At James Square Nursing Home in Syracuse, there is a hierarchy. On 3 South, a 34-bed rehabilitation unit, the hierarchy starts with Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA). There are supposed to be four CNAs on Day Shift, three on Evenings and two on Nights.
Currently, two CNAs are gone: Chaz, a lazy, good-for-nothing young man who was working two double shifts on weekends, and we are—sort of—better off without him. The “sort of” is that it is very difficult to find anyone to hire for the position. No one knows whether Chaz quit or was fired.
Likewise, Belle is gone without anyone knowing if she quit or got fired. Belle worked Day Shift and was a tall, slender, young woman. She was sweet and kind, but slower than molasses. When she was washing up patients, we wanted to cry “Hurry up!” but we didn’t because she was slow but sweet.
Next up the hierarchy are the LPNs—Licensed Practical Nurses. The 3 South Unit is set up in a rectangle with two LPNs, one on each side passing medications. Theoretically, the priorities are (a) alarms, (b) pain medications, (c) toileting, and (d) passing food trays. In fact, LPNs often ignore alarms and toileting. And their stupid attitude is that they will pass meds routinely around their side of the rectangle without regard to priorities.
Again, theoretically, when a patient needs pain medication s/he pushes the call bell. Within ten minutes, a CNA answers the bell then takes the message to the LPN who, within ten minutes, brings the medication. In fact, it often takes an hour from when the patient pushes the call bell until the nurse arrives with the medication. An hour can be hell when you are in pain.
Currently, two LPNs are gone. One is Tee, full name Tanzania. I have filed multiple complaints against Tee, who has a terrible attitude and may have been doing drugs. Among other things, she ordered me not to call the nursing station “because it’s a business phone.”
Fact: James Square is being paid by the taxpayers to provide services to me. When they fail to do so then I have the right, if not the responsibility, to call the nursing station and file a complaint. What—Tee does not understand that it is a business call? Tee was terminated with prejudice and I hope she never works in human services again.
LPN Christin is also gone. She was careless, negligent, and didn’t do a good job, but I liked her. She was kind, friendly and just a really nice person. Six of one and half a dozen of the other. She would do things like throw pills in the patient’s trashcan, which is just not the right way to dispose of pills when you’ve made a mistake in bringing the wrong ones. Chris got written up for disciplinary reasons too many times, and her faults were too often potentially fatal. She finally got fired.
The next person up the hierarchy is the unit manager, a Registered Nurse with a Master’s degree. Unit 3 South has had five unit managers in the seven months I have been here.