cyberninjasio (cyberninjasio) wrote in bad_service,

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Hospital ER Suckage

Hospitals in the US are INCREDIBLY AWFUL.  Let me tell you of an example that is very near and dear to my heart.  No it's not remarkably recently, but the recent post about the woman left to die on the floor triggered it.

My father gets pancreatitis (sp) periodically, and no ones really sure what triggers it so we just have to be on the look out.  It's nasty and he's hospital bound for around a week and kept to super bland foods for a while afterwards.  Well during the lastest bout around last Thanksgiving, I got a call up her in Minnesota saying that I should probably do my best to get back home to Missouri for Thanksgiving because it was starting to look like he might not survive thanks to some sort of freakish complication that put an air bubble or something in one of his legs.  If it got up to his heart... well, I wouldn't have a father anymore.

I got down there, and luckily things got better and he got to go home and everything a week or so before I got my time off, so yay.  But then a month or so later when I'm back home in Minnesota, he's having SEVERE CHEST PAINS and they rush him into the ER because they'd been warned that the bubble might not have gone completely away and that was one of the symptoms.  On the way, they called his main doctor at home, and he agrees that they need to get him to the ER as soon as possible.  He gets to the ER, gives the information, the desk nurse is informed that it is a real LIFE THREATENING emergency that needs to be seen to RIGHT AWAY.


The doctor (not his main one) was paged MULTIPLE times and didn't answer ANY of them.  The desk nurse had even left the desk and gone back to his office to try and find him, but the door was closed and locked and no one was answering when she knocked. I got to find out about it in a phone call later, and as my mom put it, it's a damn good thing I wasn't there, because I probably would have been arrested.  It might have been a customer_suck, but I swear that after the FIRST hour of waiting, I would have gone and KICKED the door until it either broke open or the useless piece of trash that called himself a doctor finally answered it.  Then I'd likely be charged with assault and battery, because I would have hit him just as hard as I could.

Bottom line.  You have life threatening emergencies come in your EMERGENCY ROOM, you treat them.  You call yourself a doctor, you damn well answer your pages.  They couldn't apparently even find a BED for him in that gawdawful excuse for a hospital.  Also... if there is multiple asking for a specific doctor to be called, please try and do that.  ESPECIALLY if the one you keep TRYING to page isn't answering his freaking pages!

At least the nurse, who was going off duty after six or seven hours of their being there, was extremely apologetic and kept trying to find the doctor.  That nurse?  Awesome.  The doctor though needs to be shot.

EDIT:  Sorry, realized I'd misspelled emergency twice.  ^_^;

Also, since I'm not trying to make a sweeping generalization... there are two hospitals in my parents area which we tended to patronize (there are more, but we really only use the two).  One of which, which was the one attended above, has a better gastro-intestinal department (or so we've been lead to believe).  The other of which, more local one, also has it's special share of WTF.  For example this:

When I was 20 or 21 years old (it was a while back and I can't remember exactly which year), I was awakened by an extremely acute pain in my right shoulder around 2 in the morning.  It was bad enough to wake me from a sound sleep.  At first, I just figured I'd slept on it bad and tried working it out.  That's when I discovered I couldn't raise my arm above my head without truly gawdawful pain.

I must have made some kind of noise, because I woke my mom who was sleeping down the hall.  I told her what was wrong and she insisted that we go to the emergency room at the more local hospital to have it checked out.  I couldn't even get dressed properly because of how much pain moving my arm gave me, even with help.

We got to the emergency room and checked in.  There was <i>nobody</i> else in the waiting room at this time.  Blood pressure and temp were taken by the ER nurse, and I was told to wait in the waiting room for a doctor.  About an hour later, a girl who had some kind of serious issue came in and I had no problem at all with her being helped first cause she was hysteric.  I think it was a bad allergic reaction or something, I can't remember any more.

At any rate, she was the only person who came in outside of a couple people who came in later to go somewhere else.  Yet I sat in the room over three hours, gritting my teeth through pain that'd I'd call a 8 or 9 on a 10 point scale.  No asprin or nothing (and before there's comments about that, I know the nurse couldn't do much on that end).  Finally I get to go back to an exam room... where I wait another hour for, I guess it was an intern, to come in. 

He poked at my arm a bit, and I do mean poked as in with the end of a pen, and declared that it was growing pains.  He then prescribed TWO different high-powered narcotics (of which I didn't fill either as I hadn't even taken _asprin_ for over ten years leading up to this, oh and Vicodin (one of the RXs) makes me extremely ill, but he didn't ask) and said I could leave.  No tests, just poking me with a pen.  Okay, fine.   That's a real amazing bit of no knowledge guess work, but fine.

Now, you may have noticed that I never said blood was drawn for testing, etc.  Because it wasn't.  I was in pain, not unconcious, thus I think I'd have noticed if blood was drawn.  Yet, why was I suddenly getting a 60 dollar US bill in the mail for blood work?  You kind of need <i>blood</i> to do blood work, don't you?  Yet, none was drawn, but I was getting charged.  WTF?

I refused to pay on the basis that the work was not done.  There was much arguing and it took a good year before I <i>finally</i> stopped being harrassed about it.  Oh, and btw, I still have trouble with my shoulder to this day.  I think I can safely say it's not growing pains by this point as I'm nearly thirty now.  -_-;
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