What really goes on behind the scenes at hospitals? We might think we know it all. But watching hospital dramas on TV just doesn't show the full picture. In order to really unravel all the little things that doctors don't share, we've need to go to the source.
So what are doctors trying to keep under wraps? We managed to find a few of them out there who were willing to spill the beans... And many will be interested in what they have to say. Sure, some readers might already know a few of these. But we guarantee that there's going to be some juicy information in here that'll blow everyones' minds.
Sure, some of this information is just awesome to learn about. Some are just plain funny. But Mom might find that some of this information is actually incredibly useful. After all, the more people understand about how a hospital works, the better they can get through an operation or even delivering babies. Some of these show real issues in most hospitals around the world – things that need to change for the better. But education is the first step.
"I work at a hospital in an area where there are lots of hospitals. Our ER has an EMT lounge with free slushies soda and snack food so the EMT'S choose our hospital when delivering patients."
No way! We had no idea that EMTs were that obsessed with snacks... In fact, this actually a little unsettling. After all, shouldn't EMTs be delivering patients to the closest hospital, not the one with cool slushies and snack food? The craziest thing is that someone else actually confirmed this in the thread, saying it was a common occurrence with hospitals these days. This just blows our minds!
"Patient confidentiality just means your name isn't in the story, not that your story won't get told."
In an ideal world, we can be pretty certain that all our confidential information is kept secret. But we all know that isn't quite true in 2019. After all, we all know that information is very hard to keep under wraps online, and there are plenty of people who would like to have our data. But what about hospitals? In the words of one doctor, patient confidentiality isn't quite what you think it is. Your story will still get told all over the hospital - it's just that your name will be left out.
"Hospitals and doctors office bills in the U.S. can be negotiated, and many will offer huge cash discounts if you pay at the time of service. But once the insurance gets billed, there is much less room for negotiation. If your bill gets applied to the insurance deductible, then the facility, by law, is supposed to collect the full amount that was applied to the deductible from you. Also, if there's a co-pay, the facility, by law, is supposed to collect that as well."
Is this real? Obviously this doesn't apply to countries with nationalized healthcare, but it might be pretty useful info for people who live in countries like the US. Who knew that you can negotiate your medical bills!?
"If there’s anything out of the ordinary for the birth, and you’re in a hospital, a mob of medical students/residents/interns/cafeteria ladies/phlebotomists will show up to see the birth. I have no idea how word spreads so fast or where they all materialize from."
Let's be honest - the last thing a pregnant mother wants while she's giving birth is a crowd. But sometimes, that's exactly what we get. One doctor admitted that if there's anything out of the ordinary with a pregnancy, you can expect a group of medical students to come by and observe. And they're usually accompanied by other hospital staff as well!
"I work at a hospital. If I drop something on the floor, we open another one and charge the patient twice. This happens literally everywhere. Doctors and nurses are there to help people, hospitals are there to make money."
Not everyone will agree with this point of view. And it might not be the same in all countries. But at the end of the day, hospitals are kind of like a business. They need to stay profitable in order to stay afloat, even if they're not charging their patients. One doctor admits that they find ways to charge patients extra whenever possible...
"If you go to a hospital, don't let them know you have insurance until after they give you the bill. Do the negotiation first, then do the math and see if it's cheaper to pay out of pocket. If not, the facility has 6 months to bill your insurance after the date of service."
Assuming you live in a country where healthcare isn't "free," you're probably curious about how to save the most money whenever you go to the hospital. And we get it - those bills can be pretty massive sometimes. But this doctor revealed just how to save the most money, and we love this advice.
"Medical field here. A lot of doctors really don't have a great grasp of the interactions they are prescribing you/forget and don't double check the dose before they up you again."
Most people trust a doctor to prescribe the right medication, and the right dosage. But according to this person in the medical world, that might not always happen. According to them, the doctors don't actually have a great understanding about what to prescribe and when. It's even more worrying when they say that doctors forget to double check the dose before renewing the prescription!
"I am currently a medicine student in Mexico. One of my professors told us that during his residency he worked in hospital in a fairly poor area. In these sorts of places birth control is a relatively unused practice, leading to poor families of 6+ children. In effort to stop this, they began to [fix] women during their children's birth, regardless of their wishes. It's still a fairly common practice in the hospital."
This has to be one of the most awful pieces of information that we've found. Who knew that certain countries had it so bad?! But, according to this doctor, what he's talking about is actually common practice!
"About 6 OBGYNs where I trained, only 1 I would let anywhere near me."
Wow. Think about this for a second. This is coming from someone who actually trains OBGYNs. That means that if anyone knows which ones are good, it's this person. And according to her, only about 1 out of 6 OBGYNs are actually good enough for her standards! This is pretty crazy information, especially when you consider the fact that most of us don't have the expertise of this person. We can't evaluate an OBGYN's skills... We simply have to trust them and have faith... All we can do is try to find a good one!
"Most doctors would not let 50% of their colleagues operate on their family with a serious issue."
One the same note, another doctor stated that doctors are often very judgmental of each other... Not based on personality per se, but rather skill level. Apparently, it's very common for doctors to choose certain doctors when their friends and families are involved.
