Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, Clinics and MD’s

I'm not surprised...

I’m not surprised…

Recently I had several disturbing experiences with Doctors, Clinics, various healthcare employees, and Hospitals.

For years I have gone to the same heart doctor, taken tests at the same clinic, and went to the same Emergency Room affiliated with the MD and Hospital Clinic. Times have changed and healthcare has changed. I need to consider making some changes myself.

Recently a great deal was made about name changes of several local hospitals.

  • St Thomas Hospital is now St Thomas West
  • Baptist Hospital is now St Thomas Midtown
  • Middle Tennessee Medical Center is now St Thomas Rutherford

Do the name changes improve the health care we receive? I think not.

The harsh fact is that the health care situation is changing all around us but I have failed to notice and I changed nothing.

What has happened recently?

  1. A major Medical Center is firing 1000 healthcare workers. Does firing 1000 healthcare providers and replacing them with temporary contract employees improve the healthcare we receive? I think not.
  2. St Thomas Hospital administrators, Baptist Hospital administrators, and MTMC  Murfreesboro administrators all now report to a St Louis Hqtrs.
  3. Replacement central management is located in St Louis, MO , Ascension Health, now runs the show while also managing 69 other hospitals, they now also  manage all three St Thomas facilities. Should this improve the healthcare I receive? I think not.
  4. I waited 8 1/2 hours for treatment when I was recently taken to an Emergency Room by ambulance.

My recent experiences suggests that Emergency room practices at Saint Thomas facilities are no longer decided by doctors and nurses on site but rather by standardized “Standing Orders” most likely issued by lawyers and administrators. Are they followed for primarily legal reasons rather than that they are necessarily the best medical practices?

I am disturbed that many hospital and clinic employees walk around with their ID badges reversed so we can see neither their name nor the credentials of the person who is involved in procedures or testing. “Is the person a nurse, a technician, a clerk? Are the people working in their area of expertise and training, or are they doing on-the-job training outside the area in which they have been trained?”

I have recently gone through two tests which I had done several times before. In both cases the so-called technicians had difficulty in skillfully performing routine procedures like inserting an IV (he was more concerned about wiping the blood  soaked chair arm rather than stopping the blood flow poring from a vein in my arm)  or performing an ultrasound test (after much fumbling she found it necessary to call for a nurse to help her complete the procedure).

A major medical center can’t possibly function with 1000 less healthcare providers so their clear intention is to replace them with temporary, contract employees thus saving the cost of benefits packages for the original employees along with paying less for contract employees.

I have a lot of interaction with various health providers and their organizations. I am sometimes aware that they suggest behavior on my part that only makes their jobs easier and benefits their organization rather than improving my health. My hard earned experience suggests some actions I can take about the healthcare I receive.:

  1. Don’t blindly follow a doctors referral to another specialist. Most practices have a website that identifies each doctor and their education, training, and special expertise/interest. Check them out and pick a MD that most closely matches your need and ask for a referral to that doctor.
  2. Have your doctor thoroughly describe every new drug he prescribes and exactly why he is prescribing it to you. What are the plusses and minuses and side effects.
  3. During any testing and hospital stay do not eat any drug or allow anything to be put into your body before they tell you what the substance is, what it’s for, and what the dosage is.
  4. Read the nametag for every person involved in the delivery of healthcare to you for their name and exactly what their credential is.
  5. If someone seems to be having difficulty with any procedure, ask them what the problem is and if perhaps they need to call for help.
  6. In serious situations, a second opinion regarding diagnosis and treatment is always a good thing.
  7. I cannot ignore the most important fact that it is my body and my health and I have to accept some personal responsibility for the healthcare I receive.

Most of us will never need to know this but…..What To Do If Stopped By Police

ACLUThe Police does not stop someone to present them a “Safe Driver” award. Dealing with the Police is a serious matter and whatever is said can possibly cause problems. I recently came across this interesting and potentially useful information.


1. What you say to the police is always important. Everything you say can be used against you.

2. You have the right not to speak. To exercise this right, you should tell the police, “I would like to remain silent.”

3. You never have to consent to a search of yourself, your belongings, your car or your house. If you do consent to a search, it can affect your rights later in court. If the police say they have a search warrant, ask to see it. If they don’t, say “I do not consent to this search.” Police cannot arrest you simply for refusing to consent to a search. This may not stop the search from happening, but it will protect your rights if you have to go to court.

4. Do not interfere with or obstruct the police—you can be arrested for it.


1. Police may stop and briefly detain you only if there is reasonable suspicion that you committed, are committing or are about to commit a crime.

