Hi everyone...I really wanted to try out the new message board, but I also felt like venting a bit about my nursing experience. Â*I am Jodi, Sydney's mom. Â*My daughter Sydney is now 21 months old. Â*She has VCP and has had a trach since 5 weeks of age. Â*I have her full story written here: Â*Sydney's homepage
if you are interested. Â*
I will try to keep this short...from the time Sydney came home from the hospital with her trach, we went without any home nursing care other than about 6 hour long visits from visiting nurses (one a week for 6 weeks). Â*Back in September 2001, we met two other couples in our area (Pittsburgh, PA) who also had babies with trachs...while talking to them, the topic of nursing came up. Â*When I told them that we didn't have any nursing help at all, they both looked at me like I was crazy. Â*After thinking about what they both said for a while, I decided that it was time for us to look into nursing care for Sydney while we slept.
Up to that point, Sydney had been getting sick just about every 10 days, requiring me to get up with her about every 20-30 minutes to suction her. Â*Since I work full-time, this was getting very hard on me to function at work while having almost no sleep at night. Â*I could barely stay awake, let alone concentrate on my job as a computer programmer.
I contacted our social worker at Children's Hospital and asked him to help me in getting set up with home nursing care for the night shift. Â*He gave me the name of 3 nursing companies. Â*I contacted all 3 of them and gave each of them a chance to fulfill my need. Â*I decided to go with the company that could fill the most nights' worth of coverage from the start...this was also the same company that both of the other 2 couples I met were using so I thought that was a wise decision.
On Tuesday, September 18th, we had our first nurse...she was actually an older lady who was also the nurse for one of the couples we knew...I felt perfectly at ease with this woman and she did a wonderful job. Â*She could only work for us one night a week, so we wouldn't have her too often.
The next night we had a nurse, we got a different one who was just hired to fill our need. Â*She worked Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night. Â*We had her come early on Friday night since we didn't use up all of our hours for the week. Â*She sat in our living room with us and told us all about herself, where she lived, her children and everything. Â*She seemed like a decent person and we felt very comfortable with her.
At that point, I was so happy to have a nurse so that I could turn off our monitor and actually get a good night sleep. Â*It was so nice to not have to wash all the equipment for the first time in 16 months. Â*We liked this nurse and had 2 uneventful nights with her on duty.
Her third night was Sunday night into Monday morning and she wasn't scheduled to work again until Wednesday night. Â*Monday morning I relieved this nurse and went to work. Â*My husband worked from home that day and my step-mother came over to care for my two girls while my husband and I worked.
When I got home from work Monday evening, I was putting away some laundry in my 5-year-old daughter's room. Â*Her drawers were extremely messed up and I thought maybe she was looking for something. Â*As I straightened the drawers, I noticed that her once overflowing drawers were almost empty. Â*There were barely enough clothes to cover the bottoms of each drawer. Â*I called my husband up to her room and told him that I thought some of Brooke's clothes were missing...he told me to go look in Sydney's room to see if more was missing. Â*At first glance, in Sydney's drawers and closet, it didn't appear that anything was missing, but in the bottom of her closet I had large Rubbermaid totes that had previously been stuffed full of clothes. Â*When I opened those, they were nearly empty. Â*Call me crazy, but I spend tons of money on clothes for my girls. Â*I shop at Gymboree and buy them lots of other matching expensive outfits such as Zoodles, Baby Lulu, Hartstrings, etc. Â*My hobby is collecting clothes and accessories for them so they can match everywhere we go. Â*I don't pay full price for any of it...I shop at consignment stores and only buy Gymboree when it's on sale. Â*In the bins I mentioned before, I had purchased complete lines of winter and summer clothes for both girls from Gymboree at the end of the seasons. Â*All of this stuff was gone. Â*I had been saving these clothes for the girls to wear this winter and this upcoming summer and all of it was gone. Â*Almost all of my oldest daughters clothes and hairbows were gone and much of Sydney's clothes were also gone. Â*Most of which were brand new or barely worn.
I then went down to my basement where I had bins of clothes that both of them had outgrown which I was saving for a potential next baby or for them or whatever. Â*All of those bins were about 1/8th of the way full as compared to their overflowing state before this nurse was there. She stole all of the keepsakes I was saving from my girls' baptisms and special birthday outfits that I had worn on both girls for their first birthday. She stole all of the special things I was saving from Brooke to hand down to Sydney. Â*She also stole photo albums (of my girls wearing the clothes she was stealing), christmas presents that I had bought ahead, medical equipment...including a brand new trach tube and various other things.
I immediately called the nursing company who told me to not do anything while they called her to find out if she had done this...naturally she denied it and the nursing company told me to call the police and report her. Â*We did that, and finally after weeks of the police trying to get her in to the station for questioning, she went in and confessed. Â*We are still dealing with the aftermath of this whole mess. Â*The nurse had her preliminary hearing and her real hearing isn't until May. Â*I have already been told that she will get ARD for first time offenders...meaning that after a period of probation, she will be cleared of all charges and free to do this again. Â*That just infuriates me. Â*I have filed a complaint with the board of nursing here in PA and I am still waiting to find out what their course of action will be. Â*I want so much for this woman to lose her license...because never mind everything she stole from us, but she left Sydney unattended for all the hours it had to have taken for her to steal everything she did from us. Â*I may never see a penny of money to replace what was stolen (another long story) but if she loses her license, that will be better than any amount of money. My oldest daughter is still traumatised by all this and still talks about it and is sad over some of the stuff this woman stole from her. Â*Sorry this is so long...just had to tell my story...