Second thoughts


I struggled at work yesterday. It was a long day built from unexpected eventualities over the long weekend. The nature of the job is very much to expect the unexpected and plans put together aren’t always able to pan out the ways that they should.

For much of last week, I was carefully constructing a large package of care for a man who was to be discharged home from hospital after a long stay. It wasn’t a local hospital so had involved significant amounts of coordination with different teams to those I was used to working with but we had almost everything in place.  A few panics about whether I was really taking the right action in promoting a move home rather than the recommended move to residential care flitted through my mind.

It is an easy decision to make on paper. Mr  A wants to go home. He misses his house, neighbours, friends and community. We can provide significant care at home. Although he lacks capacity (I carried out an assessment of this) , we know he never wanted to go into ‘a home’. There are, of course, risks present – life is not life without risks – but we have taken each one in turn to see how we can at least minimise it. Easy decision, then. We send him home with care and supervision.

I had a moment of hair-tearing angst though as the hospital ward who I thought were actually not disagreeing wildly with our plans, suddenly told me of all their doubts and fears for her the day before discharge.

This led to me circling the office wailing desperately about whether I was doing the right thing or if we should have just gone with a move to residential care.

I almost kicked myself as I said it – or as one of my much more experienced CPN colleagues reminded me (I think to pacify me as much as anything so she could get back to work) that if we went for the easy options all the time, we wouldn’t really be working very well at all, and that if we didn’t try Mr A at home we would be doing him a great disservice.

Sometimes it really helps just to have someone to say it out aloud though.

Of course I knew she was right but it didn’t stop a few thoughts in that direction through the evening and night.

image frumbert at Flickr

5 thoughts on “Second thoughts

  1. Oh, I’ve had those moments. “Am I doing the right thing by sending this person home?” In the end, though, I think it’s always best to send a person home if you can.

    • Thanks – I know it’s the right thing to do but it’s those niggles that come and bite you sometimes..

  2. Exactly…many times I’ve wondered whether it was right to endorse a discharge home…and many times sitting on pins and needles waiting for them to come back to the hospital under horrible circumstances. So far, that’s never happened. That’s one of the most stressful aspects of this job, wondering if our judgement calls were the right ones.

  3. Pingback: There’s no place like home « Fighting Monsters

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