Blood is thicker than water
Advocating for my kids is not something I set out to do. Hell, I’d love to have kids where such actions are not necessary, believe me. Yeah, some advocating is always needed, but you know what I mean.
Some people are easy to go up against. They are naturally pukes and putting them in their place is not too painful, just distasteful. But now I have a bit of a problem.
This thing with David is getting to me. I’ve had a tough couple of weeks anyway, and on top of that I keep getting this image of some school aide running down this 75 yard walkway, with my son in his wheelchair, seizing, because the school nurse refused a call for help. I actually awoke with that image the other day.
I have no problem calling the school nurse on this, you know my thoughts on them. And, at his residential facility, the V.P. of Nursing is really an incompetent moron, I know this from past experience.
I started interacting with the doctor who oversees that part of the residence that David lives in. He is a good guy, a good and caring doctor, experienced, quiet, everything you would want. I actually like him. But our interactions, well, now have some issues. Do I call him out on what he says? Yes, if it is in David’s best interest, since as they say, blood is thicker than water.
The email (in the last post) said in part:
My question is, was her decision to not respond and not render any aid according to then established protocol or was it a violation of then established protocol?
Additionally, what is the nurse’s name?
There was no answer. So I sent him another email a couple of days later, cc’ing all necessary. In this one I quoted the state statutes that concern a careless or willful disregard for a patient’s or client’s health or safety. It is interesting that the question as to if the client suffered actual injury is moot, disregard is disregard regardless of damages.
Here is that email, to the same doctor:
I do not seem to be able to get much information about what happened to my son, David, a few days ago with regards to the seizure he had in the classroom.
About all I know is that the school personnel in the classroom called the school nurse and the nurse refused to respond in any manner. I am told that a staff member then found it imperative to “run with David” to the residence.
State law clearly states:
[two direct quotes of state law] “showing a careless or willful disregard … safety or health of a client …”
A licensee may be disciplined by the board for any one of those grounds (among many others).
Paragraph X of the same Section goes on to say that your organization is mandated to report to the board with 30 days any time a licensee willfully violates those provisions.
Is anybody concerned about what happened? Why am I not being told if protocol was followed or violated? Or even the nurse’s name? Is there a concern that state law may have been violated? Was it? Will your facility be following the law as stated in paragraph X?
Well that got his attention. I knew it would, but I was being ignored until this point. Here is his response that came in within 15 minutes. Watch as he starts his own burial … note that the school has students from the residence as well as others that do not live there.
Susan, our VP of Nursing is planning to reply to your previous email, but as she has not yet done so, let me at least preface her remarks. On the day that David had his seizure there was no refusal of care by anyone. There was, however, a problem with the availability of important information. The school students who reside in the residence receive all of their medications from the residence nurses, and when there are medical issues that interrupt their school day they return to residence for evaluation and treatment. David’s seizure helped us realize that in the case of a true emergency that would need to be managed in the school, the school nurse did not have ready access to the medication orders, including orders for emergency medications, for the residential students. This situation has now been corrected and copies of the medication orders for all of the residents’ students are now in the school nurses office.
I will let Susan, who has been collecting information and speaking to the nurses involved, respond to the questions posed in your previous email and in this one.
Cool. He categorically states “there was no refusal of care by anyone,” works for me. So I respond:
Thank you for the response.
I have been told that the school nurse was called and did not respond. Even without any information on David, either about medications or his condition, a nurse would typically respond to offer basic airway management or any other life-support issues that could potentially occur with any person having a seizure. She would be, by far, the closest emergency responder.
So am I to understand that the school nurse was not notified at all?
Uh oh. This parent is not going away so easily … he responds:
What I don’t know for sure- and I don’t want to misinform you-is if staff was able to reach the school nurse in her office. I am confident that Susan will be able to provide you all the facts.
That whoooosh sound you hear is called “backpedaling.”
Then a couple of days of silence. Screw that …
I need to add a concern or two to our interactions in this email trail.
Your first response says (in part) “On the day that David had his seizure there was no refusal of care by anyone” with respect to my concern that the school nurse violated multiple parts of the state statutes. But later you say “What I don’t know for sure- and I don’t want to misinform you-is if staff was able to reach the school nurse in her office.” I have heard from more than one person that the nurse was contacted. Hence a refusal of care, no?
