We left on May 7th, and on May 9th Amanda was admitted to the hospital. The last few days she's been battling with a small papule that grew into full-blown preseptal cellulits, and I've been keeping vigil at her bedside to make sure that she gets the best possible care. This has turned out to be a pretty easy task, because the quality of care here is excellent, and the facility is both well-designed and contemporary.
I almost never get sick, and have never been hospitalized (exempting a couple brief ER visits as a kid), so my knowledge of the health care delivery system is a little one-sided. I think that's what made it so easy to get into the field in the first place. It seemed in school like my experience was not out of the ordinary, with most of the nursing students rarely getting ill and having experienced health care delivery vicariously, rather than principally. Hell, I didn't even have vicarious experiences to draw on--my family is also of remarkably good health.
There's no proxy for a sudden shift in perspective in regards to your work environment. I think we have all had the experience of attempting to use technology or a service, and being forced to wonder "did the person who designed this thing ever have to use it?" According to my Computer Science friends, the answer is probably "no".
So as a nurse, as a husband, and as an informaticist I'm trying to mine this experience for all its worth. I blogged before "blog" was coined by Peter Merholz, instead just writing what I thought of as short essays and posting them to a Tripod account in order to teach myself HTML. I haven't done it in a while though, because I've been busy. As most nurses can appreciate, nursing school isn't a picnic at any level, and this last year was a marathon of academic coursework and a full-time internship that left me barely enough time to get married to Amanda and still get out with my sanity.
With no school, employment, or personal obligations right now, my wife's care is all I'm focused on. That said, there are large breaks in the day (like now) where she's asleep and there's no work to do, so I've decided to blog again, and what better to blog about than the thing I know best. So the next few posts are going to dedicated to my experience on the client-side of care, and how they reflect pertinent issues within the healthcare delivery system and health information technology.