Tuesday, January 16, 2007

cut and run

An open letter to the ER Discharge Person:

I'd really like you to explain to me why the hell you think it is OK to cab a non-ambulatory, non-coherent, unable to sit upright unassisted and unable to feed himself old man to a shelter? And to make matters worse, not even to a shelter who can accommodate him, oh no, just the NEAREST shelter, you cheap cab fare paying jerk?

And while you are looking into this, please let me know what steps you took to evaluate the choice of shelter in order to determine the best level of respite care possible...was it the fact that we are NOT open 24/7? The total lack of any medical personnel? Or perhaps it was the whole sleeping on the FLOOR that made us seem perfect for you?

I am sure he won't mind if we just ROLL HIM TO THE CURB in the morning when we close down. I am sure he'll be there when we open again 1o hours later. We'll cover him with a blanket or something. I mean, that's triage, right? No problem, ER Discharge Person.

I mean, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?

You messed with the wrong person, ER Discharge Person. Because I know where he came from. And I've got media contacts. And this sort of thing makes a really good story when it's FREEZING outside.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Hospitals cut and run all the time. All the time. I (don't but what's the point) get it. Whatever. But this crossed the line. Cutting and running at other facilities is one thing -we still can't manage but at least we don't close in the morning. You know this. How dare you treat someone this way.

PS. We arranged to transport him to another one of our locations but it took hours to arrange the ride (I refuse to cab such a sick individual without proper medical transport, you jackass, because let's see, oh yeah, because he's a HUMAN BEING) and with every phone call I got a bit more pissed. Luckily though, I've gotten to know some bureaucrats this week, and it was time to call in a favor. Now I know some really pissed off at you bureaucrats. I like them more and more.

I'll be seeing you, ER discharge person.

33 comments:

Z said...

That is appalling. What are hospitals for? What has happened to taking responsibility for your actions? I do hope it will be possible to nail this at the door of the one who took responsibility to do this to that old man. What disrespect it displays to him and to you and your fellow workers.

That actually couldn't happen in Britain. I'm not claiming any more compassion here, but the system would not allow it.

Oh, The Joys said...

I truly believe that what comes around does go around. ER Discharge person is in for some bad juju.

deb said...

Same here in Canada, we can't dump people, have to find someplace safe for them, until then, we take care of them.

I'm sure glad he's got you on his side though, you side like a warrior. That's how I feel when I have to deal with the school board over Katie, fierce.

Don't forget to take care of yourself as well.

Ånd you do know that someone else was probably leaning on the discharge person, doesn't make it right, I'm just saying.

Thailand Gal said...

Please do contact some media sources. This is the kind of thing that needs to be brought to the public's attention. Geez, it's just such a ****ing crime to be poor in America, isn't it?


Peace,


~Chani

meno said...

Go get 'em!

Un-f*#king-believeable.

Make sure you give us links to any story about this. I want this guy to swing!

Tabba said...

WOOOOHOOOOO clappingclappingclapping..
Wooooooohooooooo
clappingclappingclapping some more.

Not at that ER discharge person. I have mittens on & am making a hand gesture....use your imagination.

Not at that poor old man.

But to see you this fired up. I am sorry for the circumstances. But I hate to admit it. I love a good fight.
Especially one that is based on merit. And if ever I saw or heard of someone deserving of a fight, it's this.right.here.

still clapping & whooping it up....maybe I'm sick. But it's this kind of fire that I can relate to above all else.

KC said...

Jen, it's hard to believe. There was a doctor behind that decision, there had to have been. Our ER NEVER turns people away like that, will always err on the side of admission to the hospital until things get sorted out. I can't believe someone would feel safe in discharging him to the streets. He needs medical attention.

But that ER definitely needs the feedback that's coming. Administrators need to know.

Mad Hatter said...

F**K. F**K'n human race.

Julie Pippert said...

This is a serious legal matter.

That ER can be in a world of legal hurt.

Glad you will take action.

In additon to various legal and medical agencies (most of whom I am sure you know), next call the accreditation agency for that hospital (probably JCAHO). I promise you, a review visit is the BIGGEST pain point to these people.

Bob said...

