Staying in the hospital for almost two weeks now has made my world smaller in that my social interaction has been limited to the doctor and nurses and the people who visit my Lolo Dad (i.e., my family) everyday. It’s not exactly a bad thing, though, because surprisingly, I’m liking the new environment and I’m starting to make friends (and crushes, more importantly 😉 ) with the nurses. And it’s funny that, despite it being unethical and none of my business, we often talk about the patients and the people in the other rooms.
Like, one of the patients in a room nearby is someone my dad knows. I saw dad talking to him the other day and he seemed to be friendly. He even introduced me to him. The man was admitted at almost the same time as my grandfather and has diabetes. According to my aunt, he was recommended for a leg amputation procedure but was taking his time to decide whether he’d push through with the operation. Unlike many of the patients, he doesn’t have a guardian who looked after him so he’d always press the buzzer when he needed something, which he did more often than necessary. Many of the nurses dread going to his room because he treats them like domestic helpers, if not slaves–he’d curse them or hurl anything he touches whenever they didn’t smile at him or just when he feels like doing it. Almost always, he gets mad at the slightest things as if he’s making up reasons to vent his anger on the poor nurses. Maybe it was his way of coping with his situation or maybe he was just ill-mannered, who knows? Nonetheless, he doesn’t have the right to treat the nurses the way he does.
The other patient is a Muslim and is the opposite of the diabetes guy. For some reason, he had about 10 family members staying with him in his room day in, day out. During daytime, I’d see them pray at the end of the hallway one at a time. But I seldom see them loiter outside the room like what my family usually do when it’s too cold inside. At night, the nurses say they have difficulty giving the patient his meds and checking his vital stats either because the room is locked or is too crowded with people sleeping, it’s an obstacle walking across.
The patient confined in the room next to ours is only in his 60s and is in critical condition. My nurse crush said he’s breathing with the help of a respirator. The lights in his room are always off and a sign saying “Please limit visitors” hangs outside his door. Last night, his lifeline monitor kept producing a flatline sound and I wondered if he’d given up. This afternoon, I learned from one of the nurses that their machine was defective, thus the sound.
Anyway, the more significant part of our exchanges were, of course, about their personal lives. All of those I have spoken with have plans of working outside the country and are just gaining experience from their present work. Indeed, it’s sad how so many nurses (mostly the best in the country) are finding greener pastures in foreign lands when they could have contributed their skills to the betterment of their own country. But we can’t stop them from doing so unless we take care of them by regulating the number of undergrads who take up nursing and compensating registered nurses fairly.