A Plague on Planners
Here are some of the characters who have influenced the design of our hospitals to make them what they are today. I have also included a suitable punishment for each of these characters should I ever run into them.
If it was good enough for your Grandmother to do her training in then it should be good enough for you. This represents the group that have allowed some wards to remain unaltered for the last 100-200 years or so. The only reason why some of these old wards haven't burnt down yet is that the cockroaches are trained as fire wardens. I really started to worry one night when I noticed the termites were nailing up reinforcements for the walls. This group are usually either related to the hospital accountant or old friends.
Suitable Punishment: Lock THEM in one of those old unventilated old rooms with their ingrained odours of the ghost of piddles past and cockroaches the size of dinner plates. Do it during a Queensland summer and make them wear uniforms and plastic aprons as they run in circles all day.
These designers do not believe in surfaces, or, for that matter furniture. They never includes bench space in any of their designs. There are no cupboards, storage space or desk room, if pressed they will, reluctantly concede that you may clutter his beautiful open areas with such things as beds but they would really rather you didn't. They like plain unadorned walls with no annoying suction outlets, oxygen flow meters or even electric light sockets.
Suitable Punishment:- To be tied to an oxygen cylinder with all the extension cords and oxygen tubing that usually lie like jungle vines all around the wards they designed.
This group of designers are surrealist - they love optical illusions. None of the rooms are really as big as they look, or have odd angles capable of allowing the manic Alzheimers patient to wedge herself into but incapable of accommodating anything as useful as a chair. These designers specialize in bathrooms. The floors of their bathrooms are uneven but are cunningly designed to look flat. Patients become nauseated as the wheelchair rises and falls as it runs along what appears to be a flat surface. Not satisfied with making nurses trip on the uneven surface It allows for water to flow in ways that seem to defy gravity. The optical illusion set up with the shower stall means that it is almost impossible to work out where to place the patient so they will actually get wet. This design always includes the dreaded shower rose which either dribbles feebly grudging each drop of moisture or shoots out such a powerful stream of water that the tiles are lifted form the walls.
Suitable Punishment: Lock them in the shower stall with nothing to drink. Watch them go crazy trying to get water out of the tap!!!
The Doctor's Friend
You can tell who influenced these designers. The "Special Procedures" room that is used only every second year takes up half the ward while the pan room is so small that you have to back into the corridor to get a pan into the hopper. The monitors are the latest model with multiplex, multicoloured, multilayed, multifunctional master computer but the wheelchairs are rusty, the tires are flat and all the leather on the seats is held together with sleek.
Suitable Punishment:- Tie them to said wheelchair for 10 hours. On second thoughts, nah! It would only end up with US having to look after the pressure areas!
Well the plans started out right. They spent hours consulting with all the key players. They hold meeting after meeting but somehow we have still ended up with half the ward space given over to one, maybe two offices while a 38 bed ward is crammed into a tiny area the size of a family living room. When queried they ALWAYS have a justification "Well the hospital just cannot run without a Special Project officer in charge of formulating a politically correct mission statement! And no-one can produce the sort of quality statement this facility requires without a suitable office to do it in!" or "Of course as second assistant to the human resources manager's secretary I need this much space to ventilate my brain so that I can evaluate the optimisation of the throughput!"
Suitable Punishment: - I will leave this one to you the reader!!!!
Apr 24, '03
Another good one, Gwenith !!!