Musings of a Night Nurse

My journal for musing about being a night nurse, life and death, life in general and my passion for knitting

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Location: New York, United States

I have been a nurse for 30 years in long term care. Now don't make that face! I believe we need to care for our elderly and they deserve a loving, dignified end of life experience. I am married to the most wonderful man in the world for 18 years. I have no children of my own, but due to my step-sons I have a wonderful 5 year old grandson! I am mom to 2 17 year old cats and a BIG black lab/great dane Buddy (yes he weighs 146 lbs) that is either the dumbest or smartest dog around! LOL

Monday, January 23, 2006

My Rant for today

Ok, it is time for a rant! Back in September I hurt my back at work. A word of caution, always know how strong someone is BEFORE you try to lift a patient with them! Anyway.....I herniated my L4-5 disc. Was out of work for 8 weeks, doing Physical therapy and visiting the comp docs. Now I don't know if the comp law is the same in all states, but here in NY you have to be out of work for 7 consecutive days to begin to collect comp. Ok, that is reasonable.

However, the nursing home I work for is county owned and run and the county is self-insured. hmmm yup, we are beginning to run into problems here. First I had to sign FMLA papers so that they would pay me from my sick bank and annual leave (read vacation here)bank. Was told it would be replaced after comp kicked in. Well......... they had to use ALL of my time BEFORE comp would cut a check. Ok, still not too bad. However! Workmen's comp won't cut the nursing home a check to replace my lost sick and vacation time until after I have a comp hearing! NH told me that can take up to a year. SAY WHAT??????????? So I call the NYS workmens comp number to ask about when I might be getting a hearing.

Hold on are you ready???????????? NYS doesn't even have me on record as having a workmen's comp claim!!!!!!! Ok, my blood pressure shot up, my migraine kicked in, and I headed for the Lortab bottle.

Now mind you, I am STILL in PT, had to take Friday night off due to an exacerbation of the pain due to tripping over the damn bed alarm wires at work Thursday night. Had an appointment with the neurosurgeon on Friday (which by the way took 3 MONTHS to get).

Neurosurgeon says, continue with PT and if there isn't any improvement in the next 3 months, make another appointment and they will do a myelogram.

So basically, I continue to go to PT 3x/week to be put on the rack (read mechanical traction with 100lb pull) and continue the strenghtening exercises. The state comp board sent me paperwork to file my own claim, and here I sit with NO sick time.

Vacation time is put in the bank at the beginning of the year. But HELLO! I work in health care, long term care to be exact. It is the middle of flu season, what the hell do I do if I catch something? Apparently I go to work anyway (which the nursing home thinks everyone should do) and share it with my co-workers and residents. Yes these frail elderly that sure as hell do not need me to add to their health woes.

Ok, end of rant, going to go knit and hope to relax a bit.

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