Who Is Taking Care of Your Loved one or YOU?

“If caregivers are not healthy, mentally well-balanced and spiritually sound, then those for whom they care will suffer.”

- Leeza Gibbons

Your provider and caregiver are so important; this cannot be overstressed. But knowing how your provider and caregiver are licensed and trained is the key to quality care.

After all, when we get quotes to have our car repaired, we don’t just go to anyone. So why is it that people “assume” someone wearing a white coat or medical type uniform is professional and trained?

How do you know someone hasn’t just gone out to a costume store, cleaned up, and looks good? We often hear in the news about providers and caregivers getting arrested because they have falsified their credentials, or their credentials were never checked in the first place.           

Let me share a few examples with you.

In Palm Beach County, Florida, a teen was arrested on suspicion of practicing medicine without a license. Allegedly, he performed a physical exam on an undercover agent and provided medical advice. He was taken into custody after the medical advice and physical exam. [1]

In a nursing home, the male nursing aide staff were all hired from a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. “Cleaned up” and given white uniforms, they were paired up with other staff for “training” on how to provide care to the nursing home residents.

The nursing aide staff was mainly male, and, at times, only one female was on staff to provide residents personal care to women for their toileting, showering, and other personal needs. An undercover video placed by the daughter of a resident revealed a nursing aide who had a current arrest warrant. 

My research from publicly available records revealed this facility had not completed background checks on the male staff. There were numerous arrest records, jail time, and probation time by this nursing home staff. One “caregiver” had even done time for murder. 

There are many stories about unlicensed providers in health care; not only do they put you in harm's way, but you could be scared and debilitated for life. It is worth a few minutes to ask for a copy of the provider’s license, about the person checking you into your exam room and taking your vital signs. Have these people been trained, certified, or licensed?

Just recently, I observed two providers with incompetent staff. 

  • In the first situation, the individual checking the patient into the room didn’t know what size blood pressure cuff to use, put it on incorrectly, and then entered the vital signs (blood pressure and heart rate) incorrectly into the electronic file. 
  • In the second scenario, the staff at the desk copied a supplement incorrectly, both the name and amount. When asked to correct, the information was not updated and remained incorrect. Fortunately, this was not a fatal issue, but in some cases, it could have been.

 The majority of providers and their staff follow the requirements and regulations. So if it feels good in the office, it probably is good. But if you are not comfortable and you have unanswered questions, you may consider looking at other options for your health care.   

Remember!    

Whenever you have any questions, and you feel uncomfortable with someone “taking care of your loved one,” you must be their advocate or your own advocate.

And when in doubt, ask! Write down their name, look up their license and credentials. Keep a list of the caregivers, nursing staff, administrative staff, and the other licensed health care providers. 

 There are many wonderful, kind, qualified health caregivers, but we need to know who they are.  Ask yourself, would you invite them into your home without knowing who they really are?  

 

[1] 18-Year-Old Florida Man Arrested After Posing as Doctor, Opening Medical Practice: Sheriff’s Office." KTLA. 16 Feb. 2016. Web.

 

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