So You Say You're Going to Richardson Regional Hospital?
Before you go there, first, listen to our account of a 5 day stay there.
The following is a list of events, based on the opinions of David and Lisa
Summary of Hospital stay:
Lisa�s stay in the hospital was due to an extremely risky 6 hour back surgery on
Monday, March 16, 2006. There were 3 specialists involved, first opening her up
through the abdomen, then, closing up and finalizing the surgery, with a
neurologist operating on her back.
In recovery, we tried for three hours to get information about her and find out
when I could come in and sit with her. We were repeatedly told to wait, that it
wouldn�t be �that much� longer. Later I found through her intense pain, that she
had repeatedly called for me. Over and over, she told them that the medicine was
not working and she needed more. At one point, she had a very hard time getting
them to respond to the fact that she couldn�t breathe due to having an asthma
attack. I probably, could have at least been, if nothing else, a calming
influence, if I had just been allowed to come in and hold her hand. After over 9
hours, we finally got to walk along with her, to her hospital room, but she was
still in quite a bit of pain.
(After 6 hours of surgery and 3 hours in Recovery)
Nurse on first night treated Lisa very badly � WHEN she could understand her at
all. (Her accent was quite heavy and she had a hard time understanding us, and
we had a hard time understanding her.)
Lisa asked for me repeatedly, and I was denied entry by the nurse.
Her pain was excruciating, and Lisa was crying - she was told to "think happy
thoughts" and to stop crying, since it was driving her blood pressure up.
She was asked to tell about any family illnesses - one of which was asthma -
her mother died of asthma, and, to let here know Lisa also had asthma, she told
the nurse about the asthma attack Lisa had in recovery.
Then she was told by the nurse that things were "all in her head" and to stop
thinking about them, because it also was causing her to cry. Lisa
was also told that her pain wouldn't get better until she stopped crying.
There were multiple times we tried explaining things to here that she did not
understand at all. Asking for more pain medication, the nurse told her about the
self-administering 'button', (PCA machine, feeding medicine through her IV) then
she threw it up on the bed, beside her pillow. Lisa (who literally can't see 3
inches in front of her face without glasses or contacts) told the nurse she
couldn't see it and couldn't see anything, at which
The nurse just chuckled. Lisa repeated it and she would say "I know". Then she
left the room for a while. Lisa, not knowing whether or not the nurse would be
back, then started to cry even more, because she hadn't shown her how to call
for the nurse, or do anything, once the nurse left.
Finally, after hearing her cry for what I considered was too long a while, I
couldn't take it any longer, and went in to at least hold her hand. Lisa
explained some of the stuff I hadn't witnessed, at which time, I called her
doctor, who called back and got some muscle relaxers for her - and then, later,
she got a sleeping pill..
The next morning:
The doctor had left Diet instructions - advance as tolerated
First breakfast was eggs, sausage, fruit, cereal and apple juice. The doctor was
fairly well shocked since the diet he prescribed was advance as tolerated,
which, to him, meant light liquids the first day.
As it turns out, since intestines were moved around during surgery, one of the
problems that could happen, if rushing in to a diet like this, is that the
intestines could conceivably block the food (without going into the technical
aspects) and a tube would need to be inserted down the throat and all the food
removed through it. It is very fortunate that nothing like this happened. Each
time we complained about this, as the next lunch/dinner/breakfast came, fell on
deaf ears. She got a full, advanced diet at every meal.
90% of the nursing shifts that we experienced were quite draining for us,
emotionally and physically. First of all, with the exception of 2 nurses, as we
remember it, all were foreign nurses. That in and of itself, is absolutely no
problem, since most of them were nicer and much better than the first nurse we
The problem was two-fold. First of all, their command of the English language
wasn�t nearly good enough, (again, in our opinion). We had quite hard times
understanding a great majority of what they were saying, and they had a hard
time understanding what we were saying. Secondly, each and every shift, it
seemed like whenever we asked for something, the nurses had no idea what we were
talking about. For instance, Lisa was on a self-administered medicine PCA
machine. That helped a little most of the time � when it didn�t work well
enough, the doctor had authorized a Phenergan shot, for nausea. As a �side-
effect�, it would pretty much knock her out too, so, it effectively helped her
pain. We had to explain this to almost every nurse who came on duty. Twice, the
nurses who had a hard time understanding our English, opened up the PCA machine
and gave her a booster � another dose of the medicine in the PCA machine,
thinking that was what we were asking for.
