Patient care fail – when allergies hit
First of all, for those out there following along, my surgery went well. I’m writing this now because I’m not ready to sleep yet and it is just slightly too soon for my next round of pain meds – which I want to take just before trying to sleep.
For the most part, my patient experience today went well despite the delay. There was one pet peeve of mine that I think it deserves a blog post. Shortly after having changed into my hospital gown, while having blood drawn, I had an asthma attack. Through coughs, I directed the nurse to where my inhaler was (in my bag, since I only had on a hospital gown). She complemented me on remembering to bring along my rescue inhaler. She also tried to get my bed relocated because the loved-one for the person next to me was wearing perfume – which is most likely what triggered the asthma attack. Unfortunately, things were really busy, so there was no spare space. The nurse validated I was OK and they left me in the spot.
Here comes my pet peeve and rant. At NO TIME did they ask the loved-one who was wearing perfume to leave – or move away. The asthma attack was treated as my problem, and not the problem of the person who caused it in the first place! In this day-and-age, why is it OK for someone to wear perfume in a hospital? And especially in the pre-operative area of a hospital? None of the patients are permitted to wear it – heck, you are required to shower twice with special soap and put no lotions or creams on your skin.
Until places like hospitals adopt zero tolerance policies on things like perfume, the practice will continue. And people like me will be the ones to suffer – not those who are doing the offending in the first place.
Please take note – <begin rant> if you like to wear perfume – stay away from hospitals, concert halls, and expensive restaurants (where the food is meant to be smelled not the person next to you) <end rant>. And nurses, I don’t care how uncomfortable it makes you feel to ask the offending person to leave, you need to stop punishing the patient! Ask the offender to leave, perhaps ask them to use the restroom to wipe off as much of the perfume as possible … it may be a futile exercise, but it will send a message, and perhaps that person will think twice the next time.