This isn't an isolated incidence. I saw a newstory recently about exactly this same thing - ER's dumping homeless people on the street after being discharged. It's a f#$%#$ disgrace.

s@bd said...

boo rah, baby.

you GO

jen said...

KC, I know, baby...i wanted to say "not you KC, never you" when I wrote this post.

Another hospital sent us a woman later last night WITHOUT ANY SHOES. And she can't walk unassisted either.

Oh, yes, kids...I am riled.

Iris said...

YOU GO, GIRL!!!

I am an RN who works in a small hospital.....we see this type of "dumping" all the time, the only thing is, the big hospitals dump onto us, the smaller hospitals, but, at least those people are safe and cared for the way they need to be. We keep people in hospital for "social" reasons all of the time to avoid any harm to come to them. I know we pay way high taxes in Canada so that universal health care can survive, but when I hear stories like yours, I am so glad we do it.

nomotherearth said...

This should not happen, and the fact that it did makes me very sad. What have we come to that we care so little about our fellow human beings. Sad.

Mrs. Chicky said...

That is just wrong.

Make 'em pay, Jen. Make. Them. Pay.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Any newspaper would jump on this. Get 'em, Jen.

Hospitals are the third circle of hell, staffed by so many people who've just given up caring.

This story should shock them back into the human race.

scribbit said...

How sad. What would happen without people like you to watch out for the homeless? If everyone just shipped them off?

Anjali said...

Oh, that just makes me sick to my stomach. Good for you for fixing someone else's very grave mistake.

ewe are here said...

I thought 'dumping patients' was illegal....

God, I hope you contacted the media.

Lucia said...

I hope you do go after this person. There's really NO excuse for this. It was bad judgment at best and no judgment at worst. Out of sight, out of mind. You go girl!

carrie said...

No.....

I hope those bureaucrats pull through for you. Crossing my fingers.

Carrie

QT said...

Yes, I agree, there is a special place in hell reserved for the people who make these decisions. I say take it as far as you can. It is unacceptable. I wonder if he was an old man that you knew and had seen before?

Her Bad Mother said...

(Clapping wildly)

Give 'em hell.

crazymumma said...

Raise a little hell Jen. Raise a little hell. That poor man, I hope he is comfortable now. What happened to the concept of dignity anyway? May karma come full circle. Actually no, I would not wish such a bad thing on anyone, but may that person get a taste....

urban-urchin said...

I'm with OTJs what goes around comes around. Take heed o ER Discharge person

Momish said...

No, that did not just happen? And, yet, sadly it does not surprise me when I really think about it. Worse is that it was probably a group of people who made that decision and not just one heartless idiot. Sickening.

ecm said...

This is terrible! I say call the media! I'd be happy to write a letter to some sort of authority. Just let me know.

NotSoSage said...

God. I can't believe people sometimes. It's amazing that you are able to put your sense of outrage towards something productive. I would just be pissed and feel helpless. (And there are times when those bureaucrats come in handy, eh? Put 'em to work.)

Laurie said...

Kicky some bootie girl! That is totally out of line and god willing the media will take it and run with it.

kristen said...

That bitch (boy or girl, it doesn't matter)deserves to sleep outside on the coldest night of the year, so he/she can understand his/her actions, first-hand.
And totally throw this information to the media, because people like this need to be called out and maybe, that person will get some compassion.

This type of story (which I know is so common it's sickening) makes my stomach hurt.

radioactive girl said...

I can't believe it! When did people get so out of touch with their feelings that they can treat people as objects and just discard them? Your posts are very inspiring (have I said that before, because I think it all the time). Good for you for not just letting this go!

Penny said...

Jen, that is so frustrating for you. I hope you get the strength you need to make the right people listen to you on this one.

Either the discharge person really didn't give a damn or he/she turned that man from a human into a statement ~ but, what was he/she trying to say?

Whatever it was, he/she got your attention and I love your response, thus far. Keep us informed.

Good for you, Jen.

Thank God for you.

kittenpie said...

OMG that is totally appalling. I can't even imagine. Sooo good you have some contacts that can help bring this to light and maybe force some policy-making in the long run. Meanwhile, he's lucky to have landed on your doorstep, if he couldn't land on one meant for his care.