Notes from the Hospital Bedside

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Notes from the Hospital Bedside

Dad had back surgery Friday morning. As many of you know, I don’t ordinarily work as a patient advocate. My work is about supporting patient advocates – so I look at these kinds of experiences as opportunities to learn, and to use some of the excellent advice I’ve learned from many of you over the years. I’m relieved to say – I haven’t had much opportunity to make a difference!  Dad’s care has been quite good.  So, as his advocate, my last 72 hours have been…. well…. boring. But there have been a few things I have observed, and a few things I’ve learned, to share with you. And two “saves” that may have been important – although – I prefer to hope they made no difference. More about that in a moment. Dad’s surgery took place at Sarasota Memorial Hospital (Florida). SMH has an excellent reputation – well deserved. From the free valet parking which is mere steps from the elevator that took us to the surgery check-in, to the “Clean Remote” on the TV in the pre-surgery prep room (seriously – a TV with a remote control that is simply wiped clean with an antiseptic cloth – a simple and smart way to prevent infections from spreading) to a “family valet” – a woman whose sole job it is to help family members get through the experience, to a “traffic” board in the OR waiting room  (I was given a code number for Dad, and could watch his progress on a monitor on the wall from prep to surgery to post-op), then later being escorted to his post-surgery room where we’ve been for two days. Oh – and let’s not forget the free coffee, available everywhere. Dad’s nurses have done their jobs well.  Only twice have I asked for hands to be washed and both times, no hesitation, hands were washed.  I observe the use of antiseptic foam everytime they walk in the door – and everytime they walk out the door, too.  The halls are permeated by the odor of the foam, but in a way, that’s…

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