Well the Premier toured the hospital in my hometown today. He was taken to the cramped areas where nurses and doctors work and was shown broken and outdated equipment that the health professionals use to treat (and I use that word lightly) their patients including a temperamental X-Ray machine. When shown the operating suites Danny made a small gaff: "Obviously there are bigger operating rooms than this?" Why no Danny, came the answer, this is our standard operating room. His reply: "You're not serious!"
Is anyone else asking why this is such a suprise to him besides me? Anyone?
Oh yes, we are serious Danny Boy. Serious as a heart attack in the dead of night, when there are two nurses on duty but one is with the teen who just came in with Grand Mal seizure and a head injury; the other nurse is on the phone with the paramedics coming in from a serious motor vehicle accident on the highway, and the rest of her lines are lit up as well. The one doctor on call is in with the kid seizing, and is mentally trying to brace himself for the call coming in from the highway. Meanwhile, a restless dozen or more ER patients sit crammed, side by each in the tiny waiting room. Some have been there for 6 hours or more; some puking; some coughing; all miserable and stewing in their own juices.
This was a night at the ER for me some 15 years ago, when we brought my boyfriend, now husband, into the ER while he was having a Grand Mal. Things have gone further down the crapper since then and Grand Falls is only the tip of the iceberg.
Recently Meeker on Media shared a pretty dark letter he received from one of the nurses who works at the Health Science Center. It tells a sad tale of nurses who cannot be advocates for their patients for fear of job action being taken against them. Of nurses so overworked they can’t tend to patients in their dying hours. Of a lack of response on behalf of health care workers outside of the ER towards ER staff and patients because their work load is too heavy, thus further compounding the problem of overcrowding at wait times in the ER itself. It is burning good people out. It is making a difficult job harder. It is unacceptable.
People are frustrated, people are lashing out, and who gets the brunt of it? The nurses. Nurses have been assaulted in the ER, one nurse reports a wheelchair being thrown at her. When people are treated like animals, they tend to act that way.
Many of my classmates who choose a life in the health care field have left the Rock, many have left Canada, to work in places where they are properly compensated, have the proper working conditions and are given the respect they are due. Those who remain are tired, frustrated, and feel just as abandoned by the system as their patients do. And when doctors and nurses are this tired, over worked and frustrated, and angry, they tend to make mistakes. Mistakes like 42% rate of inaccuracy of hormone receptor tests for breast cancer patients, or flawed work by a radiologists overseeing the care of more than 3500 patients, or a nicked bowel on a patient who simply wanted a cyst removed.
But to hear Danny Boy tell it today "Our health-care system is not in a crisis". Then, the moron continues to elaborate saying that "the Grand Falls-Windsor hospital will be standing in line with deteriorating schools and roads", and one can only assume, 1000 dollar baby bonus checks for families back home.
Well ladies, maybe you should learn how to squat down and deliver those babies on your own because it seems there will be no room at the inn if you need to haul ass to the ER.