Hospital Orderlies

Jorge Milanes

Foto: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES — After having had a tumor removed from her colon a year ago, this morning I went with my mother to one of her monthly exams with her doctor at the hospital.

So far the results of her analyses have been fine, though she’s lost some of her vision – according to her.

Entering the room, we sat down to wait for her turn, and from our chairs we could observe how the orderlies were dealing with emergency cases.

They rushed by pushing their gurneys, though these seemed more like race cars on a motorway.

They would go by using the most unpleasant words and phrases, jostling the patients around in the “stretchers” and proceeding to dash down the hall and disappear through a door.

They would come back looking for other patients who they would cart away in malfunctioning wheelchairs. These staff members had the same poor attitudes but pushed these invalids more slowly.

My mother, bothered, was trying to understand what was happening. I reminded her that she hadn’t been mistreated like that – thank God.

Apparently this had been because there weren’t so many people needing orderlies when she was admitted and because the whole family was there watching out for her.

It’s getting hard to raise the awareness of medical ethics among many health care workers.

When you come into a hospital with an ailment, it’s important that your treatment begins with the orderlies, nurses and laboratory workers – the staff having immediate contact with patients. This puts you in a positive and confident mood, which of course influences your recovery.

We have developed a recognized medical system due to the work of our physicians and because human health care here is almost completely free. Nevertheless we still have a long way to go in terms of humane treatment.

2 thoughts on “Hospital Orderlies

  • One thing I’ve learned at the Cuban hospitals is to check what the nurses and orderlies are doing. The doctors in this country are some of the best I’ve met but the rest…….
    Out of every 5 nurses you have one doing all the work. The others are grumpy, bad tempered and just plain fed up. All the injuries I’ve obtained while being treated at Cuban hospitals can be traced to nurses and orderlies.

    That’s what you get when you have “enfermeras emergentes”.

  • Mr. Milanes, I’m guessing that one of the reasons why the orderlies are behaving the way that you describe is due to the fact that the equipment they use is not of a good quality, breaks down, and there are no parts available for repairs and no replacement guerneys or wheelchairs. The communication between patients, patients families, and hospital staff is very much the same here in the USA. I hope your mom is doing well.

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