Saturday, August 04, 2007

I wish hospitals were actually like Scrubs

My dad and I drove four hours north this morning to see my Grandma. She had a heart attack this week and she's in the ICU.

This is definitely NOT what she looks like today.

She's in a brand spanking new (one can only assume state-of-the-art) hospital. We could tell this because when we walked in, the deli/gift shop was not open and actually it's still under construction. The ER entrance was lost somewhere behind scaffolding.

AND, they seem to still be building the ROOM NEXT DOOR to my grandma's room. On the ICU floor, no less, where there should be peace and quiet . . . and not so much banging and drilling. The room had a sign on it: "Under Contstruction".

New is nice, yes. I've been in plenty of old, stinky, germ-infested hospitals. It's nice to be in a clean one, without that grody hospital smell.

But . . . incomplete? That raises some concerns for me regarding the care of my loved ones in emergency situations.

Are we sure we have plenty of bandaids, hypodermic needles, crash carts, oxygen tanks . . . you know . . . VITAL, working hospital essentials???

And yes, it was comforting to see that the Instruction/Quick Start Guide that was still attached to one of the monitors in her room. I hope someone read that before they put my grandma in there.

And . . . the bathroom door in my grandma's room sticks when you close it. I almost got trapped in there . . . twice.

There also seemed to be some confusion among the orderlies in the hall about the dinner tray pick-up process. I'm sorry, but if they can't manage the picking up of the trays after dinner, can they handle such things as making sure my grandma gets her meds on time?

I kinda just wanted to grab her chart, make an Excel spreadsheet (on my Macbook, of course) and help them plan out the proper care of my grandma.

Not that they aren't doing a good job. I'm sure everything is fine. As long as the people working there aren't brand new. Like, this is their first gig out of medical school . . .

We asked the nurse if she could give my grandma something for pain. Some orderlies came in to help my grandma shift around in her bed a bit since she can't do it herself, but they actually just managed to rough her up a bit. So then she was in a lot of pain.

Maybe it was the orderlies' first day on the job or something, and they hadn't gotten to the part of learning to be gentle with elderly ICU patients . . .

The nurse said she'd check on the pain meds, and then she was gone for half an hour. By the time she got back, I was in pain, too. And I was considering stealing the pain meds from the patient across the hall, because from what I could overhear as I paced in front of my grandma's door, they had already given the lady across the hall one dose of pain meds and it didn't work and they were about to try a second pain med chaser. Why should she get two when my grandma still needed one?

Maybe the pharmacy or drug closet is still under construction, much like the room next door. Maybe the nurse had to go down to CVS for a pain pill for my grandma, then come all the way back.

Where is Dr. Cox when you need him? And a hug from J.D. would do nicely.

This is all a bit unsettling.


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