We have always thought of hospitals as places where there is always activity and excessive attention! when my mom was recently admitted into a neighbourhood hospital, much against our willingness, i saw this place as an anti-thesis of my notion of hospitals.
Since she had a nasty fall at her place of work, she was rushed to this hospital (I wouldn’t name) for some first aid and for some comfort. Strangely, they did neither. on the contrary, they were trying to make the visit as uncomfortable as possible.
on reaching the place, I was aghast when the chief doctor suggested that she be admitted in the ICU. When I asked why, he pointed out to the high BP and blood sugar levels. I told him that she was given some coffee with sugar immediately after she fell down and that might have contributed to the spike and suggested that BP taken after a few minutes to establish. But he persisted with the line that she be admitted and I gave in after a while. Didn’t know what was in store for us subsequently.
It took a while for me to complete the admission formalities and advance payment but by the time I came back to the casualty room, I was informed that she was already taken to her room. the staff on the third floor where her room was located were either too tired or were plain incompetent. we had to remind the duty nurses several times to attend to every small issue and still were rebuffed, albeit politely. Doctors were taking forever to come and take a look at an inpatient and patients were being needlessly ferried to x-ray rooms multiple times.
because her knee was swollen, I had to ask them to check it out. I heaved a sigh of relief when they finally took her to the x-ray room only to get the chest x-ray done. when i protested that what was more important was the knee, they just plain over-ruled me on the grounds that chest x-ray was standard and required for the physician who would be taking a look. they even disregarded my suggestion to get the knee x-rayed at the same time to avoid the need for her to come again.
soon the bp and the sugar levels came under control but still the physician was nowhere to be seen. and when i went out to get the dinner, he had apparently called on my mother and asked her to stay for a while. and when i went to get some medicines from the in-house pharmacy, she was again ferried to the x-ray room (this time mercifully for the shoulder and knee), had the ortho doctor look at it and declare that all was fine and brought back to the room.
As her knees, shoulders and the head were aching, we had been requesting for some pain relief and that came almost late in the night in the form of an injection and some tablets.
Finally, at around 9 am the next morning, I convinced the chief doctor to start the discharge process and it was an amazing 3 1/2 hour ordeal during which I had to make multiple visits to the billing, accounts, nursing station in the 3rd floor. We eventually left at 12:30 pm and reached home.
I’m not sure if this is the standard ordeal that most people go through but I could clearly see 3 patterns:
a. There is a real conflict of interest when they force a person who has come to the casualty to get admitted rather than alleviate the pain for which the person had come in the first place.
b. This hospital was trying to do with fresh and inexperienced nurses
c. There was not even a sign of interest amongst the physicians and the staff to even listen to the patient and the attenders, let alone redress them, even though there wasn’t many patients clamouring for their attention. Just plain casual approach!
I went in for healthcare but experienced neither care nor a healthy attitude and came out with a much depleted wallet!