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Curious: I had a not-so-great hospital experience. Am I too picky?


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Well, i can see why this might bother you, and I think there is a need too to be culturally sensitive.   However - our culture has pretty much decided definitivly that sex does not matter in these t

I can understand why the nurse was annoyed. Taking time out of dealing with people who have needs that only she can attend to to help someone who refuses the help of the person hired and qualified to

So this sounds like you are mistaking a hospital for a spa or hotel.   When I go to a hospital I expect it to be staffed with competent personell. If a staff member is not competent, then I have a

But you do have every right to pick who will and will not help you with an intimate task.  

 

Agreed.  This is totally different. 

 

And young people have been so indoctrinated that gender is irrelevant in all cases today (even when it isn't, because guess what...we all call a large MAN when we need something huge moved), that there won't be many more people who even care about this soon.  I think the few old ladies and religious folks left can be accommodated. 

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I wouldn't leave a family member alone in the hospital.   I even have the number of someone with lots of medical initials after her name to hire if/when a family member is in the hospital.     Although, the male nurse wouldn't have bothered me. My concern would be bigger things like someone with MRSA being made a roommate.    Everyone entering the room not completely washing their hands immediately on entering the room.  Drugs not given in the right dose or frequency. 

 

I've had friends that either this has happened to, or one of their immediate family members.  In one case, the father died from hospital acquired MRSA.   In the other case a friend had two days of agony that was ignored while the nurse was giving 1/10th the dose after back surgery.   Not as big of a deal, but I personally had many hours of vomiting after an appendectomy because the nurse didn't give the anti-nauseous medicine that is always given with Demorral.   

 

Yes, those things are scary.  I have seen a lot of frightening practices, and am thrilled I emerged from the hospital uninfected. 

 

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You know what? Until we live in a culture where women are not seen as sexual objects, and where 1 in 4 women is NOT sexually assaulted in her lifetime then YES, we do have a right to choose. You don't have to  have a male escort you to the bathroom. And I'd think anyone would get that. 

 

Not to mention that the supermajority of sexual offenders against both male and female victims are male. 

 

I really hope that people could get that for a victim of an sexual assault to be placed in a position in which one is sexually vulnerable as well as physically vulnerable as well as down the totem pole of power, that their feelings about the experience might go well beyond being "uncomfortable" because they are not "used to it." 

Edited by Laurie4b
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At least in my area, the hospitals are not short staffed due to their funding or unwillingness to pay. They don't have enough nurses because there aren't enough applicants. The one hospital I frequent(not as a patient but as a paramedic) has 43 nurse openings. Another hospital has 8 openings on one floor alone. The hospital is perfectly willing and happy to hire and pay these people. They just can't find them.

This is true in my area as well. At any given time they are recruiting for around fifty nursing positions. It is now standard here to require a BSN. For some positions they will hire an RN but only with the agreement that the nurse will earn her BSN within a certain timeframe. That can be very difficult for many people to do. It's also very hard to get into a nursing program here. There are many more applicants than there are seats.

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This is true in my area as well. At any given time they are recruiting for around fifty nursing positions. It is now standard here to require a BSN. For some positions they will hire an RN but only with the agreement that the nurse will earn her BSN within a certain timeframe. That can be very difficult for many people to do. It's also very hard to get into a nursing program here. There are many more applicants than there are seats.

 

The base problem isn't that there aren't enough nurses out there.  It is that the mistreat the nurses in hospitals, making them undesirable places for nurses to work.   So, nurses will get their degrees work a few years in a hospital, and then find another job outside a hospital.  

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I wouldn't leave a family member alone in the hospital. I even have the number of someone with lots of medical initials after her name to hire if/when a family member is in the hospital. Although, the male nurse wouldn't have bothered me. My concern would be bigger things like someone with MRSA being made a roommate. Everyone entering the room not completely washing their hands immediately on entering the room. Drugs not given in the right dose or frequency.

 

I've had friends that either this has happened to, or one of their immediate family members. In one case, the father died from hospital acquired MRSA. In the other case a friend had two days of agony that was ignored while the nurse was giving 1/10th the dose after back surgery. Not as big of a deal, but I personally had many hours of vomiting after an appendectomy because the nurse didn't give the anti-nauseous medicine that is always given with Demorral.

I think it's kind of a stretch to say someone should ALWAYS have a family member with them in the hospital. Or that you, as the onlooker, can prevent all potentially bad things from happening due to your presence. Are you really more skilled at each job than every medical professional who is handing the case? I had an interesting discussion yesterday with a nurse about how frustrating it is to handle relatives of patients who think Dr Google knows more than she does. In many cases she's had to argue people down and saved their lives a result. Frankly, it must be infuriating as a professional to be treated so dismissively.

