The NY Times has a great article about VIP floors in hospitals around the city. I’ve worked on one of them, and I can say that what is said in the comments is far truer than what is in the article. (This may be a first for the comments section of the NY Times.)
VIP floors, with their spacious single rooms — as large as my apartment — and their disaffected nursing staff, are the *worst* place to be if you are sick. I had a patient whose diagnosis was delayed for several days because his nurse refused to send stool samples as ordered. When the intern finally tracked her down and asked if the patient was still having diarrhea, she was like “diarrhea? wha?” It was obscene.
That being said, I’m wondering if VIP floors, and the money they bring in, isn’t worth it to keep the rest of the hospital afloat. We have a substantial uninsured population, and if it weren’t for the $1000 a day rooms, I’m sure the hospital would have gone under like St Vincent’s. My gut hates it, but my brain wonders if VIP suites are a necessary evil in modern medicine? It violates the principle of equality, but maybe it serves a greater principle, like doing the most good for the most people. And having now interviewed as places across the country, many with their own VIPs, I’m impressed at how down-to-earth my home program is about these things. At least here, no one tips the volunteers.
It’s a little like what we saw on Downton Abbey. No secret that Lord Grantham is what used to be called an enlightened despot, committed to the Good of his People. And now he has agreed to turn Downton in subacute rehab, but only on *his* terms. The more I watch of that show, the less I like the characters and the sloppy plagiaristic writing. And yet I keep watching!