I recently had the misfortune to be admitted St. John’s Queens Hospital. I went in to have a stint between my bladder and kidney removed. There were complications during this procedure and unfortunately I had to be admitted.
I do not remember much of the evening of Monday, August 18 2008 since I spent the night in the Recovery Room but I believe I was well attended too and received very good care. Now I wish I had remained in the Recovery Room.
I arrived on floor 3 on Tuesday and the room I was to be put in was not ready, there was no bed. After much debate a bed was found and I was put in room #392 bed 1, with another patient in the room.
This patient had his toddler son in a stroller screaming, with him and his wife in the room. My wife was told by the nurse that children were allowed to be on this floor. As we later found out, children under 9 years of age are not allowed on this floor. Printed right on the visitors pass states: no children under 9 years of age is permitted to visit patients.
During that night I felt my catheter become clogged and rang for the nurse, no one came. I was in pain from the pressure this was causing so my roommate went and found a nurse who finally cleared the catheter. My catheter continued to become clogged during the night and I continued to ring for the nurse, I was finally told I was brothering the nursing staff and not to ring my buzzer any more.
That same night before I tried to go to sleep I rang the nurse to ask for a pain medication. She left and never returned; I tried a total of 4 times that night to get pain medication but never received anything.
Early the next morning I had assistance with a bed pan to move my bowls. At this point I could not stand or move. I was not wiped or cleaned after my bowl movement. I remained in this dirty and unhealthy condition until I could stand up and clean myself days later.
I was given a sponge bath while I was in the Recovery Room. The next time I was cleaned was by one of my visitors, who is a RN. This was on Wednesday evening.
No one had bothered to look at my catheter; there was blood on my penis and legs. My friend who is a RN asked if anyone had attempted any type of catheter care. I answered no. My wife asked for a catheter clean up, the nurse told her how to do it and gave her the cleaner. My wife insisted a trained health care professional from the hospital conduct this procedure.
I had to go to radiology to have 2 simple ex-rays taken. It took 6 attempts until they finally got it right!
Wednesday evening at 9 PM, I had a cat scan. When we started to go out the door of the Emergency Room, I became very alarmed and concerned as to where they were taking me. I was not informed ahead of time that they would be rolling the stretcher down Queens Blvd. to a mobile CAT scan unit. Communication with the patient was totally disrespected and ignored.
After the cat-scan, the tube down my nose was never reconnected to the pump. I asked the nurse to reconnect it and she told me it did not have to be. The tape that secured the tube in my nose had become loose and the tube was moving all night causing mucus, gagging and difficulty breathing. The next morning nurse asked why it was not connected to the pump; I told her I don’t know. She went to check my chart. When I stood up to wash myself the hose fell out of my nose by itself.
Thursday evening an aide came in the room, sat down across the room and hung out for an hour talking on a cell phone.
There were gnats flying around the room probably from the windows not being able to close all the way or the window air conditioner unit that was less than adequate to keep the room cool.
The health care professionals do not all have a good grasp of the English language and at times were conversing in Spanish. I salute people who are bi-lingual but I am not and it is some what discerning when they are looking at my chart and I did not know what was being said.
For two nights in a row, the nurse had to chase after hours, guests out of the room who were visiting my roommate. It seems the nursing staff also doubles for as the security force.
On Saturday while I was getting dressed to leave the hospital my wife was horrified to see severe rash on my back. The aide had made an attempt to wash my back that morning, I would have thought that a trained health care professional would have seen this and at the very least mentioned it, let alone done something about it. Again this as much of my care was totally ignored! Please see the attached pictures of the skin disorder I got in your facility.
While getting dress to leave the hospital my feet and legs were so swollen that I could not get my shoes on. The astute observation abilities of your health care professionals seem to be some what lacking.
The aide that wheeled me out of the hospital left me unattended in a wheel chair on the sidewalk of Queens Blvd. so she could go get a cup of coffee.
I inadvertently left my discharge papers at the hospital and someone found them and called our home. My wife asked her to fax the paper she said she would and then call to make sure the fax came through. We never received the fax or a phone call.
As you can plainly see, this was not a pleasant hospital stay for me. I know that you may have family and loved ones and I hope they are healthy and never have to spend time in a hospital and I’m sure that you would want them treated better than I was in your hospital.
Out of curiosity, I have since read your website regarding nursing services and found the following:
Nursing in Acute Care
Stemming from the principle of total care that embraces mind, body and sprit, acute care is the hallmark of St. John's Queens Hospital. While patients may vary in age, diagnoses, needs and complexity, the exceptional level of care is universal.
It too bad that that this is so far from being true, you might want to consider changing it before someone comes along and sues you for false advertising.
I am in the maritime industry and for 27 years. I have been at sea over half of that time sailing as Captain. As Captain I was responsible for the ship, cargo and crew. I have had to render much more than first aid on numerous occasions and I have had to take care of patients during long sea passages, without health care professionals. If I had rendered the care that I received in your hospital to any of my crewmembers, I would have been brought up on charges before the U.S. Coast Guard. They would have at the very least suspended my Captain’s License if not total revocation.
Charles R. Ebersole
Captain, U.S. Merchant Marine