VIP rooms - page 4

I have been to a few hospitals for clinical rotations and each of them has what are called VIP rooms. In one hosp it was basically a private room, all the other rooms had 2 beds. In the other two,... Read More

  1. by   llg
    I think some people are confusing the "quality of care" issue with the "luxurious environment" and "amenities" issues. They are NOT the same thing.

    Certainly every patient deserves our best effort when it comes to the actual care activities -- assessments, interventions, etc. and to the kindness and compassion we should show to all patients regardless of the socioeconomic level.

    However, that is a different question from the one asking whether it is OK to offer different levels of amenities/luxury to people who want to purchase these things. For people who are accustomed to relatively luxurious surroundings, being forced to live/recover in an environment that is distasteful adds to their discomfort and distress. And it is unnecessary -- as they can afford to purchase the things they need to make themselves comfortable. If we care about these patients, too, we should allow them to purchase the things they need to help themselves feel better.

    My mother died last year, and one of the most frustrating things was that caregivers assumed that, because she was elderly, all she could afford was what Medicare would pay for. We kept having to push aggressively, "Isn't there something better?" and they would answer, "Well, yes, but Medicare only pays for ...." and we would have to practically hit them over the head and say, "We don't care what Medicare will pay for. We have plenty of money and we want her to have the best!"

    A friend of mine sitting here with me reports that the same thing happened to her family when her father died last year.

    We shouldn't deny people the ability to purchase "the best" if that is what they want and need.

    llg
  2. by   llg
    I think some people are confusing the "quality of care" issue with the "luxurious environment" and "amenities" issues. They are NOT the same thing.

    Certainly every patient deserves our best effort when it comes to the actual care activities -- assessments, interventions, etc. and to the kindness and compassion we should show to all patients regardless of the socioeconomic level.

    However, that is a different question from the one asking whether it is OK to offer different levels of amenities/luxury to people who want to purchase these things. For people who are accustomed to relatively luxurious surroundings, being forced to live/recover in an environment that is distasteful adds to their discomfort and distress. And it is unnecessary -- as they can afford to purchase the things they need to make themselves comfortable. If we care about these patients, too, we should allow them to purchase the things they need to help themselves feel better.

    My mother died last year, and one of the most frustrating things was that caregivers assumed that, because she was elderly, all she could afford was what Medicare would pay for. We kept having to push aggressively, "Isn't there something better?" and they would answer, "Well, yes, but Medicare only pays for ...." and we would have to practically hit them over the head and say, "We don't care what Medicare will pay for. We have plenty of money and we want her to have the best!"

    A friend of mine sitting here with me reports that the same thing happened to her family when her father died last year.

    We shouldn't deny people the ability to purchase "the best" if that is what they want and need.

    llg
  3. by   hogan4736
    llg,

    you seem to be blurring the line between want and need...

    "For people who are accustomed to relatively luxurious surroundings, being forced to live/recover in an environment that is distasteful adds to their discomfort and distress."

    This is a classic snobbish, elitist statement, and reflects the belief that the day to day life in any given hospital ward is "distasteful" ( your description, not mine) and that not having extra cash or popularity/celebrity somehow makes you entitled to less "distasteful" surroundings...Again, take your lavish lifestyle, and keep it at home.

    Besides, what does it say about the nurse that works in such a common, "distasteful" environment?

    and your statement: "I think some people are confusing the "quality of care" issue with the "luxurious environment" and "amenities" issues. They are NOT the same thing." doesn't seem to be the issue, and as far as I can tell by rereading the posts, no one has confused the two. It's disrespectful to be so bawdy w/ the "ameneties" as the other patients may have the perception that better care is given to the priveledged.

    In a hospital, every patient is equal.

    I don't doubt that all of the nurses on this board (and most nurses for that matter) would give equal treatment. We're all professional, and can give objective care to all.
    Last edit by hogan4736 on Mar 18, '03
  4. by   fab4fan
    Well, bully for you hogan, to have the foresight to let everyone know not to mention your being a nurse...guess I'm just not that organized, esp. when it's an emergency admit and co-workers stop in unannounced.

    I'll have to remember to send out a memo so the next time I'm in the hosp., if I can't get a pvt. room, then no one will make the god-awful mistake of referring to my being a nurse.
  5. by   passing thru
    Isn't this a socialism vs. democracy issue?

    I work for a hospital where- last year-a local prominent family donated millions to the hospital for a womens' cancer wing/center and
    funded 10 scholarships for nurses for the next ten years, 10 per year. This family opened a small store in this area in the 1930's. Seven family members worked seven days a week for 30 years to grow the business.
    So, they worked hard and sacrificed and earned their $. The matriarch of the family suffered with cancer.

    Does she deserve anything at the hospital that, e.g., a homeless person--homeless by choice, a drug abuser, a welfare person who has been on welfare for 20 years, or any of the other "loser" category people in our society ? Does the matriarch deserve anything "different?"

    You tell me.
  6. by   hogan4736
    fab4,

    don't know what else to say. I apologized and tried to make peace...my apologies again.
  7. by   llg
    Originally posted by passing thru
    Isn't this a socialism vs. democracy issue?
    Sort of. I think it is actually more of a socialism vs capitalism issue. Socialist governments can be democratic.

