If you're reading this, then like me, you obviously have time to sit in a semi-vegetative state staring at the tubes of the internets. But while you and I idle away our day in front of the computer, my mom is out there busting her ass to care for ungrateful and often half-sane patients as a home care nurse, working for an even less sane bureaucracy.
In my vision, the home care field is supposed to be about maintenance - caring for people who are basically OK, but who need some minor, specialized assistance. In practice, however, home care has become a dumping ground for patients with financial hardships, mental problems, or chronic conditions. What is maddening is that though home care has become a necessity in modern medicine, the for-profit health care industry looks down on this field because it makes no money.
The dehumanizing influence of capital festers at all levels. Management is obsessed with tracking the whereabouts of its home care nurses, all degree-holding professionals. Meanwhile the office staff throw each other parties and nominate each other for employee of the month. Work nights? Yes. Now why would a patient who is "basically OK" need to be seen at night? Same goes for weekends. Low pay? Yes. Considering her skill and experience level, it's shamefully low. Loads of data entry on inferior software? Yep. The latest ridiculous cost-cutting measure: the company will not provide folders to store patients' paperwork! And the list goes on. It's comically horrifying.
The clincher: my mom, a twenty-plus-year home care veteran who turns 65 in June, had to work Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day in the last month, without any incentive pay. What the hell is that? She was actually scheduled to work the entire Christmas weekend, but had to call in sick because she was so sick she couldn't get out of bed.
My job is a cushy cakewalk compared to hers.