Planned Parenthood / Incompetence

Houston, United States

I have been going to the Planned Parenthood locations throughout Houston, TX since 2008. I've had nothing but good experiences with the Rosenberg location until it closed it's doors, and with the Northwest location for a quick arm implant check when I thought it had moved. However, I went to a location closer to my new job this year and it has not been good. It is time for my implant removal and I was a bit nervous, since this particular implant had given me a scare earlier because I thought it had moved. Everyone acknowledged that I was nervous and scared but were sweet and reassuring, something I completely appreciated. But when the RN came in, it changed. Upon me mentioning I was nervous, she immediately and bluntly said she would not provide removal services and would reschedule me. I smiled thinking it was a "toughen up" tactic and I told her I'd be fine. She said, "no I'm serious. I will not see you." I told her that I would go through the procedure because I know it was necessary and reiterated that regardless of it being done that day or another, it wouldn't change my apprehensiveness. She said okay and I laid back for her to start the procedure process. She felt around and could not find my implant. I told her that with my previous experience (talking with the last RN-Northwest) that I might need to have an X-ray to determine the location before the process. She continued to feel around and said she thinks she found it. I told her that it could be my vein. She said, "yeah, I know but this could be it." And she made a "pinching" motion with her fingers as to find and grasp my implant then she quickly drew with pen where she felt my implant was. I'm ready to start and have this process over and she numbs me and starts. After awhile, I start to feel some pain, a cut if you will. She tells me she is having trouble finding it and does another incision! By now I'm praying this to be over and for her to find it and close me up. After 10 minutes, I am so swollen, she cannot continue with the procedure and closes me up and says she's going to make a call to the surgical doctor for further instructions. :( She comes back and is very apologetic, telling me this is her first failure case. Not that I was the failure but that she was at the procedure and she followed it that she liked the challenge and felt she could do it! I'm sorry but I'm not a guinea pig to perform challenged work on. She said she'd call me with the surgery date and that the procedure was free of cost since it was a failure. I went to get reimbursed but since I had a full exam, I ended up paying a difference! They initially charged me for the procedure and said anything else would be extra but after the procedure, the RN told me I'd get refunded, which ended up going to other costs...I'm fine for paying what I rightfully owe. I just think the miscommunication would've been cleared up between front desk and the RN prior to me leaving. So I leave and am told not to do heavy lifting, which in my profession, I use my arms-massage. So I told my boss I couldn't massage and I went back the next day to get a doctors note, the RN came out wondering why I'd need a note. I told her because I can't lift heavy things or so I thought. She asked surprised, you lift heavy things? She even called me by the wrong name, this previously very apologetic woman. I also asked her if there was an appointment for me to get surgery. She said she hadn't heard back but would call me later. That evening, she called with a date and time, lets say Friday at 9 am because the Monday availability was too soon for the surgery, 7 days from the original failure. And tells me I'll get a confirmation email shortly with pre-surgical instructions. I never get an email and call them after 2 days (which all calls are directed to a call center, regardless of differentiating numbers online for each location). I am told there is NO appointment for me at all! So I ask if Monday was still available, I'd like that slot instead. I was told I'd get a return call. Nothing. I call back with the reply they'd call me and can't submit another request since I already had one out but they'd note I called and that I'd receive a call with the appointment date and time. Two days pass and no call. So finally Monday, I call once more. It's been a week by now, and they don't have me still in the appointment book. Of course, I feel frustrated and my arm still sore. It was horrific in the beginning with bruising extending almost into my arm pit from mid forearm-mind you, the implant is the size of a small match stick. It is still discolored, the length of the long side of a credit card, maybe half inch longer. It hurts to move my inner arm into lateral flexion. There is discomfort or pain when I apply deodorant, try closing the clasp to a back hinge bra, reaching up in my closet to hang clothes or close my trunk. I do perform other daily tasks but utilize my other NON-dominant hand as much as I can. It is so tender to the touch I cannot even rest with my arm laying on me. Any pressure is painful. I take care of it as told to on the "home care" sheet. I finally get through on the phone and am told the appointment is the same Friday, but an hour later. I am content and relieved to finally have it removed and for someone to look inside to see if there is any potential damage, after all my arms are my livelihood. I receive a confirmation email stating the appointment is 2 hours before the agreed time! So I call back since it conflicts with my availability, someone has to get my child to school and I can't drop my child off during closed hours! They tell me it's the only one they have available. It took so long to schedule this in, same week no less. So now I must find a sitter or someone to take my child to school so I can be getting this surgery which I do not intend on missing, but if all fails, I'll have to reschedule and good luck with that being a quick process. There's been about 10 calls from the start of this hectic journey to today! And it's not even over! I am not sure what route to take other than write a review. I did request a "suggestion" phone line on my last phone conversation but was told that I can do so in the office at my appointment. I think this RN could benefit from some more training in ethical practice and physical removal. If you can't do something, it's best to play it safe and refer me out. With the pain, I missed 5 days of work, plus I have two days off on top of that. It's been a very long week. I return tomorrow and hope my arm doesn't give me any problems! The day of surgery is a day I'd usually work and so is the following day I'll be using for healing. So it's a total of 7 days of compensation lost, and that is if I don't need to extend it due to not being able to flex my arm to perform my job. I just hope there is no permanent damage and I am not getting this implant again. I have had this procedure done all at the Rosenberg location with no hitch, successful implant, waited 3 years, successful removal and replacement. If there was a risk of it moving since then, a better judgment should have been made by the practicing professional. I practice ethics and always work in my scope of practice, not try to over "challenge" myself. She has trusting patients, who look to her with her title as experience and expertise. I just plan on changing for a more non-invasive method of birth control so I won't be in this situation again. Just be careful and I hope this helps someone in any way, be it better educating or being firm in your fears-they are there to SAVE you! The location is Southwest Health center on Bellaire in Houston. RN's name starts with a 'T' and she is of Asian decent. I don't want to name her out of preventing shame, securing some dignity. But do your research and be careful. This is not to slander anyone. I stated ALL facts and just want learning to come from this headache.

Feb 9, 2015

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