Questions about home care companies
AnonymousMay 8, 2009 at 11:56 am
I’m thinking about switching home care companies. We had the same nurse for 3 years & she quit without any notice to us. She was the only reason why I stayed with this company for as long as I did.
Emily has been sick this week & needs some IVIG. She can’t walk with her heels down – she’s walking around on her tippy toes. She’s not in full relapse (her eye is still good) but she does need an IVIG boost.
The neuro called in a new script for Emily to receive IVIG today & tomorrow & then once a week for the next few weeks.
The home care company gave me a really hard time about having someone come out today – to the point that they were rude. We never had that problem before with the nurse – she would always come when we needed her.
The nurse at the neuro’s office insisted someone come today & the home care company finally called to say the new nurse that has been assigned to us (we had her when Emi’s old nurse as on vacation) would be here around 6pm or so.
Emily’s neuro & the nurse in his office both want us to switch companies. So I have some questions about the way other companies work.
1) Do you always have the same nurse?
2) Who does the scheduling? Your nurse or the office?
3) Is your company/nurse flexible?
4) Does your company use a pump?
5) What company do you use? And are you happy with them & would you recommend them for a child?
6) Have you ever had a problem getting IVIG from your home care company?
PS, Remember to wear gloves when shopping for flowers & plants this spring. I was bit by something (we’re assuming a spider) yesterday & my finger swelled up & was red & is still extremely painful. Apparently Kmart also has problems with gecko’s being in their indoor tropical plants – so be aware of that too! They told me that the gecko’s bite sometimes – that’s what they originally thought got me.
I’m on 1000 mg’s a day of antibiotics & I had to get a tetanus shot. While I was at urgent care I kept thinking about how something as small as a spider bite could affect a person with CIDP. So WEAR GLOVES!
AnonymousMay 8, 2009 at 1:16 pm
I haven’t posted in quite some time but log on to read what’s up with everyone. I worked in Home Care for close to 25 years so can answer some of your questions, based on how we operated.
1) Do you always have the same nurse? We usually tried to have the same nurse go out to see patient’s, for their benefit as well as yours. Continuity of care is a big thing with surveyors, making sure the clients are having a nurse that can notice changes from visit to visit. It isn’t always possible though, especially in the beginning. Ask if it would be mostly possible to have the same nurse for continuity.
2) Who does the scheduling? Your nurse or the office? Most companies have someone in the office doing the scheduling. There are a few companies that allow the nurses to self manage their schedule, but mostly it is the office.
3) Is your company/nurse flexible? This varies depending on their patient load. If a nurse has 10 patients to see in a day, and has to drive 80 miles to see them, you live on one end of town and their schedule ends on the other, it might not be feasible to to be too flexible. Another consideration is IV times for other patients. Most IV nurses are for the most part, seeing IV patients, meaning those other patients might have certain times that they need to be seen. I have found it easier to have a window of say an hour or so at whatever time of day works for you and see if they can accommodate you.
4) Does your company use a pump? Yes, and I would recommend you request one. In this day and age, there are all kinds of EASY to use pumps, and no reason why they shouldn’t have enough in stock to provide one.
5) What company do you use? And are you happy with them & would you recommend them for a child? I won’t be able to answer here, since my company is a local one, not nationwide. Maybe some others can suggest for you.
6) Have you ever had a problem getting IVIG from your home care company? No, only from an insurance perspective. My last round was mailed to me, along with all of the equipment, pumps, supplies, etc. and then the nurse came and hooked it all up. That was the smoothest that I have ever had.
Good luck! Gabrielle
AnonymousMay 8, 2009 at 3:45 pm
Hi Kelly! Wished I could answer your question but think someone already covered it. Funny you mentioning a spider. On my way this morning to go pick up meds I had to wait because they had to order it from another store. Said it would be an hour wait. So I go to Lowes and saw this beautiful plant and ended up buying quite a few plants. Got home and as I was typing this spider fell out of my hair! LOL! Well it is now splattered spider but made me react to it! I guess I am not the only one that saw the spider too! Hugs
AnonymousMay 8, 2009 at 8:13 pm
2. My nurse schedules my ivig amd eguipment.
3.yes, very flexible.
