I am SO ticked off!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I am SO mad! My mom got fired from her job this week. It's just insane. She's been at White County Medical Center for twelve years, and they fired her over something so ethically wrong it just makes me want to scream! Anyway, here's what happened.

On November 25, 2007 , after another New Life Center nursery nurse was floated to Station 3-South and was subsequently instructed to turn in her badge and go home, my mom was sent to that unit. Because of her lack of orientation to the unit, her unfamiliarity with the medical conditions and diagnoses of the patients on that unit and unfamiliarity with the medications which would typically be prescribed for these types of patients she informed the charge nurse that she did not feel comfortable with the assignments of doing assessments and giving medications, but that she would gladly do anything else she could to assist in caring for these patients.

She believes in part because of the frustration already experienced by these nurses in dealing with the previous New Life Center nurse, no consideration was given as to what she might be able to do to help and she was told to call the House Supervisor.

She talked with Amanda Kiihnl, R.N., and informed her that she did not feel competent to do assessments and give medications. Amanda stated, “I understand”, and said she would call April Fulton, R.N.,(my mom's supervisor) and call mom back. Charlotte, the day shift supervisor, called mom back saying that she was to go home but not to turn in her badge. After reporting to the charge nurse that she had been instructed to go home, she left the unit.

My mother did not refuse to float. She arrived on the unit in a friendly, accommodating frame of mind. No one introduced themselves and no one offered a brief tour of the unit to familiarize her with the environment. When informed of what she was expected to do, she expressed her concern about her competency in assessing and medication administration. Since she refused to perform these tasks, no effort was made to consider how she might otherwise be able to assist. She was simply told to call the supervisor.

The Arkansas State Board of Nursing has addressed this issue in the Arkansas State Board of Nursing Rules and Regulation, Chapter 7, Section XV, number 6, stating that unprofessional conduct includes performing or attempting to perform nursing techniques and/or procedure in which the nurse is untrained by experience or education, and practicing without the required professional supervision." An elaboration of this rule was published in the ASBN Update publication of the Arkansas State Board of Nursing in July 2001, stating that "a nurse is accountable for informing a supervisor when an assignment includes nursing techniques or procedures for which she is not trained. One part of the training is an orientation to the unit and another part is the knowledge, skills and abilities to safely perform the assigned tasks."

Mom also called the Arkansas State Board of Nursing and spoke with Deborah Jones, who is the Assistant Director of Nursing Practice. After mom gave her a synopsis of the event that occurred and her work history, Deborah suggested reading the above rules and observed that as a Nursery nurse she should not be expected to perform assessments on these types of adult patients. Deborah did say that it would be appropriate for her to take off orders, receive orders from physicians, do vital signs, IVs on pediatric patients and take medical histories, etc.

As a nursery nurse, primarily assigned to well and sick baby nursery for the past 24 ½ years, Mom felt that she was personally and professionally unprepared to perform assessments on adult post-operative and orthopedic patients. She was also concerned that she may, because of her lack of knowledge in this area, put a patient, her hospital and herself at risk by overlooking a potential complication, therefore causing harm to the patient, a possible lawsuit and loss of her license.

After being sent home, my mom agonized for the next two days over what was going to happen to her job, then they called her in. They never gave her a chance to voice her side of the story, they just fired her for "gross insubordination". The administrator who fired her wouldn't even listen to her side of the story. The decision to fire her was already made before she ever arrived for the meeting. That's what makes me the maddest. That just SUCKS.

We thought it would be over once they fired her, but NO... That has not been the case. Mom has applied at several hospitals within a 60 mile radius of Searcy, and more than one has told her that they could not hire her because of a "bad report" from White County Medical Center. We have heard all kinds of rumors about mom "abandoning her patients" (which isn't true because she never took the patients in question), about her "causing a scene at the nursing station" (if you know my mom, you know that isn't true) and everything else you can imagine. It has really put a shadow on her reputation as an excellent nurse, and even though most people know the rumors aren't true, there are always the uninformed who believe what they hear and then embellish upon that.

The bright side of all this is the support that my mom has received from her fellow nurses and the doctors here in town. More than one physician has stopped her when she's been out and about to tell her how sorry they are that WCMC has treated her this way. One of the female pediatricians has been especially vocal about her displeasure over mom's firing. Several of the nurses on her floor have written her notes and sent her cards. From the way it looks, everyone loved her and thought she brought a certain amount of "stability" to the night shift.

I hope this will all be cleared up soon, but until then, I know we'll all make it through. Mom is tougher than they think, and she'll come through this smelling like a rose in the end...

Thanksgiving at OUR house!

Sunday, November 25, 2007
Well, for the second time in a row we have hosted our HUGE family Thanksgiving dinner. I just love it! Finally a party I can call my own and plan MY way! We usually have almost all of the family here. How many of us? Let's count:

Nana (my mom)
Papaw Gary (my daddy)
Alyssa (my sister)
Chris (Alyssa's boyfriend)
Jason (my brother)
Allison (Jason's wife)
Nathan (nephew)
Marsha (family friend)
GranMary (David's mom)
Papaw Les (David's dad)
Barry (David's brother)
Deborah (Barry's wife)
Michael (David's brother)
Serena (friend)
Mikel (Serena's hubby)
Avery (Serena & Mikel's daughter, I babysit her)
Aiden (Serena & Mikel's son)

So it looks like we had about 22 people there. Just the right amount for a good party!