 

I guess I'm sensitive to that assumption right now, given that I've spent the last week with my DH is the hospital. Yes, I'm there a lot, but it would be detrimental to me AND to him to have an extra body in the room at all times. I can't imagine.

 

As for MRSA, yeah we've been through that too--on a different occasion. My presence didn't help then, either. And here anyway as soon as one is admitted to the ER or hospital, a MRSA swab is performed. There is no sharing a room with someone who is infected.

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Snippy people suck.  :/  I am sorry you had a rough hospital stay.

 

I don't blame you for being uncomfortable with a male nurse.  I probably would be too.  Staff should be more understanding.  Maybe they were just having a hard week over something else.

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The base problem isn't that there aren't enough nurses out there. It is that the mistreat the nurses in hospitals, making them undesirable places for nurses to work. So, nurses will get their degrees work a few years in a hospital, and then find another job outside a hospital.

I do not know if I agree with that simplistic view.

 

I think it's a mix, a good deal of the mistreatment could possibly be avoided with a larger staff. For example, when I was in for my gallbladder I was there 5 nights and 6 days. Most nights were the typical traffic and the staff was short but hanging in there. But damn. One night there was one nurse and one borrowed from another floor CNA for the entire floor and of course that's the night every damn thing that could go wrong did. All. Night. Long. I could hear those two literally running throughout the ward. There was shouting. And that call button at the desk basicly was never answered. A woman at least 5 rooms down was puking and having explosive diarrhea that I could hear hit the floor in my room at the same time but due to surgery was unable to get herself to the bathroom on her own own enough. The poor woman was crying and yelling for help. They couldn't find the bedside toilet for her and they couldn't stay with her. Of course after sitting in her own feces a few times she was understandably distressed and angry and humiliated that she wasn't getting better care. And the poor staff took the brunt of that. I know they were doing their best. But the mistreatment she doled out was not her fault. It was staffing. A patient started to decline and the family was freaking out despite the fact I heard the dr explaining earlier in the day that really the surgery was too much to ask of an 80+ relative. A patient was in a lot of pain and they kept getting behind getting it to her on time. And my bleepin heart monitor keeping scaring the crap out of the nurse and she'd come running into my room and scare the crap out of me. My heart rate regularly drops below 40 and it means nothing. I'm fine, but some dr had decided I needed closer monitoring and so the alarms at the desk would blare I was critical about every hour or more. It was like that all night long and through about 3 hours of the next shift. Seriously no exaggeration those two were running all night long.

 

I'd wager that at least 80% of the bad treatment the staff got that night was bc of staffing, not just bc all their patients were demanding diva turds. Sure some might have been bc people can be that way, but the stress of being poorly staffed was the crux of the majority of it IMO.

 

Whatever is being done to recruit into the profession and keep good staff isn't enough. And it's in the best interests of both staff and patients that more be done.

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I think it's kind of a stretch to say someone should ALWAYS have a family member with them in the hospital. Or that you, as the onlooker, can prevent all potentially bad things from happening due to your presence. Are you really more skilled at each job than every medical professional who is handing the case? I had an interesting discussion yesterday with a nurse about how frustrating it is to handle relatives of patients who think Dr Google knows more than she does. In many cases she's had to argue people down and saved their lives a result. Frankly, it must be infuriating as a professional to be treated so dismissively.

 

I guess I'm sensitive to that assumption right now, given that I've spent the last week with my DH is the hospital. Yes, I'm there a lot, but it would be detrimental to me AND to him to have an extra body in the room at all times. I can't imagine.

 

As for MRSA, yeah we've been through that too--on a different occasion. My presence didn't help then, either. And here anyway as soon as one is admitted to the ER or hospital, a MRSA swab is performed. There is no sharing a room with someone who is infected.

 

They aren't supposed to put MRSA patients in with non-MRSA patients.   But, they also don't like to have empty beds either, so they do it and then deny it later.  I am not more skilled than every medical professional in the hospital.   Yet, I definitely care more than every person at the hospital about my loved ones.   I also have several people I can call for information when something smells wrong.   I really don't have a problem with the individual nurses.  They are overworked.   But, they have to work within hospital policies which are based on the bottom-line and not on patient health.   For example, ER docs rated not on their success rate but on patient turnover.   

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I think it's kind of a stretch to say someone should ALWAYS have a family member with them in the hospital. Or that you, as the onlooker, can prevent all potentially bad things from happening due to your presence. Are you really more skilled at each job than every medical professional who is handing the case? 

 

It isn't a matter of thinking I'm more skilled than the hospital staff. It is a matter of desiring to make sure that our family receives the best care possible. Yes, a family member really can prevent some bad things from happening by being present. They can also make sure that the staff are alerted to changes in a medical condition as quickly as possible. Families (at least my family) save staff a lot of time by assisting with comfort care as well. 

