Friday, December 02, 2005

Medicine's Priority...A Rant

I worked last night. I was tired, and therefore cranky by default. I clocked in, got my patient assignment, and Katie (who was charging that night) approached me with this look that said, "I'm about to lay a big pile of BS on you."

Katie: We have a VIP coming.
Heather: Excuse me while I dance with joy.
Katie: We are moving a patient down to another floor so the VIP can have a private room.
Heather: Naturally
Katie: But that room doesn't have a good view out the window. So, we need to move your patient into that room, and give the VIP her room because it has a better view.
Heather: Like hell! I'm not kicking my patient out of her room so some asshole of perceived importance can have a better view.
Katie: I know, it's bullshit...but this came down from the house supervisor.
Heather: Well, then she can kiss the fattest part of my ass. (Katie and I have a good working relationship that we can talk to each other in this manner.)

While not widely known to poor schmucks like you and me, VIP treatment does exist in the very place it shouldn't. Some hospitals even have special, ornate rooms exclusively for VIP patients (i.e. anyone with potential to donate money to the hospital). Private rooms with fancy bedding, curtains, plasma tv' get the idea. Once, we had a VIP who had donated mountains of money to the hospital, and the supervisors told us to treat them extra special: make their needs priority, and generally kiss their ass.


I distinctly remember in nursing school our instructors telling us that everyone is entitled to the same dignity, respect, and care regardless of race, gender, creed, and socioeconomic status. Apparently, this is just lip service that nursing schools have to tell their students, knowing full well that once we are out in the "real world", this sentiment is only advocated until someone "important" is wheeled in. It's disgusting.

Good nurses and doctors will try to adhere to the oaths they took when they first went into practice. All the rest are just assholes. We'll see how they feel when that moment comes when the needs of their family member is passed over by a government official with tennis elbow.

In the end, we didn't kick my patient out of her room, but rather moved someone who was confused and wouldn't know the difference between a view to a brick wall, or a view of the city skyline. I was still livid, and fumed about it for the better part of the evening.

I've decided that I will probably never end up in a high management position as a nurse. I lack the talents of an effective ass-kisser, not to mention I advocate for my patients...ALL of them.

1 comment:

missbhavens said...

Yeah! Right On! Way to advocate! You tell 'em, lady! Yeah!

(I just feel very strongly on the subject! Actually, this never happens where I work, but I saw it a couple of times in action during rotations while in school. It made me nauseated)