Opinion

Health care plan needed

I recently had a ski injury necessitating an ambulance ride to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital emergency and a two-night stay on 2 West.

On arrival to the ambulance bay, there were five ambulances ahead of us requiring all or some of the crews to remain with their patients until ER beds became available.  I understand that the hospital census at that time for admitted patients was 203, rising to 206 before I went home.

I believe the book capacity of VJH is about 148 and that these over capacity numbers might have set new records.

While I waited in queue, I felt well-cared for by my paramedics and the others who were also stuck in emergency. Caring for their cargo is a kind and professional manner.  They are a patient and dedicated group of people, our ambulance personnel.  Thank you for all you do.

In all of this chaos, I am thankful that I was eventually admitted to a room on 2 West in the late evening and received, again, by experienced and caring nurses.  Over my two day stay I had wonderful care by the nursing staff, physios, occupational therapist, my own doctor and countless others, despite having three or four hallway patients. I even enjoyed four of my five meals, which is better than at home sometimes. Thank you  to the dietary staff.

I was very fortunate in my experience at VJH and can only thank all the staff who made it so, in spite of working under taxing and stressful conditions.

As a retired nurse from VJH, I take my cap off to you all.

My questions to the administrators of  VJH and Interior Health :

What will the total bed capacity increase to with the opening of the two new floors?  Is it 12 or 14?  There were about 58 over capacity during my stay.  The hallway was so crowded  with equipment and hallway patients that the porter could hardly thread my stretcher through.  Does that meet fire codes?

And what about the well-being of your staff trying so hard to provide treatment, comfort and safety to their patients in a timely manner?

How can it be economical, efficient and safe to keep five or six ambulances and crews stuck in emergency waiting for their patients to be seen and have care assumed by ER staff?

We of the silver tsunami are reaching your shores. What is your disaster plan?

 

June MacGregor

 

 

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