 

We have a "family policy" that we don't leave family members alone in hospitals. My mother was hospitalized for a stroke at the end of February. While in the hospital, I told the man transporting her stretcher to radiology to stop running her into walls (yes, I filed a complaint); I fed her (no one assessed whether or not she could feed herself until her fourth day there, even though I told the nurse she could not); one of her nurses asked me if she had had a stroke (hello? was that not charted, or did you not check the chart before you came in?), asked the nurse to call the doctor because the medication he said he would order wasn't ordered in the computer (if my sister hadn't been there when he rounded, no one would have known he had said this and to follow up on it as my mother wasn't able to communicate clearly). I could go on, but I won't. Her health was clearly impacted through the advocacy of our family. 

 

My son will be in the hospital overnight next month. We plan to only be away for him during the time it takes for them to do the procedure. Other than that, my husband and I will be there to pamper him and to be another set of ears when the test results come in. If they allow us, we will take him to the bathroom, etc., which will save the CNA's time. 

 

We are really nice people when we have family members in the hospital, I promise. We depend on our  nurses to take care of us and we try to be courteous of their time. But, it is a vulnerable time for a patient and I think everyone needs to know there is someone who will advocate for them. 

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I wouldn't leave a family member alone in the hospital.   I even have the number of someone with lots of medical initials after her name to hire if/when a family member is in the hospital.     Although, the male nurse wouldn't have bothered me. My concern would be bigger things like someone with MRSA being made a roommate.    Everyone entering the room not completely washing their hands immediately on entering the room.  Drugs not given in the right dose or frequency. 

 

I've had friends that either this has happened to, or one of their immediate family members.  In one case, the father died from hospital acquired MRSA.   In the other case a friend had two days of agony that was ignored while the nurse was giving 1/10th the dose after back surgery.   Not as big of a deal, but I personally had many hours of vomiting after an appendectomy because the nurse didn't give the anti-nauseous medicine that is always given with Demorral.   

 

How would you know that, unless you were looking at the chart and checking what the nurse was doing?  Is that what you do?    How would you know someone with MRSA was put in the room without looking at their chart and/or demanding to see the results of the MRSA test? 

 

I'm not challenging you exactly, but I am curious how a layperson is going to ensure the right meds in the right doses at the right time, without questioning everything the nurse does.

 

Just wondering how that would really work. 

 

 

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How would you know that, unless you were looking at the chart and checking what the nurse was doing? Is that what you do? How would you know someone with MRSA was put in the room without looking at their chart and/or demanding to see the results of the MRSA test?

What in the world...? How would I know what medication and how much *I* am supposed to receive? Bc I expect my dr and other staff to be open and forthcoming about my medical care to me. And would my dh know? - bc he is right there when they say what treatment they are going to be giving and we are asking questions. Or me for him or us for our kids or either of us for another person we are sitting with during their hospital stay. That's the entire point of bringing someone with you to dr Appts and hospitals - to have someone close to you who knows the details about your care when you might not be as mentally and emotionally sharp as usual.

 

How would we know what the patient in the same room is being treated for? Bc HIPPA is useless for privacy in those situations. The Drs and nurses are coming in and out discussing the patients condition with them and there's no way you can't hear what is being said in the same itty bitty room as yourself. That's like asking how do I know about the conversation my kids are having less than 10 ft from me. Bc they are talking about it less than 10 ft me that's how.

 

Good grief most hospital rooms are so small and the walls so thin you know what's going with the patient next door.

 

Just wondering how that would really work.

When it goes well there isn't much "questioning" beyond hello and what are you doing this round? Usually said with some friendly bedside chatter.

 

I'm laying in bed and a nurse comes in and starts to hang an IV bag up or to give an injection in the Iv. Hello. What's the bag for? Oh it's ___ the dr rx for you. We're going to start off at __ dose and see how that does but you call if there's any problems.

 

Great thanks (Bc I or dh remember discussing with dr doing this.)

 

Or ohhh wait a sec. I don't recall him discussing this. Why is it being rx to me now? (nurse explains or says she doesn't know - which is also common, and we either agree or ask to discuss treatment with dr before starting)

 

Or ohh wait. I already discussed with dr that I can't have that/don't want it and why so I decline. Thanks. (A few times a dr has had standard shift orders and a nurse didn't take note of my exception to them or the dr forgot discussing it with me and didn't mention it to the nurse).

 

Or hey, she just got a dose of that an hour ago and the nurse then said she wouldn't be due for another for 6 hours. Is this the same or was there a change or something?

 

None of these questions should ever be viewed as dismissive of the staff. They are very basic questions about what is being done to the patient that the patient and his or her loved one has a reasonable right to know and should be able to understand in a non emergency situation.

