One Social Worker’s Friday

Ah, it’s almost Summer! Here is how my fine day went [please hold cheers and weeping until the author is finished]:
Surrendering to the inevitable, I took my lazy, pre-geezer bladder to the hall bathroom. It was 5:40 AM, the alarm got to sleep until 6:00AM (grrr). While I was anticipating being pounds lighter and years younger my cellphone made the unmistakable tinkering of a call. Who’s THIS?! [Oh, I was on-call, so I kinda knew…darn.] At 5:46AM the On-Call Nurse called me for a patient at St. David’s Hospital South Austin who wished to revoke: they were firing us instead of the other way around. It happens. O-kay. So, shaved and showered and headed downtown into Austin IH-35 traffic, which to be honest, wasn’t all that horrid at 6:15AM.
Got to the Emergency Room and the hospital Social Worker came right out to take me in to the patient’s family to sign revocation papers, except…which form EXACTLY. I wasn’t sure. Neither was the On-Call RN, nor the hospital SW, nor even the SW at the other hospice to which our family was transferring to. So, they signed both forms. O-kay. The family was dumping us because the On-Call Nurse on the telephone from over 30 miles away couldn’t presciently assess the patient at her home to tell her the EXACT dosage of the EXACT medication to treat the pain. Apparently, there’s a belief that nurses have ESP and all pain meds should INSTANTLY take away pain. Nope, doesn’t work that way. So wished them well at their new hospice where they knew there’d be better pain management and ‘stronger stuff (drugs).’ Uh-huh.
Went to Office, handed in paperwork and prepped for my day. At 7:10AM. I guess I’ll get breakfast later….
Got to first client 215 minutes later, placed (read: dumped) in a facility because the 60-something could no longer take care of her 100-something mother. Actually, all things considered, a wise move for the nice very old lady. Sigh….
Then across town to a new patient for an initial assessment. Got my tablet, my briefcase, and then checked to see if my cellphone was secure. And then checked if my keys were ok. Yes. There they were safe and secure…in the cup…in the cup holder…inside my just securely locked car. Yes, I did say pre-geezer earlier—watch your mouth! Anyway, got to the visit first. It went fine. Nice lady. Bad disease.
Got outside and called AAA. They said someone on the way and “thanks for your years of business.” They were welcome at 12:30PM. They said someone should be there by 1:30PM. Fine. Walked down the street to the top of the hill to flag down the truck when the guy got here. Street signs suggest more than indicate addresses. Stood under the tree because the 85-degree Sun wasn’t being nice. 1PM. 1:15PM. No problem: under promise, over deliver. Called AAA back at 1:35PM. They said the guy was looking for you. Uh huh. Gave more directions. While waiting, Brandi, from the facility, who asked the strange man why he was lurking about twenty minutes earlier, brought me a cup of ice water. WOW! Thanks, Brandi! Walked down the hill to try and meet the truck after watching several other truck vehicles pass by and no AAA. 1:46PM a tow truck rounded the street and the guy asked, ‘looking for me?’ He drove me up to the car while he finished his McD lunch. Looking for me? Uh huh.
So, the fine gentleman related that you have to have a special license in Texas to have the assembled gear to get into a locked car. They even have competitions. He finished second in his class for speed. O-kay, sounds great. He used a jimmy to edge open the door frame and worked in two inflatable pads like on a sphygmanometer. Worked fine as the rain clouds came up. By 2:00PM I was on my way, except at the stop sign the jimmy flew off my roof and landed in the intersection in front of me. No problem, I was only car around. Got jimmy and drove back to facility to return the jimmy to Mr. Second Best. Ok, on the road at 2:04PM after standing around in the Marble Falls heat for hour and a half. Just missed the downpour.
Get to next patient 25 minutes away up in Burnet. The car was just getting a bit cooler. [Note to self, ALWAYS park under some shade, please!] Up into a marvelously air conditioned main room, presented my credentials and was pointed the way to the patient’s room. Opened the door and I walked into a sauna. The sweet lady was under blankets (plural) and the heater was just merrily blasting away. Oh goody. Then, commenced the initial assessment only to find the lady couldn’t hear! So, got some stuff down while bellowing to her for a couple of answers. But, paused the visit to call a relative and to get out of the sauna, er, room, before passing out. Definitely will get lunch somewhere. Got to a comfy chair, opened the tablet, selected Menu, opened Demographics, scrolled down to Contacts, and for both listed telephone numbers the last digit was missing! That On-Call RN is known for the admirable habit of putting in parentheses and dashes in telephone numbers even though she’s been told the tablet does that automatically, so it reads an entered dash as a number and you lose stuff, like the last digit. O-kay. Ask the nice receptionist lady for the DON and the charts so I can look up the telephone numbers. Got the chart and updated the Contacts in Demographics. Called the first number with the *67 block feature since we ARE FORBIDDEN TO GIVE OUT OUR CELL NUMBERS and I get a recording saying this telephone number does not accept calls from blocked numbers. O-kay. So called the next number [yes, with the *67 feature] and talked with the nice lady who answered the rest of my initial assessment silly questions. Whew!
Went home. Had a shower and kinda late breakfast [4:00PM] after pushing my next two clients to Saturday. Want to be a Social Worker?
Ah, it’s almost Summer!


About Kitt

Sometimes a rhyme or couplet wanders across my consciousness. So, I share it. Other times I'm a hospice social worker; others, a Dad; others, southerner, New Orleanian, cajun enthusiast, voter, and on better days, a not-too-awful-poet/rhymster. Welcome to my page. Enjoy.

Posted on June 21, 2014, in Short Story. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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