Nurse not knowing address of Caressant Care 'a real problem': expert
Published Tuesday, June 13, 2017 5:39PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 13, 2017 6:56PM EDT
As a lawyer at the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, Jane Meadus is used to hearing complaints about specific issues in long-term care homes.
First responders being given incorrect information about a patient during an emergency situation is a common complaint.
But a nurse who doesn’t know the address of the home she’s working in?
Meadus says that is a scenario she hadn’t encountered before – not until she learned of a case brought to her attention by CTV News.
Last November, Mary Long was living at the Caressant Care home in Woodstock.
One day, her daughter Jenny Rowe paid her a visit. Concerned that her mother may have suffered a broken hip in a recent fall, Rowe called 911.
The call – which CTV News obtained a recording of via a freedom of information request – was quickly turned over to a nurse.
In addition to having trouble coming up with the address of the home – the nurse is heard eventually coming up with ’51 Fyfe Street’; the correct address is 81 Fyfe Avenue – the nurse seems unable to name a nearby intersection.
“Anybody in there should know, for any 911 call, how to get there,” Rowe said in an interview.
“They should be able to give those details right off the back of their hand.”
Meadus agrees that a home’s address should be common knowledge for its staff members.
“In any kind of emergency … obviously that’s a key piece of information they should be aware of,” she said.
“That’s a real problem, if they don’t know that.”
Rowe says she was told to hang up the phone by the nurse before the call got going.
Meadus says she’s not surprised by that claim, as she is aware of long-term care home workers being told not to overload ambulances and hospitals.
“Staff really are afraid to call 911 – they think they’re going to get in trouble,” she said.
Caressant Care representatives refused to answer questions on the specific incident, on how staff members are trained to handle 911 calls, or on whether they stand by their previous comments that Long received “caring and professional support and attention.”
Inspections prompted by Rowe’s complaints led the province to halt all new admittances at Caressant Care.
That ban, which was enacted in January, remains in place.