When I worked for the VA, we were in a beautiful practically brand spanking new hospital, so sparkly and pretty. And we had no toothbrushes or toothpaste, but I could give the poor late admits a sponge on a stick.
If family came with the late night admits, I'd ask them to go home and bring back a comforter or blanket in the winter, because "I'm sorry, we ran out of blankets about 5 hours ago, and we won't recieve any linen for another day and a half."
I was always so embarrassed about the holes in the sheets, how we had sometimes didn't have sheets and used safety pins to "make sheets" out of pillowcases (until I got written up, apparently we were not allowed to use safety pins around the pt's, safety pins are considered "sharps" and my actions were "dangerous") :trout:
We were allowed 6 containers of orange juice, 6 packages of graham crackers, 4 packages of peanut butter for the entire ward. These were the only snacks other than prescribed hs snacks on the floor, and they were kept under lock and key
. If there was a diabetic emergency that called for oj, pb and crackers, you could then sign them out of the pyxis
, to show they were appropriately used and accounted for.
Late night admissions needing to be fed, that required a call to the nursing supervisor, who would authorize for a sack lunch to be removed from the locked ER fridge and walked up to your floor by transport. But if the the ER was out of sack lunches, the pt better hope that some staff member might take pity on him and have a can of soup hiding in the back of his/her locker or it's a can of Ensure or nothing.
If a pt asked for a soda, well he better have $$ and I'd point him/her in the direction of the vending machines, so long as he wasn't on a fluid restriction. If he/she wanted juice/coffee, I'll tell dietary and you'll just have to wait for your next tray, because the VA doesn't supply the coffee in the staff lounge, and no coffee drinkers are working this shift.
We never had the little things, personal care items. Toothbrushes, shaving cream, deodarant, razors, toothpaste. We had only 2 bedside commodes for the entire ward. I remember running out of alcohol preps one week, and everyone walking around with a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a baggie of cotton balls.
But it was a brand new sparkly shiny pretty building, and the director at that time stepped down suddenly, and there was a big scandal, but no, nothing changed. At times I felt like I was working in an acute care hospital that was budgeted like a really really bad LTC facility.