 

If the staff is good about communicating with the patient about their care and they are generally working together, then the majority of the exchanges are simply hello and okay type pleasantries.

Edited by Murphy101
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How would you know that, unless you were looking at the chart and checking what the nurse was doing?  Is that what you do?    How would you know someone with MRSA was put in the room without looking at their chart and/or demanding to see the results of the MRSA test? 

 

I'm not challenging you exactly, but I am curious how a layperson is going to ensure the right meds in the right doses at the right time, without questioning everything the nurse does.

 

Just wondering how that would really work. 

 

Listen to the doctor when she's prescribing the medication and write it down. Ask for the exact spelling, dosage, and frequency. Tape a sample pill to the sheet of paper.

 

Do this for any family member requiring a large number of prescriptions. It can save his or her life.

Edited by ErinE
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I think it's kind of a stretch to say someone should ALWAYS have a family member with them in the hospital. Or that you, as the onlooker, can prevent all potentially bad things from happening due to your presence. Are you really more skilled at each job than every medical professional who is handing the case? I had an interesting discussion yesterday with a nurse about how frustrating it is to handle relatives of patients who think Dr Google knows more than she does. In many cases she's had to argue people down and saved their lives a result. Frankly, it must be infuriating as a professional to be treated so dismissively.

 

I guess I'm sensitive to that assumption right now, given that I've spent the last week with my DH is the hospital. Yes, I'm there a lot, but it would be detrimental to me AND to him to have an extra body in the room at all times. I can't imagine.

 

As for MRSA, yeah we've been through that too--on a different occasion. My presence didn't help then, either. And here anyway as soon as one is admitted to the ER or hospital, a MRSA swab is performed. There is no sharing a room with someone who is infected.

 

No one is saying to treat nurses dismissively. But mistakes are made because there is a lot of room for human error down the chain from doctor to nurse and from one shift to another. So at minimum, a person in the room can:

 

1) Make sure the patient is treated with dignity

2) Make sure all personnel entering the room wash their hands. (In the local univ. hospital, there are signs telling patients to please ask if they do not see it done)

3) Make sure they understand the meds being prescribed and the dosing and intervals that meds are supposed to be delivered.  When the nurse delivers the meds, simply say, "To double check, can you tell me what you are giving and the dosage? Nurses understand  that there can be human error--and that it might not be theirs. Wouldn't you prefer that someone would double-check to make sure you weren't the one who administered the fatal mistake? Problems with meds happen often enough that most large hospitals have at least one staff person whose entire job is figuring out what happened when there are errors and how to prevent it the next time. 

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How would you know that, unless you were looking at the chart and checking what the nurse was doing?  Is that what you do?    How would you know someone with MRSA was put in the room without looking at their chart and/or demanding to see the results of the MRSA test? 

 

I'm not challenging you exactly, but I am curious how a layperson is going to ensure the right meds in the right doses at the right time, without questioning everything the nurse does.

 

Just wondering how that would really work. 

 

A person should always know what medications (name, dose) they are supposed to be taking and when they are supposed to be taking them. It is actually a good practice to ask the nurse for a printed list of your medications each morning. It's easy to ascertain if a nurse is doing the right thing by striking up a conversation. A good nurse, will in fact, tell you what the medication is and what it is treating as they give it to you/your family member. I find it hard to believe that anyone who is mentally competent would take a medication without knowing what it is and why they are taking it, honestly. I am also baffled at the idea that someone wouldn't know why a nurse was in the room at any particular time. It isn't questioning a nurse, but is instead being alert and aware. 

 

Someone else already addressed how you can know how you can know what's wrong with a hospital roommate. Privacy concerns are actually one of the main reasons many hospitals have moved towards private rooms. I'll add this as far as MRSA is concerned: a patient doesn't have to be in your room for you to catch it! This is why staff should sanitize or wash their hands anytime they go in and out of any patient room. If this isn't done, you can ask them to do it! But, if you aren't awake and there isn't anyone there with you, then how do you know if it's being done routinely?

 

As far as charts go, as a patient, you have a right to see your chart at any time. Someone with a medical power of attorney also has that right. 

 

These things aren't hard to do, and yes, it really works! 

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This series, Harm in a Wired Hospital, was eye opening. Several computerized alarms went off over the dispensed dosage of a prescribed medication and were ignored due to alarm fatigue.

 

https://backchannel.com/how-technology-led-a-hospital-to-give-a-patient-38-times-his-dosage-ded7b3688558#.n56njg3uc

 

Check and double check medications, and don't be afraid to question.

 

 

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 "To double check, can you tell me what you are giving and the dosage? Nurses understand  that there can be human error--and that it might not be theirs. Wouldn't you prefer that someone would double-check to make sure you weren't the one who administered the fatal mistake? Problems with meds happen often enough that most large hospitals have at least one staff person whose entire job is figuring out what happened when there are errors and how to prevent it the next time. 