I stayed every night until Thursday night. Lisa convinced me I should go home,
in order to get a better night�s sleep. That evening, we had talked with our
Doctor (who, for the record, in our opinion, along with his staff, all provided
excellent service and helped us a great deal), and we all agreed that she should
stay a day longer, to be released on Saturday. Her IV and catheter weren�t
removed until that night. She had gotten up and walked, Tuesday through
Thursday, with the help of nurses and physical therapists. She definitely still
needed a great deal of help getting in and out of the hospital bed.
The next morning, things got worse while I was not there. One technician, or
nurse (I�m not sure which, but she generally worked there every morning, though
not as the primary nurse for Lisa) was contacted for help, so that Lisa could
get out of bed and go to the bathroom. Apparently Lisa�s gown was somewhat wet.
The lady took her gown off. Contrary to Lisa�s repeated wishes, the lady had
here walk to the bathroom totally unclothed. Granted, it wasn�t a long walk and
the door was more than likely closed, but this was extremely humiliating, and
there was no guarantee someone would walk in on her during the slow walk to the
And if that wasn�t enough, she later, was directed to sit in the chair in the
room, and wait for breakfast, so she could eat there, while sitting up. (I�ll
skip the part about the quips the nurse/technician/whoever made). To make a long
story a little shorter, the lady told her that breakfast was delayed and she
would need to get back into bed.
At first you are saying, �OK � so that�s not so bad�. The problem is that she
left the room. Lisa still needed help getting in and out of bed, in case of a
slip or fall. Lisa tried to do it on her own, but when she found she still
needed help, at the bed, she pushed the �Nurse� button, informing the desk that
she needed help getting back into bed. In full view of the clock on the wall,
she waited 10 minutes to call again. BUT � by this time, she was hysterical,
dizzy and tired and felt faint. So � she pressed the �Nurse� button again �
crying, telling them she needed help now and that she thought she was going to
faint. Another 10 minutes passed � she cried out, hoping someone in the hall
would come. So, finally, after 20 minutes of just standing by the bed, several
people came in, apparently from hearing her cry out, to help her. Someone (she
was too upset at this point to tell who it was) said, �Well, why didn�t you call
me?� So, I assume it was the newest nurse on shift. Lisa, of course, told her
that she called twice! The new nurse again, on this morning shift had an
extremely thick accent and Lisa could not understand most of what she said.
(Even when I got there, I had to make myself concentrate when she talked, in
order to understand her.)
Lisa called me at home, crying saying that they had asked her if she wanted to
go home that day (Friday) or the next.
(Keep in mind, we had already talked with the doctor and agreed Saturday was the
Frustrated, in pain and extremely unhappy, she of course said she wanted out
right then. I called the 4th floor nurses� station to ask how long it would be
before she would be released. The person to whom I was speaking said she�d give
the nurse the paperwork and she should be ready in 30 minutes. I let her know I
couldn�t even be there for an hour, and was assured that would be no problem,
and that Lisa would be ready by the time I got there.
When I showed up, Lisa was in bed, getting a breathing treatment, for her
asthma. They still hadn�t called the primary doctor to get release orders. So I
told the nurse about what I was told, and was asking why the release wasn�t
further along. While I was talking, she just walked out of the room. I don�t
have any idea whether she just didn�t want to listen to me, since I wasn�t a
very happy camper, or whether she just didn�t understand me. I really wasn�t
happy about this, but I just chalked it up to another miscommunication due to
bad understanding of the English language.
Anyway, within about 30 or 45 minutes, we were able to leave and get started
with our lives again.
When a person checks into a hospital, there is a certain level of care that is expected. In my
opinion, this hospital didn't come near to that level of care. Also, along with that there is a certain
level of trust between the patient and the hospital. In my opinion, that trust has been breached and
greatly violated in this situation. We had insurance, and both we and the insurance company
will be paying quite a bit of money for the stay there. However, that doesn't really matter.
No matter what, the level of expected care should have been met on, if not every level, at least most
I'm not saying everyone there was on the same level as the employees pinpointed in this report.
There definitely were employees of the hospital who honestly cared and met that level of expectation. It's just that
the extreme distress my wife experienced, was extremely hard to bear for me, so I can only imagine what it
was like for her.
In short, this was not a happy experience and we will NEVER,
EVER, for any reason, agree to being admitted to this hospital again.
Again - - this is just an opinion, shared by both Lisa and me.