It makes us wonder whether we've actually been seeing good doctors this whole time! Who knows. All we know is that if only 50% of doctors "pass the test," that's definitely an unsettling thought. But hey, all we can do is try our best to find the right doctor.
"I have worked with several doctors over the years. If I needed sound medical care, I can only think of one MD I trust."
The past few entries have been a little unsettling. But this one really takes the case. This healthcare professional says she has worked with several doctors over the years... And after all that time, she can only think of one doctor she actually trusts! Wow. This changes everything.
Maybe trust is just a personal thing, and it has nothing to do with the doctor's skill. But what if these other doctors are untrustworthy for a very good reason? What if we've been seeing these "bad" doctors this whole time? It's enough to make your head spin.
"My mom worked in a pediatrician's office as a receptionist. Their doctors had special codes for chart notes, [like fussy babies]. They had more for things like noting the mom was hard to deal with and "annoying as [heck]". I don't remember specific abbreviations, but I can ask my mom later."
This has to be one of the funniest stories we've read so far. We had no idea that the doctors in a hospital have their own unique language and code system. The next time you have a baby, you might want to take a close look at the chart, and see if there's anything suspicious written on it. Who knows what they could be saying about your baby!
"In most hospitals, there's lots of [funny business]. The stereotypes are true. It's rampant. Also lots of crying in the bathroom or supply closets."
For most of us, our knowledge of hospitals comes from shows like Grey's Anatomy and Scrubs. But it can't really be like those TV shows... Right? Well, judging by this doctor's words, those shows might not be that far off from the truth. Apparently, there's a lot of secretive behavior between the various workers at a hospital. What can we say? It IS a stressful environment after all... It's still surprising to hear this, however, and it really gets our imagination going.
"Once had my GP openly Google my symptoms in front of me once. That shattered my illusion of doctors as all-knowing oracles of health."
This is definitely an interesting piece of information. Who knew that doctors would have to Google the symptoms of their patients! But maybe it's not as bad as it seems. After all, doctors are the best trained people to actually interpret the results of a Google search. They can quickly deduce what might be happening based on the information they find on the internet, and this can lead to some interesting discoveries. Honestly, the fact that they're Googling symptoms probably means they care.
"We hide from family members of patients a lot. Hit your call light. Do not come outside and look for me at the nurses station. Because then I look bad if you catch me on my phone or see me eating my lunch there or hear me complaining about another patient. Don't get me wrong, nightshift can be crazy busy, but when my two patients are sleeping and I'm done with my charting, there's nothing else I need to do except read a book."
Honestly, we kind of understand where this doctor is coming from. After all, it must be tough dealing with family members who are constantly asking for updates. And it's even worse when there's no progress to report! In this case, what else is there to do rather than hide somewhere?
"Nurses know exactly what's up with you. When they say 'we have to wait for the doctor' for results, it means the doctor is the one who will break the news. We get access to your labs at the same time/before the doctor, and are responsible for making him aware of the result if there is any red flags."
A lot of people probably don't know this. Nurses already know the results of your tests and all that, but are they allowed to tell you? No. That's the job of the doctor. Still, we wonder if it's possible to pick up on subtle cues from body language and behavior from nurses. Maybe we could "guess" our test results this way.
"No one knows how understaffed we are. I take care of too many patients with not enough supplies and the suits don't care. I'm overworked. And I usually go home and cry after a shift because I'm severely burnt out."
According to this doctor, no one actually understands how bad some hospitals have it. Most of us have heard vague reports that certain hospitals are dealing with a labor shortage. But few of us have actually experienced it firsthand. It must be really stressful for doctors and nurses to deal with this issue, and we're sure that they do a really good job of hiding it from the public.
"I worked for the marketing department for a large hospital. Mostly we don't talk about patients as much as we talk about each other. What doctor is [seeing] which nurse? Who [got crazy] in the on call room? Who got caught making out at the Christmas party?"
We bet that most of our readers would have guessed this already. In pretty much every workplace, there's going to be gossip. That's just a fact. But according to this doctor, it seems like hospital is a place where there's more gossip than usual. We can't lie, it sounds like a pretty interesting and fun place to be involved in - at least some of the time.
"Mom has been a nurse for 30+ years. People who work at hospitals deal with an incredible amount of stress. Mental and emotional anguish is [very real] when you are exposed to tragedies and have to work through them with family members. Your body becomes so desperate for some kind of release that hospital staff will oftentimes break out into spontaneous laughter. You can see how this would be a huge problem."
This is kind of heartbreaking and funny at the same time. Some of our readers might already know that spontaneous laughter is a common way to deal with extreme stress. Honestly, that might explain some of the weird behavior some of us have witnessed in hospitals.
"I'm a doctor, and I binge eat 2-3 times every week, and see a psychologist often for depression. Many of my mates do that too."
Binge eating is actually a pretty common thing. Most of us have probably done it at some point in our lives, and stress is a normal reason for that. But some of our readers might not have fully grasped just how much stress doctors are under. The fact that some of them are binge eating speaks volumes about what they're going through each and every day.
This doctor also admits that he's seeing a psychologist, and that many of his friends are dealing with the same issues.