5 Star Hospitals and Hospitality

Recently I was forced to experience  hospitality of a well known 5 Star Hospital in Mumbai  for a brief period of 10 days. Now that I am back home and recuperating,I have the luxury of time to look back at some of the lighter moments of my stay at the hospital. The only serious part of the stay I would like to touch upon is when I was going through some sort of mild depression in the hospital after the surgery. My daughter called me up from USA and enquired how I am coping. I said it is all miserable with so much of medication and all that. Then she reminded me (rather seemed to challenge me) saying why not  use all my proven meditation techniques to cope with the situation. Honestly it was not easy to apply any of those principles or techniques. When one is physically and mentally flogged with a lot of medication ( I suspect that some of them could be mild Barbiturates or their equivalents with a potential to have their effect on CNS,Central nervous system), no technique would work. I tried JK’s prescription to just observe pain /suffering without the observer and so on. I tried meditating on some of the powerful Shanti Mantras of Upanishads,wherein positive affirmations are repeated to make one feel better. I suppose none of them will have any effect when one is  drugged with all kinds of medicines.

Back in the ward,the care shown by the nurses was exemplary in many ways. The 5 star hospitals have excellent systems’ approach. The nurses would not deviate an inch from what is prescribed in the chart of the patient. The written down material was more sacred than even the comfort of the patient. They were trained not to use their discretion on any issue. Any deviation had to be rewritten in the chart by the Duty Doctor. One day,I saw my room mate (another heart patient),whose weight was being checked. I was passing by and was tempted to check my weight too. I was promptly told by the nurse that it is not written in the chart and refused permision (in her words , ‘ Aap ke chart may likha nahin’). I protested and told her that I will take responsibility for that and explain to the duty doctor and went ahead to weigh myself. While this is certainly hilarious,it also shows how we become slaves to systems rather than using systems for our purpose.

Another important lesson I learnt during the stay was that it is important show that I am just like any one of them so that the nurses would feel free to give their best service. For instance if the nurse said  “The doctor has not came”, I would also say quite promtly  “No the doctor has came” without bothering about grammar. Because that is not the place to show your superior language skills.

Another instance of systems orientation was that when I did not relish the food served by the hospital and wanted permision to bring food from home. The hospital allowed us grudgingly to bring ‘home food’.  However,they made us follow a very cumbersome and meaningless procedure. We had to deliver our home food at the canteen counter with all particulars of the patient etc. The canteen staff would then repack the same into their sanitised containers before delivering the food to the room. It certaily did not make any sense to me.     

I experienced another typical Indian tendency in the hospital,which is to keep giving free advice on post operative care. One staff advised me very seriously that I should not raise my hands above shoulder height during the 4 weeks of recovery lest it should affect the stitches. When I checked this up with my surgeon, he laughed and said ” that is a perfect prescription for developing frozen shoulders”. Then he went on to add that I should contact him on his mobile on any trivial issue before putting it to practice based on some advice from hospital staff.

I must hasten to add that not withstanding such silly moments,the hospital did live upto its commitment of  “Professional treatment with Care”.  Full marks to the doctors and the nurses for a job very well done!

Published in: on December 28, 2008 at 2:01 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. Everyday people are reporting their wonderful experiences on health benefits of Yoga, the transformation of being, taking you beyond the here and now. In one wonderful session of Yoga, people get to practice a number of things, some Yoga poses (asanas) breathing exercises (pranayama), meditation and chanting. In Yoga you get to learn basic terms like Mudras, Bandhas and Chakras. Best of all, Yoga is fun and relaxing while, at the same time, being delectably challenging to beginners.Derived from the Sanskrit root “Yujir Yogey” meaning to unite, to yoke, to join, to put together, Yoga is not about mind over body. On the other hand, Yoga is about developing harmony between them. In Yoga, you use your mind to perceive (diagnose) and guide (heal) your body. Never control, let alone force it!

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