I read your Jan. 13 story, Nurses Protest Hospital Staff Levels, and completely agree with the nurses and their very real concerns.
I had surgery at Lions Gate Hospital in October of last year that required a stay on the sixth floor for three days. As I had never been a patient in a hospital, other than during the delivery of my children, I learned a great deal about the state of the health-care system at my local hospital.
I had about six different nurses caring for me during my stay; never the same nurse twice. The flow of information, understandably, was sometimes lost with shift changes. I quickly learned to stay on top of my progress and ask for what I felt I needed. But, many could not.
There were several very loud, obviously mentally affected seniors on the floor (one in the bed next to me) who could be heard for all hours of the night, yelling etc.
The nurses attempted to keep them settled as best they could, but clearly these patients needed more than what could be provided. All of us were left to endure unsettled sleep while we were trying to heal. All of the patients in my room, including myself, were waiting for semi-private rooms. None of us were able to get one.
The stress that these circumstances created for each of us was unnecessary and needs addressing.
Despite these examples, each and every one of the nurses presented as professional, informative and caring. It was clear they were all just doing the best they could in less than desirable circumstances.
The physical building was less than acceptable. The new surgical department was lovely, but the sixth floor was crowded in the hallways with supplies etc., and the shower room across the hall was old and in desperate need of repair. It often flooded the area.
The food was absolutely awful and I wasn't once asked about any food preference or allergy information. Moreover, we never knew when it would arrive. I was astonished that a healthcare environment would serve such horrible "food" to patients. That was just not right.
So, sleep and nutrition, two key components needed for healing were not there at Lions Gate. These things have got to improve.
Joanne Penney North Vancouver
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