San Diego life style

Overcrowded and Overworked


The other day I had a scheduled test at a local hospital. I was surprised with the experience. Myself and everyone being seen were there according to schedule. No emergencies or unexpected procedures. My appointment was mid-day and so the morning group was recovering and getting ready to be picked up and go home. My group was checking in according to prearranged timing. I was told there was no bed at the moment so I could answer the questions and just sit in a chair for the moment. Ok. The gal was constantly distracted and seeming to be paying attention to multiple issues at the same time. We were in a large room where all patients could be viewed. A doctor came out to talk with a recovering patient and tell him the results of his test and give him follow up instructions. He was in a corner across the room but I heard every word. Finally she told me to follow her to a bed and then seemed surprised I was right behind her. She pulled the curtain and told me to put my things in a bag. Then I heard her apologizing to one of the gals for accidentally hanging up on a call to someone to come for a pick up. Frustration because now they would have to start over. The entire room was crowded and beds would brush the curtain as they went by. Orders were being barked back and forth and it was unclear if anyone was in charge. A man came in to take me and then realized he was looking for a different patient. I was thankful I had my identifying wristband on. No bedside manner from anyone …they didn’t have time. I heard them talking about me saying this one will be easy. The lady next to me had to be rescheduled for a few hours later because she had eaten too recently. I was thinking how easily mistakes could be made in this chaotic situation. I was paying attention. Finally they started hooking me up. Tubes going every which way and scraps of paper from wrappers around the equipment lay on my chest. The tubing looked like a rat’s nest. I picked one of the papers up and asked is this trash or do you need this? It was trash. Then she put the neddle for the IV in and hooked up a bag. I asked her if that was saline. Hmm. Then time to take me to the operating room a different gal started moving the bed and didn’t include the device with the bag…started pulling at the needle point ..OW ! Oops..I ‘m sorry. Some guy that I had seen bustling around was in the room messing with the computer and screens. Didn’t acknowledge that I had entered the room ..too busy. Then the doctor came in and started conferring with the other guy. Apparently they were having technical difficulties with their computer system and the pictures from the last patient weren’t hooking up with the space to write the report. Just waited killing time while they kept trying to fix their system. Learned the nurse was from Poland and her father had immigrated back in the days of political unrest. Eventually they decided to move on to me and stop worrying about technical issues. I started thinking this is the time period when you can switch your insurance. Maybe I should consider it. Then nighty night off I went to sleep. My tests were great and no issues but what a chaotic experience. By the time I was waking many of the patients had left and all was calm…the way I had anticipated. Thank God for all the safe guards. Easy to see how they could make mistakes. My opinion big F for their scheduling too many people for the staff. Not impressive.