    But as a capitalist, I believe that if a product exists and I want to spend my hard-earned money on it, I should be allowed to do so. The only exception would be if the product or service I want to purchase actually hurts someone else. I doubt that better quality furniture, more space, etc. has to hurt the other patients.

    llg
  8. by   llg
    Originally posted by hogan4736
    llg,
    you seem to be blurring the line between want and need...
    I don't think so. It is a diversity issue and one of respecting the beliefs and lifestyle of different cultures -- or subcultures within our society. Just as we recognize that people of different ethnic backgrounds and religions have different perceptions about what things are necessary for well-being, as nurses we should recognize that people of different socioeconomic backgrounds may have different needs for their well-being. To strip a person of their ability to modify their environment to help them recover just because someone is offended by the expense is a form of discrimination not unlike other forms of discrimination.

    Now, if providing those extra amenities, nicer decor, etc. takes things away from the other patients and/or actually hurts those other patients, then that's another story. That would be wrong. But if it can be provided without hurting the other patients, then it should be provided.

    No one would be hurt by my mother paying for a 2nd oxygen tank out of her own pocket. But having a back-up would make the quality of her life better. So, why not let her have it?

    No one is hurt by having nicer decor in the VIP room, so why not let it exist?

    Yes, some elements of many hospitals are distasteful to many people. It's silly to pretend that it's not true. If you don't find it distasteful, good for you ... but if some aspects of a particular hospital environment are distasteful to some of it's patients, why not give them the option of purchasing the things that will make their stay more pleasant? Why make them suffer needlessly? ... or is it that you you take offence by the thought that some people find distasteful an environment in which you are comfortable?

    Again, I am not saying that poor people deserve poor care and that rich people deserve good care. Both deserve equally skilled care. I am talking about decor and amenities.

    llg
  9. by   hogan4736
    llg, two of your recent quotes:

    "But as a capitalist, I believe that if a product exists and I want to spend my hard-earned money on it, I should be allowed to do so. The only exception would be if the product or service I want to purchase actually hurts someone else. I doubt that better quality furniture, more space, etc. has to hurt the other patients."

    "It is a diversity issue and one of respecting the beliefs and lifestyle of different cultures -- or subcultures within our society. Just as we recognize that people of different ethnic backgrounds and religions have different perceptions about what things are necessary for well-being, as nurses we should recognize that people of different socioeconomic backgrounds may have different needs for their well-being. To strip a person of their ability to modify their environment to help them recover just because someone is offended by the expense is a form of discrimination not unlike other forms of discrimination."

    two scenarios (each involves an extremely wealthy patient):

    1) The Grand Wizard of the KKK is a friend of a hospital board member. He takes ill, and needs a hospital stay. Some of his hooded friends come by on their way to a KKK rally to give well wishing. Now this person has so much money, he has asked that he have only "certain" people come into his room, and he'll pay whatever it costs to keep blacks, hispanics and jews out of his hospital room (they can better attend to the rest of the patients, he says). Heck, he said he'd donate 1 million dollars after his stay (if these "kinds of people" were kept out of his room) to the hospital. He is okay w/ the only room just off to the corner of the rest of the rooms on this ward, and is a very quiet patient.

    2) A prince from some unheard of country has taken ill and needs care for a few days. He asks for a room in a floor that is partially under construction. He then brings in a goat to sacrifice, as he believes that this will help him heal.

    Far fetched examples? The second one is, but I'll wager the first one is played out in some hospitals around the country.

    Another of your quotes: "Now, if providing those extra amenities, nicer decor, etc. takes things away from the other patients and/or actually hurts those other patients, then that's another story. That would be wrong. But if it can be provided without hurting the other patients, then it should be provided."

    Neither scenario "took things away from other patients" or "actually hurt" any patients"

    You decide
  10. by   hogan4736
    and lastly, I found your best quote to help my case:

    "but if some aspects of a particular hospital environment are distasteful to some of it's patients, why not give them the option of purchasing the things that will make their stay more pleasant? Why make them suffer needlessly? ... or is it that you you take offence by the thought that some people find distasteful an environment in which you are comfortable? "

    let's break this down.

    Let's say that I'm the KKK guy (only for the sake of this thread). Blacks, Jews, and Hispanics in my environment are "distasteful" I don't have them at home, why put up w/ them here? I have endless cash to give you (the hospital) to keep them out of my sight. Not having them will make my stay more pleasant. Why make me suffer needlessly? or is it that you you take offense by the thought that some people find distasteful an environment in which I am comfortable?

    your quote, not mine...
    Last edit by hogan4736 on Mar 18, '03
  11. by   hogan4736
    again my last 2 posts are just extreme examples. But I believe my point is clear. llg states that quality of care should not be confused w/ amenities and a luxurious environment.

    What some people consider amenities (all white staff) others find offensive.

    llg's points CANNOT, I believe, be so black and white (pun intended )

    they cannot be SO absolute!

    I hope my examples did not offend anyone

    I only meant to illustrate a point.

    sean
  12. by   llg
    to hogan4736: I agree, your examples are extreme.

    I never meant that ANY request for anything at any time should ALWAYS be accommodated. A certain degree of reasonable judgment should be exercised.

    However, saying that ALL patients should ALWAYS receive identical accommodations and that NO additional services can EVER be accommodated is equally extreme.

    Both extreme positions are ridiculous and not worth further discussion.

    llg
  13. by   hogan4736
    nice reponse, and I'll agree w/ you 100%
    unfortunatley who decides what's reasonable will always be debatable.

    thanks

    sean

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