Saturday, October 25, 2008

Where Hospitals Need to Improve

It is 2008 right? We're not back in the early 1900's here right? So why have hospitals left so much of their operation back in 1901?! Following is a list of the things hospitals really need to improve upon. I mean really people, you can send a patient recovering from heart surgery home in a matter of days, but you can't manage these simple things?

  • Hospital Food Selection

Oh man! Don't get me started! YUCK! There is a one week rotation of the menu, which doesn't mean diddly-squat when you are here for weeks on end. And there are plenty of times when you just don't know what something is. BEFORE you order it! Only a fool would order the 'Riviera Blend" from a hospital cafeteria before knowing what the heck it is. So scratch that off the menu. It's as good as gone. No use even putting it on there. Now you're left with fake mashed potatos and gravy or overcooked broccoli. Mmm, mmm good. Move over Earlene, your campbell's soup combos have just been given the shaft!

Then there are the times when you have fogotten what you ordered the day before and when it finally arrives, you still can't remember what it is. Even after you've taken a bite, if you are one of the brave souls willing to attempt such a thing.

*The hospital will not be held responsible for any food poisoning that should occur on the premises if said patient willingly selected and tasted said item.

  • Medication

For the most part, people assume that a hospital will be able to provide them with any and all necessary medication relating to their care. Though this is, for the most part, an accurate assumption do not be fooled! Unfortunately, pharmacies within hospitals do NOT always carry all types and forms of medication. My father went without pain medication after his surgery because they ran out of his kind of meds. My mother had to go pick up a perscription for a certain type of progesterone from another pharmacy because they do not carry it here at Riverside. Practically all of the women on the High-risk Maternity ward use it or goodness sake! Even the nurses complain about this. It just doesn't make any sense.

  • Answsering Patient's Questions

I would like to preface this item by saying that this is no way meant to reflect poorly on my doctors. It's really not their fault. The fault lies with the medical community at large. But when a patient asks, "What will the progesterone do for me and my babies Doctor?" She does not want to hear, "Well, we just don't really know. But we think it's safe." WHAT?!?!?! Alrighty then! Sign me up! Thankfully I trust my team of doctors, especially Dr. Melillo, so I will follow their advice. Afterall, they still know more than I do about all this right?...right?

  • Hospital Food Service

So you've selected your meal items carefully after having read and reread the menu many times. You take into consideration portion amount, dietary requirements, and of course you don't want to accidentally circle the "Riviera Blend", so you've double checked that as well. But once it is delivered, you are pretty sure something isn't right. At first, you're not sure what it is. Then you realize...they only gave you 1 apple juice when you specifically ordered 2. 4 fluid oz. just isn't enough. Oh well, you think to yourself. I'll just get an extra from the nurses. But it happens again, and again, and again! Then one day your tomato soup shows up without the grilled cheese. It wasn't even on the meal ticket! But you specifically remember writing it in. (You are allowed to do that as the hospital knows you will be hanging around for awhile.) The next day the grilled cheese is once again missing in action. Finally, you complain. The nurse, dietician and another nurse all promise to talk with the kitchen about it. The day after that you still have only one apple juice, but thank goodness they thought to bring you caffeinated coffe instead! Just what every pregnant woman should be drinking.

  • Patient Hygiene

This may be my biggest complaint. I can only shower every other day, which is too long without washing for me. Others can do it, and I envy them. But by the end of the second day, my hair will stay in the same formation even after the ponytail holder is removed. GROSS! So I have kindly asked a couple nurses if I could at least get them to wash my hair on the off days. The first nurse plainly said, "no." Okaaaay. The second nurse said, "I don't think that should be a problem." But then she was never able to get around to it. Perhaps they need to hire a resident hair washer. Or 100. Basic hygiene goes a long way here, especially for us longer residents.

  • The Smell

We all know it. Every hospital has it. It does not change with size, location, or quality. What is it? No one seems to know. What I do know is that you should never stay long in a hospital without some potpurri or air freshener close at hand!

  • Hospital Food Delivery and Pick-up

This is just annoying. They deliver breakfast at 8:00, too early for someone who has been awoken every 15 minutes since 6:00. (see below) So you don't actually eat until 9 or 10:00. Then lunch is delivered at noon. Who's ready to eat after two and a half hours? But you'd better do it, if you can, because you've got five more hours to go before your next meal. And then if you are stuck in your bed, what do you do with the tray? You can't very well get up and put it by the door. And no one can do it for you if they aren't there. And let's face it. A nurse would get annoyed if you kept pushing your little nurse call button three times a day to move the food tray three feet. So I just leave it at the edge of my bed until someone comes in. Not very spacious.

  • Sleeping (or the lack thereof)

After 6:00 there is no sleeping. Nurses check your vitals (but not your vittals, because if they did they would have noticed you only had one apple juice on your tray), residents parade in to "check" on you, your doctor might stop by (which is always great, but then you remember that he doesn't do much besides tell you to "keep hanging in there"), your breakfast is delivered, then they try to pick up your breakfast but you haven't touched it yet, and finally your high-risk doctor comes in to reiterate what your attending doctor already said. At least this time you are awake enough to understand that all you really need to do is "keep hanging in there."

  • Redundancy

Feeling any contractions? Any leaking or bleeding? Any pain? Do your legs hurt? Any bleary vision or headaches? No? Great! Just keep hanging in there!

3 comments:

hi, i'm nancy! said...

it's outrageous, really. on a lot of levels, it's outrageous. the we-don't-have-the-medication-you-need takes the cake, of course, but none of it is okay.

i won't tell you to keep hanging in there, but keep hanging in there.

love ya like a rock you throw through your window and accidentally (oops!) hit the dietician. (inside joke.)

Em Dog said...

wwwooooowww! Hang in there, indeed!

Walker Family Buckeyes said...

Hey, this is Maurisa Walker from the ward. My daughter Aubree was in your class. Just wanted to say that she misses you and Eli. She told me that Sister Booman :o) is in the dr's cause she has too many babies. She misses you. I wanted to peek at your blog and see what it is you liked so I can send you a gift (I don't have a car or else I would come and get to know you better) Best wishes. I won't tell you to hang in there, seems like you hear it alot!

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