The morning started early for me. I got up and put the turkey in the oven around 5am, then went back to bed for a while. I didn't get to sleep long, though, there was too much to do! I made baked sweet potatoes with pecans, green beans, mashed potatoes, pecan pie, rolls, turkey, ham and a couple of pies. My mom made the dressing and Allison brought a broccoli casserole. It all turned out great and I think everyone had a good time. We all ate til we were stuffed, then we played Battle of the Sexes and Trivial Pursuit. I LOVE the holidays! We never seem to play board games except at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love board games, too! Maybe one of my resolutions for the new year is to get my family to PLAY more...

Everyone headed home at about dark. I think we were all just worn out. I felt so good about the whole day. There's nothing better than being together with the family, and it's even better when we can be with both families (David's and mine) at one time. I am so grateful for all that I have. I have a great family, on both sides, I have a husband who provides for us so that I can stay home and raise our kids, I have two wild and crazy kids that I love more than anything. I couldn't ask for much more. Life is good.

I only got a couple of pictures that day. I was too busy to stop and take pics!

Searcy Jr. Miss pageant

Sunday, November 18, 2007
My sister won a scholarship! Let's just say, she was AWESOME! She won the "Best Talent" award. I would've probably protested if she hadn't! She sang the song "Popular" from Wicked: The Musical. It was great! Personally I think she should've won the whole pageant, but there were some pretty tough contestants up there.

Overall I thought Alyssa conducted herself with poise and grace. She looked beautiful, and she sang like an angel, or maybe a witch! (Galinda, of course!) I had at least four people come up to me after the show and tell me that she nailed her song dead on. I have to say, I agree. I've seen Wicked two times, and I thought Alyssa could've probably held her own with Kristin Chenowith.

Here are some pics from the big day! Keep in mind, I had been to a Razorback football game, and had to rush home and dress for the pageant in less than 20 minutes, hence the REALLY bad hair!

Alyssa and Chris

Me, Alyssa & Jason

Nathan, Allison, Alyssa and Jason

Papaw, Katie, Alyssa, Nana and Reese

Alyssa with her scholarship certificate

Walking in Memphis

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I've been meaning to write about my trip to Memphis with my friend, Rhonda, for a while, but I can never get around to it. We had SUCH a great time!

We left Friday afternoon and headed out through the soybean fields. On Highway 64 that's about all you see once you get past Augusta! We got to Memphis and checked into our hotel with absolutely no problems. The place was great! We stayed at the Hampton Inn right off Beale Street. After we got settled in, it was time to go have some fun!

The first thing we did was head down the the casinos. Rhonda had never been to Tunica, so we felt like it was something she should experience at least once. We went into the Gold Strike (I think) with our $40 and a good attitude. We left about forty minutes later without our $40. You know, it just isn't much fun if you're not winning. Rhonda and I both had better things to spend our money on, like FOOD! We headed into Memphis, parked the car and headed out to The Rendezvous. Their ribs are fabulous, and it's just a Memphis kind of thing to do! As stated in the magazine Southern Living, "There are plenty of good places to get barbecue… but if you only have one chance to eat it, it should be at the Rendezvous." I couldn't agree more!

After stuffing ourselves on ribs, we headed over to the Peabody. This is another "must see" in Memphis. We got lucky enough to find the rooftop patio was open, so we headed up there for some fabulous views of Memphis and the Mississippi River. It sounded like Beale Street was jumping, so we left the Peabody after a little more window shopping in the lobby shops, and headed down to where the music was.

Rhonda had never been to Beale Street, so, of course, we had to walk around for a while! It seems like time stands still in this little portion of the world. There are still little boys and teenagers who do backflips for tips down the middle of the street. There are still lots of people out looking for a great time at the Rum Boogie Cafe or B.B. King's. There are still women who insist on wearing high heeled shoes and short skirts to walk down the brick street. We decided they must be insane. We finally settled on a bench in Handy park and listened to a great band. It was a ton of fun, and we didn't make it back to the hotel until after 2am. That's a late night for old women like us!

The next morning we slept late. I mean really late. We didn't even stir until after noon. I think is was actually closer to two. We went down on Beale to have lunch and then walked down Main Street, where the trolley runs. We took a few minutes to take a peek inside the Madison Hotel and were truly impressed. It was beautiful, and the views from the rooftop patio were almost as good as the ones from the Peabody, if not better.

After all the walking, shopping was in order, so we headed to the Wolfchase Galleria Mall. We didn't stay long there because we were hungry again. Neither one of us had ever been to a fondue restaurant, so we decided to try The Melting Pot. It was AWESOME! I really enjoyed eating there. I can't wait to go back!

Our weekend ended all too soon, and we headed home on Sunday. I think we'd both like to make this an annual trip, if not to Memphis, then where ever the road takes us!

Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh!

Thursday, November 1, 2007
After sleeping in on Saturday, we headed out to Navy Pier. Katie had been looking forward to this almost as much as she was looking forward to "Wicked". We got to the pier around 1pm and played until after dark. She had a ball!

We looked all day for the face painting booth, and we finally found it at the end of the day. Katie had her face painted like a butterfly. It was really cute.

The best part of Katie's day was the big blow-up slide. She loved the Wave Swinger and the Ferris Wheel, too, but she probably went down that slide about 1000 times!