Friday, September 9, 2022

Another Czech Hospital Experience

Five years ago I had my first Czech hospital experience.  I spent a week at FN Bohunice having my tonsils removed.  About six weeks later I was back for a second surgery.  Now I've just had my next hospital experience with a two-week stay at St. Anne's.

A normal room was for three patients with shared toilet and shower facilities down the hall.  So the first thing I did was book the nadstandardní pokoje, "the above standard room."  

The private room included a bedside table, desk, chairs, a television, lamp, telephone, a wardrobe, a small refrigerator, and a kettle.  Plus it had its own shower and toilet.  Health insurance doesn't cover the cost of the private room but for me it was well worth the 800 Kč ($37) per day.  On the first and last day, the fee was only 400 Kč ($17).  Well worth it.    

I knew to bring my pyjamas, a robe, and house shoes.  I brought an extra pillow and, along with my toiletries, I brought my own toilet paper so that I didn't need to use the generic TP.  I did notice here that the hospital provided patients with pyjamas and a robe if they didn't bring their own.  I was my comfortable with my own.  They also issued me a knife, a fork, and a spoon to use during my stay and I needed to wash them after every meal.  They gave me a one-litre pitcher and drinking glass, which they changed out every three days.

Just like at Bohunice, there was all of the chamomile tea that you could drink.  It always tastes better when it's cold so I was glad to have a refrigerator.  Since I had a kettle, Kája brought me a coffee mug from home and instant coffee packets.  Due to Covid, visiting hours were only 14:00 to 18:00 on Wednesdays and Sundays.  Since I had a private room the nurses didn't really care.

The day was pretty regimented.  I got up and took a shower around 05:30 and made my bed.  

At 06:00, the nurses came in with the morning meds.  Then the orderly would come in and she always seemed surprised that I had already made up the bed.  Breakfast was usually around 07:00 or 08:00.  

Breakfast was usually a few slices of bread with butter, either some ham or cheese, and maybe an apple, yogurt, or cottage cheese.

It's a teaching hospital so there were interns making the rounds with the doctors.  What a difference five years makes because this time when the doctors performed rounds everything was in Czech.  If there was a word or something that I didn't understand then the doctor would say it in English but overall everything was done in Czech. 

Lunch was the main meal of the day and it was usually served at 12:00.  

Typical Czech, there was always a soup with lunch.  

There was usually a meat dish served with either potatoes, or pasta, or dumplings.  Sometimes there would be fruit.

Then after lunch, there would be afternoon rounds.  Sometimes with the students and sometimes without.

In the afternoon between 15:30 and 16:00 was svačina, which is snack time. Every day was the same snack.  They would bring me a rohlik.  I don't know why but they tasted better than the rohlik I buy at the local shop.  

Dinner was usually served between 17:00 and 17:30.  Dinner was a bit lighter than lunch.  If lunch was really heavy then dinner would be a little bit lighter.  

It was usually meat and potatoes or rice.  Sometimes there would be another soup but not usually.

Around 18:00 the nurse would come with the evening meds.  Around 19:00 it was time to get ready for bed.  I didn't need to queue up to brush my teeth or whatever because I was in my private en-suite room.

From 21:00 to 06:00 were quiet evening hours.  Usually around 21:00, one of the doctors would pop in just to see if I was OK and then everything started all over again the next day.

The doctors and nurses were awesome.  Again, I am amazed by how good the Czech healthcare system is.  The USA has a lot to learn.  On my way out I left boxes of chocolates for the nurses and doctors.  I gave a box to the last group of students on rounds.  There was one woman who cleaned my room twice a day and she worked at least 10 or 11 days in a row.  I gave her a box of chocolates and it really seemed to make her day. 

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