It's a universal health care frustration: the emergency room. Endless waits and doctors who treat patients like products on an assembly line. A new study confirms the exasperation: A large portion of patients believe they’re being treated poorly by an overstretched system.
According to the survey, conducted by National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, about one in every three patients, who spent at least one night in a hospital in the past year, reported that “nurses weren't available when needed or didn't respond quickly to requests for help." Though only a minority reported being dissatisfied overall, many respondents felt the hospital’s traditional frontline staff hadn’t given them adequate attention.
But what’s behind the numbers? In NPR’s informal follow-up Facebook poll, nurses sounded every bit as vexed as the patients:
We received hundreds of responses and read them all: piles of stories about nurses feeling overworked, getting no breaks, no lunches and barely enough time to go to the bathroom. Even worse, many nurses say breaks and lunchtimes are figured into their salaries and deducted, whether they take them or not. [Read complete article at Alternet]