Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I Love Nurses

I fear my last entry about Carilion and its bloody nose might have left the impression that I blame everyone associated therein and not the higher-ups.

I do not blame the non-administrative staff at all. I think nurses in particular have a very rough time of it. They perform a service I cannot. I envy nurses and the way they can compassionately soothe a fevered brow and make the world feel a bit better with a cool cloth.

It's not a touch I possess and I think it is a remarkable quality. I wish it was a quality in me but alas it is not.

The same goes for aids and radiology specialists and the vampires who draw blood and all of those other unsung health care workers who have to deal with body fluids and irate and irritable sick people. They are truly saints.

As for doctors, well, I don't always know about the doctors. Don't they have choices that others do not? Can't they, theoretically, put up a shingle and go into private practice anywhere? Instead it seems to me they have chosen to follow the money trail wherever it may lead them.

Even so, I understand there are pressures on doctors these days, what with malpractice insurance and the threat of lawsuits if you don't do this or that.

The problem maybe is in part the locale. Let's face it. How many Grade A Great Doctors are going to set up practice in little ol' rural southwestern Virginia? Not too many. I suspect we get the B listers and C listers around here. Not the sharpest tacks in the jar. Those folks are at the Mayo Clinic or someplace like that.

My aunt, by the way, is a nurse and I have the utmost respect for her. I think she has a very difficult job. And she is a very caring person.

I remember when I was in the hospital for surgery over 15 years ago how wonderful I thought my nurses were. They were attentive and thoughtful and they made me feel better.

That is what health care is supposed to do. The nurses do it. Some doctors do it. They make you feel better. But the system overall is broken and it doesn't do that. It does something else. It breaks my heart.

9 comments:

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  2. I'm glad the problem is being exposed. Seems health care and corporate for-profit doesn't mix very well. Do they really want us to get better or spend more money on their products?

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  3. I agree, I agree with everything you said in relation to the 'clinic's one has to go to and inept service.

    I can't go on. It just makes the blood boil.

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  4. It breaks my heart, too. First of all, that so many can't even afford basic health care. Second, that those of us who have it pay so dearly. Third, that the quality of the care we have is often so lousy. I'm glad you had a good experience with nurses. I know there are many caring nurses out there, but my experience after heart surgery six years ago was distressing. I was in a room where I could hear and see the nurse's station. The early shift wasn't so bad, but the later shift nurses sat around, played cards, gossiped, and took forever to answer my infrequent requests. I like to think that was an anomaly, but it didn't do much for my general opinion of the medical profession.

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  5. I never thought you didn't...always knew your ire was with "the system". Unfortunately, the system has a way of affecting those who work in it.

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  6. I've found nurses could go either way. Some are great like they were for my daughter at UVA and made all the difference in the world in her healing. Others such as the ones I knew up in NY, just suck. I have a cousin who is a nurse and he is just so jaded and cold with a terrible attitude. His colleagues were the same way. I'll never forget the torture they put my mother through while she was in their "care". Horrible.

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  7. I had toxemia with both of my pregnancies. One of my nurses at Lewis Gale was phenomenal. She actually gave me a sponge bath, a foot massage, and combed my hair. I'll never forget that woman as long as I live. She didn't have to do that, the floor was completely full. That nurse was more than just a nurse, she was an angel.

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  8. My sister is a nurse and can tell stories that you would not believe about the doctors she puts up wtih the system she has dealt with over the years. She can hardly do her job because of all the problems, politics and inept doctors. I agree that nurses and other workers are the hardest working people in health care. Doctors go either way. I have met very few who really care about patients. Those that do are gems. What really gets me is how people can have no health insurance but doctors can live in $300,000+ houses. I know they work long hard hours, but so does my husband with his three jobs, and he makes less than a third of what a doctor makes with none of the perks, like Wednesdays off for golf. The whole system needs redone, in my humble opinion.

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