Sunday, September 29, 2013

You are a snoot

It was a normal happy..happy... working day yesterday. Patients were barging in as per always, but we kept up the pace. It was smooth sailing at its best....until....
Along came a patient with his entourages, also not forgetting a referral letter from a private well-known hospital.

So this said person, an elderly person, was diagnosed with late stage cancer, has undergone multiple sessions of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the private sector. Because of the stage of cancer, this person has developed paraplegia and needs proper nursing care and physiotherapy. Although in such an advanced stage, this person is still very outspoken and well-versed, good for this person.

The referral letter however, was a general one. It clearly stated: "because of financial constrain, the family has requested to be referred to a government hospital for further care". That, I definitely understood.

So, we did what we could, and what our procedures allowed us to do. Since it was a general referral, with no investigations attached, and that the person has come to the emergency department on a weekend, we did our best. We called the respective team to come and see this person.

However, neither this person, nor the entourage understood that there is no such thing as "direct admission" if the referral was general. There is no such thing as a private waiting area for the them to be in, as they do want to sit in the general waiting area. There is no such thing as an ICU/CCU type bed at the emergency setting.

This person came in on a wheelchair, his well, his vitals were stable. As opposed to the more critical patients in Red Zone, this person was seen ASAP in the Yellow zone, and when we gave this person a bed to rest on while waiting for the respective team to come and review, this person refused to go on the given bed. The bed apparently is not up to this person's standard.

One of the entourage came up to me and bombarded me with the same repetitive question regarding "direct admission" and expected that I give them priority care. With the best that I could, I smiled and repetitively explained that that is not possible and that we have informed the respective team. This particular entourage rolled his eyes at me, kept looking at my scrubs, trying to get my name, testing me, testing my patience. I kept my calm, smiled and answered the best I can.

Although I am open, and free spirited, I never forget my roots. I know to treat everyone I see with the same amount of respect. Know how to lower myself when speaking to others. And yet, the conservative, covered, traditional ones that barge in, brought in the unnecessary attitudes and snootiness, and expect to be treated like kings and queens.

In the end, everyone is the same. We are ALL the same human being.