Training – The answer to all hospital problems

Monkey doctors

On September 10, I wrote about State government uncovering glaring deficiencies at two Orange County Hospitals – Hoag and Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). That post reported that failure to properly monitor care resulted in permanent brain damage to a child at CHOC and a patient on a monitor flat lined at Hoag without anyone noticing that for some time.

For these offenses the State of California Department of Health Services levied a fine of $ 25,000 against each hospital. Spokespersons for each hospital, including Dr. Maria Minion of CHOC, said that they had or would improve training of nursing and other personnel so that these mistakes are less likely to be repeated.

Now comes a similar situation at the University of California Medical Center (UCIMC) in Orange. You know that hospital – the one with the humongous new multi-million dollar building towering over the Santa Ana Freeway at the intersection of State College Boulevard and Chapman Avenue. It is also a hospital that makes the headlines periodically for various scandals, from embryo scams to management failures resulting in a human sacrifice ritual – fire someone up high and bring in the next expert to supposedly fix things.

The Orange County Register reported on September 18 (“UCIMC overdoses blamed on lack of nurse training”) that patients there received overdoses of narcotics and sedatives because the nurses were not properly trained. Now before you rush over to UCIMC to volunteer to become a victim for this little problem, read on.

According to the Register article, these overdoses had to be reversed in order to keep the patients breathing (something that apparently did not happen to Michael Jackson). The article quotes Dr. Eugene Spiritus, Chief Medical Officer, as stating that they have added training and safety precautions. The Nurses union is reported to have a different perspective – faulty equipment was being used by the hospital. The hospital counters that improved nurse training on how to operate the equipment is now in place.

So, the answer to these problems is more training. Never mind that those who have day to day management responsibility could apparently use some training in how to manage a large hospital so that training deficiencies do not occur. No wonder increasing numbers of people have come to believe that the best way to get sick, or worse, is to be admitted to a hospital.

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.