Hip Replacement 6: The Hospital As Observed by the Patient

Hospitals, like airports, seem to me to look alike, whether in Emporia Kansas or Portland Oregon.

Now this  observation may be true only for the patient, who is wheeled through corridors and swinging doors on a gurney, staring at false ceilings and fluorescent lights. I can’t speak for the families and friends who wander through corridors that might have art work or access to colorful gardens to wait out the long hours. But, pleasant as my stay was at St. Vincent’s, it was no more or less pleasant than my stays in other hospitals in Portland, Kansas and elsewhere.

And of course, the two days I was given at St. V’s gave me no insights into the quirks it might hold; it was all efficiency, efficacy, and blood pressure testing. All mod cons in testing, of course, with beeps that signal temperature and blood pressure and tiny pricks when they extract blood. They still take your pulse by placing a sensitive finger on your wrist, though. I found this last a bit touching.

Anyway, to make my point, look at this clock and these room accoutrements:

A good old-fashioned Seth Thomas, whose numbers are eminently readable and whose hands signify the time of day, rather than making you calculate it.  And then there are the, um, sundry containers of stuff:

St. V’s orthopedic siting did have one singular advantage: it’s on the 9th floor:

I certainly enjoyed looking at the beautiful sky from my bed, but must admit a frisson of delight that I wasn’t in the traffic on Barnes Road that I saw when they allowed me into a chair.

There was, however, one absolutely new bit of equipment I had never seen in a hospital room before:

The wooden cabinet holds the room’s computer, presumably open to the patient’s file, updated by many and various  nurses, CNA’s, and student nurses, although not by the therapists, who use the erasable board to the left. The upper part of the cabinet must hold cpu or its system equivalent, while the lower part lowers to reveal a flat screen and keyboard. I thought that was a nifty design.

These computers seemed to be relatively new to the staff and personnel; someone put a nick into the bottom of the wood while I was there (and that’s the first of what will be a lot, I’m thinking). And almost everyone who used the computer was flummoxed by something mysterious in the program and had to call for assistance. During the only semi-crisis that existed in my stay (low blood pressure sort of fainting spell) neither the student nurse nor the occupational therapist who unceremoniously dumped me back into bed had time nor inclination to record the event. So when I tried to explain it to someone else later, the record didn’t exist. Perhaps it didn’t happen?

All in all, I think I saw at least 35 –50 different persons in my 48 hour stay at the hospital; that counts the 12 who moved me from admission to surgery. After that I lost count. But I see why the medical field is an area of growing employment.

Oh yes, one last observation. They’ve pulled jello from the hospital menu. But they do serve gelatin. –June

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2 Responses to Hip Replacement 6: The Hospital As Observed by the Patient

  1. Lia says:

    Yesterday I sat through CPR training for the first time in about 5 years. The American Red Cross has updated its training methods, and now the whole class is driven by a video (so that even a monkey can teach it, I guess). Our video seemed to be directed toward health care providers, because every scenario involved a person walking into a hospital or doctor’s office and then inexplicably and suddenly collapsing! I doubt the park rangers at Crater Lake will experience such a scenario, but the net effect was the imply that it is very dangerous to walk into a health care facility.


  2. Catherine Taylor says:

    June – You have been on my mind. I am so glad to hear you are home and it sounds as if you are doing well. I’m looking forward to seeing you in July – walker or no.

    p.s. They sell wonderful canes at the Real Mother Goose – sturdy, beautifully made, and worth leaning on.


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