Follow-up to “Back at the Iroquois”


To be fair, the Iroquois didn’t make me wait for pain medicine; the only really bad nurse I had at Crouse did.

Two days ago there was a meeting of seven people at Crouse Hospital, which included a lengthy discussion of how to keep a narcotic pain medication available to me during the transition.  Nurses and doctors from Crouse and Iroquois who understood pharmacies and legalities for handling narcotics worked it out after a few external consults.  Then Nurse Sara undid everything with a single act of incompetence.

Sara has been working on the floor at Crouse for two years; she got her R.N. in May.  She is more concerned about herself than her patients, does not plan ahead, and fails to attend to details.  She is careless and disorganized.  A packet containing paperwork and the drugs was picked up from the nursing station by the nurse practitioner and hand-carried down to my power of attorney because he could not get a parking space.

When I got to the Iroquois and asked for medication, it was discovered that when Sara did the paperwork, she did not fill out the line that reports when the last dose was given at the sending institution so that the receiving institution would know where to start.  Duh.  The Iroquois nurse manager reports that when she called Crouse, she was transferred three or four times before she got the person who had the information and the authority to give it out.

One nurse failed to fill out one line on the paperwork so the patient suffered for forty minutes.

I don’t understand why I got 2 mg. when I asked for 1 mg. but the Crouse nurse practitioner and the Iroquois nurse manager both seemed to understand.  Apparently the rules are different for hospitals than for nursing homes so the order will have to be re-written on Monday when the doctor comes back.

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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