Saturday, September 26, 2009

Stupid Foster Parent Training

So we went last night to the required training on med management. Gary doesn't take regular meds, but a lot of kids do, so I figured that it made sense to have the training. Besides, I do need the hours.

I anticipated that it might be about psychiatric drugs. What are reasonable expectations? What changes in environment have to happen for the drugs to "work"? What are the side effects and why we should be cautious about only using them when we need to.

I was really, really wrong.

In the beginning I wrote down quotes so I would look polite and attentive when I really wanted to scream or cry. Interested? Sure you are:

"Oral medications are taken through the mouth." This was followed by examples of medications that came in strips that dissolve on your tongue, liquids, pills.

"Topical medications are put on the skin itself. Just right on it. It could be an ointment or a patch. The medicine goes through the skin and gets into the blood stream. That is really good for kids who hate to take their medicines."

And my absolute favorite, the quote that may have made the entire 2-hour training worth traveling 40 minutes to attend:

"A side effect is like a side salad, but it doesn't have to be the whole salad. It might just be the tomatoes."

I have absolutely no idea what that means, but I think it is hilarious.

After an hour an a half we were on page 8 of 23 pages of handouts. The social worker (who was clearly as disappointed with the training as I was) interrupted the nurse to point out that we needed to hurry along.

Afterwards Roland and I went to get some dinner. They used to feed us at trainings, but now it is just snack stuff. We kept each other amused by quoting the salad line and laughing like teenagers. We may be been rather tired. We had a serious conversation too:

Roland: "How many more trainings do we need to go to?"

Me: "At least 8 more hours this year."

"What about next year?"

"Well, if we adopt Gary and turn in our license we will never have to go to another one again."



  1. OMG are you SERIOUS? That was a training? I thought it would be on more severe aspects of meds too. Course, when I was on my foster dau's team when she was at the RTC close to us, I found that the stuff I looked up on the net to keep the team med staff on their toes was always "new" info to them. (we are talking stuff from my HMO's website, not obscure medical journals!)

  2. Could a side effect be the cucumbers? What about the lettuce? Could it be a big salad? Gosh, I wish she could have given us some more information!

  3. Oh, it gets worse. I've sat through more pointless trainings in the past 3 years than I could imagine.

    How about this- they pass out sample pill bottles, and half the room dcouldn't get the caps off? And a bunch of the licensed foster parents were trying to open the bottles to see if the "pills" inside were the "good stuff" or just tic tacs.

    Makes you really question the qualifications for foster care, doesn't it?

    Does your state let you do online training hours? Hubby hates the seminars as bad as Roland, and our state lets you do 1/2 of your req'd hours through online places like and such. Let me know if you want the list, I think there's 5 that do it free or very low cost (under 10 bucks). For most of the 3 hour credit classes, you can read the material and do the quiz within 20 minutes if you have a half of a brain and aren't dealing with any tomatoes or cukes to distract you :)

  4. LOL. I enjoyed this post thoroughly. I had a similar experience when I went to training about a mobile psych service. I was like, um, is there anything you are going to teach us? I did not write down quotes, but I do that in general. I wrote down ignorant coworker quotes the other day. He probably was wondering why I was taking notes on his rant. Helps when it comes time for review!

  5. They have to keep these things simple so that most foster contractors can understand.


  6. Tee hee. PB and I were in class last week and there were MULTIPLE times when the instructor actually looked at us and said, "Where was I going with that?". He also said that it's OK for boys to play with dolls... we shouldn't think there is anything wrong with them.

    Oh, OK. Thanks for that.

  7. Ok, I can understand the side salad. So, don't freak out that your kid is going to have all 200 side effects listed on the box, he might just have a tomato effect. Or croutons.
    But what about salad dressing? People, the dressing! Dressing!!!

    I wonder how much she got paid for that great presentation.

  8. I feel for you. This year we maxed out w/ retaking PRIDE and 13 hours for a Medically Fragile class but there were some years (first time we fostered) that we would procrastinate and then try and hit whatever trainings were available...I knew we had hit a new low when we found ourselves in a craft class making homemade play-doh and a baby massaging class where the lady kept saying we needed to ask the baby permission before we touched his body (we were already feeling creepy enough talking to the fake babies and oiling it...and my husband flat out refused to act like he was supposed to get a response from a fake baby).

    I'm still laughing over the whole salad thing...good thing it was your husband and not me...we might have gotten kicked out ;)


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