A Short Response From A Facebook Posting: Part One

Recently, I had been in the hospital for the second time in my life for a bowel obstruction. I have been in no less ten hospitals in my life for any number of reasons related to my blood clotting disorder, directly or indirectly. And in my observation, the VA hospitals had been the best and most professional nurses, doctors, and surgeons I have seen in any hospital.

Now, I know that there are good VA hospitals and that there are bad VA hospitals, and because I do know how to ask the right, or wrong, questions to evaluate whether a hospital is a good one or a bad one. So, when I compliment the VA hospital in Fargo, North Dakota, I am referring to that particular hospital. Although I will also state that the VA hospitals in Salt Lace City, Utah and the VA hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota, are also, in my opinion, also extremely good as Fargo.

I know that there are bad VA hospitals. I will not mention these VA hospitals by name nor location.

Essentially, I was complimenting the Fargo VA, the nurses and the doctors in particular, and slamming the other two, non-VA, hospitals in Fargo. I have my reasons, and I had noted that there were nurses and doctors who had been hired by the VA from one of these two other hospitals.

The point I had made was that the non-VA hospitals were primarily concerned about money. The VA hospital in Fargo is primarily concerned about people. Well, at least veterans. And from the people I had talked with at the VA, they are crazy happy that they work at the VA instead of their previous hospital. And every person I had spoke with had always come to say in some manner that difference between the other non-VA and the VA hospital was “night and day”.

Most hospitals hire some people out of school. These people are just starting their chosen professional experience. The Fargo VA doesn’t hire anyone fresh out of school. The people they hire are established professionals to begin with, they have in some way made a name for themselves before the VA will even look at these people.

Non-VA hospitals are not like that at all.

My sister took offense to that, as two of my sisters are nurses, and have been nurses for many years. Now, at least one of my two sisters is a mere CNA, and not a RN (Real Nurse or Registered Nurse). And before people get all butthurt about my generalization, I do understand that there is a big difference between a CNA and an RN, so don’t tell me that they are the same thing.

They are not.

That is why I had pointed out that fact when I had made a post on Facebook. Which caused a response from one on my sisters to attempt to shame me, and why I have made this weblog posting.

I cannot be shamed. I will not apologize.

Non-VA hospital nurses and doctors don’t have time for my constant questions when they come into my room. And I always have questions.

I ask them what they are doing, I ask them about any medication they attempt to put into me. I ask for a printout of the possible side effects of any medication that I don’t normally take. I ask them to explain everything to me about my current health and status. I ask how I could, in this particular case, not get another bowel obstruction in the future. I also joke around and we laugh at the things I say.

For the sixth time in my life, I had a NG tube installed. This is, essentially, a tube up my nose and down to my stomach. The thing is a retching experience going in and coming out, and, unfortunately, I knew all about it. Before I had a bowel movement, as I had a bowel obstruction, I had been passing gas, though. The doctors had told me that I can get the NG tube removed. I declined at first, and I told the doctors that if it was taken out, it might need to put back in. And I wouldn’t have anything to do with another NG tube going in such a short period of time. I told the doctors that I would put up a fight, and I would needed to be sedated, heavily, with Morphine, Fentanyl, and Alcohol.

So I kept it in until I had a bowel movement. Yes, the NG tube was in an extra day that I didn’t need it, but it was far better to just keep it in than we me fighting to prevent another one of these damn things in again. And the doctors agreed. Because they knew that I knew about this damnable tube up my nose. That is why I like the VA staff.

Yeah…. I had a stroke, my executive functions are broken, I have short term memory loss, and my inhibitions are broken. So, I say things I shouldn’t say, and nurses try not to laugh about it….but they do.

Example: I am a “hard stick”. My veins do not cooperate with needles, I keep myself nearly dehydrated since 2006, for reasons. This makes it difficult for people to do a blood test on me. On this particular day, the third phlebotomist did her attempt. I had been stuck four times before, all had failed. I told the phlebotomist, approximately, “You need my blood. I don’t care where you get it, my foot, my leg, my butt, or my nutsack, but just get the blood, please.” The nurse who heard this did his best not laugh…….

The thing is, I need to be convinced to take a new drug. Always. I will never accept a “just take it because I said so” response. I know that it is within my power to leave the hospital and I do not need a doctor to release me. And the doctors know that I know that. And the doctors at the VA accept that, and that is why I have given a big “thumbs up” to the VA hospital staff, and a big “thumbs down” to some of the staff at Sanford and Essentia in Fargo.

So, I stand by my assessment concerning the nurses, doctors, surgeons, and the general staff in the Fargo, North Dakota, VA hospital. My assessment probably applies to, at least, the VA hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, and VA hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Yes, I have had some experience in other nurses and doctors in other hospitals, and these nurses and doctors are good people, also. But these good people are individuals, the policies of these non-VA hospitals are not conducive to being kind to people. These people are in a bad situation, and I hope they know it. Like I had said earlier, since the non-VA hospitals hire some newbies, you have no idea what you are getting, really. I hope that the nurses I have met in Essentia (Innovis) and Sanford (Merit Care), have escaped to the VA hospital.

It seems to me, because Obamacare, that Sanford and Essentia are going to have problems in the future if they don’t have trouble now. There are probably some newbies in their staff that haven’t experienced any crap yet, and some of these newbies will face some horrible things and fail, in some manner. And I think that they may be suffering with some staffing problems as the best will be hired by the VA.

The VA hospitals I have mentioned are safe, the staff have already passed through years of trial by fire before they were hired by the VA. And they will be OK.

Sanford and Essentia…. who knows?



About Kevin Benko

I'm a fifty-something generic humanoid sack of water and meat.

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