political · work

I made a mistake (+ Bonus election comments)

I missed something at work. And this week it resulted in a client being at home without services for almost a week. I thought respite had been organised but it seems it was never officially confirmed. I don’t know why this client didn’t call and let someone know he was still home, all I know is she rang someone today and an ambulance was called to take him to hospital. All reports suggest she is clinically fine, thank goodness, but nonetheless… very not good 😦

It wasn’t a work day for me but I received an email letting me know of calls made to admin trying to find out what went wrong which I was able to follow up within an hour. It’s still not all cleared up but comes down to

  • not quite right understanding relayed from phone call/messages
  • not good enough follow up by myself and I believe the respite centre

Mistakes happen, human error is going to happen and it could have been worse but I still feel awful and had a good cry before letting my bosses know what had happened. They and the other worker I talked to today were forgiving and supportive, I hope my client and family can forgive too.

Given our recent election it feels relevant to relate this back to politics – healthcare it seems was a major determinant in voters decision-making (particularly in relation to mediscare). Malcolm Turnball, the most likely ongoing leader of our country, has stated that results indicate his party needs to  work harder when it comes to health policy. Fingers crossed he means it because I have a few issues I’d like to raise.

I mentioned briefly in My Vote (previous post) that the freeze on Medicare rebate directly affects my job. The poor payment we are getting from the government means my bosses are having to seriously consider if they can afford to continue their business particular in a rural area. If the freeze to 2020 continues they will almost definitely close their business and I will lose my job.

The freeze also contributes to the quality of care I can provide to my clients. While I should be focussed on their health and care needs, I am instead needing to ask myself, am I doing enough billable hours? Follow up phone calls, an incredibly important part of my job is not considered billable thus I am forced to fit this in where I can, hence, I believe things get missed, balls get dropped, clients get left stranded.

While we’re talking about billable hours lets also consider how the government department I deal with does not truly understand the contribution my profession can/does make to client care. We have a unique outlook and perspective that places us in an ideal position to provide case management-like services but its not our role according  to this department and instead we must refer back to already over-worked GP’s rather than deal with issues arising both holistically and efficiently.

Are you feeling my frustration yet?

If not let’s start on My Aged Care. A new government website introduced last year. At a time when the government was/is trying to find cost-cutting measures they started a new process which totally misses the mark. The website itself I can’t comment too much on, I think it does provide some useful information but its referral system is a complete disaster. It has introduced a completely redundant extra level of assessment which only causes confusion and delay. Talk about a waste of resources and funds, I guess it is providing someone a job?!

Anyway my next step (after complaining on my blog of course!) is to firm up our admin processes to try and reduce miscommunication and write a letter to my newly reinstated MP. Thanks for reading.

 

If interested more on the election and Medicare rebate freeze http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-06/ama-renews-call-for-coalition-to-lift-medicare-rebate-freeze/7572050

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized · work

God at work

I had one of those experiences today when you see God at work in your day to day life.

Noticed in last weeks local paper that one of my clients who was palliative care had passed away. Had a chance between client’s today to call his widow – she sounded better than I expected but had to end the call when overcome with tears. It was her second attempt to say good-bye to me so I guess I wondered if I’d overstepped. I made a note to myself to send a sympathy card.

Finished my last client with plenty of time spare to pick up my daughter from school, was planning to park in the car park there to finish off some notes but as I was getting close to the widow’s road I wondered if I should call in. I decided to pull over on her road to do my notes, to see if my urge was God-driven or maybe self-indulgent, would it be for me (to make sure I hadn’t offended) or for her benefit.

I was a bit slow to listen to God’s answer as I tried catching up on my work – there was both an email and text message relevant to the widow, with 15 minutes left to pick up I rang and asked if I could pop in, ‘that would be lovely’ was the reply.

Next I experienced the best hug of the day. With tears in our eyes she told me about how his pain relief in the last two weeks had not been adequate, her regrets at not being strong enough to stand up for him, her sadness at not being there when he passed away despite having asked to sleep in a spare bed in the room. And then I had to go. She told me I was the first she shared these regrets with – Thank you Lord that I could be there. Sorry Lord I didn’t have more time. I will go back.

I was late to pick up my daughter…..but at the start of the day her teacher had checked if I was available to chat after school, so I knew as I was driving, that I would be expected (she sometimes takes the bus) and that she would be cared for. God had prepared us that morning so I could be there for my client’s wife.

 

*    a few side notes, follow up care is soo important, however in my work we are not paid to follow up with the families of our clients. But who better to support people in their grief than those who knew their loved ones health issues? (actually not saying we are the best to do it, but I think it would be wonderful if we were given the opportunity to find out if we can help)

** Secondly how important is palliative care?? Proper palliative care would have seen my client’s pain needs better attended to and his family better supported, without his daughter having to advocate so strongly on their behalf. Confronting death is hard enough without extra regrets to feel guilty about.

***Read this article recently on the need for better palliative care funding in Australia https://theconversation.com/a-good-death-australians-need-support-to-die-at-home-32203