Monday, December 5, 2011

Communication Please?

It seems like every time I'm admitted to the hospital they manage to screw something up. It's terrifying that the younger patients that can't advocate for themselves or patients that simply don't have the power will end up in a bad situation that was not their fault. In my first of two weeks during this hospital stay I've already noticed a number of errors. Some errors are minor, like food service forgetting to place butter on the tray alongside pancakes. However some errors are potentially dangerous, like giving a medication with serious side effects.

I find it unacceptable that these errors are being made, not once, but multiple times and are seemingly getting worse each time I'm here. Just the other night I was offered to take approximately six pills instead of a regular dose of two. Apparently someone had made an error in the way the order was written. I always make sure I review my medications with nurses, but younger patients and critically ill patients don't have that luxury. The issue is that if a medicine is given that shouldn't be, nobody can stop it. If a patient overdoses, who is at fault?

You have the staff that can prescribe the drugs, the pharmacist to give proper instructions to administer them and the nurses to carry out those plans. How is it possible with the use of new technology and scanning that there are still serious errors happening? With proper communication between the patient and every worker there should not be any errors. They should not administer a medication that a patient has a negative reaction to. They should not send lab to come get blood when it is not needed.

Every time I notice an error I make sure to make the problem clear and address it in a polite way. One of these days they will overdose a baby or kill someone because of a simple error that could've been avoided if people communicated better. I can't stand by to see that happen, so it's time to do something about it. I'm here to advocate for myself and for the others that need it. I know that we're all human and we make mistakes, but I'm going to prevent those mistakes. I'm here for my health and I would be thankful if everyone would communicate that idea, rather than the idea that I'm here so they can get paid. When you are a medical worker, you should realize that someone's life is in your hands and that they are trusting you to take care of them.

No patient should ever be afraid of going to sleep at night due to lack of trust in their healthcare system.