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Thread: Private Nurses

  1. #1
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    Private Nurses

    How do you hire a private nurse? Do you hire her from a hospital where you have a surgery or from somewhere else? Do you tell your surgeon: "I want a private nurse, please"? How much does it cost? Linda, if you read it, how is it done at UCSF?

    Just putting all my ducks in the row, like Ed says...

  2. #2
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    Hi Irina...

    While you're in the hospital? If that's the case, I would personally only do that if I could get a nurse who already works on the spine floor. You definitely want someone who knows what they're doing.

    I'm not sure what the protocol is, but I'm sure Maggie (Dr. Hu's practice assistant) or Jo-An (Dr. Hu's clinic nurse) can help.

    Regards,
    Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    Hi Irina...

    While you're in the hospital? If that's the case, I would personally only do that if I could get a nurse who already works on the spine floor. You definitely want someone who knows what they're doing.

    I'm not sure what the protocol is, but I'm sure Maggie (Dr. Hu's practice assistant) or Jo-An (Dr. Hu's clinic nurse) can help.

    Regards,
    Linda
    Yes, while in the hospital. Linda, do you think it's a good idea to hire a private nurse or I won't need it?

  4. #4
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    Irina

    You are doing a good job at getting your ducks in a row, learning and knowing what to expect. Jo-An spoke at the 1st scoli meeting at UCSF and I was extremely impressed with her. You could just tell that she had been on the scene for DECADES working with deformity patients. If she is running a team, I wouldnít worry.

    There are going to be patients that are going to have a bad experiance no matter where or who is there. Its just one of those things. I think that emotional aspects really hit home when they wake you up, or at least it did with me, I couldnít believe what had happened. I was mad as hell, but not at anyone..... It was only after I had a talk with one of the graveyard nurses, that I started to calm down. I was bull in a China closet. Dr Menmuir warned me a few times that it was going to be tough, but that didnít matter at the time. It wouldnít have mattered who was there. Iím sure Jo-An has seen these kinds of reactions. They gave me the strongest drugs known to man, and I might have had a little trouble with that. Giving up total control needs to be accepted. They tied me down, I was a hose puller. I didnít even know I was doing this. ???

    After a few days, I really appreciated my nurses even if they wouldnít cut me any slack. I tried. LOL After a week, they asked me if it would be ok if they brought some nursing students in from a local college, and I said yes. It was great seeing all the kids trying to do their best. My ankles were the size of footballs and I had an ileus that made me look 9 months pregnant. Being NPO and not eating for 10 days is a strange thing....and the NG tube is a drag....

    I think if I had to do it all over again, having a private room would be more important. The noise levels from my neighbor and his 19 member support team changing the channels on the television were trying. Iím not a television person.

    I will never forget my experience in the hospital after those scoli surgeries. It was something that I needed to do.

    Things are always difficult when you donít know. After you learn, itís a snap. This goes for everything. I walked in to other surgeries after my scoli surgeries and my blood pressure didnít even rise.

    Iím going to Utah to hike for a few weeks and will have great photos. Hopefully, I wont have to cut my arm off with a pocket knife. (smiley face)

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  5. #5
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    Ed,
    Can you put a photo of you hiking on the thread about returning to athletic activities following spinal surgery?
    Thanks!
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  6. #6
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    Question Private nurse?

    I always hire a private nurse or aide depending on why I am in the hospital. The floor nurses are too busy to respond to the many needs-especially if it is a scoliosis surgery. In my case-10 years ago-, which was very complex, my regular insurance covered it when the doctor wrote "may have private duty nurses". This is not true for Medicare though.
    If you want private duty nurses you can get them through the agency which works through the hospital. The private duty nurse you hire--or practical nurse, or nurse-aide will only be able to do basic care--not medications. Why bother? Because a trained nurse will be able to pick up a dangerous change in condition where a family member or nurse-aide will not.

    I was recently very gravely ill with a non-scoliosis surgical condition and I believe the nurses saved my life. They had the time to get me out of bed to walk thus prevent pneumonia and blood clots from setting in. A couple of times I had an aide but she was too scared by my condition to be helpful.
    private nurses are expensive and usually work 12 hour shifts.
    It really depends on the severity of surgery and the medical condition.
    Last edited by Karen Ocker; 09-18-2012 at 01:47 PM.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  7. #7
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    While I think it's a good idea to have someone stay with you, at least for the first few nights, I personally had no problem with having to count on the floor nurses. I would worry that having a private duty nurse might make it easy for the floor nurses to ignore you. That's OK if you have someone who really knows what they're doing in terms of caring for someone who has just had a long spine fusion, it might not be true if you're hiring someone without spine experience. I know that there are several nurses on the spine floor who work only 3 days a week. Perhaps one or two of them would be interested in doing a day of private duty.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  8. #8
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    Hi Irina.

    I had a private aide stay with me at night while I was in HSS, and I needed her. The hospital contracted her from an agency they use. Her main job was to find a nurse to give me meds every four hours so that the pain didn't get ahead of me. Otherwise you were expected to keep track of when you needed meds yourself, and you had to press a call button and then speak loudly into an intercom and ask for what you needed, and half the time I was too out of it and weak to do it. Looking back, the nursing situation at HSS was pretty appalling. One nurse who was handling me a bit roughly told me (after I winced) that it had been "my choice to get cut" -- and another told me she couldn't turn me over because she "had a bad back." (Strikes me as funny now, but not then...) I was also left forgotten in the bathroom once, and had to scream at the top of my lungs and bang my walker against the metal radiator to be let out. What a scene!!

