how a hospital can be worse than a prison

It’s a beautiful sunny, 13 degree day here in NH, another wonderful day to do stuff: write, read, sew, hike and keep my momentum going! I feel like I have so many balls in the air right now and I don’t know which one I want to play with (well, obviously it the WP one ‘cuz here I am) and I’m going to write about something that was prompted by the daily prompt: sympathize.

I won’t spend a lot of time on this but I am thinking about my new job and how to handle the obstacles that I anticipate — its part of the job, people. More specifically nasty, demanding, entitled, mean people. As a nursing friend pointed out, I’ll have a whole different demographic to work with so maybe things will be different – I certainly hope so. I can sympathize with people when they are sick or in pain or experience fear and anxiety, I can overlook some behaviors due to these intense feelings. But that is not what historically I’ve been exposed to-not entirely.

Laypeople, in my experience, visualize these pathetic sick people in hospitals who just need to be understood and taken care of but, in reality, the real world, that’s not the case. For example: anyone who has even a cursory exposure to social media can attest to the vitriol of people. All you have to do to have even a minimal understanding of what healthcare professionals deal with (not doctors, people are usually on their best behavior when THEY are in the room – I’ll never understand that) is imagine a few of those people who you have ‘observed’ dishing out (hate, bigotry, misogyny, etc.) on social media being in the same room you are, and it’s “your job” to make them comfortable or ‘fix’ them, or medicate them at a certain time. Imagine how these people react when they don’t get their way especially when it’s just the nurse or lab tech or therapist — some peon whose job it is to follow orders (and that’s those are the key words that are specific to hospital jargon “follow orders,” like you are a dumb slave).

Yeah. There’s a reason that hospital personnel — usually nurses but they are supported by other staff — boycott and demand better treatment at their facilities because for decades now the management who sit behind desks and do not deal with the dirty job of patients do NOT support hospital staff when they have been spit on, punched, kicked, verbally abused as in yelled at with all varieties of profanity, threatened (“I’ll report you and you won’t have a job”) and in some cases *and I’ve witnessed this* knifed and been thrown to the floor and beaten to unconsciousness; innumerable healthcare personnel have had to go on disability due to what a patient did to them. If you think peoples’ behavior has declined to a point that you never thought you’d see, you haven’t seen them in a hospital setting where they are dependent on staff for everything and they are the ‘customer.’

In other words, a healthcare worker should get “hazard pay” because working in a hospital is, IMHO, no different from working in a high-security prison except that we can’t ‘fight back,’ we have no recourse, patients don’t get penalized, we are just the expendable margin of safety between mean people and the doctors and management.

But, I’m going to be positive and do my best and see how it goes. IF I encounter ‘customers’ in the majority that are no different from my previous work experience, I’m done. I can survive a lot better in a different job even if it means I take a pay cut to do it. My mental, emotional and physical health is more important to me than someone who thinks I don’t have any rights.
socs-badge-2017-18-e1503097084778  #SoSC: …In other words…

Daily Prompt: sympathize




  1. I have had more than anyone’s fair share of hospital stays and I can tell you I have seem a lot of what you discussed here. I have a ton of respect for the people I have had care for me. I was always a model patient, which probably ensured the quality of my care! It’s really a labor of love

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks for the ‘validation’ (for lack of a better word right now) – patients who are respectful do get rewarded (not necessarily “better care”) by staff going above and beyond for them.


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