Monday, July 7, 2008

Health Care: Woman dies in hospital waiting room.

This one did not surprise me in fact it felt familiar.

I posted about when I worked in a mental health facility and some of the flaws in the system I saw.

I understand that a woman lying on the floor may not ring alarms for the staff member who may see this as an opportunity to attend to other business in an overwhelming environment.

The thing that bothers me is that the real causes that led to an atmosphere that allowed a woman to ironically die alone in a building full of people will probably not be addressed.

The staff were neglectful but most likely not with out reason.

When you work in state funded health facilities you are working at the bottom of the barrel most times.

In addition to being underpaid and over worked, you are more likely dealing with the lower rung of society, homeless, newly released prisoners, low end of the working class, immigrants.

All of whom are not in their right mind, stressed from their circumstances and the people around them, demanding help and attention from staff members spread too thin.

I understand that the stressful environment placed on all parties can lead to a cycle of neglect and abuse.

I have seen were under staffing has led to one female coworker being left in a room alone with 6 to 7 men all suffering from mental disorders that made them hyper sexual.

I have seen security guards who get paid 9.25 an hour, treated like trash by every one till the moment a fight breaks out, be told to restrain them selves after getting a face full of spit from a woman with Hepatitis.

I lost count after 100 the number of altercations I was involved with hostile patients.

I seen a fellow tech get his arm broke, another one bit, women assaulted, women doing the assault and rape.

I had my own face scratched up by a woman who was trying to attack another patient because she thought she was the devil out to get her.

And than had to pay for my own blood test to make sure I did not contract anything.

All this can lead to a staff that develops a thick skin, and a tendency to take short cuts to ensure the job gets done.

What bugs me is that the real causes that led to this atmosphere were a woman's dead body can literally stepped over and ignored, will not be addressed.

Here in Georgia the Governor has cut funding to mental health facilities that are under investigation buy the federal government, for issues that are directly related to under funding.

That is the type of leaders we have running the show, trust me this woman wont be the last to die.