Longview >Community Hospice
Don't trust your loved ones to them.
These people send in nursing assistants who come in and "assess" your loved one's condition. Their only qualification is a 6-week nurse assistant certification program offered throughout Washington state. Telling you they are "nurses," they decide which medication you should "toss" and which to keep, even though those medications have been prescribed by a doctor with almost 16 years of education plus years of experience. The nurse assistant determines that your loved one should immediately be put on morphine (if not for pain, you just watch--it will be for "breathing difficulty") and can procure it by simply telling the hospice doctor it is necessary (it's ALWAYS necessary when you have 6 weeks worth of training). The doctor takes the "nurse's" word for it, based on their highly qualified "assessment."
The truth is these folks have no idea in most cases what they are dealing with. Since my mother's liver was failing she could not metabolize morphine and should have been given one small dose of about .5 mg every 24 hours "for breathing," if at all. The person deciding what she needed was ignorant, however, and he instructed my family to give my mother that dosage EVERY TWO HOURS. The morphine built up in her body over the next 48 hours and she died of a morphine overdose. Rigor mortis had set in before she died, her jaw was locked open, her skin was ice-cold. The day the "nurse" put my mom on morphine was the last day anyone was ever able to communicate with her.
There was never any support from this hospice after my mother's death. It was a joke. Caring, compassion? Not even. And when I called the hospice to ask for the "nurse's" last name, they refused to give it to me. They said they don't give out the last names of their nurses.
They did have the on-call nurse (a real RN) come in to pronounce my mother dead. We never heard from her again after that.
We didn't know that hospices--even though they are "non-profit"--are still businesses, and that you can and should "shop around." If I ever have need of a hospice again I will meet with several and ask each for references. I will call the references and ask about their experience--and whether there was any support afterward, And important: I will make sure that the references used the hospice for the same reason that I would be using them. I wouldn't want a reference for someone who had a broken neck and needed home care if I needed hospice to help someone with terminal cancer.
I hope this helps anyone who may need the services of a hospice organization.
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