Oh, the sweet bliss of good, clean sheets, peace and quiet and all the TV you can take (cable too!). A hotel is a luxury for our family. Someone makes your bed, every wish comes true. Yes, a hotel is amazing.
And a lot of people seem to think that a hospital is the same as a hotel. Yes, we change your sheets but no. We are not a hotel.
How do I know all of this? Hi, I’m Hilary — an L&D RN since 2001. I’ve seen a lot of patients thinking we run the hospital just like a regular retail store, but it’s not true.
If you’re wanting to get prepared for the hospital, do NOT miss my Free Childbirth Class that will get you on the road to childbirth prep!
Here’s some ways we’re different (especially for labor and delivery), and why.
You need to pick the same hospital as your doctor. Unlike a hotel where you have a huge variety to pick from. Once you pick a doctor, you should be locked into the hospitals that they go to.
Yes, you CAN go to another hospital but you will NOT see your doctor, they can’t easily find out your medical history. It is a lot safer to go to the hospital your doctor practices at.
Also, FYI — doctors have to jump through a lot of hoops to be able to go to a certain hospital which is why they usually don’t do more than 2 or 3 (many only do one).
We’ll wake you up. Now, I’m hesitant to wake up any mom who just had a baby, but I will. My job is to keep you safe, not well-rested. We’ll take your blood pressure, we’ll tell you to feed your baby we’ll tell you to get up, even if you’d rather nap.
The food doesn’t shine. I think this one speaks for itself. Yes, some hospitals have great food, but many don’t. Maybe plan on your partner getting you some takeout if you’re ready for some tasty grub.
Your insurance will choose your hospital too! Just because you have insurance doesn’t mean you can go to any hospital. They lock you into a certain set of facilities as well.
Make sure that the hospital you plan to go to is both one your doctor goes to and your insurance plan takes.
We will limit visitors. A lot of people come to the hospital to visit and are turned away because our patient needs to rest or not be stressed out. Those people get upset with us. Did I mention we’re not a hotel?
We may also limit children under a certain age who aren’t direct siblings. That’s for the safety of you, your baby and all the other people on our floor.
There’s no such thing as a reservation. People get a nurse/room based on their priority. Just because you have an induction scheduled, doesn’t mean we hold you a room and deny people who are actually in labor. Don’t be surprised if you get bumped. You’ll get in at some point (or, go into labor on your own).
I am not your waitress. Nurses go to a lot of school, a lot of training and put in long days to keep you and your family safe. Because we forget to grab you a juice, or we show you where to grab your own isn’t our way of being rude. It’s being efficient with our highly valuable time.
Honestly, if I have time I will grab you a juice, because I do like my families to feel well cared for. But if I have two patients and other stuff is going on, I may direct you to get off your chair and grab your own.
A few words of advice:
Make sure your family/friends know it’s not a hotel. It’s not a time to bring all their kids in and throw you a party. Yes, a few visitors is nice, but you are mainly there to recoup.
If you want a hotel, go to a hotel. Yes, you might bleed all over the bed and it’s certainly not as safe, but I’ve heard of a lot of moms who leave the hospital early and then just get a hotel room to rest away from their other kids, etc. It’s certainly a lot cheaper than the hospital (especially if you are a self-pay patient.
You might want to decide your hospital before you decide your doctor. If you one one particular hospital, that may well change what physician you pick. Of course, I’d pick a good physician over the looks or perks of a hospital any day. You’re there to save a life, not bask in the glow of granite countertops. 🙂
The golden rule comes into play. I have had patients get upset with me over our policies, or the fact that their nurse coudn’t come when we were in the middle of an emergency. Sometimes we are actually saving lives and your patience helps us do that. Thank you. 🙂
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