, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I’ve just spent the last 72 hours on and off in the #publichospitalsystem and I have a few thoughts to share. I just want to mention that I have worked in the #publichospitalsystem myself for 20 years and I am a firm #believer in our universal healthcare system
Overall I had great care. I was involved in a collision in an indoor mixed soccer game and I fell backwards on my head. I felt concussed but probably didn’t lose consciousness and went to the emergency dept where I was seen promptly and had a CT scan within a couple of hours
They found that I had a skull fracture and kept me in overnight for observation. All I remember from that time was an irresistible need to sleep. Which I did. And not much else. No eating. Not much drinking. Then I got an IV drip and some anti emetics that did the trick
I was interested in the way that the nursing care I received varied in its attention to the indivdual. Sure obs were done on time. But there were few inquiries into my general well being which is why I ended up on a drip and I think understand why this happens ...
I’ve read some research about it. When care environments are busy (and the one I was in was that) staff pull back from interactions because these are perceived to take up too much time - time that can be spent on getting more “things” done
The trouble is that care is mostly about interaction. My obs were the same for the entire hospital stay but my condition wasn’t. And it makes me think: I am a highly educated white woman with no prior health problems and a background in health ...
What of the experience of someone whose first language is not English with a disability or communication problems? The double whammy is that these people are even more likely to have complex health problems
On a similar point about interaction - I had the dilemma of being split between 3 medical teams for my care. I had good interactions with everyone but this fragmentation of care is absurd! The communication is complex as well as repetitive and seems extremely prone to error
I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to work in this system where again interactions are distant and incomplete. We sought glimmers of continuity in the system and these helped us out a lot but they were largely serendipitous
The take home? I reckon this has highlighted to me the importance of the system supporting and indeed prioritising human interaction in health care. Anything that discourages relational care needs examining because it will adversely effect the kind of care that is given.
I want to add that care is key to health outcomes. We really need to start valuing the time that is spent with people.
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