Follow
Share

Today my 'patient' was taken to the hospital. It started out like any other day, breakfast, chit chat, leg massage, house duties. He likes to sit in the sun for long periods, I took him some water and put a hat on him. After 40 minutes 'sunning' I hear the whistle I gave him to summon me, I go out to him. He tells me he feels weak and needs me to help him to bed. I comply, naturally. Once in bed, I feel his forehead, but, of course it's hot (he was in the sun), then I feel for a pulse to take his heart-rate, but I can feel nothing, check his neck for HR can't locate that either. I call his family, no-one answers. I, then decide to dial 911. The operator from hell asks me how his breathing is. (What answer can I give? He's breathing!) So I say okay. She asks me if he's conscious. He's sleeping, I put him in his bed and he's napping! The 'operator' insists he's unconscious! I know the difference between sleeping and unconscious, for petes sake. She tells me to roll him over onto his back and remove his pillow. So I wake him up to do just that and he answers me! She starts to yell at me, what? Again, I tell her he was asleep, all very confusing and unnecessary.

Well, to make a short story long, the EMT's arrive and his blood pressure is 90/61, I think. They ask me his health history. I don't have sufficient answers and I know it.
Is there a protocol in place as to what I should know of my patient's medical history? Seems pretty short-sighted NOT to know it.
All I know is if there is a next time, things WILL be different. But I need some help...any help out there?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Snowgrey. Congratulations on providing the best possible care for your patient. I believe you acted properly within your expected capabilities. I also believe you should have medical history and a medication list available to you. I would also add that all paid caregivers should be asked to sign a confidentially agreement and told whom she may discuss their patient's condition, which of course will include any emergency personnel she feels the need to contact when the family is not available. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Private caregivers I have worked with keep a notebook in which they write a report for the next shift and supervisors. this is very helpful in beeing able to check times and doses of medications when a patient is in pain. Family and supervisors can also write instructions for the caregivers. It should also be noted that although some caregivers may have training as CNAs many have no formal training but many years of experience. And then there are those I will just describe as a nightmare trained or not.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

i came across this new site urbancaring and they offer journaling tool where caregiver needs to submit a service report online to the family members. i think their primary focus is in California. They are currently running a gift card promotion and I just signed up. Just wanted to share with you guys.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have had several part time aides in my home, I would never leave my mom without giving them a complete med list and history in case of an emergency. You should as a caregiver ask for that for each new patient.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

it would be much better if the families can provide a brief online report or any kind of online journals outlining the client's medical history and all previously tasks conducted by previous caregivers. i think this might help mitigating the risk. these journals should be made available to the hired caregivers by the family members.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Interesting thread. Here is a good reason for you family members to provide respite caregivers with full medical info on your loved one. One day, when I was scheduled to go to my clients' home to care for "Ralph" and take him to the hospital to pick up wife "Martha" after her back injury, I received a call on my home phone. It was Ralph. "I've had a spill" he stammered. I knew something wasn't right - asked if he had fallen and he said no. Did you call 911, I asked. Again - he said no. I got off the phone, dialed 911 and gave them his age, medical condition, and that I suspected he had suffered a stroke. They arrived within minutes and transported him to the hospital. Yes- Caregivers - get that important information. Have it in an on-site book, and memorize what is important. You may help save a life.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My Dad loves to sit in the sun, in all weather! Today he was out there on a bench for 2 hours... I just check on him and make sure he has a snack and water. He likes to be outside, and this is less stress on his body than when he was working in the hot sun all day. In the winter he sits in our sunroom and he is very happy about this. Binoculars are also a plus, as he likes to look for planes and wildlife.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I, personally forgive pstieqman for the comment. However, she is quite harsh, unnecessarily.
So, I might suggest that he/she(?) take a vacation (possibly extended) because she shows symptoms of burnout. It can happen to the best of us, which I clearly am not! (- : Critique however harsh, was appreciated for the honesty!
HHA's & PCA's are only part of the story...have we forgotten that sunshine, not only warms the cold bones, but it also a very important vitamin. 40 minutes was & is not excessive. Also, my client, is very acclimated to the sun. I just learned the medical staff has diagnosed my client with pneumonia! But it was detected early enough to 'nip it in the bud' & close this chapter, I am glad to report! Have a nice day all! God bless! C-ya!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

So sorry if I sound mean, but sunstroke or hyperthermia is part of basic first aid training that all HHA's and PCA's should have, and they stress the susceptibility of the very young and the very old.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

The agency we use made us give all the medical info, and it's in a binder at our house they can grab. Just photocopies of meds, list of diagnosis. Maybe make one for your self if you are not with an agency? A copy of their living will is also there. Might make you all feel better.. and that is the main thing when your trying to help :)
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Pstiegman why do you have to be mean? We're all just trying to look out for each other here.. I personally need this site to get through my day..

Don't say anything on here you wouldn't say to someone's face!
It's called bullying and it's not nice!!!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

psteigman .. with support like you who needs enemies! That was a very accusatory reply. You could have suggested that he not be left out in the sun so long without reprimanding her, that is not why people come on here asking for opinions/advice. As for "get some training", if people want their caregivers to have all the knowledge of a nurse then they can pay them the same salary as a nurse. In my opinion snowgrey handled the situation in an intelligent, professional manner.
In answer to your question snowgrey, yes.. absolutely you are entitled to know the patient's medical history.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

You have learned an important lesson, that a patient cannot be left out in the sun for 40 minutes or hyperthermia sets in. The patient's medical history is not as important as knowing proper precautions. Get some training.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If the caregiver and the care recipient both qualify for the program, the caregiver will receive the Caregiver Benefit.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I share your frustration. I was a companion/home help for a while, and we weren't given much medical info, even when the client was pretty sick.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I typed up my husband's health history and kept it in a plastic folder along with his health care directive, list of medications, and POA papers. I showed the PCA where it was (in my office, out in the open) and made sure all family members knew, too.

I wouldn't be too hard on your patient's family for not thinking ahead on this, but now that it has come up, ask them to provide such a folder for you.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.