Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pediatric ER's an Emergency Case Themselves?

So Monday night (actually it was supposed to be in the afternoon but anywho) I had to take my daughter to the emergency room.  Yes, that should be where I am putting the exclamation point, right?  Wrong!  The ER I think is in more trouble than my daughter (thank goodness, so far, we are blessed again!!!!).

I have thought and thought how to write this post without sounding like a racist pig.  I am not one...a pig anyway, but I guess I have become a racist.  I know I was not raised one that is for sure.  I have never said the "N" word and don't believe that is ever, and I do mean ever, appropriate.  But I am damn sick of the illegals that are draining our system.
After years of dealing with my cart being bumped into when I was shopping and when I gave a smile and an excuse me (even though it was not my fault) I got a frown and a shake of the head (no habla English) I got darn sick of shopping in those areas.  I also got sick and tired of the screaming, out of control kids in those same out of control shopping carts.  As a matter of fact I learned the demographics of our state as well as I could, so when it came to choosing a Pediatric hospital, I took all of this into consideration; a sad state of affairs, I admit.

Let me paint you a picture of the waiting room at the ER.  A mid-twenties couple has their two young sons there; my daughter and I check in with my drivers license and insurance card and have a seat near this couple.  I notice that my daughter is staring at them and take a look, that is because they are busily making out while their sons uncontrollably climb on the furniture and the tables!  When the youngest starts feeling the pain of the obvious ear infection he is there for he goes crying to his Mama who has no blankey or favorite toy or anything and just continues to talk to the man; the child was pulling her hair to try to get her attention.  I was dying to grab a blanket and wrap the boy up and walk the halls like I used to do with my kids when they were ill.

Another family that entered even shocked the guy behind the desk.  The mom spoke no English so the oldest son was doing all of the talking.  One of the younger boys needed to be seen because his leg hurt.  What?  No injury, no fall, no bruise, no nothing.  The same gentleman that had been so sweet to my daughter, calling her "Sweetie" (and keep in mind he is of Spanish descent too), and gently placed the arm band on her; just tossed the arm band across the counter and said "put this on him and help your mom fill out this medicaid paperwork".  I mean the kid was already racing around the waiting room in his wheelchair!

This trip to the ER took us seven hours!  We got an ultrasound, blood work and some other various lab work done; nothing that should have taken seven hours.  When my daughter was finally cleared to eat I ran to the cafeteria to get us something to eat and the waiting room was three times as full as when we entered; and I didn't hear a word of English as I passed through.  The nurses said the wait time by then was four hours just to get in, we had been lucky.

As some of you commenters are going to point out, I have another none of my business point.  I was thinking when I was checking every piece of medicine they put into my daughters IV.  How could someone who doesn't speak English do this?  Really?  I checked everything.  If they brought a new bag of fluids in, I asked if it was a brand new bag and if they had added anything to it.  I asked questions of the Ultrasound tech.  At the end when it was determined that we'd try meds, I double checked those.  I don't know a young kid on this planet that knows medicine well enough that could translate that back to his Mama!

My last point goes back to my drivers license and insurance card that I had out before I even entered the hospital.  I had even had it out earlier in the day when I had taken her to her primary care physician too.  As a matter of fact, I have my drivers license out all the time.  If I get stopped by a cop, I get it, my insurance and my registration out before the officer even makes it to the window.  I get it out when I write a check too.... My point being that I have to prove who I am all the time, what is the big deal?  If you have nothing to hide, you should be proud of your paperwork I would think...The folks that we know that have gone through the arduous process of becoming nationalized citizens are damned proud of it!  And us, damned proud of them!


A.C. Byrne said...

I cannot tell you how many cases I used to interpret ( once upon a time I used to work as a medical/legal Spanish interpreter) for an adult or even sometimes kid that was wrongly treated b/c they had a kid interpreting. It was always so messy because these kids are just kids and should not be expected to do that but then there was a person that had been being treated for who knows how long for something completely unrelated. Our system is a mess and the fact that people are using our er system as most people use their pediatricians or gps is an issue too. We use this Urgent Care Facility down at Lutheran Hospital run by Children's Hospital-we have had a lot of luck there- easy in/out and very competant. Hope she is ok.

Daisy said...

I hope your young one is doing better. The ER can be a scary place. 7 hours? How awful.

In an area like that one, I'd love to see the hospital employ full time translators. I know, it's expensive. Who would pay? I don't know. But if we're truly meeting people's needs, a translator would be necessary.

lfhpueblo said...

The 3 emergency rooms are like that here where I live too.
Since I once used to be a nurse and now have a niece and nephew who work in hospitals, the nephew an RN and the niece a Radiology Technician, I can tell you part of the reason you find people with Medicaid cards in the ER instead of at a Doctor's office appointment. It's the co-pay, no co-pay for ER visit, but there is one for a Dr. office visit. Granted it's on a sliding scale or something, but still they don't want to shell out any money at all.
Then the hospitals can't ask them if they are legally here in this country, because that's discrimination.
It's all a bunch of BUNK if you ask me.
The ER's around here will tell you don't expect to have less than a six hour wait on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday if you come into the ER after 5pm usually.
It's like these individuals all come streaming in with domestic fight injuries, intoxicated parents, suicidal teens, out of control little ones that obviously are sick and probably should have been taken into a Dr. Office earlier on in the week.
The ER's are having to staff extra security in the ER's on those days and evening way late into the night hours too.
Well, I'm up on my soapbox too.
Upper northern back east states can't seem to understand why Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and California want tighter border controls and inforcement. Well, just think your family is having a real emergency and the ER is so crowded you are having a hard time to get into the doors to even make it to the check in desk. Think about it.
Plus I'm tired of my paying their share of health care. They should go back and make their own countries work right, instead of sponging off of us.
The little guys there can unite against the big guys and get something done to help make the government work right in their own country first.
Heck, isn't that what our ancestors did against the British? The little American Colonists guys united and changed history.
Now those people need to go back and change History in their own countries. They need to unite to change it for the good, not for money either. Drug running and growing is not for the good and will not change a government to recognize the little man. Just another point I thought should be brought up.
Sorry, I'll get off my soap box now.

Anonymous said...

The triage system at public hospitals in this country definitely needs an overhaul but this is not an "illegals" problem. This is a problem created by the large number of poor and underinsured who have no other recourse but to flood the hospital's ER with problems that the more fortunate would take to their GP. In your area they may be illegal or recent citizens but in many parts of the country they are just poor/unemployed/homeless US citizens.

It's lousy when you have to wait that long for medical care but remember to count your blessings and try not to pass judgement on others or as they say, "Don't criticize your neighbor until you've walked a mile in their moccasins."