Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Count Your Blessings

I don't normally repost or post links to things like this, but for some reason this one touched me...

Count Your Blessings

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sick Health Care System

It didn't just become news when Michael Moore said it, but he's right. The health care system in the United States needs fixing. Whenever your level of care depends on what a supervisor at an insurance company is willing to allow, rather than what trained medical personnel (and the patient!) deem necessary, something needs to be done. And when the time of day can have life-or-death effect on your level of care in a hospital, changes need to be made...

Seattle Times review of Sicko

Night Shift Nightmare (Reader's Digest)

I can vouch for the differences in the level of care, not only between the day and night shifts, but also between the intensive care unit staff and the "regular" nursing staff. I was in ICU and, well, constipated for the whole time I was there. On the evening of the fifth day, I was transferred to a regular room, and when I told the duty nurse that I was consipated and had been since I got there, she gave me this stuff that looked like chocolate milk and smelled (and probably tasted) like nail polish remover. It did the trick, though, but not until the next morning. Unfortunately, that was when someone was going around taking patients' temperature and blood pressure. The nurse came around, found I was still in the bathroom, and went ballistic! Like my whole reason for being in there was less important than their need to follow procedure. (Granted, blood pressure problems was part of the reason I was there, but still...)

The woman taking the readings, for her part, was quite understanding, but I'd expect a nurse to have been a bit more understanding. After all, she has had medical training and is supposed to play a part in putting the patient at ease.

Though it turned out that the stuff they gave me to get me "moving" again (they called it a "black and white"; I have no idea what was in it) was NOT supposed to be given to me because of the nature of my particular problem. The nurse had reacted to my complaint, but without checking into what my medical issue was. And again, this was a night-shift nurse.

Not to put down the night shift -- I know they're called on to do more work, since there are fewer people on hand after dark. But, still, it's not too much to expect them to do a thorough job no matter what. And my story isn't anything like the one in the Reader's Digest article...