Tag Archives: hospital care

When you’re about to become a hospital patient

17 Jun
A guest post by Karen Friedman MD and Sara Merwin MPH, authors of The Informed Patient: A Complete Guide to a Hospital Stay (Cornell University Press).

Linda was having a busy day: 9 to 5 at the office, and now grocery shopping. But she wasn’t feeling right. She was a little warm and dizzy and felt heart palpitations. She finished shopping and hurried home because she knew something was wrong. But what had her doctor told her? Chew an aspirin if she ever had heart attack symptoms.* Call 911. Linda wasn’t taking any chances: too many people depended on her. She called a friend to meet her in Emergency, grabbed her pill bottles and her printed medical history, and stuck them in her purse.

Linda is savvy. She had symptoms that could have been confused with any number of things, but she made a series of wise decisions: she followed her doctor’s advice, called a friend to help out, and went to the hospital armed with her important records.
Continue reading

A doctor’s perspective: 10 worst hospital design features

19 Nov

by Carolyn Thomas

South Carolina physician Dr. Val Jones recently spent eight long days in the hospital, sitting at the bedside of a loved one. She learned that  the only upside of such a vigil was being “reminded of what it feels like to be a hospital patient – or at least the family member of one”. 

Personally, I have to admit that I get a bit light-headed whenever a doctor writes about becoming a hospital patient – or, as in Dr. Val’s case, the bedside companion of somebody they care about who becomes one.

Welcome to our world, doctors!  Continue reading

Jenni’s wise advice for your next hospital stay

12 Jun

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

My lovely friend Jenni gave all of us all quite a scare last month when she became very ill, was taken to hospital by ambulance, and then needed to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She’s safe and sound at home now, thank goodness, and recovering nicely. She recently decided to e-mail us this update on her condition. But what made me laugh out loud was her list of three important warnings based on what she learned during her hospital experience. With Jenni’s permission, I’m sharing them here for the benefit of any women who may be heading into hospital soon. Take notes, ladies . . .    Continue reading

If Disney ran your hospital: what would Mickey and Minnie do?

6 Jul

by Carolyn Thomas 

Once upon a time, a former hospital administrator named Fred Lee was invited by the Wonderful World of Disney people to help them out. He had a great time facilitating Disney employee seminars like Customer Loyalty and Disney’s Approach to Quality Service. Then one day in 2004, he wrote an award-winning book combining his two loves (the Magic Kingdom plus running hospitals).  It was called If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9 1/2 Things You Would Do Differently.

These days, Fred Lee teaches his If Disney Ran Your Hospital health care management strategies to hospital employees and senior administrators.   He believes that all hospitals can and should become places where:

  • employees say, “I love to work here!”
  • managers say, “I love the people I work with!”
  • doctors and nurses say, “We love our patients!”
  • patients and families say, “We love this hospital!”

Does this sound a bit too Disney-esque, even for Disney?  As patients, many of us have told horror stories, not fairy tales, about our experiences dealing with hospitals or their staff. read more about how Disney might run your hospital

My cardiologist: “the devil himself”

1 Jul

devil on brown paper

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Letters to the Editor, Victoria Times Colonist

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dress codes in hospital should respect patients’

Dear Editor,

In May, I had to stay in the Royal Jubilee Hospital cardiology ward. At that time they decided to do a cardio conversion. Then in walks the devil himself to do the task. He wore tight jeans, a shirt of some ungodly print and had curly hair hanging down past his bum. Not OK. I am a 66-year-old woman with a serious heart condition and I just wanted to get up and run.

Whatever happened to dress code? A white coat and clean hands gives a person a feeling of confidence. Is it some kind of infringement on these people’s rights? One seldom knows if they are talking to the janitor or head nurse. I feel I deserve better than that in the hospital.


Mrs. M.A., Victoria, BC  Canada click here to read my response to this letter