Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Have a nice trip!

A few years ago, I was walking through the hospital parking lot, and I tripped over one of the parking dividers and fell hard.

While I was lying on the cement, there were hospital workers walking past me and NOT ONE OF THEM stopped to ask me if I was all right. After several minutes of nursing a badly scraped knee on the ground, some construction worker came over to ask me if I was okay.

I always feel baffled by that situation. I was in a hospital parking lot, for god's sake. These were medical professions walking past me. Why didn't they help me?

21 comments:

  1. I witnessed a similar thing the other day. I'm on my surgery rotation, and I was following some residents somewhere (I can't remember what we were doing?) and we passed by a lady who had fainted, and she was slumped over on the floor. There were a few janitors and non-medical workers stopped to help her, but the surgeons kept looking straight forward and didn't miss a beat...

    I was really confused.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Liability concerns.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Compassion fatigue

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am 8 months pregnant. A couple of weeks ago, I almost fell - some uneven sidewalk and I lost my balance very badly- in the street in front of an hospital. Fortunately there was some kind of pillar I could grab to stop me in my fall. I hurt my fingers but that's it. NOBODY stopped except an old lady who asked me if I was fine...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd like to think I'd stop in that situation but maybe I wouldn't...

      Delete
  5. They weren't on the clock.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'd second the bystander effect - it's why people say the worst place to get hurt is in a crowd, since everyone will assume everyone else will help...

    I do try to help when people fall, but I'm in a place right now where my family is more willing to yell when they're in pain than need the help, so I kind of avoid that anymore...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I learned about social proof and the bystander effect in college psychology, but I don't entirely believe it. I remember I saw a car crash from my window once, and when I called 911, they told me many people had already called to report it. Maybe the bystander effect just happens when the bystanders are all lazy jerks.

      Delete
    2. The sad thing is, I think that's probably the truth. And I think especially in America there's a higher population of lazy jerks/disrespectful people.

      Delete
  7. Perhaps they ascribed to the latin proverb " cura te ipsum." (Physician..."heal thyself!"). Or perhaps this is just a reflection of the overall degeneration of manners in our society. Or maybe you looked scary...like the type of person who might fake a fall then pull a knife on the first person who stopped to help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't look like a crazy knifer.

      Delete
  8. I do not think the bystander effect discriminates between those in medical profession or not. I think this is just a matter of those in the medical profession who may not see a "simple" fall as anything serious enough to be concerned over. I believe those in medical field will seize the moment if someone was having a seizure... they'll always get praised if they save the person. They will not get much praise if they give someone a band-aid. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, but just out of common politeness, you'd think someone would have checked if I was okay.

      Delete
  9. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I just don't understand how healthcare workers and medical professionals could act this way.

    I've heard other people voice similar experiences and I've seen it happen once, too. It was, oddly enough, also on a hospital campus. I was a visitor and I sought help for the person who collapsed in a near faint. When I called the hospital operator on my cell phone (I was standing right outside the main entrance) I was abruptly told to call 911. Instead, I dialed security and they sent someone out to help the lady who by that time was slumped on a bench outside their entrance.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Different experience in a different hospital. My 23 yr old daughter was leaving a clinic (where she was working) and passed out in the hospital parking deck (bi-lateral PEs). I believe if it wasn't for the quick thinking of both the nurses and doctors in the deck at the time - she would have had a very different ending. I guess it just depends on where the hospital is located!

    ReplyDelete
  11. No docs or nurses around, but something similar happened to me in a SNF parking lot. I was getting out of my car after a bad ice storm, and a guy 2 spaces over from me rolled down his window and asked me something about when the parking lot would be scraped. I told him I didn't know, took a few more steps and proceeded to wipe out quite dramatically right in front of his car. I had bloody scraped knees and elbows, but the original guy just sat there and stared at me. Luckily some construction guys from the other side of the building ran over to help me up (why they were doing construction in the ice, I will never know).

    I just couldn't believe he was a few feet from me, clearly capable of speaking and rolling down his window, and he didn't even ask if I was okay.

    ReplyDelete
  12. There is no good and acceptable reason you were not offered help. Pitiful.

    ReplyDelete
  13. So working on an ambulance I see things very similar to this happen a lot. People will call to say that they saw something but they will rarely stop so we can find the accident or passes out person they saw on the side of the road. People are willing to help only if it's convent to them or if they don't have to stop and spend time with the sick/injured.

    On a slightly different note, I also know many people are terrified to act if they have no idea what to do. While a doctor certainly can stop and ask if you are okay, I also know very few doctors know what to do for someone if they aren't in a hospital.

    So yeah, take that a you will.

    ReplyDelete
  14. One thing I've learned is that medical professionals are extremely selfish. Sound harsh? Maybe. But it's one of the biggest reasons I still sometimes consider quitting.

    ReplyDelete
  15. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9384486/Eleven-hospital-staff-suspended-after-man-dies-on-hospital-doorstep.html

    ReplyDelete