Thursday, May 28, 2009

Who Builds These Things Anyway?

One of the greatest truisms that I have encountered in my medical career (palliative or not), is the fact that most hospitals are designed by people who have never been a patient, much less seen one. Neither did they ask a doctor or a nurse. 
A particular grievance that I have is the design of bathrooms. Most hospital bathrooms that I have encountered are made small (think the smallest airline bathroom you've ever seen) and would never fit anyone with a walker, cane, wheelchair, much less a person of "size".
If there is a bathroom sink... it is the size of a small finger bowl and has - of all things - foot pedals to work it. Please remember your last hospital visit and what you wore on your feet.
Secondly, from a more palliative standpoint, there are no areas in which talking with families in privacy is possible. This past week, I held family meetings about serious end of life issues in a hallway, staff lounge, and at the elevator lobby. There needs to be a movement to provide private spaces for the talk that is necessary to discuss all aspects of a person's medical care.

No comments:

Post a Comment