Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.
A Healthy Aversion
Let me be perfectly honest with you -- I am writing this article while hoping that the information presented may help you with further motivating your immune system to keep you away from hospitals.
You may not be willing to believe it, but once that you have developed enough of an aversion towards doctors, and especially hospitals, it may give that extra boost to your overall health.
Other than doing my own best mentally and physically to keep myself fit at this age of 76, I can shamelessly admit that I "hate" the medical profession with a passion. Okay, don't take this "hate" literally, but don't take it as a joke either.
It goes without saying, but I have to remind you that my personal aversion to doctors is not to suggest to anybody to start self-medicating, to avoid medical checkups and necessary treatments. But it merely serves as an example of how our bodies tend to keep us healthy when they are getting a message that they are expected to do all that healing.
<Many years back I read this story about a small town in which the only hospital had to be closed "until further notice", whether because of some repairs to be done, oe was it because of a quarantine being imposed.
As the story goes, for the whole duration of the hospital's closure, no one in the town needed any of its services. For some mysterious reasons, even those hypochondriacs and old folks stopped complaining about bad health.
But then, as soon as the hospital reopened -- I'll let you finish the sentence.
So, now you know my motivation for writing this article. If it contains any scary material, don't take it for some exaggerations. Of course, there are big differences in the way that different hospitals are doing their business, and nothing of the following is a generalization.
While none of it is to make you paranoid about hospitals, it's only to warn you to be on alert for any of the details mentioned here. My sincere hope is that you get just enough uncomfortable about the prospects of visiting those places as a patient, so that your immune system gets the message to shift into its high gear.
Just Some Humans in a Business
The very first thing we have to aware about is that pretty uncomfortable fact that all medical personnel consists of some fallible human beings. It seems to be that human factor, not so much limitations of the medical science, that the fatality statistics in the US alone make medical screwups one of the leading causes of death.
Almost as a rule, they are overworked, and it's not only the hours, the factor of urgency, and a need for a total concentration, but also the shifts which don't allow doctors and nurses to unwind properly.
But then, there is also that question of the competence. Just like there are good and bad auto mechanics, there are good and bad doctors. Among those bad ones, it's not only about how much of their medical education they are applying, but also what kind of personality they are.
Namely, a doctor with domestic problems, or with otherwise compromised attention span, may not be applying the knowledge that he has. And a nurse attending you may be an absent-minded personality performing her job too routinely, and not focusing on some special needs of a particular patient.
Yes, they are only people; and as if that wouldn't be enough for a concern, every hospital is also in the first place a business.
During my first and also the last overnight stay in one of those unpleasant places, I had an opportunity to observe the hospital's administrator walking from one bed to another and checking the charts to make sure that no patient is "overusing the hospitality" (no pun intended).
Indeed, folks, all those smiles and bedside manner are but a part of the "job requirements"; they are not our "guardian angels" taking some particular interest in our wellbeing.
While I was lying in my bed, a bunch of nurses were busy chatting and laughing loud behind the screen, spoiling my attempts to fall asleep. I actually call them, and asked them if they could keep it down a little, and one said to me: "This is, sir, a hospital, not a hotel."
You got the picture? Those same nurses will appear in the morning with a professional smile on their faces and go from one patient to another asking: "Did you have a good sleep?" Must be something from their manual, not from heart, for sure.
Don't Become a Part of the Dark Statistics
When you hear the expression of "mistaken identity", you are bound to think of those crime stories where someone got arrested, or even killed, because they had been mistaken for someone else.
Well, laying in that hospital bed may not look like one of those scenarios, but it may potentially be fatal just the same, and for the same reason.
So you know what to do. At a price of not being that most favorite patient around, feel free to disturb that serenity of your attending nurse with the question if there is anyone else around there sharing your name.
For, if you don't ask, the chances are, no matter how slim, that you may end up being given a wrong medication, or a wrong dosage, or at the wrong time. Remember those mentioned statistics of medical screwups? It's one of them.
Well, are you scared yet? No? Okay, let me regroup and try some other tactics.
You see, not only that you may be getting a wrong medication, but you may be operated on a wrong part of your body. And you may also be operated on if you were not due from any operation at all. It has been done -- and not only once.
Imagine, you are a young woman and due for a gall bladder surgery, and instead they do the hysterectomy instead. Bingo! No kids for you, young lady, you could kiss goodbye your family planning.
Please, don't think I am kidding about it, just because I am using this light language to convey to you some bad possible outcomes of your stay in the hospital.
Do you know that some folks actually used an erasable marker and made a circle on the part of their body to be operated on -- with a smiling face, and this message to the good doctor: "Doc, cut here." Well, once that they are heavily sedated, it will be too late to remind the doctor with scalpel in hand.
Infection Hospital - Style
We don't actually hear a lot about doctors missing from their office "because they are sick". Now that you think about it, aren't they perfect candidate ti pick just about any infectious disease in the book? So why don't they?
For one thing, they might have vaccinated themselves for the most of them. And then, there is something almost spooky about it -- they simply took it as their professional hazard long ago, and their bodies are, a sort of, ignoring those many bugs flying around them.
It's like they know they can't afford to get sick, otherwise they would be sick all the time. And it's the same about those nurses. So, perhaps that's why they are not particularly sensitive to the fact that hospital is one of the most bug-infested places on earth.
Statistically, there is one in five chances in an average hospital you may attract some kind of infection just by stepping in, let alone staying there overnight or for a few days.
For one thing, doctors and nurses may not be in a habit of washing hands between seeing and touching their patients. Remember what was said about their not taking seriously a possibility of their getting infected?
In other than in surgery setup, they may not even be particularly concerned about those bugs around. From their education they know how human bodies have more microbes than cells, hence that relatively careless attitude. With so many people around coughing and sneezing, over a time it becomes inaudible to them.
So, nurses are handling those used urinals, and taking away those wet towels used by patients to wipe their private parts -- and in all that hurry simply forget to wash their hands before bringing you the tray with your dinner.
Wait, I am not done with the issue of some hospitals hygiene. Think about all those instruments that are used there. Don't kid yourself that they get regularly cleaned, or god-forbid disinfected.
Like those stethoscopes, otoscopes thermometers, cuffs of blood pressure device, infusion pumps, and urinary catheters -- to mention those few that I know about, never mind all the rest of scary gadgets in their tool box.
So, at least do your part -- wash your hands as frequently as the situation allows, don't touch your mouth; and when you have visitors, tell them to wash their hands using the hospital's public washrooms before they leave.
If you can emotionally afford it, also tell them not to kiss or hug you either.
For the Last Words
A good number of you have probably spent some time in a hospital in the course of your life, and according to your personal experience, all this may sound like unnecessary concern -- maybe even bordering with a paranoia.
I understand, except that statistics have their own story to tell, which may not sound one bit encouraging. As I said at the start, I hope that my article succeeded to plant a little extra caution into your mind -- regardless of how safe your stay at hospital happened to be.
Biut above all, I hope that I gave a little stimulating kick to your immune system to keep you well, so that you may never need to step into one of those "environmentally unfriendly" places.
Without any doubt, hospitals keep saving lives, and all medical personnel deserves every praise -- however, due to the human factor of fallibility, mistakes keep happening, which makes hospitals potentially hazardous to your health.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2021 Val Karas