The hospital can be a busy and understaffed place. The hospital administration may try to estimate staffing based on past statistics, but trauma and tragedy are typically unpredictable.
When the hospital staff is stretched thin, it is difficult to know what level of care you should expect. It can be challenging to know when the team is being negligent and when they can only take care of essential needs for everyone.
Here’s what you should know about the standard of care when you are in the hospital.
Busy or not, there are minimums
When you are in the hospital for more than a few hours, you notice the difference between when medical staff is busy and when they have more time on their hands. Regardless of the amount of work on their plates, you can expect hospital staff to perform regular duties, including:
- Responding to call requests
- Regular (typically hourly) status checks
- Daily checks from a doctor
While the team may not always have time to chat about how you feel, you should still see medical staff regularly, and they should respond when you call.
When it comes to medical care, you are the person who knows most intimately how bad your pain and discomfort are. While you may want to be considerate of the other patients, this is no time to wait your turn.
If you feel like your pain was not assessed correctly, or your situation feels like it is getting worse, talk to your medical staff. Remind them of your initial condition and what, if anything, has changed.
Be especially concerned about cardiac and respiratory symptoms. These symptoms can signal you need immediate medical interventions.