called, as he usually does, and I could hardly talk on the phone. For the clients who have g-tubes (for feeding) we have to tell the nurse how many times they urinate and how many bm's they have in a shift. I could hardly talk there. I went out the back door, so I wouldn't have to see my co-workers. I stood in the shadows on the far side of the building where the time clock was until "the two" co-workers clocked out and left.

One lady whom I have given rides to several times saw me and knew something was wrong. We happened to be parked in the same area of the annex lot and we walked out together, talking. I wanted to stop by the home to see if the log had been changed in actuality (for some reason, the log was "kept" from me the latter part of the shift *hmmm, imagine that*). It had. Third shift asked what was wrong. I told them - without mentioning names.

I had seriously considered going into my doctor this morning and asking her to give me a couple days off work. The trips are even more screwed up today than yesterday (and that boggles the mind!). There are 2 second-shift staff supposed to be on a trip from 11:00 - 12:30 (2-3 hours before our shift starts). Our newest transfer taking one of the male clients to a restaurant - and she has never worked with him before. A staff who will not be there today is listed on two separate trips in the evening at the same time. And they are apparently going to stuff 3 wheelchairs, an ambulatory man, and four staff on an R-TEC bus meant for no more than 2 wheelchairs and about 6 others.

Yeah right.

I know my perspective is terribly skewed on the subject of my job right now. If you made it this far, first of all, THANK YOU! Secondly, if you have a different p.o.v., or some constructive advice, I would be more than willing to receive it.