 

Yes! DS' nurses had no problems with me looking on as they cross checked blood before they gave it to him. Name, blood type, lot number of blood product. The paper that comes with the blood has to match the bag, which has to match the wristband. A blood product error is life threatening, as are many medication errors. After that first reaction (which was not caused by an error, it was just ds' immune system rejecting the blood), you can bet that I paid close attention each and every time. I also made sure that they gave him Benadryl before each unit (the doctor ordered that after the first reaction). When he was later in the hospital, I made sure that the anesthesiologist knew he had a past reaction to blood products, even though they weren't expecting to give him any that time through. It actually got kind of funny because there was the anesthesiologist, the resident, the nurse anesthetist and the floor nurse. I told every person who came into his room that morning! When he goes in next month, I will make sure that the appropriate people are told. When people are allergic to medication, they get a wristband, but no such procedure exists to indicate a previous reaction to blood products. It's up to the patient and family to communicate relevant medical history. 

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No one is saying to treat nurses dismissively. But mistakes are made because there is a lot of room for human error down the chain from doctor to nurse and from one shift to another. So at minimum, a person in the room can:

 

1) Make sure the patient is treated with dignity

2) Make sure all personnel entering the room wash their hands. (In the local univ. hospital, there are signs telling patients to please ask if they do not see it done)

3) Make sure they understand the meds being prescribed and the dosing and intervals that meds are supposed to be delivered.  When the nurse delivers the meds, simply say, "To double check, can you tell me what you are giving and the dosage? Nurses understand  that there can be human error--and that it might not be theirs. Wouldn't you prefer that someone would double-check to make sure you weren't the one who administered the fatal mistake? Problems with meds happen often enough that most large hospitals have at least one staff person whose entire job is figuring out what happened when there are errors and how to prevent it the next time. 

 

OK, this is not what I was imagining from a previous post.  I was thinking the family caregiver would be checking over the nurse's shoulder, looking at the chart, checking labels on IV bags, etc.  Double-checking a medication in the way you describe makes sense to me.   

 

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OK, this is not what I was imagining from a previous post.  I was thinking the family caregiver would be checking over the nurse's shoulder, looking at the chart, checking labels on IV bags, etc.  Double-checking a medication in the way you describe makes sense to me.   

 

 

Every IV bag I've had hooked up, the nurse has shown me the label when I asked her to identify it. IV bags can contain medication. It's okay to ask.

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OK, this is not what I was imagining from a previous post.  I was thinking the family caregiver would be checking over the nurse's shoulder, looking at the chart, checking labels on IV bags, etc.  Double-checking a medication in the way you describe makes sense to me.   

 

 

Well, I always read IV bags. There isn't much to do in a hospital room, you know?  :001_smile:  

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It isn't a matter of thinking I'm more skilled than the hospital staff. It is a matter of desiring to make sure that our family receives the best care possible. Yes, a family member really can prevent some bad things from happening by being present. They can also make sure that the staff are alerted to changes in a medical condition as quickly as possible. Families (at least my family) save staff a lot of time by assisting with comfort care as well.

 

We have a "family policy" that we don't leave family members alone in hospitals. My mother was hospitalized for a stroke at the end of February. While in the hospital, I told the man transporting her stretcher to radiology to stop running her into walls (yes, I filed a complaint); I fed her (no one assessed whether or not she could feed herself until her fourth day there, even though I told the nurse she could not); one of her nurses asked me if she had had a stroke (hello? was that not charted, or did you not check the chart before you came in?), asked the nurse to call the doctor because the medication he said he would order wasn't ordered in the computer (if my sister hadn't been there when he rounded, no one would have known he had said this and to follow up on it as my mother wasn't able to communicate clearly). I could go on, but I won't. Her health was clearly impacted through the advocacy of our family.

 

My son will be in the hospital overnight next month. We plan to only be away for him during the time it takes for them to do the procedure. Other than that, my husband and I will be there to pamper him and to be another set of ears when the test results come in. If they allow us, we will take him to the bathroom, etc., which will save the CNA's time.

 

We are really nice people when we have family members in the hospital, I promise. We depend on our nurses to take care of us and we try to be courteous of their time. But, it is a vulnerable time for a patient and I think everyone needs to know there is someone who will advocate for them.

Well sure, it's great to be able to be there and have an extra set of eyes. But the idea of having someone else ALWAYS present seems disrupting (to the patient--I know I like my privacy) and overkill.

 

I'm spending as much time as I can with my DH this week, and of course it's helpful that I'm aware of things he doesn't have presence of mind to notice, but he also very much appreciates when I leave for spells to let him sleep deeply. I personally would kick family members out if they didn't leave me alone. When I had DS I was so annoyed when I couldn't get any downtime because someone was always around.

