December 31, 2015 -- Med / Surg

    The staff was very welcoming and also very professional.  The facility is large and crowded.  The overflow patients have to stay on the floor.

  

 The best way to describe our experience at the Government Hospitals is organized chaos.  We started the day off by walking to the neuro specialty block.  We rounded a corner and were greeted by a line wrapping around the building, similar to lines that build up when people camp out for concert tickets.  These people were also waiting for tickets, except these tickets were to be able to see a doctor.  India has a two tier, universal health care system.  The way this works is that people wait in line for "tickets" to get a visit with the doctor.  Tickets are given out until 1 pm in the afternoon.  Doctors stay until 5 pm to be able to see all of the waiting patients. The site of so many people waiting in line for a doctor appointment was shocking.  If you have ever experienced walk in hours at a doctor's office and had to wait to be seen, I would imagine that feeling is similar but multiplied by thousands considering the facility was a "specialty block" for neurology patients (meaning these patients waiting in line potentially could have very serious medical issues). 

The most shocking part of this day was, hands down, being asked to take off our shoes before entering the ICU.  When we first got to the college, we were told that wearing scrubs and sneakers was not necessary.  All of the health professionals in India wore sandals, so we did too.  Not wearing shoes however in a hospital was an odd experience, especially when one of the patients in the CICU began getting sick while all of our toes were in the potential splash zone.  I do not recommend taking this practice of open toed or no shoes back to the USA.  Also the overwhelming amount of people waiting, being treated, and just there in general was difficult to comprehend.  The hallway acted as a make shift waiting room (the actual waiting rooms were full) and blankets were laid down on the floor to add additional "beds" for patients with less critical medical issues. The boy in the picture below had his own bed but on both sides of him there were patients with broken legs and arms.