Sorry to hear about your husband and the treatment he received during his care. Thank goodness he had you!
However, I am not sure "humble beginnings" are indicative of how a nurse will behave when they are working. Laziness, and lack of ambition knows no economic boundaries or educational level. It affects all types of workplaces. Education does not ensure good nursing, or even the ability to understand. It just means someone could read and retain enough to pass a test. There are many "know it alls" with no ability to "do".
In my hospital, on the floor, neuro cks, FS, and many other orders must be placed by the physician. In addition, test results of any sort must be gone over with the family by the physician-this includes blood tests. If you were not informed, I believe your physician bears this fault. (the only area where labs are shared freely is oncology-most of those patients could teach a nursing school class on tx)
ER is a different story, nurses are expected to think on their feets and be proactive. I would imagine other critical care areas would work the same way. Not having an order, is no excuse not to see changes in condition and instituting whatever is necessary to diagnose. ie. cp-ekg; sob-oxygen, NRB or a call for RT; ams-oxygen, FS, swallow eval, neuro ck-of course ready results given to MD. I can't imagine calling for an order, instead of giving results....would not go over well with MD. Even there, the ER docs like to give results-I have gotten the fisheye more than once when I've told a panic stricken (anxiety) patient that their labs were normal.
I think management and the system were also mentioned. As an example: when I cover lunches and have 4 patients-it takes the entire lunch of 45 minutes to get vitals, do a once over, and perhaps complete orders that were to be done. The biggest part of this, OF CONCERN TO MANAGEMENT AND MY LICENSE, IS DOCUMENTATION! If it isn't written it isn't done. Back to cya! Writing shouldn't be our biggest job, but lawsuits and our society has made it so.
I hope you wrote to that hospital and outlined your concerns regarding the care of your husband. I would also request a chart review to see what was written, we both know it's against the law to falsify documents. You should also advise your physician of his treatment, or lack thereof-along with that-he/she should be aware that you felt labs and tests should have been discussed. Sometimes people improve with knowledge, sometimes people don't....but if you say nothing, what happens to the next person who is hospitalized but doesn't have a nurse at their bedside?
Best of everything to you and your husband,