To my last patient…and the last of my patience! Part 3 of 4

23 Apr

To my last patient part 3 of 4 poses a number of problems that cause further psychological harm to inpatient on this rehabilitation unit.  The fear they demonstrated throughout this lengthy stay was insurmountable.  It’s sad that these patients were more concerned about my well-being following the assault they witnessed than staff themselves.  Safety is always a priority.  How safe can anyone feel while being hospitalized?

Family members or patient advocates need to monitor their loved ones while they are recovering.  Some one needs to look out for their safety.  Who knows what the other people on the unit are going through, but most importantly their angry and healthy loved ones?  Violence inside hospitals is rarely discussed and most often have gag-orders or simply a professional “keep-quiet” code to prevent from hitting the media.

On this very same unit a patient was arrested for murder in another state.  Staff was upset they arrested him during day time therapies. That is a misfortune that others would not be more concerned that the diagnosis was incorrect to begin with, and as it was documented this patient found it necessary to threaten staff when turning off the 11:00 pm news nightly…but he was aphasic and stroke? He was well enough when the staff was limited in the evening hours. Nothing was ever done with these threats.  How sad that this diagnosis was used when the people truly suffering from this condition goes untreated.

Let’s truly look for safety.  Yes, this patient was handcuffed with police interventions until he was transported out-of-state but look at what a risk this could have been or was to other patients during his hospitalization.


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5 responses to “To my last patient…and the last of my patience! Part 3 of 4

  1. Maria Tatham

    April 25, 2012 at 12:10 am

    From this I learned:
    1) that there are patients who ‘work the system’ to get and do what they want. That they can be cunning and scheme and plan to hurt others and get all they can out of their stay in a unit like this.
    2) that facilities are sometimes more interested in the facility than their patients or staff; that meaning the bottom line = money.
    3) that the patients were more concerned about your well-being following the assault they witnessed than the staff.

    This kind of environment can harm instead of heal patients, and can harm the staff. So sorry you went through all of this! And the patients you cared for must have gotten even more confused and unhappy by the bad stuff happening around them.

    Glad you help others then, and now!

    God bless you, girl!

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      April 25, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      You summed it up better than I could. I’m happy I kept all my notes, because it describes exactly what was happening. It was hard for me to read back the letter as I was scanning and posting it. I really hope this helps others. We all need to know these things are happening inside the healthcare system. I was visiting a patient a few years back and witnessed an assault nearly identical to mine. My healthcare professional encouraged me to make a police report. I was told by the local police in that area “they handle everything inside the hospital”. They wouldn’t take a report until I nearly demanded it. I encouraged staff to also do the same, but they didn’t. Now mind you, I was visiting and I needed to gather several patients (at least 5-10) and put them in a room for their safety. This was not the same hospital I was injured in either. It’s happening everywhere.
      Take care and stay safe,

  2. Maria Tatham

    April 25, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Edie, you too!! Take care and stay safe,

  3. wendy

    April 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    You are so strong to share this story.
    I hope things are better in some facilities, but know that they often do only keep insurance patients until their insurance runs out…no matter if they still need help or not.
    And often with mental health coverage, they can only stay for a week. A week, after a suicide attempt, or an attempt to hurt someone else?
    And then they are often only allowed 20 mental health visits per year. No matter what they are seeing the patient for.

    We just got new insurance and they don’t want me to be able to see my psychiatrist who has been seeing my husband and I for 2 years helping us deal with my loss of independence…ect. Because she is a Licensed Social Worker instead of a someone with a doctorate. I also see a psychiatrist, they work closely together…this just doesn’t make sense to me.
    (I also have bipolar disorder). So we are paying for out therapist out of pocket. Sad but true.

    It’s all about the bottom line. Money.

    stay safe

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      April 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm

      Mental health is never covered enough. It’s one place they can keep people sicker without helping. Sad, but that’s where the health care is needed and for a longer period of time both for acute and chronic issues. Mental Health coverage is deplorable in America, but I’m not sure about other countries.


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