Sunday, February 20, 2005

Instapundit observed:
The people at the hospital are very nice, but this leads me to wonder what would happen if you did the equivalent of those mental-hospital experiments, where normal grad students tested out as crazy after 6 weeks in a mental hospital. If you took 100 healthy people, then put them in a hospital for 2 weeks of this sort of thing and tested them again, I'll bet that they'd be significantly worse off. People joke about the sleep interruptions, or about the bad food, but it's really no joke when you're in there for a while. I wonder why they don't do better?
I've often written orders that if the patient is asleep when the time for the order comes up, leave and come back later.

Glenn, to answer your question, it has to do with the infamous shift change , something that doctors have come to fear. In this case, unless the attending physician orders a specific time, daily weights are generally done by the night shift. This is because the day shift has to get the patients fed and ready for the days treatments/tests. Night shift ends at 7 AM and the "shift change" activities usually begin between 6 and 6:30. So weights have to be done between 5 and 6. Also, the doctors are rounding early in the morning and want this info on the chart.

I can't tell from what you have written, but I don't see any reason why the InstaWife is even getting daily weights. Probably a routine order. It is very reasonable to ask her doctor to cancel the order.

I advise all of my patients to ask the doctors these types of questions. Often, the situation can be fixed easily.

UPDATE: Additional comments by Shrinkette, hat tip to KevinMD. Although, my experience as a physician seeing these weights done is that the least experienced staff member does them and there is very little additional info gained in terms of responsiveness, etc. When the staff uses different scales on different days, it's hard to rely on any documented weight change unless it is large. This issue was best addressed by one ward who numbered their scales and required the staff member doing the weights to list which scale was used and to use the same one every day.