Monday, July 12, 2010

A hospital envelope surprise.

I came home to find a letter from the hospital that I visited back in May. I thought at first it was asking for a donation, but when I opened it the letter was a survey asking about my experience! There were about fifty or sixty questions in total and a spot to relay extra information about the visit to the ER, all of which I obligingly filled out. I was very happy to fill it out for several reasons:

1. It's so very rare that we, the patients, get to give our feedback.

2. I was glad I got to speak to more than just wait times. These were some of the questions I that I found more thoughtful: "Did the doctors/nurses talk in front of you as if you weren't there?" "If you had any anxieties or fears about your condition or treatment, did a doctor/nurse discuss them with you?" "Did you have enough say about your care?" "Did someone in the Emergency Department help get your messages to family or friends?" I like these, because it shows that there is an understanding that hospital experiences are not just about expediency, but also about comunication and respecting patients feelings during what can be very stressful times.

3. In the space provided I was able to tell them that, while I found most nurses be attentive, kind and knowledgeable and my doctor was really superb... there was still that one nurse to whom I relayed the fact that my blood sugars were low and it took her a whole 10-15 minutes to bring me a rather small glass of juice... and the only reason she gave it to me at all was because they were taking me to x-ray and I passed her in the hall- she'd left my juice on the counter at the nursing station. (For some reason I failed to mention this in my original post- somehow I just forgot about it!)

Anyway, the moral of the story is that I wish these questionnaires were a more regular thing. I've had a number of visits to ER's (though curiously, never for the diabeetus... except for diagnosis...) and this is the first time ever I've received anything like this. Who knows if they actually listen to what is written, but I'd like to think that if they took the time and money to send out the survey in the first place, they too take their patient's needs and wishes to heart.


Scully said...

Your blog is making me laugh something fierce. and then I noticed you must be Canadian..... Where are you from?
i'm so excited!

Virtue said...

Toronto! You are from Canada too! And you blog! Hooray!!!! Another Canadian d-blogger!!! :)

Wait, how did u guess I'm Canadian too? Maybe I wrote it somewhere.

avisualtinkle said...

I can't wait until I receive my survey from my recent hospital stay. Most of the nurses/drs were fantastic but that night of the 5?? BG with only 6 units of Novolog will be the first thing I write about!

Virtue said...

Oh, no :( That's aweful. Why can't they understand that is so aweful???

I read a research piece recently where med students had a chronic illness patient/family that they visited at home over the period of two years. Lots of the patient volunteers had diabetes. The comments about how that change the perception of diabetes in the minds of those doctors were incredible. The students were all caring and intelligent people, but it was like a major 'aha moment' for a lot of them. They couldn't believe how different diabetes is in real life than from the text book. I keep meaning to write the researcher/program director and thank them for getting that message across! Anyway...

That's neither here nor there! Sorry your stay sucked a bit and I am sending survey vibes your way!

Scully said...

Hmm... I thought I commented but guess it didn't work!
I noticed you were canadian when you mentioned something in one of your posts about the assisted devices program. I'm so excited to meet another canadian dblogger especially one so close to home! I am born and raised in Burlington and live in Hamilton.

Virtue said...


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