After a very long hiatus, I’m back!
This is a story of a renowned private hospital. I was admitted as a private patient – meaning that I was paying for everything. I preferred the hospital because 1) being on TTS (tenure track system), I have to pay for my medical bills; 2) and when I am paying, why not to go to a renowned private hospital; 3) I have a close relative working there, whose presence is a blessing in my life. Because of my close relative, I was admitted quickly- she took blood samples for labs and got other tests done as well. I was given a clean room with a very loving and caring roommate, also admitted for the same surgical procedure.
I had a good night sleep before the surgery. In the morning, I was taken to the OT. I was welcomed by fresh, smiling, and friendly OT staff and doctors. I was already famous as a “very happy patient.” I was chatting with the doctors as they were injecting medicines via cannula. The last question I asked was, “how long does this surgery take?” and the anaesthesia took control of my brain and body.
Now, I was hearing voices- two known and others unknown. The actual story begins here. I slightly opened my eyes. I saw two familiar faces of my relatives and then closed my eyes – couldn’t resist the need to sleep again. After couple of minutes, I woke up again- still under anaesthesia effect and asked if I were in ICU (intensive care unit) as my brain wasn’t sleeping and my head was pounding because of loud noises. My relative responded, “Yes, you are in ICU after surgery.” I requested her to ask the nurses and a young doctor there to keep their voices down. I also heard that they needed a bed for another surgery patient. I volunteered immediately and requested my relative for shifting me to the room (that caused bleeding in one of the incisions). Remember, patients are usually kept in ICU till they come to their senses fully. I couldn’t bear the loud talk, the clatter of utensils (as the nurse was eating) and her munching. Then another character entered- the support staff. As my relative was helping me to get up, she asked her to leave and said, “patients are more fussy when relatives are around.” Still not fully recovered from anaesthesia, I told the support staff to stop passing judgements as she didn’t know me and I also asked the nurse to stop talking as we were in ICU. The support staff added couple of additional words (derogatory) to communicate to the talking nurse. I again told the support staff not to miscommunicate. I remember visiting my mother’s hospital in 90s and I had another surgery in 2004 in another private hospital. ICU is one of the quietest place in hospitals. The purpose is to comfort patients coming out of anaesthesia. The nursing and support staff are one of the relaxing agents in ICUs.
To cut the long story short, the money sometimes doesn’t make the mare go! I opted for a private hospital for better facilities, professionalism and ethical behavior. It is not just medical, I see same lack of professionalism in other professionals too. We have either lost these somewhere or have left professionalism, empathy, etiquette, gentleness, etc., somewhere deliberately. The icing on the cake is that many of us seem to be okay with or take pride in our non-professional behavior. Being brought by professional parents, it disturbs me a lot. In today’s world, no nation can grow without these very basic dispositions. Since the day of my surgery, I have been asking myself this question, “Where are we heading as a nation?”