Suggestion to Improve Health Services:
On Wednesday evening I was admitted for an emergency appendectomy. I was impressed by the efficiency and kindness of all the hospital staff I encountered and I know that I benefitted from rapid access to modern diagnostic tools and surgical techniques. I would like to request one small change in hospital policy which would have improved my experience.
My surgery began before midnight and I returned to my room on the unit at 2:00 am. Because of the “no visitors after 9” policy of which the nurse reminded us when we arrived on the unit, my primary support person (my husband) was unable to be with me during the most vulnerable part of my recovery, when I was sedated and unable to advocate for my own needs.
For example, he would have noticed that my head kept falling sideways and requested a pillow, would have been aware that I am light sensitive and turned off the bright light above me, and would have realized that the arm and leg cuffs, IV and oxygen tube would feel like restraints, producing a panic attack in my mind even though my body appeared to be at rest. More particularly, he is the person named in my Personal Directive as my advocate and if an adverse event had occurred, he would have not been present to make an informed decision about my care.
A simple change to the policy allowing one individual to remain with the patient during critical periods which fall outside of normal business hours would resolve my concerns and provide a more supportive environment for all patients in my situation.
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