My stay in an American hospital

Sevomoz

Pigeon
Catholic
This was written just over a year ago in the middle of corona virus. Spent three weeks straight in the hospital. Didn't have sufficient post privileges at the time. Back in the hospital again.


Am staying unexpectedly in a hospital with my baby and wife for a perhaps life threatening medical condition for our 6 month old baby. It’s an affluent college town in America and is the best hospital in the state.

I thought it would be interesting to share some of my experiences.

Firstly about the nurses. Most of our interactions have been with nurses. Our room has a glass wall and a nurse station with glass. Which means that at most times of the day we can see a nurse(s) and they can see us.

Most of the nurses are overweight and several are obese. They are relatively young, I would predict mid twenties to mid forties being somewhat around the average. Some people in general have a disposition to be fat, but with most of these nurses it seems like a lack of self-care.

One thing I’ve noticed in general life is that daughters are often larger than their mothers, or if they are not larger it’s obvious very soon they will be. That’s not to say that the mothers I see are the picture of health.

Are nurses overworked?
The answer is, from what I have observed, that they have very little to do. Nurses pop in for a few minutes to administer medication or correct some wires, but 80% of their time is idle. How do they spend this time? Groups of them are huddled in chit-chat, using their phones, reading books etc. I have commented to my wife how little there is for them to do.

In general there is an abundance of staff. Various clerks, cleaners, nutrition consultants, social workers, pharmacists etc.. It seems that no one is in danger of over exerting themselves.

What about their attitude?
We have been through at least 10 nurses in the past week. There are some good nurses. Some are attentive with their care and are empathetic. Overall I think they could be much much better. In my time here I’ve realized that genuine empathy is the most important thing for a nurse to have.

As for being a man having to interact with the nurses and other staff on occasion I have noticed at times I’m an object to be ignored. If my wife is not around they say they can come back later. Eye contact is made predominantly with my wife. This was even more noticeable in the delivery room for two days when I was at times ignored completely. The man hate does seem very real.

We are cramped into a confined space with a one seat sofa that expands into a couch along with a lazy boy where the feet can be raised and the backrest can be lowered to sleep on. We have a small bar fridge, hardly any shelf or cupboard space. We’ve probably got 20-30 square feet where mom and I can park our belongings and live.

So nurses throwing more and more toys at us is really not appreciated because we’ve no where to keep them. I’ve had to have an iron fist with nurses who are encouraging us to take on more toys. I mean I think that 10-15 toys/objects are enough personally. My wife’s female family members also are perhaps unaware of how important space is to us. Toy’s, books, objects etc. can accumulate and I feel that I’m fighting to preserve some kind of space and sanity.

American hospitals
This is ethnically a predominately white city. I’ve stepped into 3 hospitals in the past 6 months. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that no matter what hospital you visit in any state, you should expect to interact with Indian doctors. For better or worse you will have to deal with this, I’m of the opinion it usually is for worse.

The “help” at hospitals is often African American. Cleaners, kitchen staff, security guards etc., are over represented with African Americans. The hospital I visited earlier this year was in a predominantly black city. The cafeteria staff were exclusively African Americans. If you have never visited the states you will not be able to comprehend how rude they can be. This is not always the rule and they may be kind.

Spiritual Care
In two of the three hospitals I’ve visited the spiritual care room. Each of these rooms was a silent place of multi denomination worship or prayer. At the first was a pew to kneel and pray, at the current hospital there is a muslim prayer mat. While I do not like to share the space with people of other denominations, a quiet place to pray has been a blessing. Although I do now prefer to walk outside the hospital to pray.

A catholic chaplain did visit our room. He gave us communion and prayed for our child. He has been the first person in our room to lower his mask. Our child is not yet baptized and he offered the sacrament, but we are making arrangements with our church priest for baptism. To note, he was Indian. I’ve seen other Indian priests in my life, and I was a little surprised.

Our request to have our own priest visit to offer the sacrament of baptism was denied because of the coronavirus. It will be considered if our child is having life threatening surgery. In any case we have arrangements for her baptism.

Conclusion
Despite my judgments above I’ve had my expectations not met on occasion.

