- Nurses shared facts most people don’t know about hospitals with Business Insider.
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Everyone must go to the hospital at some point or another, yet many don’t go in if they can help it.
Nearly half of Americans say they didn’t go to the doctor because of the cost, according to a poll from the University of Chicago. Hospitals can be so scary that there’s even a diagnosed disorder for being scared of them: nosocomephobia.
Part of the fear could stem from not knowing what will happen once you get there, as well as the general lack of knowledge regarding what hospitals are actually like. That’s why Business Insider asked nurses to share facts about hospitals that many people don’t know.
From the lack of support from hospital administration to its uncleanliness, here are seven things most people don’t know about hospitals, according to nurses.
If you’re a nurse with a story to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The needs of hospital administration are often different than what hospital staff wants.
Many nurses revealed how involved hospital administration can be in making decisions, even though they may not know much about healthcare.
"The upper management who do not have clinical backgrounds do not have a clue what the care is about and how it happens but are often the ones making decisions on how care is delivered," said Lynn, a retired nurse from Maryland.
"A lot of people in administration only have business degrees and have no idea about the medical side of healthcare," said Amy, a nurse at a trauma hospital in Texas. "They see the dollars and don’t take into consideration patient safety."
A recent Axios analysis found the median pay of a healthcare CEO in 2018 was $7.7 million, and chief executives of 177 healthcare companies made a cumulative $2.6 billion.
Hospital staff can be extremely overworked.
Many nurses have previously told Business Insider that long shifts, coupled with short staff, is one of the most challenging aspects about being a nurse.
"People don’t realize how overworked the staff are," said Sean, a nurse from New Mexico. "I say that with a grain of salt because I have been privy to some units where staff truly are lazy and just gossip all day. But that is definitely not the norm."
According to Deborah, a retired nurse from Florida, hospitals can say they are staffed, but in reality, operate short staffed.
"Every single person working at the hospital wants the very best for each patient," said Ann, a nurse from North Carolina. "Sometimes medical personnel come across as impatient. They are just super busy and often overwhelmed."
Nurses perform much of the work at hospitals, but receive little credit for it.
Some services, like surgery, diagnosis, and general physician visits, don’t require hospitalization, says Teresa, a nurse in Oregon. Hospitals rely on nurses who perform 24/7 hospital care, yet she feels other hospital workers still do not give them the pay or validation that they deserve.
"We are delivering their no.1 product, and they dismiss us as nuisances," Teresa said. "We are in the cost column, although we are providing the major service of any hospital."
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