Alexandra Robbins is the author of “The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital.”
She recently wrote an article for the New York Times titled “Skip the Fancy Towels and Hire More Nurses,” which discusses how hospitals are going about providing more concierge-type services. Flat screen TVs, monogrammed towels, gazebo patios for patient smoke breaks, fancy gyms, pool and even expresso machines.
None of these luxuries are for use by hospital nurses.
The expansion in this style of service led to one hospital going as far as to ask its nurses to deliver non-alcoholic champagne toasts to every new mother.
The way to improve patient care is NOT in the amenities. I remember when my daughter was born, I could order room service on demand during my stay and even get a free massage.
That is not to mention the fact that while there, 4 med errors were made on me during my recovery. A nurse attorney, one would think, should know better. Fortunately, the med errors were not significant and caused neither me nor my daughter any harm.
As hospitals continue to put money into things that don’t actually improve patient care, the poorer the overall care of patients will become.
I think Ms. Robbins’ article is a start on informing the public that one does not live or die by the towels … but by the nurses who care for them. Having an adequate number of towels rather than nurses could mean your life.
What are your thoughts on this? Please leave your comments below.