2. You should ask if you are under arrest or free to leave.

3. In New York, you are not required to carry ID, and you don’t have to show ID to a police officer. If you are issued a summons or arrested, however, and you refuse to produce ID or tell officers who you are, the police may detain you until you can be positively identified.

4. Don’t bad-mouth a police officer or run away, even if you believe what is happening is unreasonable. That could lead to your arrest.

IF YOU ARE STOPPED IN YOUR CAR:police-officer-issues-ticket1

1. Upon request, show the police your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. In certain cases, your car can be searched without a warrant. To protect yourself later, you should state that you do not consent to a search.

2. If you’re suspected of drunk driving (DWI), you will be asked to take a breath-alcohol and coordination test. If you fail the tests, or if you refuse to take them, you will be arrested, your driver’s license may be suspended and your car may be taken away.

3. If you are arrested, your car will be subject to a search.

IF POLICE COME TO YOUR HOME:police in doorway

1. The police can enter your home without your permission if they have a warrant or if it is an emergency. If the police say they have a warrant, ask to see it. Check to make sure the warrant has the correct address.

2. If you are arrested in your home or office, the police can search you and the area immediately surrounding you or where evidence of criminal activity is in plain view.


1. You have the right to remain silent and the right to talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police. Don’t tell the police anything except your name and address. Don’t give any explanations, excuses or stories. You can make your defense later, in court, based on what you and your lawyer decide is best.

2. If you have a lawyer, ask to see your lawyer immediately. If you can’t afford a lawyer, you have the right to a free one once your case goes to court. You can ask the police how to contact a lawyer. Don’t say anything to police without speaking to a lawyer first.

3. Within a reasonable time after your arrest or booking, you should ask the police to contact a family member or friend. If you are permitted to make a phone call, anything you say at the precinct may be recorded or listened to. Never talk about the facts of your case over the telephone.

4. Do not make any decisions in your case or sign any statements until you have talked with a lawyer.


  •  Stay calm and in control of your words, body language and emotions.
  • Don’t get into an argument with the police.
  •  Never bad-mouth a police officer.
  •  Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you.
  •  Keep your hands where the police can see them.
  •  Don’t run.
  •  Don’t touch any police officer.
  •  Don’t resist even if you believe you are innocent.
  •  If you complain at the scene, or tell the police they’re wrong, do so in a non-confrontational way that will not intensify the scene.
  •  Do not make any statements regarding the incident.
  •  If you are arrested, ask for a lawyer immediately.
  • Remember officers’ badge numbers, patrol car numbers and physical descriptions.
  •  Write down everything you remember ASAP.
  • Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers.
  • If you are injured, take photos of the injuries as soon as possible, but make sure you get medical attention first. Ask for copies of your medical treatment files.

Source: American Civil Liberties Union


My wife and I don’t use Smart Phones with Internet Access, we use a simple “Clamshell Phone” like that illustrated below. I choose to use my existing Clam Shell Cell Phone with a simple lanyard I hang around my neck. This is what it looks like….

Clam Shell is open with lanyard loop attached.

Clam Shell is open with lanyard loop attached.

When the Clam Shell Phone is closed the lanyard can hang around neck which is very convenient….

Lanyard attached to closed clamshell cell phone

Lanyard attached to closed clamshell cell phone

My lanyard allows me to detach the cell phone if I wish…

Cell phone detached from pendant-style lanyard

Cell phone detached from pendant-style lanyard

Image from Internet site

Lanyard Image from Internet site

You can buy a lanyard over the Internet. Click here

Besides convenience there is a small additional benefit. I have what is better than a Life Alert system since I can use it wherever I am including my car or elsewhere, I can make direct contact with a 911 operator rather than having to work through an operator at Life Alert who then contacts the local 911 service. If you already have a cell phone, combine the lanyard, cell phone and Smart911 (Metro Nashville’s Free Emergency Alert Service) and you have additional safety at no cost. In a previous post I discussed the Life Alert System and other options… Click Here

You may want to add these 3 entries in your cell phone address book:

  1. Name: Help 911     Number: 911
  2. Name: Help Non-emergency    Number: 615-862-8600
  3. Name: ICE Emergency Contact     Number: (Telephone number of family member)Cell Phone Car

“I’ve spent many hours digging through people’s wallets and going through cell phones looking for emergency contact numbers,” says Denise King, president of the Emergency Nurses Association.

For the cell phone entries, they once again recommend redundancy. Emergency workers know to look for “ICE” which stands for “In Case of Emergency.” An “AA” will keep the number at the top of your contacts list. “AA ICE” or “AA Emergency info” or “ICE spouse,” are all good ideas for cell phone entries.