Due to an auto immune disease that I am forced to deal with along with my dependence on Prednisone I was once again hospitalized this last week. During this visit to my least favorite place in the world I was appalled at the number of visitors who entered my room  who were carrying obvious diseases. These individuals were there to visit my roommate who had just undergone a very serious operation.

Having already been forced to endure the pain of my condition and the horrific treatments in the ER which consisted of inexperienced personnel trying to insert an IV, that they had no idea how to insert, in a person with Cushing disease and the accompanying fragile veins to the pain and indignity of having a nasal-gastric tube inserted, as well as, a catheter. Neither is an experience that anyone would opt for unless they thought they were going to die.

Once these horrific procedures were completed, it was necessary to wait another two hours before being taken to my room where more tests were scheduled. Blood technicians came in and drew blood, radiologists required horrible things to be swallowed so that Xrays could be taken and then nursing assistants seemed to enter every few minutes to check for vital signs. At this point, I wasn’t dead but I was thoroughly exhausted after almost 24 hours of pain. The continual jostling and pain continued to defeat any opportunity my body had to fight this attack on its own.

When all of the trauma had begun to subside and I was finally left alone long enough to sleep for an hour or two a lady was brought in who had just undergone a serious, complex operation. Being in the bed next to  her I once again was kept awake while they attended to her needs. This I understood and bore in silence knowing that they needed to care for her. With that in mind I also tried to ignore her steady stream of visitors who talked among themselves never leaving her bedside.

However, my frustration knew no end when her family chose to stay while being obviously ill themselves. If the illness had not been so obvious to me I could have dealt with their continual chatting but it took no mental giant to see how sick these people were. They were flushed, displayed a raucous cough, were sneezing continually and told their mother that they didn’t want to get too close since they were afraid of exposing her to their disease. During their visits it did not require a .mental giant to realize they while it was nice that they loved this woman so much but that what they were doing was dangerous. Common sense alone told me that if they really loved and cared about her that they would have called and kept track of her that way. Instead, they chose to spend hours on end sitting in our room coughing like there was no tomorrow. . As a result, I ended up fighting a bout of pneumonia which only made my recovery that much more difficult. 

In retrospect, I still can’t believe that despite the multitude of flyers placed throughout the hospital that discouraged flu carriers from visiting that these individuals had been allowed into our room. Where were the nurses? Where were the enforcers of protection for patients of the hospital? While this was occurring nursing personnel continually entered the room and never once suggested that these fragrant germ sharers leave the facility until they were well.

While I suffered in silence I know that many others experience the same situation when they are forced to use the hospitals in their areas.I would suggest that patients be more vocal about these visitors than I was. Perhaps, then and only then will change take place and the patients actually be safe.

Overall, the care I received was good yet there was a lot that needed improvement. Never have I seen such inexperienced care in an ER. My situation was not a trauma event like a care accident nor was it a situation where my heart had stopped pumping but it was considered a life threatening situation. I also noted that weekends were a deadly time to be stuck in the hospital as no one changed beds or provided for washing needs. You only saw them when the IV machine beeped and you paged them or at meal time. No one seemd to know what Peter or Paul doing or saying. Doctor’s instructions were not done quickly and necessary medications were held up by hospital protocol.

My advice, hospital admission should be your last option since good personnel are overworked and others just want to collect a paycheck for the minimal amount of work.

[tags]hospital, pneumonia, visitors, hospital admission, ER staff, nurses, nursing assistants, medication, Cushings Disease, IV machines, IV insertion, nasal-gastric tubes, catheters, protect yourself,[/tags]