Living in the Hospital: The Staff

A commenter on a previous post wanted to remind me that it’s never fun to have to be in the hospital, however nice it is. Of course not. So don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather B be better and at home, but that doesn’t stop me from being impressed with the hospital, and everything they have and do to make the stay as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.

Until now our hospital experiences have been in south Texas, where the doctors were overworked and the support staff was often sullen, rude and/or incompetent. Because of that, you could never relax, because someone would make a mistake if you didn’t stay on top of everything. Like the triage nurse who didn’t know you don’t use a tongue compressor when you test for strep, to name something relatively minor (it only meant being in the emergency room another four hours because they had to do it again), or the nurse who was dismissive when I was in labor and didn’t call the doctor even when we told him he really should (and my daughter will be paying for that for the rest of her life).

Both the little county hospital in Cody, Wyoming and Dell Children’s Hospital here in Austin are clearly not understaffed and overextended. The doctors and nurses are all really friendly and take their time, and whenever there’s even the slightest question about anything, they take the necessary steps to make sure everything’s okay, instead of being dismissive because it’s less work.

The doctors and nurses all introduce themselves when you first meet them, and the nurse on shift writes her name on a white board in the room. The hallways with the patient rooms are broken up into three “pods” with a desk area for the nurses and eight rooms in two semi-circles around it. So whenever you step out of the room, the desk and the staff in charge of your room are right there. All this makes communication a lot easier, and that right there gives me confidence that B is in good hands. And that minimizes stress on everyone’s part.

I will discuss why I think hospitals and hospital staff in south Texas are understaffed and overextended at some other time.

2 responses to “Living in the Hospital: The Staff

  1. So sorry he’s had such a rough time of it all healthwise, but I’m glad he’s getting good care so far. I hope you’re all home soon! Perhaps children’s rooms are a bit bigger and nicer than normal adult hospital rooms. Both of the ones you’ve mentioned look a bit nicer than the ones I’ve seen in the past when visiting family.


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