However, things have changed, and not for the better.
After being stuck in Recovery for over five hours because another patient – one patient – suffered some minor post-surgical complications, my daughter was finally wheeled into ICU. I wondered if there was only one Recovery nurse back there.
The crack ICU nursing staff of years ago had given way to casual interest. They failed to plug in the ice machine. The portable battery pack had long since died and my daughter wasn’t receiving any ice. Thankfully the surgeon caught it during evening rounds, and I thought he was going to rip the nurse a new orifice for failing to insure the most important factor of her post-op care was working.
They also allowed the machine to run dry of water hours later. My daughter told me her face felt warm. I said something to the nurse, and she finally added more water. By this time, I wasn’t feeling confident about my daughter’s care and was grateful I was spending the night so I could make sure she was taken care of.
I was told that there was no way they’d allow me to stay. I told them that I was a vet at this and had stayed with hubby and son a few years ago. How nice, but not this time. Rules and all. I left my daughter with a huge knot in my stomach.
I just knew something was going to happen during the night. It did. They failed to give her the timely anti-nausea meds and she proceeded to get sick – a potentially dangerous situation for a jaw case. They let her sit in her own vomit for a while before finally cleaning her up. They didn’t cut her rubber bands to clean out her mouth and stitches, they didn’t change the bandages. Words can’t describe my anger. I did vent my spleen when the surgeon came in for morning rounds, and he was furious. I couldn’t get her home fast enough.
I mentioned ICU’s cavalier attitude to the office manager at the surgeon’s office, knowing she had just had hand surgery. I wondered if her care had been just as shoddy. It had. This hospital used to be so fabulous, what happened, I asked. A single sentence brought it all home. They were bought out by Tenet Corp. First thing they did was to fire all the experienced nurses because they made too much money and bring in less experienced nurses for far cheaper. Gee, great business decision. Wonder if anyone cares about quality anymore. Is this the way