 

From the stories here, I'm feeling extra grateful for our hospital and amazing staff. It helps enormously to feel confident he's in terrific, capable hands when I can't be there.

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Well sure, it's great to be able to be there and have an extra set of eyes. But the idea of having someone else ALWAYS present seems disrupting (to the patient--I know I like my privacy) and overkill.

 

 

 

I think a medication error or a disoriented patient trying to go to the bathroom independently and falling is much more disruptive than having another person in the room. I, too, like my privacy. I mean I really, really like my privacy. But, I'd rather have someone there to watch my back for me in a medical setting. I live in an amazing area with world class hospitals. I have nothing against the hospitals or other health care providers. They aren't perfect thought and it just only takes one small mistake. 

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Op...Hope you're on the mend.   :grouphug:

 

I'm a pretty modest / private person, but wouldn't have refused a male nurse under those circumstances.  

 

I've had male family members have to endure repeated enem@s and other invasive procedures from female and male nurses.  They (the nurses) were so professional and deserved way more credit and pay than they get.

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Well sure, it's great to be able to be there and have an extra set of eyes. But the idea of having someone else ALWAYS present seems disrupting (to the patient--I know I like my privacy) and overkill.

 

I'm spending as much time as I can with my DH this week, and of course it's helpful that I'm aware of things he doesn't have presence of mind to notice, but he also very much appreciates when I leave for spells to let him sleep deeply. I personally would kick family members out if they didn't leave me alone. When I had DS I was so annoyed when I couldn't get any downtime because someone was always around.

 

From the stories here, I'm feeling extra grateful for our hospital and amazing staff. It helps enormously to feel confident he's in terrific, capable hands when I can't be there.

 

 

I think a medication error or a disoriented patient trying to go to the bathroom independently and falling is much more disruptive than having another person in the room. I, too, like my privacy. I mean I really, really like my privacy. But, I'd rather have someone there to watch my back for me in a medical setting. I live in an amazing area with world class hospitals. I have nothing against the hospitals or other health care providers. They aren't perfect thought and it just only takes one small mistake. 

 

Are you two talking about the same thing? 

 

I can see having someone around with a person who cannot advocate for themselves.  I wouldn't leave a kid alone, or an elderly person, or someone with cognitive issues, etc.

 

But if a person is able to ask questions, understand what's going on, etc., I can't imagine needing someone there every minute.

 

When I was in the hospital a few years ago, I was chastised by a nurse for telling my husband to please go home.  It was the middle of the night, they were wheeling me into a surgery room, and our kids were home alone and a bit young to be left (not to mention worried about me).   OK, that I get.

 

But, the next day, when I was coherent and able to understand everything, I didn't want him or anyone else hanging around.  A visit was nice, but to stick around all day?  Get out and let me read or nap, please.   

 

YMMV of course.

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Well sure, it's great to be able to be there and have an extra set of eyes. But the idea of having someone else ALWAYS present seems disrupting (to the patient--I know I like my privacy) and overkill.

 

I'm spending as much time as I can with my DH this week, and of course it's helpful that I'm aware of things he doesn't have presence of mind to notice, but he also very much appreciates when I leave for spells to let him sleep deeply. I personally would kick family members out if they didn't leave me alone. When I had DS I was so annoyed when I couldn't get any downtime because someone was always around.

 

From the stories here, I'm feeling extra grateful for our hospital and amazing staff. It helps enormously to feel confident he's in terrific, capable hands when I can't be there.

This makes no sense to me personally. It's impossible to get any deep uninterrupted sleep in a hospital bc of the staff duties. Aside from that, I'm very very private too but I'm not talking having just anyone stay. It should be someone the patient trust, like a spouse, a parent or a close sibling or best friend. In the case of my husband - I doubt him being in the hospital room is going to be some horrid abnormal invasion of my privacy. It never has been before. Edited by Murphy101
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Are you two talking about the same thing?

 

I can see having someone around with a person who cannot advocate for themselves. I wouldn't leave a kid alone, or an elderly person, or someone with cognitive issues, etc.

 

But if a person is able to ask questions, understand what's going on, etc., I can't imagine needing someone there every minute.

 

When I was in the hospital a few years ago, I was chastised by a nurse for telling my husband to please go home. It was the middle of the night, they were wheeling me into a surgery room, and our kids were home alone and a bit young to be left (not to mention worried about me). OK, that I get.

 

But, the next day, when I was coherent and able to understand everything, I didn't want him or anyone else hanging around. A visit was nice, but to stick around all day? Get out and let me read or nap, please.

 

YMMV of course.

