Things I Saw in the ER

1. A septuagenarian African American mother of two lying on a flimsy stretcher, clutching her stomach, writhing in pain and screaming for a doctor. It took fifteen minutes of her pleading for help till a nurse came and gave her some Morphine. The poor lady was in so much pain that in an hour’s time (when the Morphine wore off), she started to writhe in pain again. Apparently, her intestines had some kind of blockage and some complications led to internal bleeding and hemorrhaging. Later, we found out that she had Cancer (of the mouth) and had started Chemotherapy the same day.

2. A fifty-something ex-Military guy who had slipped and had a fall in the snow. He had broken his ankle and shin bone. He didn’t have insurance and had been put in a wheelchair for close to fifteen hours – without treatment or anything.

3. A Medicaid worker who was going from bed to bed, asking people if they had insurance. Good to know at least someone was paying attention to these poor people since, the ones without insurance were pretty much left to their own devices.

4. Of the six nurses, only two were actually doing their job.

5. My friend and I had to wait for three hours to get an X-Ray done. At the Radiology place, I had to pretty much demand that I be shown me my X-Ray – which I saw as it was being generated to be sent to my Physician. And, I was not even allowed to see it finally. My own X-Ray!! Apparently, we would have to go to the ‘Medical Records’ section and request a copy of my X-Ray. WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?  Of course, once pressurized, the authorities then deigned to give a CD.

6. The three (two friends – one joined later) of us had to go and pester the nurse close to twenty times and then a doctor came and saw us. It took all of ten minutes to do the needful medical stuff – which he did well and was quite thorough – but, we had to wait for close to seven hours!! Preposterous.

It is sad but, I think I have had to be quite brusque these past few days. It seems to be the swiftest way that these protocol lines are lifted and things get done.

In my experience and from what little I have seen in the ER (in my experience and I also have been to other hospitals, accompanying others and they have been similar experiences), the medical system here in the US really needs to be more efficient. (The bills sure don’t do justice to medical attention received.)

The systems are in place but, there is so much protocol and so much legal hoopla involved that it renders the ones requiring medical attention quite high and dry. The system really needs to be revised so that the ones requiring medical attention can get timely and good care.

Note: I actually have a LOT to say about a lot of issues but, I am on medication at this point and will write more elaborate pieces once I feel a bit better. Till then, Happy Reading, good WordPress folx =)

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