Jennlee (jennlee2) wrote in bad_service,
Jennlee
jennlee2
bad_service

More medical bad service

The recent medical bad service posts have reminded me of this one - it still annoys me to this day, so I thought I'd post.



Bad service #1 - wacky diagnosis

I was feeling sick for about a week - bad cough, short of breath, just feeling like crap, and it was getting worse with fever and chills on and off - seriously my temperature one day when I had chills was 103 (fahrenheit). I go in to urgent care because that's the only place I can be seen under my HMO (in USA) on the weekends and it seemed like whatever I had was getting worse instead of better.

In the urgent care room, there's a big sign on the door describing the difference between a cold and the flu and a big notice that you don't get a fever with a cold.

The doctor (actually I think he was a PA) comes in, does the exam, asks me my symptoms. He tells me I just have a cold. I say, "but I had a fever of 103, I didn't think you had a fever with colds" and he says, in all seriousness, "it must be a viral cold." I'm like, wtf? Aren't all colds viral? But in my weakened condition I was kind of out of it and didn't argue.

He gives me a prescription for some cough syrup with codeine and sends me out the door.

Monday comes around and I'm still feeling horrible - even a bit worse than before, despite chugging the cough syrup. My regular doctor's office squeezes me in. Turns out? I have bad pneumonia. My doctor admits me to the hospital because I'm so bad and my oxygen levels are so low. Why did not the urgent care doc realize that I had this? My own doctor (who was actually an NP and not even a "real" doc) saw it within two seconds of listening to my chest and watching me breathe. And the whole viral cold=fever is just bizarre.

Bad service #2 - The hospital

So like I said, my doc admits me to the hospital. The hospital has a procedure for this where they tell you exactly what time to arrive. I get my mom to drive me there, arriving at the appointed time and it takes two hours for the admission stuff to happen while I'm pretty darned sick sitting around in various cubicles and offices getting checked in. Two hours! Even though my doctor had arranged it ahead of time, and I'd arrived when the hospital said. One might assume if one was sick enough to be admitted to the hospital that they were too sick to be waiting around in various lobbies and cubicles for two hours potentially infecting others, but apparently this is not the case.

One of the reasons why I was OK with being admitted was that I was really tired and due to problems breathing I had been mostly unable to sleep. My doctor told me that at least I could get some sleep in the hospital. So that was the one thing I was really looking forward to.

Queue finding out that my room was right across from the busiest, loudest, nurses station in the place, and next door to a man who was apparently so deaf that they had his TV turned up to the point where in my room (even with the door closed) it sounded so loud that it literally hurt my ears. Not to mention they'd go in there every hour or so and "talk" to him by shouting really loudly. And his TV never went off. It was on through the whole day and night.

As the nurse was getting me situated, I made some comment about how I really really wanted to get some sleep, and she was like, "good luck with that." And she made some comment about how loud the next room was. Apparently they don't care though, or she would have done something about it. The bed was super uncomfortable, too, which was strange as I've been in other hospital beds that were fine or even comfortable. And on a further bizarre note, I was admitted into the "kidney service" which has nothing to do with pneumonia, but it gave me the fun opportunity to pee into a measuring thing and have to call a nurse in to note the amounts and empty it every time (which was a lot considering all the IVs I was on). Nobody there understood that one either, but I was told it might be because the lung service was all full and kidneys had an available bed... And when my IV's would run out, the IV unit thing would start to beep loudly and continuously, and the nurses would take forever to come in and reset the thing.

It was such a horrible experience overall that if my car had been in the parking garage, I might have ripped my IVs out and headed home at 3am when I felt like I couldn't take it anymore. I shoved tissues in my ears as best I could and tried to wait it out, miserable from being sick, tired, and the horrible loudness of it all.

Oh, and a side note - the hospital was designed by someone suffering from some bizarre mental condition or something because my room window looks out into this honeycomb space surrounded by windows of other patient rooms and hallways with other nurses stations. And the blinds were broken so anyone could look into my room from those other places.



I was admitted to a different hospital a couple years later for something else and that whole experience was great with quiet rooms, nice and helpful medical professionals, a quick check-in process, etc. I had to share a room in that one, but even with a roommate it was far quieter and more pleasant than that other hospital.
Tags: *medical/pharmacy
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