Letter to the Editor

Patient observes others

Sunday, August 14, 2011

To the Editor:

I was recently a patient at St. Vincent Clay Hospital and made some interesting observations that I would like to share.

I have some serious recurring health problems that come on suddenly and require immediate treatment.

This time, after treatment in the emergency room, at my request, I was allowed to return every 12 hours for IV treatments rather than be admitted.

This lasted for eight days. I waited in the lobby each time for my treatment.

While waiting, I was amazed and somewhat angry at the behavior of many patients waiting their turn. Many with relatively minor problems were rude to nurses and staff and complained constantly the whole time because they were seen right away.

If I had some of the problems that I saw, I would have made an appointment at the doctor instead of tying up an emergency room to start with.

I think that several either had good insurance or had some government assistance so they really didn't care what it cost.

Perhaps if they had to pay their own way like I do, they would not have been there to start with.

Had they taken time to listen and observe, they would have seen that the emergency rooms and staff were busy treating patients with serious illness and injury.

A nurse had evaluated the people waiting (i.e., triage) to determine the severity. I observed several that went right in if needed. I think it is a very fair and efficient system. There were several times I waited too, but I brought a book and didn't think anymore about it.

If we didn't have this hospital, I am sure it would be missed. They have always been kind to me and helped calm my anxieties and on more than one occasion, saved my life.

If I had to travel to Terre Haute for treatment, I probably would not be here now.

They will never be a "big city" hospital or offer every treatment and service, but when you can't breathe, it is darn nice to have them here.

What I am saying is if you don't get right in, it is because someone worse needs care first. If you feel worse or distressed, let them know and they will see you. They are people that make life and death decisions every day and do the best they can and being rude or having to listen to ignorant comments serves no useful purpose.

As for me, I say thank you St. Vincent Clay for being part of our community. You have more patience than I could muster to put up with some of the people you do.


William M. "Mike" Varvel,