My husband was admitted to hospital today, in preparation for surgery later in the week. It’s one of those brand new hospitals that have a shopping mall and a palm-tree atrium, but not, apparently, any nurses.
It hadn’t occurred to me that patients might be expected to provide their own towels, and towards the end of visiting time we realised Mr F had no means of drying himself after a shower.
Three times I walked first to one nursing station, then the length of the ward to the other nursing station. Three times I failed to find anyone. It was like the staff had abandoned their posts and left me in charge of two dozen neuro-surgical cases. Aaaaarrrrrggggh!
In the end I asked another patient. And the net of her reply was ‘obviously patients bring their own towels, what do you think this is, the Ritz, but since you were too dumb to work that out I’ll show you where you can grab a spare sheet and dry yourself on that.’
After I’d left the staff came out of hiding. I know this because Mr F called me at 5.30pm to tell me they’d already given him his dinner, leaving him with nothing much to do except wander down to the atrium in his new PJs and give the sales clerks in the travel agency (yes, the travel agency) a cheap thrill.