    My wonderful and kind aide kept me company when I couldn't sleep, made sure I had water and crackers, kept me clean, and chased down nurses when I needed her to.
    She also confided in me that she was scared of the HSS nurses. Granted, HSS is an all-orthopedic hospital and everyone staying there is in significant post-surgical pain and keeps the nurses running from one room to the next, so......perhaps they were simply burned out. Not an excuse, but perhaps a reason. Maybe things are better there now. ..I hope so!!!
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  9. #9
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    Thank you everyone who responded to my question! All your comments are very helpful - now I have a much better idea of what to expect and how to hire a private nurse. Sounds like hiring someone for a few nights would be wise. Singer, wow, your experience at HSS is scary, but I prefer to know all the scary things ahead of time so they don't catch me by surprise. Thanks again!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singer View Post
    Hi Irina.

    I had a private aide stay with me at night while I was in HSS, and I needed her. The hospital contracted her from an agency they use. Her main job was to find a nurse to give me meds every four hours so that the pain didn't get ahead of me. Otherwise you were expected to keep track of when you needed meds yourself, and you had to press a call button and then speak loudly into an intercom and ask for what you needed, and half the time I was too out of it and weak to do it. Looking back, the nursing situation at HSS was pretty appalling. One nurse who was handling me a bit roughly told me (after I winced) that it had been "my choice to get cut" -- and another told me she couldn't turn me over because she "had a bad back." (Strikes me as funny now, but not then...) I was also left forgotten in the bathroom once, and had to scream at the top of my lungs and bang my walker against the metal radiator to be let out. What a scene!!

    My wonderful and kind aide kept me company when I couldn't sleep, made sure I had water and crackers, kept me clean, and chased down nurses when I needed her to.
    She also confided in me that she was scared of the HSS nurses. Granted, HSS is an all-orthopedic hospital and everyone staying there is in significant post-surgical pain and keeps the nurses running from one room to the next, so......perhaps they were simply burned out. Not an excuse, but perhaps a reason. Maybe things are better there now. ..I hope so!!!
    As a nurse, their comments and lack of help, ie, bad back are appauling. I hope that you sent them a letter of concern/complaint and asked to speak with the hospital CEO. Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw

  11. #11
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    Actually Susan, a friend of mine who's a nurse was staying with me during the first few days during visiting hours. She's not licensed in NY and so wasn't allowed to do nursing duties but she acted pretty much as an aide -- made sure I got meds, etc. She was also appalled at the nursing staff, and did write a scathing letter to the hospital when she got home. She got a letter of apology back, along with the explanation that they were short-staffed and in the middle of changing nurses' floor assignments, making modifications to the rooms, etc. etc.

    The funny thing is that HSS is basically a clean, efficiently-run hospital that always does well in the quality ratings...very low rates of infection and mortality. You just want to make sure you have someone with you at all times if you're staying there.
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    Thank you everyone who responded to my question! All your comments are very helpful - now I have a much better idea of what to expect and how to hire a private nurse. Sounds like hiring someone for a few nights would be wise. Singer, wow, your experience at HSS is scary, but I prefer to know all the scary things ahead of time so they don't catch me by surprise. Thanks again!
    Are you going to be alone in the hospital or will you have someone with you? If you have someone with you , I do not know if it makes sense to hire a private duty nurse. I have been in several hospitals , in different states, and private duty nurses cannot give you meds.Only employees of the hospital are allowed as th emeds are locked in a cart that needs a key and/or a code to open .
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    Thank you everyone who responded to my question! All your comments are very helpful - now I have a much better idea of what to expect and how to hire a private nurse. Sounds like hiring someone for a few nights would be wise. Singer, wow, your experience at HSS is scary, but I prefer to know all the scary things ahead of time so they don't catch me by surprise. Thanks again!
    Are you going to be alone in the hospital or will you have someone with you? If you have someone with you , I do not know if it makes sense to hire a private duty nurse. I have been in several hospitals , in different states, and private duty nurses cannot give you meds.Only employees of the hospital are allowed as the meds are locked in a cart that needs a key and/or a code to open .
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mabeckoff View Post
    Are you going to be alone in the hospital or will you have someone with you? If you have someone with you , I do not know if it makes sense to hire a private duty nurse. I have been in several hospitals , in different states, and private duty nurses cannot give you meds.Only employees of the hospital are allowed as the meds are locked in a cart that needs a key and/or a code to open .
    My husband and parents will be helping me, but I don't want them to be with me all the time - they would need a break and a good night sleep. I am hoping they can take turns and stay with me for a few days, but after that I'd probably want to hire a private nurse or an aide to make sure that nurses haven't forgotten about me. My mom doesn't know anything yet, so I am just assuming she'll help... hope so... Don't want to tell her until I have the date and maybe even later... the later the better. So, hiring someone is also like a back up plan for me.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    My husband and parents will be helping me, but I don't want them to be with me all the time - they would need a break and a good night sleep. I am hoping they can take turns and stay with me for a few days, but after that I'd probably want to hire a private nurse or an aide to make sure that nurses haven't forgotten about me. My mom doesn't know anything yet, so I am just assuming she'll help... hope so... Don't want to tell her until I have the date and maybe even later... the later the better. So, hiring someone is also like a back up plan for me.
    What is your doctor's plan for how many days you will be in the hospital? Are you going to rehab?
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

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