Friday, May 22, 2009

On the wards

And so, onto the Australian wards for the first time proper.

My clinical experience to date has all been gained in the UK. And in the UK, this experience was either in a London teaching hospital which was a vertical town in itself or in an (ex)industrial northern city's teaching hospitals with mile long central corridors and no heating.

So, first impressions are that this new hospital is a much nicer place to be. It even has an escalator in it, which, I hate to say, impressed me. And I grew up in a town that had not only an Arndale Centre but an Arndale Centre with a large Golden Egg restaurant (I told you I was old) and a flock of fibreglass flamingos in a pyramid which also functioned as a fountain.

So, as they say: Don't talk to me about sophistication. I've been to Leeds.

Moving into the wards, I can't help but make comparison between this public hospital and those I spent time on in the UK:

1) Colour scheme: nice and lively but not too lively here. The UK schemes tended to the magnolia with appended scuff marks all over.

2) Light. My God, the wards here are nice and light. This may be due to the climate, but airy is not a word that springs to mind when I think about my northern experience.

Ok, here come the important contrasts:

3) Four beds per room. Same size rooms, 33% fewer beds than most wards I worked on and 50% fewer than some. There is lots of room for the patients to wander over to the huge windows and take in the view of the posh suburbs (this being an inner city hospital). This also means that only four people share the (very clean) lavatory. Further, it means that seven nervous 18 yo medics and one old dude can fit comfortable behind the curtains to talk to a patient.

4) The place is spotless. And I mean spotless.

5) Modern nurses stations. All wipe clean rather than the old school wooden five nurses to a station affairs in the UK (which I actually like from a design POV).

6) No mixing of cases for the wards. Case in point: in the UK I had a 92 yo man in a pre-surgical ward because they ran out of social workers or something. Nothing like that (yet) here.

7) Many fewer alcohol had washing stations. Because of all of the above, there seems to be no need to have a big potful of the stuff at the foot of each bed. Sure, it's easily accessible but it isn't ubiquitous.

8) Expensive canteen with no fry ups in a breadcake. I'm afraid that here the Australian experience falls far short of the UK experience. Smoothies? Tchoh.


  1. Medicare.....

    Private hospital? Not really a fair comparison to NHS

  2. Nope - a public one. The private one is more schnick still... and won't let us in!