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Nursing services/care? Atlanta area

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  • Nursing services/care? Atlanta area

    I will probably going to Atlanta the end of June/first of July to the Shepherd Center for more rehab. I have never had a PCA or nursing care since I have been home. My wife is a RN and she has been doing most of my care. She will not be able to go with me to the rehab as she will need to stay home and take care of our business here along with a new job she will have. And the major portion of the rehab is to try to teach me more independence with the new strength I have gained because I was unable to move any thing when I completed rehab before.

    I have contacted several nursing agencies around the area and received several rates. The average is around $17 per hour for a CNA and I will need someone around 16 hours per day. Except three times per day and the bowel program every third night I really do not need a CNA full-time. I just need someone just to sit with me after rehab and be there through the night just in case I need something. The CNA will come in and do catheters/BP/baths/getting in and out of the bed. So I should actually only need a CNA probably no more than three to five hours per day but I know I will have to pay for each visit. I really do not want to be paying someone $18 an hour to be sleeping through out the night. After I go to bed around 10 p.m. I need nothing until time to get up.

    How do you go about trying to find PCA's or just someone to sit with you throughout the night? I would like to be able to find someone to just be there with me that maybe would prepare light meals and just be there to call 911 in case of emergency. All expenses paid plus would pay them a salary.

    We really have no private duty nursing services in my area so I really do not know how to go about doing this. Any suggestions? My insurance will not be covering any of the nursing expenses so I will be paying out-of-pocket for this care.

    C4/5, 4.5 years post
    Last edited by HeathQuad; 05-12-2006, 07:38 PM. Reason: Changing title

  • #2

    There are many sources to find CNA's. If you don't have any contacts in the area- I would call the Social Worker at the Shepherd Center. He or she most likely has worked with or made referrrals to agencies for people with similar needs as you. If you have specific questions or needs, make sure you discuss this up front.

    Also, ask your wife (being an RN) to tap any sources she or her colleagues might know in the area.

    The local Yellow Pages under Nursing agencies or home care will also be a resource but the preference would be to have some reference for the agency you use.

    Ask if the staff have experience with sCI patients and their special needs.
    Ask what type of training they receive. Regardless, make sure you have some process for checking the CNA's references.

    Perhaps others on this site have some contacts in the area.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


    • #3
      Did you ask to see if the CNAs will do catheterizations and bowel programs? In my state (WV) CNAs are not allowed to do this under their certification. Now it gets a bit tricky but in rehab facilities CNAs are sometimes hired as health service workers, or patient care assistants and they can catheterize and do bowel programs but there has to be a RN on the floor.

      It really is tricky but because of the liability issues today I would be suprised if you can find an agency that will supply people who arent nurses to do bowel programs or catheterizations.

      To complicate matters more, you can hire anyone off the street to do these with little training but you really dont just want anyone--you want someone who has gone through a background check etc such as agencies do.

      Other states are going to be different and Atlanta is much bigger than anywhere we have in WV and being close to a spinal cord injury center there may very well be resources to help you out. As SCI nurse suggested the social worker at Shepherd is going to be a great resource.

      If all else fails--most of the time you can hire private duty nurses for maybe less than 17 dollars an hour. Just be sure to check the nursing board to make sure they are who they say they are.


      • #4
        Originally posted by noryn
        Did you ask to see if the CNAs will do catheterizations and bowel programs? In my state (WV) CNAs are not allowed to do this under their certification. Now it gets a bit tricky but in rehab facilities CNAs are sometimes hired as health service workers, or patient care assistants and they can catheterize and do bowel programs but there has to be a RN on the floor.
        There are several nursing agencies in Atlanta that have trained CNA's that were trained through the Shepherd Center that are allowed to do catheters and bowel programs. I have only went through the agencies that Shepherd recommends and have also checked their references. I just don't see the need to be paying a CNA that much money just to be sleeping.

        I have talked with a friend who is very interested in going with me if Shepherd will go ahead and get me a date so I know when I am going. The friend is interested in learning how to do the catheters but not the bowel program. It would be great if he is able to go. That would save me a ton of money.

        My wife is a registered nurse so we have thought a lot about your suggestions and we have thoroughly checked out the agency I'm going to use.
        Thanks for the suggestions.



        • #5
          Wow thanks for the information. I am glad there is more help out there than the help we have in West Virginia. Of course we are a poor and rural state. There is a Medicaid waiver program which will pay someone up to 8 hours a day to be a caregiver but again the caregiver is not allowed to do any type of medical procedure. They cant even give medication.

          Home health for the most part will teach someone how to catheterize but not come out and do it regularly. And of course this is taught by RNs and the home health aides never catheterize.

          Have you thought about splitting the time up between a sitter and cna? The CNA can come to catheterize you as well as the bowel programs while a sitter can stay with you and provide you with everything you need for a lot less than 17 dollars an hour. Shepherd Center should have a list--if not then local hospitals will.

          Again thanks for teaching me something! I had no idea cnas in other states could catheterize on their own.


          • #6
            HQ, I took my brother to Sheperd in 2000. He took part in the outpatient rehab program there. They had apartments that were available for pts/families. The apartments are furnished, including cooking gear. The apartments are about a mile from the rehab and they provided transportation to and from therapy every week day. They did have emergency numbers in the apartment but it was for a hospital next to the rehab and it wasn't a very quick response time. There are laundry facilities at the apartments. Once at the rehab for the day, there is a cafeteria for lunch. Blockbusters close to the apartment. Let's see what else? There was a good camaraderie among families that were staying at the apartments, we helped each other if needed. Sheperd had a list of CNA agencies, but we never used them. Very accessible apartments. If you have any specifics, let me know, be glad to answer what I can. Rehab was pretty much 8 to 5, so wouldn't need care then, unless need help to eat. Jim's service coordinater at Sheperd was Dot Corbin, since married, but very helpful, even came to our home in Knoxville afterwards to see us. Deb