"We are a 40 bed Emergency Department who prior to the pandemic added hallway spots around the Department struggling with 30-40 Boarders daily and an ED Census that was crippling patient care when it reached 100. There were days when we approached 50 Boarders when the hospital constrained elective surgeries due to patient care.
Hands reach out from gurneys as I pass asking for food, water, help to the bathroom, a blanket, or someone to simply talk to and show they care.
Today, I sit in the ED with 92 ED Boarders. The ED Census is 156. The waiting room is a care space. Every hallway is now a chair or a bed. I walk past dozens of patients with no visible nursing staff in site. The Hospital is running the Operating Rooms as much as possible to try and get out of debt. Patients sit for days, unbathed, not ambulated, using urinals standing in corners in view of everyone. A patient I admitted three days ago stopped me asking, "Why?" hands reach out from gurneys as I pass asking for food, water, help to the bathroom, a blanket, or someone to simply talk to and show they care."