This past weekend, I unexpectedly got to observe a hospital. A close relation had to go to the emergency room because they could not breathe. As their condition stabilized, I visited them in both the Critical Care Unit and a normal room. This gave me a chance to observe a hospital that was different from the one I grew up around.
In terms of the aesthetics of the hospital, the new hospital (B) felt darker than the hospital I grew up around (A). Perhaps it was the maroon color dominating the cabinets and walls, or it could have been fewer florescent lights overhead to brighten the hallway, but overall it gave hospital B a slightly gloomier look. I remember hospital A being so much brighter and covered with windows that let in light from all directions. Hospital B, at least for the rooms I saw, had windows looking out onto black roofs that did not reflect light, and the walls of the building prevented bright sunlight from entering the room half of the day. I do not recall the windows being anywhere other than patients’ rooms, either, in hospital B. However, though hospital B felt aesthetically older to me than hospital A, it did seem to have new equipment to take care of the patients.
The most shocking aspect of my visit to hospital B was the lack of activity and patients. While I suppose on the one hand this could imply that the residents of town are healthy and not in need of the hospital, I was much more inclined to believe that the hospital was so ineffective that everyone went north to the major hospitals instead. In my experience, if a family had money and ability to go to one of the major city hospitals like hospital A, they would never go to hospital B. In fact, if it hadn’t been a life or death situation, the patient I knew would not have gone to hospital B. Regardless, hospital B felt empty and quiet to me. The floor I walked through seemed to have only one other patient besides the one I was visiting. The nurses sat at the nurses’ station talking with nothing to do. Though technicians came in frequently to run tests or give treatments to the patient I was visiting, I only saw a floor nurse come in once, and she was completely unaware of what the previous nurse had told the patient in regard to her water intake. Overall, my visit to hospital B in many ways did not match the descriptions of at-capacity hospitals that I was familiar with.
In defense of hospital B, the nurses, technicians, and dietary service workers that I met were all very friendly. The lack of other patients made them much more relaxed in working with the patient I knew. Though communication could definitely have used an improvement, I found no other fault in the workers while I was there.