4.I don’t use a pump, but little bottles, 100cc, 10 gm. each, so I get 90 gm. every two weeks. I have a call out to the current on call nurse today or I will call back on Monday and, if you don’t mind, discuss Emily’s case as much as I know it-mainly get answers to your questions.
5. U of M made the home IV referral for me, because I was unhappy with my
current care. Had a port in, and that stopped the 5-15 peripheral vein sticks.
I have AlexaCare Health Solutions that sends me the ivig and all the equipment and supplies. My home health nurse is from Preferred Providers, Inc. My nurse and I had a couple od differencas, but we immed. and worked them out.
I will ask all 6 of your questions to the nurse when she calls back, probably Monday.
Best wishes Kelly. Hi Emily.
AnonymousMay 8, 2009 at 11:48 pm
I have a home care company and I get the same nurse. I had the same one for a few years and he ended up quitting and then I got another one that I like alot. She is very good with scheduling and being flexible with the schedule, she will work around my time. She has a pump that I can carry around the house with me. The company has been very good to me and I have never had a problem with getting the IVIG. The name of the company is U.S. Bioservice. If you are interested let me know and I will get their number for you. They are located in PA and have nurses all over the U.S. that work for them. The nurse I have is very good and I enjoy our time together.
Clare in Michigan
AnonymousMay 9, 2009 at 3:44 pm
It made me sad to hear Emily was having some trouble. Whenever I think about this stuff, children alway come to mind first. Kinda weird the nurse up quit with no notice. thats a bummer.
Maybe the nurse was did it that way because of the attachment and separation from patients. who knows
I have Aetna Heath Care. All the gamunex, suppies etc come directly to me from their Pharmacy in Florida. I maintain inventory with the nurse.\
They ship the product UPS Next day air to my house the week before, usually Saturday. I put it in the Frig until the night before then take it out
to warm up.
They alway use Gamunex. I questioned the supply and she said she was there 4 years and they never had a disruption in gamunex.
That product seems to work ok with me so I am good there.
They issued me a CAD pump, a little bag to hold it.
So far, the same nurse. I do Friday infusions, but like if I switch to Mondays, She can’t make its so a sub would come in.
The nurse schedules with me directly and report to her behind the desk coordinator.
The Nurse always offers flexibility depending on her shedule. she is kinda part time and near retirement so her plate isn’t real full. she can move around and has offered Saturdays. I was immediately comfortable with her.
For the adults Its probably wouldn’t phase me to bop around between nurses, but with young children, you defineately want the child to have a trust and bond. Its a big part of the mental aspect.
This would be a good time to switch if you feel the current agency won’t be suitable for Emily. you do your homework pretty well, I am confident you’ll find the best way for Emily. Hope she does well.–tim–
PS–Sorry to hear about the spider. OUCH! they can be nasty. See Ya Kelly
AnonymousMay 9, 2009 at 6:43 pm
Hey Tim! Your thoughts about children getting this stuff are my thoughts exactly. It tears my heart out knowing a child has to deal with this stuff. So young and vibrant but yet they are having to be adults at the same time frame.
It’s bad enough hearing about the child but I deeply ache for the parents too. The parents have a whole lot to worry about. And you know there is always a fear that your child is not getting better or the fear of loosing them.
I deeply admire the parents for dealing with this situation and more so admire the child! I hope Emily gets better!
AnonymousMay 10, 2009 at 6:31 am
Thanks everyone for all of your info!
The nurse came & Emily really like her. She was good with Emily, I have to give her that. I will have to train her on the correct use of alcohol prep pads though.
Tim – Emily’s nurse was here the Tuesday before I got the phone call that she wasn’t our nurse anymore. It was her birthday so I baked her a cake & Emily got her a present. I know she probably felt uncomfortable telling us then that she was quitting but I think she should have dealt with that & just told us.
She has assured me MANY times over the years that if she ever got another job she would keep us on as her patients. She actually did get another job at a dr’s office last summer & would come to our house after she got out of work there.
I’m just shocked & disappointed in her. As you all know, I kinda have a hard outer shell to keep people out & I let this nurse in. So now I feel like a fool, LOL. But we’ll get over it. Maybe it was a good thing – only time will tell.
Thanks again for all of the info. I’ll let you all know if we switch companies.
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