My 86 yr old father has been at the Brian Center for a week now after being transferred from hospital after a heart attack. From the first day, I was not impressed with the state of the facility. The hallway to which he was assigned smells of urine and call rings go off continuously. His room is very stark and the furniture is shabby. One drawer had spilled pink stuff covering the bottom. The faucet has a fast and wasting drip. The TV which is mounted on the wall is very tiny. I didn't know that they came in such a small size. I felt really badly leaving my father in this place. The venue is really uninviting but the quality of staff varies considerably. The biggest problem is communication. There is virtually none. When Dad was transferred to the facility from the hospital, no one explained how he would be rehabilitated, asked about his food preferences or needs, told us how often progress meetings would occur etc. They also did not give us a copy of his release papers from the hospital. We had now idea what drugs he was prescribed. When I tried to get answers, there was rarely a nurse at the nursing station and when there was, they would ignore me until I asked for their help. Most acted like they didn't want to talk to anyone. I've never been to a place that was so unfriendly. The incident that bothered me the most was I witnessed a male nurse come in to give my father a shot that I normally administer. It is a preloaded syringe that measure out a dose automatically. You just add the needle and remove the two covers, pull back to load and push to inject. The nurse only took off one cover and poked it deeply into the folds of my father's stomach. This alone is incorrect as one should hold a fold of skin so as to inject SC. I pointed out that he just wasted a dose ($70) because he did not remove the cap and it released the drug into the cap. He was surprised and did it again and rushed out of the room. I looked for his name to report him but he was not wearing an ID tag. In fact, many of the employees were not wearing identification. One cannot tell a nurse from a housekeeper there. I called the Nurse Director several times to talk with her about this incident and she never returned my call. I even stopped in the morning to talk and she was "not available". I finally got her on the phone and she acted like it was not a big deal and that I was over-reacting. She never offered an apology only said that the staff was trained to give it properly. Here name is Vickie O'Quinn and I feel is quite uncaring and unprofessional in her handling of the situation. I did talk to one person who called me unsolicited with concerns about my father's status. The Speech Pathologist was very friendly and wanted more background information about Dad's normal behavior and cognition. I was happy to talk with her. She promised to work on those things and even adjust his diet to accommodate dental issues. Without going on and on about incidents I feel that there are a few good people at this facility but most are very uncaring and the place is disorganized and mismanaged. Beware.
Really awful experience for my friend who was here for over six weeks, while undergoing her last round of chemo and dealing with a rare condition that renders her also unable to see or walk. I visited her every day, and while I could provide an exhaustive list of her complaints (her situation making her, admittedly and understandably, a challenging but certainly not impossible patient at times), I will restrict my comments to what I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears: 1. The hallways reek of urine, once you get past the administrative offices. This is a sure sign of neglect. 2. The help buzzers ring and ring and ring, and they are only answered when convenient, not when a patient needs help. I sat in the room and ran a few tests to see how long it would take for CNAs to show up... invariably, it would take half an hour, maybe more. 3. Her private bathroom was rarely cleaned. The bedpan was sort of rinsed out and left upside down on the trash can, vomit that had been dumped in the toilet was left unflushed, the floors were haphazardly mopped. 4. The cleaning crew feels entitled to just walk in the door without knocking at any time, with no respect for a patient's privacy. 5. Too many CNAs and other nurses treated her with disrespect, argued with her, and failed to do even an adequate job of cleaning her. 6. When I arrived one day, she was sitting there holding a bucket of her own vomit, and had been for half an hour. When a nurse finally arrived - and only because I went to the station and demanded that someone help - her response was, "What do you want me to do about it?" This happened again, of course, and she took my advice that time to throw the bucket on the floor and let them clean up the mess. 7. My friend had a catheter, and her urine bag was constantly in view of anyone who walked by. 8. One social worker rather obnoxiously informed her that she had a bad attitude and was basically causing her own problems at the center. His body language clearly conveyed contempt. 9. I tried to leave a tablet with her so that, since she is blind, cannot walk, and is confined to a bed all day, she'd be able to pull up and listen to podcasts. One social worker indicated that the nurses would be happy to lock the device away in the evenings... but when that time came, all the nurses had an absolute fit. I didn't care if the tablet was at risk of being stolen, I just wanted to give my friend something to help her through the lonely hours that seemed to stretch endlessly. All I heard from the nurses was, liability, liability, liability... even when I said I wouldn't hold them responsible if something happened. They refused. 10. Garbage like used cups and water bottles piled up with no one bothering to simply throw them away. When she asked for someone to take some dirty sheets and blankets, they remained in a pile on a chair for days. I got fed up myself and put them outside the door; within one minute, someone opened the door and said doing that is against policy, just ring the buzzer. When I told her no one answers the buzzer and I'm glad that breaking protocol at least finally got someone's attention, she closed the door. 11. While she was vomiting several times a day for nearly ten days after the chemo, no one bothered to set up an IV, even though the urine (in her constantly visible bag) was a dark brown of very limited quantity. No one, not one person there took steps to deal with the dehydration, until towards the end of her being sick a doctor came in and, as she put it, finally created a sense of urgency and ordered one. These are medically trained people???? My friend is in her early fifties, not at all elderly, but indeed in a very difficult circumstance. She chose this facilty because of its proximity to Duke where she was undergoing chemo, so that she could manage the severe illness that follows all her chemo treatments. But the help she got (and her insurance paid $600 a day for) was hardly better than being alone at home. There were, as there usually are, a few exceptions - her PT was great and respectful, Tim in the kitchen went out of his way to make sure she knew that he cared, and there were perhaps two or three nurses who treated her kindly, and with respect. The rest of her experience with this center was pretty much a nightmare - filled with contempt, disregard, neglect, and at times downright hostility. Thankfully, my friend is now in a place closer to home that smells clean, where the staff is genuinely helpful and caring, and where when that buzzer goes off, staff is expected to respond within one minute. Not too much to ask, really. Isn't this why people choose "care" centers, anyway? So that they will be treated with care? My advice... run from this place, and find someplace that will really care about your loved ones.
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