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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hospital Do's and Don'ts

Did y'all miss me? 

I have been spending all my days and many of my nights in a hospital which is, in fact, where I am at the current moment. 

No, I am not the patient.  It is my mother.  We got ready to take her to her doctor's appt. last Wednesday and when we got her to her feet (which was no small feat in itself) her vision went blurry.  She was transported from the doctor's office to the hospital via ambulance.  She has been a bit of a medical mystery. 

Where is that arrogant, know it all Dr. House when you need him?

After countless testing and a couple of "come to Jesus" meetings with some doctors and staff members, we seem to be getting somewhere though we have more of a clinical diagnosis at this point of a pretty uncommon disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis which is a type of vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels).  Treatment is corticosteroids so we are hoping to get her well soon.  

What I have observed while logging in all these hours at the hospital is that there are a lot of kind health professionals (and a few not so  much) who are all doing their individual jobs but often times fail to communicate both with each other and with the patient as well. 

Here is a little list of do's and dont's I'd like to see enforced in this hospital...

Do read over the entire chart before you enter the patient's room and ask them all the same questions they have already answered five thousand and ninety two times since they were admitted.

Don't  ask the patient if they have any results back yet on their biopsy.  Hello??  Aren't you the doctor who ordered the test?! 

Do try your very hardest to crack a smile when you introduce yourself to the patient and the patient's family.  A smile goes a long way people, a long way. 

Don't come in with yesterday's news.  Lack of knowledge makes you appear incompetent.  I don't work here.  I should not be the one to have to update the doctors and nurses on the latest results and happenings.  I say it again...READ the updated chart before you come in blind.

Don't omit information for any reason but especially not because you believe we are incapable of understanding it. Google is my very best friend, I'm a researcher at heart and I can pronounce the big words. Lay 'em on me, Einstein.  "Einstein" coincidentally, was the name of the ER doc who admitted her.  He was one of the good ones.

Don't express your hostilities while in the patient's room.  I really don't give a shit that your 20 year old self worked a 12 hour shift yesterday, that you are on the 14th hour (clearly!) of a 16 hour shift today, are going to nursing school and have to work at your mom's real estate business tomorrow.  All I want is for you to answer me nicely when I ask you a very legitimate question and to not slam and jerk things around while you are in the room.  Is that really too much to ask?

I don't know how much longer we will be here but I am quite sure I will come up with a few more before it is over. Meanwhile, I will breathe sighs of relief when I see the pleasant doctors and nurses with excellent communicative skills and bedside manners enter the room and take deep breaths and try to contain my inner madwoman when the other ones arrive.  

Y'all say a prayer. 


  1. I am glad someone figured out what was wrong with your mom. Hope she will come home soon.
    You should take that list and post it around the hospital.
    Good luck.

  2. I am glad they seem to have figured it out too. That's the first step to getting better and to knowing how to treat it. I love your Do's and Don'ts. They are all so true. You and your Mom are in my prayers. xoxo

  3. So sorry B has been sick. I can't even imagine her having to sit at the hospital. Or, how big your eyes have gotten as you given some dirty looks. I hope you have given some dirty looks;)

    Glad your back.

  4. So sorry to hear about your mom's condition, but I'm glad that you guys have a diagnosis.

    Given the circumstances, I think you nailed the do's and don'ts. Consider printing them and posting them on the door of your mom's room..or on the corkboard down the hall.

    Hope your mom will be home soon.

    HRH Mommy

  5. so glad you got a diagnosis. I just spent a week in the hospital myself. No fun. Fortunately most of the staff was great, but there were a few ...

    Hang in there.


  6. Im sorry to hear about you mom...I just happen to be reading through blogs when i ran into made me laugh...reasons is I work in a hospital and have recently been repremanded for saying these types of im glad someone else said them for sorry you are having to go through this...but honestly..this kind of treatment is why im currently at the Mayo-Clinic Hospital in Rochester, is amazing here...they know the dos and donts....from now on...anytime i get sick...i will gladly drive (or have someone else drive me) the 13 hours it took me to get here...this place is the way hospitals and doctors should act!!!! wishes to your mom!!!

  7. Oh Diane I am sorry you have to go through this, because I know it can be stressful and emotional for all. As with the other comments I am happy they have an idea of whats wrong. This list is a great one. Did you ever see the movie Doctor with William Hurt. It was excellent and I think ever doctor and healthcare provider should see it. Maybe you can get it at the library. I hope you and mom can get home soon. I wish you well.

    Mama Hen

  8. I would like to exchange links with your site
    Is this possible?