First of all I want to thank my surgeons: Dr. Stevoff, Dr Tepper and Dr Wolfe my pulmonary specialist, as these people did a fantastic job, and I believe a thorough job creating and managing my surgery. I also want to praise Mike Hall from neurology, who I know was meticulous in his communication on my behalf. Some of their instructions got lost in translation , but we’ll get to that… The other thing I like about the above Doctor’s is that they are staight talking, no BS people who inspire confidence. Not so much for the Nursing staff on the 16th floor east on Sunday night 3/7 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Yep – I’m naming names in an effort to make a difference ~ I will be meeting with the head of that department to see if I can impact the lack of communication that resulted in a completely frustrating 24 hours before surgery for me in which the preperatory medications were not administered and I the patient got no sleep the night before! The night nurse DECIDED NOT TO ADMINISTER IT (THE BARIUM) BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THE ORDER.
Last I checked her job is not to evaluate the efficacy of the order, and what bothered me most was after my repeated requests for a Doctor, and for her to call and confirm the order, she told me no doctor could be reached to confirm the order and no doctor was available to see me. This was all happening at 11:30pm AFTER I asked the tech taking my vitals to get the nurse, Ana ( who I had met at 7pm and who told me she’d be right back in with my barium by 8pm) and ask her to administer my barium at 10:30pm…when she showed up for the above conversation it was 11:15pm. I then asked for a Doctor the first time at 11:30. I didn’t get a Physician – I got the head nurse Gayle at midnight thirty. Gayle said nothing more than the order wasn’t clear, and they weren’t sure why they should administer the barium, at which point I told them AGAIN ( and showed them a email that stated the same) I was told I had to have it inorder to have the surgery and this was THE ONLY REASON FOR THE TUBE HANGING OUT OF MY NOSE and asked again for them to confirm with the doctor- and again they said the doctor wasn’t available – I asked them to find me a Doctor right away so we could clarify the order for them and for me. I went through this process again with a hospital administrator AT 1:30 am- a pretty asian woman who did more placating than anything, but again reitterated that – a doctor wasn’t available, and there was NO ONE THEY COULD CALL TO CONFIRM THE ORDER FOR THE BARRIUM. REALLY? SHURELY YOU JEST. This administrator said she was concerned about administering the barium because she knew it was a time sensitive thing and she wouldn’t want to do it too early ( SHE IS NOT A DOCTOR BY THE WAY)…and no there was no one we could call to confirm – no one available by phone, and no doctor available to come see me …
AM I IN A HOSPITAL OR WHAT? I was one grumpy upset no sleep getting freaked out about my surgery and pissed off uncomfortable patient! Not exactly the ethos of healing and good medicine, and for sure the worst customer service experience!
As you may recall from my last post the tube that was inserted up my nose and down my throat into my stomach at 6:30pm Sunday evening was ONLY THERE TO FACILITATE THE TAKING OF THE BARIUM. You may also recall that I couldn’t sleep due to said tube as it hung 3 feet out from my nose, and was constantly being bumped which caused me to gag and try to throw it up. Therefor I got NO SLEEP the night before my surgery, and I had NO FOOD in the evening due to the tube and anticipated barium.
I didn’t see a Doctor until 6am the next morning, and that was Dr. Stevoff who had just stopped by to check on me out of the goodness of his heart! I literally burst into tears with relief! With in 10 minutes he had at least gotten to the bottom of what happened, the nurse didn’t follow the order because she didn’t understand it, and yes I did need it (the barium) to get the surgery – so now the only option was to have it inserted rectally if I was to have the surgery today as planned. YIPEE KI YAY. There was no excuse for what had happened, and it was regretable. I didn’t like it but at least SOMEONE had gotten to the bottom of what was so…after 15 hours of uncertainty and Hell… I finally felt like I was being taken care of, THAT is what he provided. A big Thank you to Dr. Stevoff! BY THE WAY EACH AND EVERY DOCTOR I SPOKE TO TOLD ME THEY WERE AVAILABLE BY PHONE AND DIDN’T KNOW WHY NO ONE CALLED THEM ABOUT THE ORDER. Dr. Wolfe even told me she had called to confirm the barrium would be administered, and had been assured by the Doctor on duty that it would be. I don’t know what physician was on duty between 8pm amd 6am the night of 3/7/2010 accountable for 16th floor east room 1618 especially but you can bet your ass I am going to find out. Thankfully things were up hill from there.
LOVE the doctors- well most of them, and HATE the system. Sounds like a job for a consultant like me…I wonder if they’ll listen?