Many of you know that I am a nurse and in 2004 I worked in a long term care facility in Las Vegas. I took care of an middle aged, homeless man who not once, but at least twice, had stepped out in front of a car, in order to get hit. Once he was hit, and injured, he had a place to live and 3 square meals a day, as well as 24 hour care.
What more could you ask for?
On his second stay with us, he was scheduled for surgery on his injured arm and he really didn’t want to do that. We found out once he was out of his room and headed for – free tax payer funded – surgery, just why he didn’t want to leave our facility and have it done.
His room was stashed full of stolen items from our facility. He stole pens off the nurse’s med carts, as well as their scissors and medication cups – 100’s of them. But that’s not all: he had catheter bags! Now what would a homeless man need with catheter bags? Especially a homeless man with no bladder problems? I assume to barter with. He had all kinds of medical equipment that he had no business having. The tally was about $5000 worth of stolen products from our facility. Not to mention, MY bandage scissors that I’d had since I graduated from nursing school in 1980.
We had to take him back to our facility and we had to continue the same level of care that we gave everyone else.
This is just one story of many.
I took care of another man not too many years ago that had to have surgery for kidney stones. When he was discharged from our facility his location of discharge was the parking lot of a local casino. He’d been found, before this surgery, in the park, under a tree in obvious distress. Another homeless man.
While I was in the hospital as a patient just recently, my roommate was a homeless woman (she told me that herself) who also had kidney stones. She asked me if I was there with the same problem but when I told her that no, I had a brain tumor, the conversation ended. (Ha! Brain tumors usually have that effect on folks.)
I have private pay insurance (for the time being) so because I do, because I’m a responsible citizen, I’m paying for these people, as well as myself. Does this make me angry? Yes. Does it make me angry that I am footing their bill and looking at a future that might mean my care is restricted thanks to ObamaCare? Damn right, I’m angry.
I took care of these people as a professional and now they are complaining that no one cares about them? I, and other of nurses, cared for them for years. And yes, I’m offended by this attitude that no one has ever cared for or about them.