Sunday, June 24, 2012

Yale New Hell Hospital

If you live in New Haven, as I did for 8 years or so, and aren't affiliated with Yale, the thing that binds you with ties that bind with most other people in New Haven is this: you HATE Yale.

And of all the thing to hate Yale about, one of the top two or three is Yale-New Haven Hospital.

The Hospital has grown like a gigantic amoeba over the years, swallowing up land that could be used for low-income housing or green space in an area of the city that is poverty stricken.

Like Lola, whatever Yale wants (in New Haven) Yale gets. Yale is a rich, privileged, entitled institution with billions in endowment and exempt from property tax while New Haven is a poor, crime-ridden, mostly minority city with few prospects of getting better. It is a rich University with a poor City attached.

But let me deal with Yale New Haven Hospital. I told my wife once that if I collapse in the atrium of YNHH to make sure they take me to St. Raphael's!

My friend, who is in her 80's, fell on Friday and broke her hip in 3 places. She fell at lunch so the EMT's probably got her to YNH by 2 or so (EMT's are great, they aren't covered in my rant about YNH.) 13 hours later, she was finally given a bed though she'd been promised all through the day that the surgery would be soon, well, not that soon. In fact, though she was awakened early on Saturday and denied food and water, the surgery wasn't until 3 p.m.--over 25 hours from the time she arrived in pain and suffering. What they also forgot on Saturday morning waiting for the surgery that would be soon...well, not that soon....was to continue her pain meds every two hours. She went almost 4 hours without meds while she called the nursing station 4 or 5 times and was told, "right away....well, not exactly right away...."

Seems she kept getting bumped from Operating Rooms by 'trauma cases'. YNH is one of the foremost Trauma Hospitals in the Northeast. So they bumped an 80+ woman for over a day to deal with, I don't know what exactly, shrapnel wounds, drone attacks, mob hits?

Besides, I could tell you lots of horror stories about YNHH, but let me just share mine today.

I arrive and park in the air rights garage on the 5th level. I go to the elevator and it says in this big sign "ELEVATED WALKWAY TO HOSPITAL IN BEHIND ELEVATOR ON 2ND LEVEL".
So, I get in the elevator and there are only odd number floors on the buttons. So I get out and get in the other elevator to find the same thing--no way to get to the second level thought both elevators tell me the same thing I wrote above "Elevated walkway....2nd Level". So I go to the third level and walk down one level and it's Level One. I go back up to level three and meet some folks who tell me there's no way to get to Level Two from this part of the Air Rights Garage. I have to go to Level One and walk out on the street to get to the Hospital.

My question is, why tell me about what's on Level Two if I can't possibly get there from where I was? On my way back I went into the part of the Air Rights Garage that ONLY goes to Even Number Floors and had to cross York Street to find Level Five.

I had to wait about 10 minutes in line to get directions to my friend's room because there were dozens of people in line (it was Sunday afternoon after all) and only one person at the desk where they tell you where to go though there were at least five computer stations. But there were two people stopping you as you came in to tell you if you didn't have a pass you had to get in line to get one.

So, the pass has 3 pieces of information 1. FLOOR...which my woman left blank. 2. UNIT...which she filled in with "East Pavilion 7-8. And 3. ROOM...which was 818. There are 11 floors on the East Pavilion and since the room was 818 I figured, it must be on the 8th floor. Not a crazy assumption since most rooms are on the floors that is the first number in the room number.

Not so fast, Kemo Sabi, this is YNHH after all and they make their own rules. There is no 818 on the 8th floor. I wandered around and found out that 818 is on the 7th floor. So, back to the elevator and down one floor. Here's where the challenge is made worse. East Pavilion 7-8 doesn't have a room 818 either. The lady I waited in line for put the wrong unit. 818 was on East Pavilion 7-7. Go figure.

The damn thing is just too big and too impersonal and makes both patients and visitors feel like idiots. I am an idiot a lot and don't mind being one--but I don't need a hospital that seems designed to make me feel that way. So, if I have chest pains while on the Cardiac Floor (West Pavilion 6-9 room 976, which is on the third floor which you'd know if you subtracted the 6 from the 9 in West Pavilion 6-9) please instruct the nurse to call the EMT's to take me three blocks to St. Raphael's....


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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.