Hospitals can be weird and confusing. And they are definitely stressful for anyone who has to walk through their doors.
The waits are long, the information is a lot to handle, there’s a lot of people to talk to, so many procedures to make sense of, and those glaring neon lights!
But they are unavoidable. Especially when an emergency strikes.
Now, working in a hospital does give you some insights into the complex mode of operation (and the insane amount of paperwork), but it is really nothing compared to when you have a loved one admitted.
Here are some of the observations I made- some of which I feel are very specific to our culture.
No one likes the Emergency Room
That is a universal fact.
Crowd control is not an option
There is no understanding that as the number of people interacting with a patient increases, the risk for an infection goes up to. No one wants to leave the hospital with an infection, yet families tend to dismiss that they can be a source too.
Instead, all the siblings, the cousins, the uncles of a long-lost relative, the neighbor from two buildings over, will come in hoards to the hospital and gather inside half of a shoe-box of a room. Not that this will do anything to improve the patient’s situation or morale. But for the visitors, they can sleep at night now that they have checked off a duty from the list.
If they don’t come, they call
The phones never stop ringing! And often it’s the same people calling several minutes apart to check in. Trust me on this, if something changed in the last two minutes, we would have let you know!
Everyone has an opinion, even if their only knowledge of medicine is watching The Doctors on TV.
Each of the kind visitors comes loaded with their own way of doing things like the merits of the doctors or if giving one medication versus the other is better. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid them when you’re stuck in that room.
People still value having a doctor who is older and more well-known
They tend to shun those who may be lesser known but come in with new knowledge and are trying to implement these practices. And in all cases, families wait around for the attending physicians for the final word, while the housestaff and nursing teams do all the essential leg work.
Brace yourself for all the waiting
Things take an awfully long time to happen, often for reasons you don’t understand why. Going back and forth, nagging and asking will not change the situation or make things go faster.
There is nothing harder than seeing someone you care for in pain
And feeling helpless because you cannot make it go away instantly.
People do not thank the nurses- and that is such a shame.
I’ve had the honor of working with such great nurses who have taught me a lot about my own job, so I get to see firsthand how they endure the tough aspects of their occupation to bring care and comfort to our ill loved ones.
A simple thank you for all their hard work goes a long, long way and takes absolutely nothing or no time. But because we tend to view the doctor as the all-important one, this is often forgotten.
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I used to be a nurse at the hospital you work in and your observations are spot on!! Thank you for the work you are doing, unfortunately, it will be a long time before we can change the current culture/attitudes. Never lose hope:)