Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Guide to going to the Hospital for new Olim

I really think that I should write a guide to going to the hospital for new immigrants. It is just so completely different than the US, (so is most medical related stuff) that we could really miss out.

A friend, who is a pediatrician, explained that the hospital system here is set up on the belief that your family is going to take care of you at the hospital. This is why Shaarei Tzedek has a "malonit"--mini hotel for families to stay in. The extent to which you need someone there depends on the level of your illness, but things as simple as having a cup for water is just not available. The nurses might tell you that you need to keep your fluids up, but that is completely in your own hands.

Another thing that I discovered from when my daugher was born, is that in that ward, you need to get up and go to the desk to ask for pain medication! They never even suggested it! Maybe that is because I wasn't a first time mother, but somehow I doubt it.

The hospital staff did not:
  • tell us about the mini-hotel for shabbat
  • that meals were available for me and my family in the staff dinning room, and I could pay in advance for Shabbat
  • tell my husband what he could/could not do when he got out of the hospital
But I was able to find out the information by asking the right questions. This can be a trick itself.

I don't fault the hospital for any of this, I realize people are overworked, and there is a shortage of staff, but I would love to find someone who would help me write my pamphlet.


PsychoToddler said...

In the US, having a lot of family around can be detrimental. The staff gets an attitude about the family being demanding or troublemakers or crazy. It makes the staff try to stay out of the patient room as much as possible, so paradoxically they get worse care.

Daphna said...

Not exactly my experience at Hadassah, but I wasn't worrying about a family while I was there. At Hadassah the nurses run around flashing color coded sticks in your face and asking you to rate your pain from 1-10. Then they give you drugs. It is a nice system.

BTW, your scarf was a big hit tonight!