Now that I'm one month past my surgery, I'd like to give some shout outs to the hospital staff that made impressions on me during my stay.
A big shout out to Angela, the Physical Therapist on my floor. She insisted that I practice getting in and out of a car (they had half a fake one in the rehab room) even though my post-surgery instuctions say "absolutely no automobile travel until your follow up appointment." She also said I had to try steps. Again, the instructions warn against steps.
A shout out to my nurse the first day after my surgery. I still don't know her name (in my mind she is "Dumb Dora"), as she consistently refused to write it on the little whiteboard by my bed for that purpose. She never came to check on me that first morning, as if she had, she would have seen that I was laying (on my side, thankfully!) in my own puke. Instead this was discovered when Dr. Balderston and Theresa came in for rounds first thing. Someone must have gotten reamed a new one from Dr. B. and Theresa because as soon as they left there were about seven people in my room, including the Nurse Manager. Dumb Dora then stuck her face next to my ear and shouted, as though I was a deaf, mentally challenged 4-year-old that didn't speak English, "Do you want something for nausea?" I think I rolled my eyes and said "what do you think?" I had to really bite my tongue, as I'm sure you can imagine what I wanted to say.
A second well-deserved shout out to Dumb Dora, who, when I asked for something for pain after I had been taken off the IV Demerol, refused to read the second page of my chart where the previous nurse, Patrice, had noted that I was getting Darvon, not oral Demerol (which is ineffectual). It wasn't until I picked up the phone and started dialing Theresa that she miraculously summoned the energy to flip the page and find the most recent additions to my chart and get the correct pain meds.
A shout out to the Nurse Assistant (or whatever they are called) who was attending to my roommate the night of my surgery and who double dipped
with her bare, ungloved, probably unwashed hand into my cup of ice chips.
A shout out to whoever the nurse was for my roommate who left her stuck on a (full) bed pan for 18 minutes (we timed it).
A shout out to the Physical Therapist who was on duty on Saturday and came right after I went through the horror of having the tube thrust up my nose and down into my stomach and then, ignoring my wishes to not get up right then (the tube was really, really uncomfortable plus I would have had to carry the cannister with the black, red and green slime in it around with us!), asked the nurse if it could be disconnected "for a few minutes" so I could walk around the floor with her and presumably practice getting into a car and going up and down steps.
A shout out to my nurse Barbara, who left the clear plastic container with the black, red and green slime in it hanging on the wall above my bed for three more days.
Yet another shout out to Dumb Dora, for standing over me with her arms folded across her chest not helping or offering any comfort whatsoever while I cried out in pain, unable to move myself from my bed over to the gurney that was waiting to take me to xray the day after surgery. Once I manoevered my way over without her help, she dashed back to her seat at the nurses station stating loudly to the other nurses, "She had her arm in the wrong position." Yes, that was it and it was all my fault, Dora.
And still another shout out to Dumb Dora for, when I asked for something for heartburn (my acid reflux was killing me as I had to lay flat to comfort my back), telling me that laying flat to comfort my back or propping myself up to relieve the heartburn was "a decision I would have to make." Again with her arms folded across her chest, like she was mad at me for having had heartburn.
A shout out to the entire nursing staff who ignored three calls from me for pain medication over a two hour period between a quarter to six and eight fifteen in the morning on Saturday. By the time someone came in (incidentally, NOT a member of the nursing staff, an NP with orthopedics who was doing weekend rounds) and summoned the nurse (and no, it wasn't Dumb Dora), I was in tears and incoherent with anger.
I'm really not a complainer but come on; some of this stuff is just beyond the pale. I do have some positive shout outs, unfortunately not very many. I'm researching an essay on the health careless situation in nursing, and wanted to get these out there first. Stay tuned for my take on the "nursing crisis."
Labels: bad behavior, care, health careless, hospital, nurses, nursing crisis, pain, patience, shout outs, spine, spine surgery, WTF?