Imnsho - anyone in a hospital is vulnerable at any moment of becoming unable to advocate for themselves. That's why they are there. They are too vulnerable in some way to be discharged. And while it is hoped and expected they will go uphill, it can go downhill in a moment for anyone.

 

The person staying is supposed to be someone they are very comfortable with. I can read and nap and anything else a lot more comfortably with my husband in the room than with medical staff coming and going constantly.

 

By all means constantly having a stream of visitors would be disruptive and stressing but having my husband or a best friend or a grown child staying is not the same as that to me.

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Well sure, it's great to be able to be there and have an extra set of eyes. But the idea of having someone else ALWAYS present seems disrupting (to the patient--I know I like my privacy) and overkill.

 

I'm spending as much time as I can with my DH this week, and of course it's helpful that I'm aware of things he doesn't have presence of mind to notice, but he also very much appreciates when I leave for spells to let him sleep deeply. I personally would kick family members out if they didn't leave me alone. When I had DS I was so annoyed when I couldn't get any downtime because someone was always around.

 

From the stories here, I'm feeling extra grateful for our hospital and amazing staff. It helps enormously to feel confident he's in terrific, capable hands when I can't be there.

 

I like my very own cave when I'm not feeling well - no one else, period.

 

After reading things on here, I'm pretty sure I'd vote for our vet coming and doing whatever he had to do (I'm ok with a male vet) and letting me enjoy either my own cave or perhaps one of the stalls our ponies have after he's done with them...

 

If I ever need anything more than outpatient stuff done, I might be in trouble.

 

It's a good thing I had my kids prior to reading this thread.

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Imnsho - anyone in a hospital is vulnerable at any moment of becoming unable to advocate for themselves. That's why they are there. They are too vulnerable in some way to be discharged. And while it is hoped and expected they will go uphill, it can go downhill in a moment for anyone.

 

The person staying is supposed to be someone they are very comfortable with. I can read and nap and anything else a lot more comfortably with my husband in the room than with medical staff coming and going constantly.

 

By all means constantly having a stream of visitors would be disruptive and stressing but having my husband or a best friend or a grown child staying is not the same as that to me.

 

My last hospital stay was supposed to be easy and straightforward. At the point where we believed everything was over and done, the situation suddenly went downhill in a very sudden and unexpected way. I had not been given any meds at that point, but even unmedicated, I was no longer able to follow what was happening due to my emotional state and the number of people whirling around the room (5 docs, an anesthesiologist, & my nurse). Dh was the one frantically signing consents, and he had to explain a lot of what happened to me the next day. I can't imagine having been there alone.

 

It is so important to have someone you trust with you at all times in the hospital. I understand how challenging that can be when you have lots of small children and no extended family around, because I have so been there. But it is important enough that I would move heaven and earth to make it happen. 

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Plenty of people can't make it happen. Not 24/7. So while it might be great for some patients, it's never going to be standard. I'd rather see nurses paid well, treated well, respected and recruited at levels that mean they can do their best by all their patients, as they no doubt wish they could do.

I and no one else is advocating for an either or scenario. I fully beleive nurse should be well compensated and treated well and I also fully believe if at all possible someone the patient trusts and who knows them very well should stay with the patient.

 

Just bc plenty of people can't do that, btdt myself too, doesn't mean it isn't a wise goal to do so if people can.

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Does that mean that (if you should happen to want to) you could use other criteria to pick who will and won't help you with those tasks? Could you pick them by race (for example) if that was meaningful to "you"? Or by religion, or nationality, or sexual orientation? Or by intelligence or personality?

 

Is this "right" to choose intimate-task caregivers completely unlimited? Does it have reasonable limits? How do we know what's a reasonable use of this "right" (if there are any reasonable uses of it, and if it's actually a right at all)?

 

Actually, it's my body, so yes.  I do have a right to pick who helps me with those tasks and there are no limits whatsoever.  Don't we teach our girls this from a young age?  Never let anyone touch you unless you feel comfortable?  I am honestly surprised that anyone would disagree with this. I don't want to get into a big argument about it, either, so this post will be my last comment on the subject.  But, the idea that anybody should be able to touch me in a physical way unless I feel comfortable with it is pretty near and dear to my heart.  It makes me upset just to think about being forced to have someone help me shower, bathe or go to the bathroom that I did not feel safe or comfortable with, whatever the reason might be for my feelings. I mean, for goodness sake, this would be in the hospital, for which I would be paying dearly.  It's not even a free service, though if it were, that wouldn't change my opinion.  It's not prison.  It's a service I'm paying for and it isn't mandatory.

 

But, on the other side of things, I do realize that there might not be someone available to help me if I didn't feel comfortable with the staff assigned, especially if it were the night shift and few nurses/aides available.  In that case, I would either hopefully be able to manage myself, get another family member to help, or do without.  And, in reality, I know that I would never not feel comfortable with someone just because of their race or religion, but that's not the point.

