Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Trauma - Life In the ER

This weekend, my boyfriend spent Thurs Sat Sun Mon and Tues at the ER for a big owie that needed daily care. We noticed some not-so-nice things while in our regional hospital ER - it was DIRTY. Omg,,,, I didnt go with him to the first two appts but I went for Sunday and Monday and looked for what he had told me he had seen - dirt in the corners, dirt on the floors, smears on the chairs, etc. I was actually quite shocked. I do realize that the ER can be a very heavy traffic area and difficult to clean - but each time I was there, a janitor came through and I watched as they just mopped or swept the very middle of the floors, not going near any corners and not wiping down everything. I don't know when they might do it, maybe at 3am but coming back on Monday, I saw the same smears on the same chairs, the same dirt in the same corners (EVERY corner, I might add) and I was disgusted. I know people say hospitals are the dirtiest places but I always thought it was just the germs that could be lurking UNseen - not dirt and crap in clear view. I was really shocked. My bf was left with an open wound in the curtained areas each day for at least 15-30 mins and all this crap was flying around? The doc would come in and check the wound, decide on further treatment, then leave saying a nurse would come do the new dressing... then he would sit there and wait. I almost got the damn stuff out myself to put over it because I did not want him getting further infection from the hospital itself! What is going on here?

My doctor and the walkin clinic I use are both privately owned - meaning a team of doctors gets together and leases a space to open their practices in. They pay for the cleaning staff, etc and those places are always pristinely clean. I went to walkin with my kids this morning in fact and specifically looked around for dirt and gunk and I did not see any at all. Whenever I've gone to my doctor's office in the morning, the place looks brand new like no one has ever been there before. Why? Because a private cleaning crew comes in at night. I realize that it's no guarantee for germ killing, but an obvious attempt it made... but not at the hospital that we all are forced to pay for - everyone in Canada that pays any form of taxes is forced to pay for these things for everyone and yet it's dirty and gross?? Something is wrong with this picture. They sit and wonder on the news how those nasty 'hospital viruses' can possibly go around so quickly and call for stronger measures to keep them at bay. How about CLEANING! My friend's parents have owned a reputable cleaning company for over 20 years and they do some doc offices as well as other places. They wipe every surface they can reach EVERY night. Doorknobs, plexiglass windows, ledges, chair tops bottoms arms and legs - everything. But I watched a janitor wander around in the hospital doing almost nothing - looking bored in fact. I said 'my god, maybe I should apply for a job here when our youngest is in school cos I will fricken clean everything I can think of cos I don't want to get sick MYSELF let alone anyone else there'. Even if just for the staff who have to deal on the front lines with diseases and bacteria and viruses every day all day long - why not clean the hell out of the place every 2-4 hours for THEM. But nope - apparently not in my hospital. My bf is going to write  a letter there. It reminded me that even though I was happy with the care our preemie got when he was born and spent 15 days in NICU, I only once managed to see someone cleaning in there. I used to show up all hours to feed him or just visit but in 2 weeks only saw one cleaning crew. I also went out and bought my own breast feeding pillow because we realized the one left in the comfy room was not touched at all between the evening and the next afternoon. It was in the exact same position I left it in. We used to put a hospital blanket over it before feeding our son, but I could not stand to think how some other baby might have puked on it, or their older brother or sister might have laid on it, not to mention the fact that some other woman's breast was on it leaking milk. Ew. My god. Prems are so prone to infection but obvious things were not cleaned. Why not have 3 pillows and keep swapping them around while one went out to be disinfected? Something. Anything. But ewwww.

Anyway, it was an eye opening event. Our hospital ER is dirty, dusty, filthy so be careful. Don't touch anything you don't have to and perhaps let them know what you think about it because you are in fact paying for that place and it should work at top standard, not bottom.

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These are my views and opinions. If you don't agree or think I am sadly misguided, that is your view. Feel free to share your thoughts but I also reserve my right to moderate content (IE foul language, excessive flaming, etc).

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