Drive thru Hospitals

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I went to check in for next weeks lumpectomy at the hospitals pre admission.  The staff were all very nice as I did the rounds, filling in forms, getting blood tests, ECG’s, and check up with anaesthetist.  Everything was going swimmingly till I came back from blood tests and found the anaesthetist had been and gone and would be back in fifteen minutes.  One hour later he did in fact return and we had our pre op meeting.  While waiting I looked around at the crowd waiting, some for pre admission like me, but most were waiting with their bags to be called in for there surgery, totally cold turkey and no transition from walking in and being knocked out and cut up.  To add insult to the cattle awaiting slaughter atmosphere, there was a sign telling us that the waiting room was for patients, and that relatives should wait outside.  So not only are you to sit there wide awake nervously anticipating what was ahead, but now you can’t even have someone there to hold your hand.

On the day of your procedure, you sit with your gown on waiting to be called, then walk in to the operating theatre and hop up on the table.

To be honest it made me hanker for the good old days when you went in for surgery the night before, so they could give you a sleeping pill and make sure you had a good nights sleep, followed in the morning by some nice pre op relaxer which made you all dozy and you stopped being at all nervous about the procedure you would be having, and not notice that you were hungry from going without your morning coffee and breakfast, and at which point you wouldn’t care if they cut a limb off you were so chilled.

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While I personally wouldn’t want to go back to the ten day mandatory stay in hospital when you had a baby, we may be swinging too far the other way.  They have been doing a study on the concept of a Drive Thru ER at Stanford in the US. which may have its merits, you can at least watch the DVD player in the car, and bring the kids if you need to.  This is all to cut money and time of course, the population is exploding, hospital budgets get cut instead of increased, and I suppose from the patients point of view everyone is so busy they don’t want to interrupt their business with inconvenient hospital stays. They already have Drive thru Pharmacies, Drive Thru Funeral Viewings, so  I suppose before long with surgeries becoming more micro and less invasive, and recovery time being less, you may be able to pull up at the drive thru Hospital, duck in and have your appendix lasered out through a tiny hole, while hubby keeps the motor running and pop back a few minutes later with a couple of paracetamol to swallow on the trip home, without having missed much of the programme you were watching on telly before the pain struck.

The Day clinic is closed on the day of my surgery, they are just doing a few emergencies in the theatre, so I get to go to the Surgical ward.  I may even get a bed to wait in as I will be staying overnight, I will need it as I start the day off with an appointment at Royal Perth Hospital for a lymphoscintigraphy (radio active injection in the boob) at 8am, then off to Armadale hospital for 11.30 to get ready for my surgery booking at 1.00 pm. I will totally be ready for a nap by then, so just for old times sake, I would like to be plonked in a bed in a ward to wait.  One can only hope.

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2 thoughts on “Drive thru Hospitals

  1. I know you are completely right, and all your reasons are valid, from the hospital point of view, and even the patients, when it is just day surgery for an in grown toe nail or small procedures, as I said we all lead very busy lives. I went in for a colonoscopy a few years back and as I wasn’t sick I was home a couple of hours later and making lunch. Even though it was tongue in cheek, it actually would be convenient to be able to bring the children in the car instead of getting a baby sitter, when dad needs to take mum to emergency. I was just being nostalgic it used to be nice it you were having something bigger done and were a little worried to be doped up and wake up when it was over, not cost effective at all, just nice. The staff were all very lovely, so I am sure you are right and I will be well cared for. Hope you get a chance to enjoy the holidays.
    All the best, Yvette

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  2. Sounds like it’s been some time since you had any surgery Evie! Things have indeed changed in the last few years as hospitals are under increasing pressure to meet efficiency targets, it’s not cost effective to admit patients 12 or 18 hours before their surgery and most surgery is now same day surgery with less hospital inpatient stays and less invasive surgeries (e.g laparoscopic surgery). Most people having elective surgery walk to the operating theatres these days as they are generally not sick people, also as we are becoming more overweight and even obese it is a real occupational hazard for staff pushing patient trolleys into OT where the patient is well enough to walk. Obviously patients are transported out of theatre on a trolley. At least the risk of injury to staff is diminished if they are only pushing trolleys one way. All these measures help reduce costs to hospitals and importantly, tax payer dollars. Wishing you all the best for your surgery Evie, I’m sure you will be well cared for. Xx

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