Thursday, May 26, 2011

Emergency Room Madness

How Busy is Too Busy?

Hospital cutbacks, not if I can help it! But what is one to do and where does the money go? I don’t work for a hospital and the short time I did, I felt like I was part of the problem. Now, when I go into a hospital I can look at it not from a paycheck standpoint but from a patient’s and safety view.

In the emergency room I had no problem finding the patient I was there to see. He was on a gurney next to the door leading to the outside where ambulance crews came in and out with stretchers filled with injured adults and children. The constant door opening and closing made for very little rest for this patient, and the others surrounding the door. I was told that earlier a patient was actually out in the vestibule because there was no place else to put him.

This was a hospital you wouldn’t think twice about going to on Long Island were you in need of care. But the emergency rooms of many hospitals are just too crowded and very busy which can lead to unsettling feelings of adequate care.

The staff constantly used the hand sanitizer, but there were families coming into the hospital who were not. I watched as staff used the hand sanitizer but still touched the bedrails, clip boards, blood pressure machines and then touched the patients. The gurneys so close that the feet of one patient was only inches from another patient’s head. I watched as a young woman’s belly was examined for pain in the hallway only inches from another patient.

How are patient’s sharing their medical history, personal information or asking questions in this situation? The hustle and professionalism of the staff was impressive. They stopped to answer questions when asked and they were calm but busy.

I didn’t know where to look. If I looked straight ahead there was a man with no shirt, handcuffed to the bed, to the right a young woman squirming in pain, no matter where my eyes brought me, there was a lack of privacy, breaches in standard safety practices, yet lives being saved with barely room to walk.

1 comment:

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sometimes I ask myself that exact same questions, I am a nurse and I always busy, but because of my work that demands me a lot of time and extra time