I believe there’s a lesson to be learnt from everything. But I was surprised how much this recent experience from my dad hit a chord.
Earlier this week he spent a couple of nights at Middlemore Hospital.
For anyone that has spent time in hospital, either as staff, a patient or a visitor, you’ll be familiar with the enforcement of visitor hours.
At Middlemore, visiting hours are from 2-8pm. But as dad discovered during his stay, this doesn’t apply to everyone.
Each room in dad’s ward had four patients, and in the room over from his there were FIFTEEN visitors for one man, still singing and loudly praying, well past 9pm.
There was such a raucous that no one on the ward was able to sleep. With many of them set to have surgery the next day, there were plenty of unhappy patients.
Dad asked a nurse why the visitors – especially such loud ones – were allowed so late in the night. She apologised and said that they weren’t meant to be there, but this was an on-going issue, to the point where they had great trouble kicking these groups out.
I’m told she went and spoke to them twice that night, asking them to leave, and was effectively told to get stuffed. I should add at this point, dad reckons the staff at Middlemore Hospital were fantastic… except for this one area.
So finally around 11pm dad got up.
Now, dad has a few issues going on at the moment. One of them is that he’s waiting for a knee operation so he struggles to stand and walk. The other problem – and the reason he was in hospital on this occasion – was for severe pain whenever he moved.
But still, dad got up.
Dad went to the next room and lost his temper at this group.
He explained that there were people needing to rest, and that what they were doing was incredibly rude and inconsiderate. The patients in the other beds nodded their heads and waved their arms in agreement.
Dad kicked out the visitors three hours after the hospital should have.
The nurse checked on dad as soon as he returned to his bed and they both apologised to each other – dad for yelling, and the nurse for putting him in that position. She took his blood pressure and found it was through the roof and asked if it was due to the noise from next door, which dad confirmed.
This is a hospital. There are visiting hours for a reason.
Yet, this is an on-going issue that the staff often complain about amongst themselves, but they feel like it’s out of their hands since it’s been going on for so long with these types of groups who feel they have the right to be there.
But who are the people who are actually affected? The patients – the people who are meant to be looked after.
Now think about this situation in your own life – work… family… have you found yourself constantly grumbling about a particular problem that is still unresolved?
– Older siblings arguing and deciding not to talk to each other, meaning their kids grow up not knowing their cousins, or worse, resenting the people they don’t see.
– A workplace with a department avoiding their paperwork, forcing others to pick up the slack, causing delays that flow on to your customers.
The nurses’ main priority are the patients. That’s who comes first, and that’s the main group they need to be concerned with.
Whether it’s getting a job done, putting your pride aside, or enforcing a rule – sometimes you need to realise your priorities and get them in order.
So, what’s your priority?