I am terribly pleased that my ENT, Dr. Joey Lapena, is from UP-PGH (University of the Philippines Philippine General Hospital) and that I had my successful medical procedure done there.
So many great things happened.
One, I was lucky to get a single room in the pay ward. I won’t tell you how much, but it is only 20 percent of what I last paid at a private hospital, without a refrigerator and bench. My room at PGH had a refrigerator, flat-screen TV, air-conditioning and a large sleeping bench for my sister Flora. It was clean, spacious and had a great view.
Two, how many people do you need to clean a room? At UP-PGH, four persons do that task: one to sweep the floor, one to mop the floor, one to clean the toilet, and the fourth one to take out the garbage. And they do that every day. Still, I noticed that the corners were not clean.
Also, they sweep or mop around things but not under the bed, bench, garbage bins, food trolley, the moveable cabinet, or beneath our luggage. I was wondering if having four cleaning attendants to a room would help solve our unemployment problem.
Three, I had the best doctors and nurses in the whole world. Malcolm Gladwell wrote that it takes about 15 years of practice and substantive experience for one to be an expert in one’s field of endeavor. Being a government hospital that extends free medical services to the needy, I surmise that my doctors have more than 15 years of experience by now given the number of patients they attend to every day. And they could not be selective or exclusive. Being a doctor or a nurse at UP-PGH is a higher calling — it is not just a vocation or a job. And that extends to the non-medical staff there who also daily serve the throng of patients in various capacities—facilities maintenance, cashier, billing, pharmacy, elevator operator, etc.
The nurses use high-tech gadgets to test your pulse, take your temperature, and so on. In that expensive private hospital I went to previously, they still use the mercury thermometer that they stick under your tongue or armpit.
Except one nurse (there is always a bad egg). After he removed my IV, he simply put a cotton ball and plaster on the puncture in my skin. I reached out for something using my other hand. Then I noticed that I was profusely bleeding at the puncture where the IV needle used to be.
My sister called the man-nurse. He immediately scolded and blamed me, “You must have pressed on the hole that is why it bled.” I told him that I didn’t and had in fact been using the other hand to get something. He told me, while changing the cotton ball and plaster, repeatedly 10 times, that I did press on the hole and not to do it again. I muttered a silent curse but I checked my anger since I just had a major surgery and didn’t want to jeopardize my healing just because of a rude man-nurse.
Four, before my anesthesiologist put me to sleep, I noticed the very modern and up-to-date equipment inside the operating room. The room was brightly lit and spic and span, and it smelled good, too, instead of reeking of antiseptic. And I noticed that everybody in the room was smiling and the members of the operating room team were exchanging pleasant banter with one another. That’s a good sign that they will do a good job because they are happy with their job.
Five, the recovery room was full when I came to. I observed a lot of IVs in their bed hangers and nursing staff rushing to attend to as many patients as possible. I could not move my head because of some protective brace they put in my neck, but I could hear patients, nurses and doctors conversing and consulting each other. Since I was one of the first cases, my bed was located in the inner area of the room. So when they were moving me out, the beds were like pieces in a puzzle that they moved in order to bring me to the door. It was a bit of fun, but a dizzying episode.
There are many other positive things I could say about UP-PGH, but I would rather not go back there as a patient again; I wish to live a healthy life ever after.
I appeal to our dear readers to please pass this on to your friends, family, relatives, Facebook friends, neighbors, and others: UP-PGH needs our help for the maintenance, upkeep and continued improvement of its medical services, other services, buildings and facilities especially those that serve the needy and seriously ill. Let us donate cash so that they could buy what they really need. Oh, well, we could also donate non-cash items like food, water, medicine, office supplies, medical supplies, and many, many others. I am convinced your donations will be put to good use and could help save lives.
BTW, I had total thyroidectomy and, blessed be God, my biopsy showed that I had colloid nodule and not cancer. Thanks to those who bombarded the gates of Heaven with prayers on my behalf. Alleluia!