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When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Monday - January 05, 2009

Post of a more personal nature with thanks to PIXIE.

Last week I posted a story about the treatment of a man aged 101, by the hospital he was in.

BMEWS readers all posted comments of outrage or disgust or bewilderment that anything like that was even possible.

Well, our BMEWS Pixie had one heck of a comment to make and she wasn’t pulling any punches.
Her background as a nurse had her all the more angered as it wasn’t the kind of treatment she and her class would ever have put up with.
But what she had to say reminded me of a personal experience I witnessed in a hospital in Riverside, Ca. some years ago.
Here is part of what Pixie had to say.

I am appalled by this story.........I have been a nurse (now retired) for over 40 years.  Never have I witnessed this type of treatment of a patient.  I have worked OR, as a med-surg staff nurse, a supervisor and for the last 20 years of my career in an Emergency Department.

I have never witnessed this type of negligence.


Posted by Pixie under comments

Pixie,
Good for you and I wish there were more with that attitude. 

The story got to me and reminded me a tiny bit (not quite the same but bad enough) of an experience I personally witnessed at a hosp. in Riverside,Ca. some years ago.

I was recovering from back surgery and in pretty awful shape.  Don’t have to tell you about back surgery I know. Every move agony in the hosp. bed.  So .....

I had a two bed room and they wheeled in an elderly man from surgery for prostate cancer and some other thing I can’t recall.  He was in deplorable condition and drugged out of his skull as you will know.  And lots of moaning poor man.

He came to a few times and asked for water (?) but couldn’t reach the or wasn’t aware of the call button, so I used mine.  It was awhile before a nurse came, they are short handed I know, and she took care of his request, but it almost seemed grudgingly. Now I confess that may not be the case, it was just her look.

I had to get out of bed and oh boy was that an effort, (having to hold onto the wall and anything else handy for support) to use the loo as the Brits call it.
As I passed his bed to get there I noticed a US Navy tattoo on his arm, similar to the one my favorite uncle (more like father) had.  It was the USS Chicago, and of course WW2, so this old guy was a Navy vet and from a well known ship as well.  Wow.  When he came to again (he was in and out) I was calling him “sir.”

I’m too damn long winded so here’s what happened.

This guy was wired up with needles and tubes the like of which I never want to see again. He had them in his nose and in his (ah, you know) and and in his hands and heaven only knows where else. He was tossing and turning and I could see the tubes coming out and the straps that had him secured were beginning to come apart.  He was in some pain but he wasn’t totally conscious, and the moaning was pretty much non-stop for long periods. Like ALL night for the first couple of nights. Finally, at some point I was worried that he’d get hurt or something bad would happen with those loose tubes and things, and I also thought the straps would give and he’d fall out of bed.

This was happening around 2am, the ward was quiet and so I used the call button. Nothing.
Waited and it probably seemed longer then it was but truthfully it was a long wait.  Still no response.  What to do? Surprisingly, I didn’t see any side rails on the bed.  Or maybe they didn’t use them as he was strapped down.

With much pain myself as I hadn’t been out of surgery that long myself, I got out of bed and managed to make my way to the door, and peeked out onto the hallway.  I saw nobody at first. Not a soul.  So I’m hanging on to the door frame when I spotted a nurse coming down the hall and I called to her.  She was quite young and when I told her the situation, she informed me that this wasn’t her floor but she’d see what she could do.  I told her I was worried that he’d somehow get the straps holding him down undone and he might fall out of bed.  This was her word for word reply to that.  I have never forgotten it. 


“WE ALL HAVE TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR OWN ACTIONS.”

This old sailor hadn’t been out of surgery for 24 hours yet. This was the first night of the day he came out of surgery.  OK so, she more or less retied the straps while he’s tossing to and fro and not being at all still, so it wasn’t easy for her I realize. But she could have called for help and didn’t.
Think I’m through?  Nope. Because later that morning once again the straps and the wires and the tubes seemed to be falling out and the straps for certain were now undone, but he was slowly coming to but still in pain.

Hitting the call button yet again brought two nurses (this would be around 8 or 9 in the morning by now) and they started to put things back together.  And this really got to me for sheer ...????
I can’t find the word?  Stupidity is one but that doesn’t work for me as I need something stronger.
Here’s what happened next.

You know those horrid hospital gowns patients have to wear, right. They always seem too short and they usually are.
During all his tossing and moving previously, his hospital gown rode up exposing himself a little.
I watched as he tried to lower the damn thing and cover himself which he finally managed to do.
One of the nurses, an older hag says to him ....  “Thank You Very Much.” And I promise you it was said with a great deal of scorn and sarcasm. As though he were some kind of flasher and he exposed himself on purpose.  Why couldn’t she have pulled his gown down a bit?
What the heck kind of attitude was that?  She’s a nurse for gosh sake.  She’s never seen a nude patient before?

I felt very sorry for this guy and who wouldn’t?

I felt even worse when he finally came around a little more and asked me to get his carry bag in the wall closet. Locker?  Whatever. He said he had a 38 cal. in there and didn’t see the point of things anymore. 
That was scary and heartbreaking. 
That could by ill chance also be any one of us. We just never know for sure what the future holds or just what state our body and minds will be in. 

Until then, we should be thankful and grateful for any nurses out there that might be like Pixie.
Our bad luck that there aren’t more, and that ones as described here are still working in the field.

-end-


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/05/2009 at 01:09 PM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffHealth-Medicine •  
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