You do say that Susan will respond to my original questions as well as those in this email trail. Past experience contradicts that, and as of today, I have not heard anything. I certainly hope David’s mother and I will hear, in writing, within the thirty day period the statute calls out.
Thanks for your time and concern.
And that’s where we stand. You may wonder why I am following up like this. We have had big problems with the nursing there before, including a life threatening situation caused by nursing. Additionally, all I really want to know is what happened, what the protocol was / is. That is not too much to ask, at least I don’t think so.
Just like in politics, it’s the cover up that kills you.
Sorry, doc. Blood is thicker than water.
could be they are working with their attorney and that is the lack of response-very odd that they would not have had a better protocol for a situation such as this. Sorry you and David have to go through this.
It’s all the internal bullshit artists getting their paintbrushes lined up with the same colors and brush strokes. Fucking bastards. Cover-ups are horrific, and the only way to bust them apart is to either have money to hire great lawyers or have friends who are great lawyers who just want to go after these buttwipes.
Different faces, same people. Why are there so many like this in the world?
Don’t they know that by ignoring you you are not just going to go away? Is it supposed to make you feel better that this helped them realize how to manage emergencies? David is very lucky to have you to stand up for him. I know it must be exhausting to follow up over and over with this. Just know you are a great dad.
Something in the exact wording is bothering me. When the staff stated that the nurse “did not respond”, what exactly does that mean? Does that mean they called her on the phone and no one answered? Does it mean that somebody ran to her office and she was not there? Or does it mean she just stood there like a statue? From my experience as a student nurse, nurses are really busy, and finding one not currently knee deep in crap they have to finish NOW is shear luck. I really wonder if they just called her, she wasn’t in her office and therefor didn’t answer the phone/page, and they took off to the residence hall because they knew where that nurse was. Then again, all of this is conjecture.
Forgive me for bad spelling/grammer – I have been at school for a while, and then had to come home and help Dad with his computer for 2 hours.
Does the school have video cameras studded throughout the facility? You might want to get a lawyer and ensure that any video evidence is preserved.
Just a suggestion.
Meanwhile, what happens if David has another seizure? Oh. Truly sorry, SD. Not such a supportive thought. Meanwhile, you continue to show the way or role model for other parents. Something else you give without getting much in return for your efforts – but readers do appreciate you!
Haven’t been able to comment much (time constraints) lately, but I would like to say that I love reading the back and forth details in these emails. It’s extremely enlightening to me – I read their emails and think “that makes sense to me”; and only when you pick it apart do I see the holes and realize how gullible I am/will be. This is educating me over and over again and I appreciate that you take the time to share this type of information so that I can be a better advocate for my own child. Thank you.
If it comes down to it, you might get a more honest answer out of the staff member who was actually with David the whole time. If you can talk to them in a situation that doesn’t make them fear for their job that is.
I am actually holding back on the most damning thing the doctor used as an excuse (ok, “reason”).
“… the school nurse did not have ready access to the medication orders, including orders for emergency medications, …”
By that reasoning, if a staff member, a teacher, had a seizure, heart attack, passed out, etc. the nurse would not respond because she had no access to that person’s medication orders? In the vast majority of real world situations, the first responder never does.
Rachel, it actually also occurred to me maybe SD could talk to the person who was with David the whole time, the one who ran with him to the residence area during the seizure. And then I realized the facility is probably making damn sure that woman doesn’t say a word to anyone. And then I thought about what kind of messed up world we live in.
Does ex-wife know about these emails? Does she have anything to add?
(I can just imagine the email from the school nurse: “this place is understaffed, it happened during my lunch break and nobody covers for me so it’s the facility’s fault, I was busy doing other duties and they don’t give me a pager,” blah blah blah.)
Sounds like faulty protocols. Everyone has a care plan, it’s required. You said they give medical care at his residence and not the school. Bad plan. If he had a Diastat order it should have been available in both places.
My son has had four school nurses throughout his time in public schools. Two I didn’t get to know because of his brief time there. The other two have been incredible. I trust them completely. Sorry you have not had the same experience. I’m a school nurse myself, and I hate to be labeled because of what other nit wits do or don’t do.