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Who Put Hospital In Hospitality?

Dec 14, 2007
I hadn't spent the night in a hospital since I had my last child and more than diapers have changed. I'd had fond memories of a caring nurse remaking my bed after helping me to the bathroom. Not anymore. This time when I rang for help, what I got was a yell from the desk nurse, telling me the nursing assistant - the only nursing assistant - was busy. Obviously, when you're in a haven of healing, a room with a view isn't necessary; but it sure helps to be in view of the nurses' desk.

I shared my room with an elderly woman, who'd been hospitalized for observation. After I'd struggled to the bathroom, dragging my drip and trying to hold my gown closed, I commented on how nice she looked. Her elegant French twist was held by a blue comb that exactly matched her long, silky, blue robe. When you get to be my age, she confided, it's good to be prepared. I wasn't prepared. I wanted to know why we can put a man on the moon, but we can't put dignity into hospital gowns. Velcro was invented to improve space travel. Why can't it be used to improve bathroom travel? Please, the only hanging out I want to do is in the coffee shop.

Fortunately, this hospitalization was only three meals long. The food hasn't gotten better, but I understand why. It's food psychology. If you're well enough to complain about the food, the only nursing assistant doesn't need to come when you ring your bell.

I wasn't hospitalized long enough to have visitors, which was good because visiting hours aren't scheduled for the convenience of visitors. Visiting hours are scheduled so they don't interfere with doctors' rounds, medications or meals. However, it could be worse. Visitors could be scheduled for the time when they wake you for a sleeping pill.

I wasn't even hospitalized long enough to receive flowers. As a teenaged candy striper, I'd delivered flowers to patients. I'd also thrown flowers away when patients left. Because of that, I think chocolate is a better gift - especially if the only nursing assistant likes chocolate.

None of us like being in the hospital and we like the cost even less. Unfortunately, no change is in sight; so we need to change our attitude. When we check-out, we should be grateful for - being able to check out.
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
Take a minute to make yourself smile at
http://knightwatch.typepad.com
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