Sunday, January 23, 2011

Angels of mercy????

The joke kind of goes like this... a man walks into a hospital, collapses in an elevator about 12 feet from a nurse's station, and the nurses call 911.

The seriously un-funny part of this is it's no joke. It happened at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock, British Columbia.

Here is the link to the story, thanks to my sister yet again! (She's keeping me in rant-worthy fodder these days!!)

Based on my family's experiences with the "caring profession" recently, nothing is surprising me when it comes to this very sort of thing.

Dad was recently called to go in early for his day surgery procedure, with a warning to not drive too fast because it was slippery that morning, but to get there by 7 a.m. to get the procedure done early. Between the jigs and the reels, (a story unto itself), he was taken in at 1.30 p.m. My sister parked herself in the waiting room with a book. When the day surgery department was closing for the day, a nurse came out and asked my sister who she was waiting for, only to be told that Dad had been admitted two hours before. She nearly dropped where she stood, and to add insult to injury, the nurse was unable to tell her why he had been admitted following a day surgery procedure.

When she found her way to the floor where he was, she related this experience to an apparent male nurse. (One can never be sure who is a nurse and who isn't anymore.) His response - "Oh, you would have found him eventually." Wow.

My father was subsequently given a urinal that had dried blood smears on it that were not his own.

He was not given a meal because he was not on the patient list for supper. The same male nurse was going to make him some tea and toast, but later said he couldn't make toast, because the bread was frozen. When my sister pointed out that the bread would thaw in the toaster, he disappeared, never to reappear. Neither did the toast.

A drainage device disconnected in his bed, covering him with bloody drainage. They made no effort to wake him to clean him up. He was awake, but they thought he was asleep. 

He was hallucinating less than 4 hours before he was discharged. I would LOVE to see where that is documented on his record. NOT.

There were other things, but I've tried really hard to forget them.

I am, visit by visit, becoming more and more of the belief that the only hope a patient has these days is to have a very vocal advocate at the bedside, 24/7. When I was in nursing school, we were taught that we were supposed to be the patient's advocate. I guess they're not teaching that these days. Or, maybe they're teaching that we're only supposed to advocate for the person who is listed on our assignment sheet at the start of the shift. To hell with the guy who's lying a body-heap in the elevator, or shows up unexpectedly from day surgery. Not my problem. Gone to coffee!

Nurses - and nursing schools - have an awful lot to answer for. I can assure you of this... the next time I'm with my father, or anyone else, at a hospital, and this kind of negligent crap goes on, they'll be answering to me. Count on it.


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