I’m back from my latest adventure in healthcare. Mom had an “event” last night. She is doing ok and has been admitted for further observation. It’s the getting there I don’t understand. Into emergency, bloodwork, initial consult and then nothing.
The hours tick by. Oh, the blood work results will be done by 11 and then we should be able to tell you whether we’ll keep her in or not. 11 arrives and the tune changes to now we have to consult with “The Medicine Doctor”. I did not make that up, “Medicine Doctor”, that’s the hospital’s term. I dunno, maybe it’s a native outreach thing.
11 turns to 12 turns to 2 turns to 3 and I’m runnin out of smokes and patience. At this point she’s been there 8 hours already and they still can’t tell us whether she’ll be admitted or not. I was in that ER all night, this is no “Ramparts Randolf Mantooth” emergency unit, in fact it was perhaps the least busy I have seen. Sensing I may have been impatient the staff suggested I could leave and they would send Mom home in a taxi when they had finished with her. Mom is 86, suffers vertigo and uses a walker.
When my patience wore thin shortly after 3 am I approached the nurse’s station and asked where this imaginary Medicine Doctor was. The nurse pointed her out. I had walked by the Medicine Doctor all evening as she sat beavering away at a work station. I had assumed she was clerical staff, seriously.
I asked again when we might see the doctor and was given a shrug. At that point I asked for the form to sign Mom out. By a strange unexplained coincidence the delivery of the form coincided with the delivery of the Medicine Doctor. After a 5 minute consultation the Medicine Doctor pronounced that Mom would be admitted for further examination.
Like I said, I don’t understand the “getting there”, 8 hours for a 5 minute consult.