Friday, January 11, 2013

Surgery and Hospital Business

It's been awhile since we have had to wait in the hospital for a friend/family member to have surgery... and this one had an unknown, potentially unpleasant outcome. Since both my husband and I are quite familiar with health care (in our past lives he was a surgeon, and I was a nurse) we kinda know what to expect. What I really liked was the patient status board in the waiting area that updates the patient whereabouts as he/she moves about from pre op to surgery to recovery room, etc. There was also a pager system, like the ones in restaurants, that you can take with you in case you need to leave the area with a friendly little reminder to return it. I also liked the new surgical patient gowns that have a vacuum cleaner hose attached to them to serve as a warming blanket replacement. It's gets cold when you wake up from anesthesia. All of this works well during the day, but our case was delayed by almost four hours when it finally started well in to the late afternoon/evening. Nothing can replace an attentive nurse or spokesperson who communicates directly when and why there are delays. There was already a lot of high anxiety to start with and any little delay makes it all the more worse. The technical improvements are great, but in the end, it's the art of conversation that makes all the difference. I'm not so sure that can be taught.

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