There’s something about a hospital that always makes my stomach do Olympic style tricks. It dips, flips, and turns. Hospitals are a place of healing and caring, so they say. But what about the other aspect of hospitals that we all attempt to forget? What about the people that go in for healing and caring, and never leave?
Since 2008, I have had a certain disdain for hospitals. My then boyfriend passed away in a hospital at the age of 25. He had a “flu” that they said didn’t need medication. Three days later, he was gone. The flu that was overlooked was actually septic pneumonia, poisoning him as the minutes passed.
I often get the feeling that people overuse hospitals so much at this point, that the staff can’t and don’t always pay attention to the ones that really need it. I hear stories of my students bringing their children to the ER for a sore throat, rash, or vomiting. With absurdities like this rolling in, how would a hospital decipher between whose needs are legitimate and whose are dramatic? This aspect of hospitals frightens me. How can the truly sick get care if the healthy are busy making a louder commotion?
To sit inside of a hospital for even fifteen minutes, you see every human emotion in life. The stressed doctor jogging down the people-filled hallway to respond to a page. The nurse smiling and laughing on her phone as her shift just ended and she’s planning dinner. Children holding the hands of their parents, looking around in wonder and blissful ignorance. The proud grandparents beaming over a newborn, and the anxious husband awaiting the birth of his own. The woman who just said goodbye to a loved one, staring with empty eyes at the people hustling and bustling by. These emotions fill up the buildings until it feels like there’s no air to breath.
In a place with so many people and so many emotions, the notion that people come to a hospital to become comfortable is astonishing. The nurses do their best to make all patients and visitors comfortable, for the most part. However, in reality, when you’re at the hospital for someone you know can’t come home, comfort is the last emotion you’d ever claim to feel.