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Only to a point.  And getting escorted to the bathroom isn't an intimate task.

 

I agree that getting escorted to the bathroom isn't an intimate task.  When I say an intimate task, I mean something like getting help in the bathroom or with bathing, dressing, etc.  I don't agree with the only to a point part, though. Good night!

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No you don't. Just because you really feel strongly about wanting something it doesn't give you a right to that thing. You could argue that everything that happens in a hospital setting is intimate because strangers are touching your body. I get that it is VERY awkward and uncomfortable for the patient. It can also make the patient feel vulnerable to be so sick and exposed while the medical staff just hums along like it's an ordinary day. It IS routine for them and they're desensitized to seeing naked bodies.

 

If you're in labor you get the OB that is on duty and available. Writing a letter to the hospital because you didn't want a man to see your nether regions will accomplish nothing. It isn't a valid complaint. You can ASK, and they can either give you your preference if staff is available or politely but firmly decline. Now, if they're hateful about it you can complain and a rude, unprofessional attitude might be taken more seriously than a gender preference.

 

No, the patient doesn't have a "right" to preferences that go beyond competent care. The sex, age, gender, race, or ethnicity of the staff is just not something the patient has any right to control.

 

But I have a right to decline that care.  That is all I am saying.

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I agree that getting escorted to the bathroom isn't an intimate task. When I say an intimate task, I mean something like getting help in the bathroom or with bathing, dressing, etc. I don't agree with the only to a point part, though. Good night!

 

It is only to a point - they offer the staff they have and you can accept or not. They aren't going to forcibly bathe you.

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I think it's kind of a stretch to say someone should ALWAYS have a family member with them in the hospital.

 

 

I agree. I cannot tell you how difficult it was for me in the last couple years of my father's life, as he was in and out the hospital and rehabs, when people would say he should never be left alone. He was the type of patient who actually did need an advocate. I spent many nights sitting up with him in the hospital, and this was very challenging for me and for my whole family. I was homeschooling and had three kids who also needed me.

 

I often stayed with him overnight - some And when people said they would never leave him alone, I struggled with guilt. Because there are 16 other hours in the day. My parents had more means than most people, and my mother hired a 'home health' person who came to the hospital/rehab/their home (wherever he was) 8 hours a day, four days a week.

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I think it's kind of a stretch to say someone should ALWAYS have a family member with them in the hospital.

 

 

I agree. I cannot tell you how difficult it was for me in the last couple years of my father's life, as he was in and out the hospital and rehabs, when people would say he should never be left alone. He was the type of patient who actually did need an advocate.

 

There were times when I stayed with him overnight every night for a week or two here, a week or two there. That required me being awake and aware. And when people said they would never leave him alone, I struggled with guilt. Because there are 16 other hours in the day.

 

 

I don't know how people sustain several years of an ill relative being in and out of the hospital without leaving them. It would take at least four people committed to full time supervision to make that work. I don't see how we could have done it. My mom even hired a 'home health care' aid full time. If he were in the hospital, that's where she went. But she could not afford that 24 our a day.

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It isn't a matter of thinking I'm more skilled than the hospital staff. It is a matter of desiring to make sure that our family receives the best care possible. Yes, a family member really can prevent some bad things from happening by being present. They can also make sure that the staff are alerted to changes in a medical condition as quickly as possible. Families (at least my family) save staff a lot of time by assisting with comfort care as well.

 

We have a "family policy" that we don't leave family members alone in hospitals. My mother was hospitalized for a stroke at the end of February. While in the hospital, I told the man transporting her stretcher to radiology to stop running her into walls (yes, I filed a complaint); I fed her (no one assessed whether or not she could feed herself until her fourth day there, even though I told the nurse she could not); one of her nurses asked me if she had had a stroke (hello? was that not charted, or did you not check the chart before you came in?), asked the nurse to call the doctor because the medication he said he would order wasn't ordered in the computer (if my sister hadn't been there when he rounded, no one would have known he had said this and to follow up on it as my mother wasn't able to communicate clearly). I could go on, but I won't. Her health was clearly impacted through the advocacy of our family.

 

My son will be in the hospital overnight next month. We plan to only be away for him during the time it takes for them to do the procedure. Other than that, my husband and I will be there to pamper him and to be another set of ears when the test results come in. If they allow us, we will take him to the bathroom, etc., which will save the CNA's time.

 

We are really nice people when we have family members in the hospital, I promise. We depend on our nurses to take care of us and we try to be courteous of their time. But, it is a vulnerable time for a patient and I think everyone needs to know there is someone who will advocate for them.

This. I have similar experiences to share.

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