Why Do You Need In-Hospital Care?
When you have loved ones in the hospital, you want them to have the best care possible. In fact you expect that they will get better care in the hospital than at home because they can rest and have experts looking out for them 24/7. Most nurses and doctors o care about their patients very much, but even when they do, family members have many reasons for wanting professional in-hospital care for loved ones. We recently received this message from someone who felt just this way.
I am so glad that companies like you exist to provide care for people in the hospital. I never really thought that in-hospital care was something necessary, because I imagined that hospitals offer 24-hours-a-day watchfulness and care. My only personal experience with a hospital stay was for delivery of my children, and we did have exceptional care (aside from being woken up at all hours, of course). But I was alert and aware of everything, and I could speak for myself.
My understanding of the importance of in-hospital care was really sharpened recently when my father had to be hospitalized. He had an ulcer that led to the discovery of cancer and the past year has held several emergency room and hospital stays for him. What we learned was that while most of the health professionals do care about their patients and about providing excellent care, having just one or two who fall short can lead to traumatic experiences for patients who are unable to advocate for themselves. I will just give a couple of examples.
Biases on Pain Management Needs
No one can really know what another person is feeling, and the nurses would often ask “What’s your pain level from 1-10?” Then they would administer what they felt was the appropriate pain relief. We would have a nurse in charge all day who would let us know that she was giving a certain medication, and that if he needed additional pain management, other additional options would be available. Thus, my father’s pain would be managed throughout the day.
Then the night nurse would come on duty with completely different ideas. My dad would express that he had pain, and the nurse would say that he had to wait x number of hours or that he could only have Tylenol. For a man over 70, who’d just finished cancer treatments and was in the hospital for double pneumonia with a tube in his chest for collapsed lung, why should she have the right to decide he could only have Tylenol when the doctor and other nurses had felt that he might need stronger meds for full pain coverage? She even argued with us when we let her know that we knew his allowances. If we had not been there, she would have allowed him to endure unnecessary pain.
The families we serve keep saying great things.
I just wanted to tell you how grateful we are that Neighborly Home Care stepped in & took over taking care of my Dad when we really needed it, no questions asked. Our caregiver has become part of the family and we know we can depend on her being there every day & taking great care of my Dad. He misses her when she’s not there!
— Daughter of an NHC Client
One instance that traumatized my father has forced us to insist they let one of us stay overnight with him during his hospitalization. As related to us by him in distress, in the early hours of the morning, a nurse came to tell him that she was going to bathe him. She undressed him and then a doctor came in. She left him as he was, the doctor did whatever he needed to do, and then the nurse didn’t come back. For an undetermined amount of time he shivered, sitting in the room’s chair, until finally someone came in and found him freezing and dressed him. When my father hears that a hospital visit is necessary, he becomes afraid and sometimes tearful, which is just so hard to see.
Misdiagnoses might be the wrong word, but at the end of my father’s most recent visit to the hospital, he was on oxygen the entire time. And we were told that he would need oxygen at home too. But when the day finally came, someone new came to examine him and said that he didn’t qualify for oxygen. Of course we questioned that decision, and in the end he did have to take oxygen home, and 3 weeks later he still relies on it to keep his levels safe.
The bottom line is that we talked to each other about how hospitalizations must be when no family is there to advocate for their loved ones. It’s common because of course people have to work, take care of young children and families at home, and because usually, the hospitals frown on having people stay overnight unless they are actual patients. Thank you for providing in-hospital care services so that vulnerable people have someone looking out for them!
All my best,
Neighborly Home Care Offers In-Hospital Care in Pennsylvania and Delaware
As our friend made obvious, vulnerable people are often unable to question or protest their care. If they are in pain or unable to speak, they have to accept whatever treatment the on-duty staff provides. We know that most health care professionals care deeply about their patients, but some think or act differently than we would expect when taking care of our loved ones. If you or a loved one has an upcoming hospital stay planned, contact us to learn more about our caregiver in-hospital care options, because having someone to advocate for you or your loved one gives peace of mind about the stay. Our caregivers take notes about what doctors say, and can relate concerns to and from family members who are unable to stay in the hospital with their loved ones. We also offer post-procedure care at home for those who need a little help once returning home from a hospital stay.