“Skilled Nursing … Without Enough Nurses”
This review only covers the skilled nursing services at this facility in August 2019.
Physically this is a beautiful place that’s kept in good physical condition. It is part of the Watermark network of facilities, and that generally means good care and a pretty nice place appearance wise. We looked at other skilled-nursing facilities in the northwest of Tucson, but they seemed rundown and shabby, with a bit of a “rough looking” crowd of patients.
My experience at The Hacienda is with my mother being there for 2.5 weeks in skilled nursing so she could receive physical/occupational/speech therapy 6 days/week after a hospital stay.
There were not enough nurses in skilled nursing, and for extended periods of time. Those who were there were incredibly busy. They were too busy, in fact. Short staffed, I heard, repeatedly (which is aggravating). The care was good when the nurses were there, but getting them to my mother was hard and very frustrating, especially the first week. If you are considering having a loved one here, call and speak with senior management and ask what the actual ratio of nurses to patients in skilled nursing will be. Ask what it will actually be on the day that your loved one will arrive there, and the next day, and next. If it’s more than 10 patients to 1 nurse, then get ready for long waits for your loved one, or look elsewhere if more attentive skilled nursing care is needed. It took 2 hours to get a nurse one evening due to another patient being admitted and that taking 2 hours of the nurse’s time to do it. Normally it was 15 to 30 minutes to see a nurse. Management tells me they’re hiring more nurses, even ones specifically to do new admissions, so patients will have better care. Verify that this will happen or has happened, or expect quite long waits. I want to be clear that the problem is with a shortage of nurses, not the skill or work ethic of the nurses who are there (they worked hard and were always busy). Management simply needs to hire more nurses. This nurse shortage was a constant and aggravating problem, even up to the day of discharge.
That being said, the nurses and care givers (called “nayas”) were very good when they were present to care for mom. A big thank you to nurses Jose (he’s awesome!), Norma and Mary. Also, a huge thank you to Nayas Thanes, Jenna, Celese and D. Physical/occupation/speech therapists really shined here. They were the most consistently terrific service providers in our whole experience, and helped my mother quite a lot. Thank you to Kaliko, Jenn and Todd!
In summary, they need to fix the nursing shortage. Call and speak with senior management to see if they have a 10 (or less) patient to 1 nurse ratio in skilled nursing on the schedule for when your loved one will be there. Beautiful surroundings aside, it is imperative that they fix that. When they do, The Hacienda at The River will be the top notch skilled-nursing facility in Tucson.