Another issue I had at the hospital was the nurse staffing levels. I want whoever decides those levels, whether it be a hospital administrator or an insurance executive, to have surgery with a piece of their intestine removed, get pneumonia, and then see what they think of the staffing levels.
The poor nurses. A lot of the needs I had could have been solved by an aid. The second morning after my surgery I was sitting up in bed, getting ready to get up to go to the bathroom, which was a very big deal. This was so exhausting and painful and difficult, that you did not get up to go until you really had to go!
As I was getting up, they came in to draw blood. I told them they would have to wait but the nurse said the doctor would be upset and they needed to draw the blood now. (This was the morning after being awake all night when they discovered I had pneumonia). So I waited, but the other task couldn’t wait, so I wet myself. The nurse told me she would be back in 15 minutes to help me change and change my bedding.
An hour later when the doctor walked in and asked me how I was doing, I just burst into tears. The nurse had not come back. Of course, he got everything taken care of and fortunately, this incident got the nurse to get an aid for the day. She said to me, “I’m so sorry, but I have four patients and the other three are a lot sicker than you.” That was not very comforting and with as badly as I was feeling, it was hard to be too sympathetic.
So I still want the hospital administrator, or the insurance executive, to really experience the impact of the staffing levels. I’m realizing there is so much more to healthcare reform than just the cost of insurance!
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