I went to this new incarnation of the center that was demolished in Princeton with high expectations after a complete left knee replacement. I had used another facility ten months earlier when my right knee was replaced, so I had a fair idea of what should happen—none of which did happen. There is a very nice orientation handbook that lists the services provided, only they weren’t. The cover sheet had the names and telephone numbers of administrators who were dedicated to customer satisfaction. There was even a “patient guardian” I could contact. I tried. Out of office messages with no back-up number to call hardly qualifies as patient-centered care. Until I spoke up, I was ignored and treated indifferently.
My complaints cover all aspects of the facility--orientation; room; staff; medical services; food; physical therapy.
Soon after arriving in my room, I was greeted by two hospital administrators. Being woozy from my pain medication and the stress of transport I couldn't really absorb what they were telling me. They did not give me business cards to help my memory after they left. I was not given fresh water. I was not given soap, towel, washcloth, basin, or toothbrush and toothpaste. Other than being shown the nurse's call button, I was not instructed in to how to use the items in my room and toilet. Because of not being instructed on the use of the lights, I spent one entire night with the light on, and barely slept. I was not informed as to when I would receive a "formal" evaluation of my skills. I was told that only then would I be issued a walker--in the meantime I would have to use a bedpan. After protesting, I was issued a walker; however, no staff member observed how I used the walker and whether I could navigate the room and bathroom.
No one explained the nature of the beeps and chimes that were loud and continuous throughout my stay. The room did not have a "white board" and so I did not know the names of my nurse and aide. They said their names to me, but not all wore name badges, and so I didn't know who was supposed to help me. No introductions were made when shifts changed.
I was never given assistance with washing up. I was never weighed—although I was told at three different times that someone would be in shortly to take my weight. I would wait between 10 and 15 minutes for a response to my nurse's call bell. No one came to remove my Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) machine. I was told by the nutritionist that calls are not answered during a staff meeting. The nutritionist kindly removed the machine so that I could eat my breakfast, which was by that time cold. The water for my "hot' tea was always tepid and so the tea bag would not steep. My dinner the only night I spent there was beef kabobs that were so overdone that I could not get them off the skewer.
The nurses spent their time dispensing medications. The one half hour I received of physical therapy and would each day of the week-end was hardly worth the effort of being there.