Friday, January 14, 2011

Calling All Nurses

I depend on nurses 24/7 to meet most of my needs and do cares for me. They work 12 hour shifts; 7 AM to 7 PM and 7 PM to 7 AM. I have seven different nurses at this time, but it can vary depending on whether they work full-time or part-time with me.

It is difficult having someone around and constantly with me all the time. Sometimes I just want to be alone with no one in the house, but I know that will never be as long as I'm on a ventilator and have a trach. The nurses don't have to be right beside me all the time though. We have an intercom system throughout the house, so they could be out in the other room while I'm in my room. If I need them I just call their name and they should be able to hear me and come in.

They are usually out in the other room at night when I'm sleeping, unless they're doing cares on me. The night shift proves to be the hardest for people because they have to stay awake the whole time in case something happens. One problem that I have sometimes is if they accidentally fall asleep.

There are many times where I wake up in the middle of the night and need something. I'll call for them but if they don't come right away I first assume there in the bathroom. If after a couple of calls they don't come, I start to panic and think they fell asleep, which is usually the case. Sometimes they just simply don't hear me if they're doing something else or running the water or something like that, but not every time. If they are asleep, they eventually wake up if I yell loud enough and long enough and come into my room.

I'm trying to think of some sort of call switch that I can use. But that would require them to reposition it and get it in the right place every time they repositioned me. I'm definitely going to look into that though. Unless it happened every single night, I wouldn't fire someone over accidentally falling asleep because it's really hard to find good nurses. I just have to let them know that that's not okay and to try their hardest to stay awake so I can stay safe.



Matthew Smith said...

Didn't you say recently that you'd had some new movement in your thumb or something? Perhaps that's one thing you could use it for.

Anonymous said...

ya agree.. is hard to find a good nurse and i also hope one day can just be alone without anyone beside... jialiang

Heather said...

I don't have any nurses that care for me (too expensive) but I imagine it would be really frustrating to need something in the middle of the night and to feel like there was no one around to help you. My mom is my main caregiver and she stays home with me all day (she doesn't have a job outside the home). My younger sister also helps when she can, and we have two neighbors that come over Monday through Friday to help get me dress and up in my recliner or wheelchair.

If you don't mind me asking, how expensive are your nurses, and has Medicaid and/or Medicare cover any of the cost? Send me a message on Facebook.

Kirstin said...

I wonder if you could use a buzzer? Like one that comes with the game "Taboo"?

Anonymous said...

Jenni, I think this might do the trick! It is also very inexpensive. Maybe you could require your nurses to utilize this product during the evening shift...

Doze Alert

The Doze Alert from ActiveForever is a sleep warning device that you wear over your ear. It is manufactured by the same company that produces the Deer Alarms for your vehicle. Doze Alert helps prevent automobile accidents caused by falling asleep behind the wheel. This device is lightweight, it's comfortable and you can wear it even while wearing glasses!

Fatigue is difficult to measure, but it is clear that the performance of a fatigued driver can be similar to that of a person who has drank enough to exceed the legal blood alcohol limit. With the Doze Alert your risk of falling asleep due to fatigue is lowered. The warning signal produced is 86 dB (2000 Hz.) Once your head dips below a preset threshold, the Doze Alert signals with a loud beep.

The Doze Alert is not only designed for drivers, its perfect for people who need to be on full alert while on duty such as security guards, machine operators and even students. Fatigue is responsible for 100,000 crashes and 1,500 deaths a year. Chances are you are aware of the effects of sleep deprivation. Don't let fatigue make you a statistic. Purchase the Doze Alert from ActiveForever today.

Users who enjoy Doze Alert:

* The visually impaired, It is used to correct their head posture
* Students
* Night shift workers
* Nurses
* People who suffer form sleep apnea or narcolepsy
* Ballroom dancers, to keep their heads straight

Elizabeth True said...

Hi, I've had the same issue. I have a doorbell that I push if I need something, but sometimes it doesn't work or it's not in my hand the right way, and I can't push it. I need to wear a pulse oximeter every night, so they can monitor my heart rate and oxygen, and if my heart rate goes over 150, it will start alarming, so that's what I'll sometimes do to get their attention. Do you have one of those?

Jenni said...

Yes I wear an oximeter probe at night. My heart rate is set at 120, but it rarely goes above 70. Sometimes I make my vent high-pressure and alarm.

A doorbell is a good idea for you, if it's positioned right. I know it's hard not being able to talk, but can you make a clicking sound? If they had a monitor right by your bed they could hear that.