Indeed some of the most empathetic and attentive care has come from the most unlikely sources. An overweight young woman, who it seems to me is an anachronism. The sort of caring overweight and jolly child rearing fat woman who belongs in another time. An African American fairer skinned male nurse who has shown genuine empathy for our child and the highest degree of professionalism among all the other nurses.

I’m trying hard to not judge everyone too harshly, indeed I’m praying not to. I think I'm a little like Roosh in this respect and I think that’s why I appreciate his content. Goodwill aside, I think the nurse worship during the covid scandemic and the reverence people have for doctors is undeserved. I think my experience in this hospital is probably replicated across America and maybe even worse.
 
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travelz

 
Banned
Non-Christian
"American hospitals"?
Many years ago, shortly after I had moved to the US, I was thrown out of American hospital with fresh, bleeding surgical wound, barely able to move on my own, with no one to help me, still unable to take care of myself, because some doctor that never even seen me (substitute for the one who went on vacation) signed off to discharge me, to please typical greedy American health insurance company. I was woken up at 5am, sleepy and drowsy under medications they had injected into me, and was dumped in the freezing cold parking lot, to drive back. When I asked if I could just sit in the emergency room for few hours they told me they'd call the cops if I did that and the very pain medication they, themselves, dispensed to me for discharge/after-care would be used by them to accuse me of drug usage to get me arrested (I know that latter sounds especially wild, but this is what it was, what they threatened me with that, that hospital in one Southern state).
No illusions about this country, its healthcare system or the system in general ever since.
Any past illusions about "America" I might have had had been cured, once and for good, with a bit of "medical care".
I'm a real health buff ever since, don't see doctors, avoid them like a plague and take care of myself.
 

Optimus Princeps

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
"American hospitals"?
Many years ago, shortly after I had moved to the US, I was thrown out of American hospital with fresh, bleeding surgical wound, barely able to move on my own, with no one to help me, still unable to take care of myself, because some doctor that never even seen me (substitute for the one who went on vacation) signed off to discharge me, to please typical greedy American health insurance company. I was woken up at 5am, sleepy and drowsy under medications they had injected into me, and was dumped in the freezing cold parking lot, to drive back. When I asked if I could just sit in the emergency room for few hours they told me they'd call the cops if I did that and the very pain medication they, themselves, dispensed to me for discharge/after-care would be used by them to accuse me of drug usage to get me arrested (I know that latter sounds especially wild, but this is what it was, what they threatened me with that, that hospital in one Southern state).
No illusions about this country, its healthcare system or the system in general ever since.
Any past illusions about "America" I might have had had been cured, once and for good, with a bit of "medical care".
I'm a real health buff ever since, don't see doctors, avoid them like a plague and take care of myself.
When my ex girlfriend got her wisdom teeth out while I was waiting in the front for her, they dumped her in some hallway drugged up without giving her discharge instructions or telling me to get her.
 

Jive Turkey

Kingfisher
Orthodox Catechumen
Having interacted with many nursing students I think for myself personally unless I am bleeding internally or suffering from some other kind of severe mechanical damage I will stay out of the hospital entirely. For some reason no one wants to admit that the only thing western medicine is capable of is orthopedic surgery. That we are very good at, except spine stuff, which is a toss up.

Everything else it seems like going to the doctor just exasperates the problem. Many people recover in spite of their medical treatment, not because of it.
 

Blade Runner

Hummingbird
Orthodox
Having interacted with many nursing students I think for myself personally unless I am bleeding internally or suffering from some other kind of severe mechanical damage I will stay out of the hospital entirely. For some reason no one wants to admit that the only thing western medicine is capable of is orthopedic surgery. That we are very good at, except spine stuff, which is a toss up.

Everything else it seems like going to the doctor just exasperates the problem. Many people recover in spite of their medical treatment, not because of it.
I push back not because I trust the "institution" that much but more that I know and have seen more (and forgotten more) patients than the entire forum combined. Most of this is just recall and confirmation bias. I'm not accusing anyone on this forum of being in bad health but let's face facts, most people aren't all that healthy.
 
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