The world health organization defines health as a condition of absolute physical, mental and social fitness. Thus, the presence of diseases and infirmities do not necessarily reflect unhealthy status. Nevertheless, such infirmities and diseases can heal if patients subject themselves into health care facilities and services. Perhaps to start with, a health care delivery system comprises of human resources, pharmaceutical drugs, surgical equipments, and other health care services vital to health demands. On the other hand, there are health care facilities such as dispensaries, clinics and hospitals controlled and administered by either the public or private segment. Each of these health care facilities provides range of services.
For example, public health care facilities provide curative and preventive care services while, the private segment deals with curative health care services. Thus, it is evident that there are many factors determining the health of an individual. In most cases, the environment where a person lives is imperative in determining health conditions. (Amanda, 2006, p. 1).
As Michael (2006) notes, in highly populated regions, people seem poor hence, poor health care services. Of course, with the current economic downturn, many people have failed to secure first-rate patient care services. Worse still, health care professionals have made professional mistakes, which have led to many death cases. Research shows that substandard patient care has worsened the provision of health care services, and together with ignorance and negligence from health care professionals, many will loose life or encounter additional health problems (p.1). At the present, substandard patient cost American taxpayers about US$3 billion per year on Medicare patients alone.
Noticeably, the figure will be high we consider other departments. Personally, I have witnessed a number of cases arising from substandard patient care. In a rather disturbing note, I am able to recall about two medical malpractices done to two close family members. In my own view, substandard health care delivery causes more pain far above than the previous one. Moreover, it leads to leads to additional financial burdens, which many people fail to afford. It has come to my realization that many hospital facilities do not have enough human resource. The number of nurses attending patients is too low.
In fact, some patients die unattended due to the shortage of health care workers. The few health care workers present work for long hours, making them unable to deliver efficiently. In many health care facilities, there is dire demand of health care equipments. (Gerson Lehrman Group, 2009, p. 1).
Substandard Patient Care or Health Care Delivery
Substandard patient care occurs due to negligence or medical malpractices of health care workers. For example, it is quite legitimate and non-discriminatory to fire a nurse for failing to offer standard patient care. Not once, I have witnessed a number of cases where nurses fail to deliver due to incompetence. Nurses who lack professional nursing skills can cause additional health problems or even cause death. For example, one hospital in Oklahoma City recently released one nurse off her duties citing incompetency in work. The nurse who was working in the hospital’s anesthesia care unit had little experience in patient care.
During her first weeks at the hospital’s patient care unit, the nurse seemed positive about her tasks. However, her incompetence came into public when I took my sister for a delivery process. From the first day, I realized something was wrong with the nurse’s attitude. This is because she could not even examine my sister first before proceeding with her professional roles. Worse still, the nurse could not account reports from other patients under her care. She seemed to take more offs without notifying the nurse in charge and therefore leaving patients agonizing.
As for my case, the nurse failed to administer some basic drugs properly (IV drip and IV push). According to medical practitioners, such failures led to my sister develop health care complications while under patient care. In addition to this, the nurse could not even recall professional skills regarding the coding of patients in order to control respiratory distress in my sister. These and many other substandard patient cares left my sister in serious jeopardy. When experienced co-workers examined my sister, they found out that the nurse had participated substandard patient care. They therefore decided to terminate her contract to retain public confidence.
Thus from this particular scenario, it is evident substandard health care causes additional health problems besides increasing the cost of health care services. (Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession, 1996, p. 1). Five years ago, my grandfather died while undergoing recuperation at the patient care. The circumstances leading to his death resembled that of substandard patient care. My grandfather was suffering from aspiration pneumonia. In order to combat this health problem, the doctors had to carry out a bowel blockage operation.
However, after two weeks, my grandfather died due to wrong operation that caused more pain hence, resulting to his death. My family strongly believes that the hospital erred in patient care. Since the day, my grandfather arrived at the hospital, substandard patient care exhibited. For example, it took the doctors three days to carry out a CT scan test revealing his extended stomach. Inside his stomach, a certain fluid extended all the way to the esophagus thus blocking the bowels. The problem demanded an operation in order to remove the fluid.
In that case, surgical doctors settled on the idea of inserting a naso-gastric tube into his stomach aimed at removing the fluid. Nevertheless, these surgical doctors failed to perform the operation on time in what the hospital described as, “a busy patient care day”. After successful interaction with the hospital staff, we finally took my grandfather to an operation room later in the day.
However, the absence of a nurse complicated matters especially on the fact that my grandfather had been vomiting the whole day and needed some patient care. Consequently, an anesthetist came to perform the operation but did not even have scan results. Definitely, the anesthetist went ahead to carry out a wrong surgery.
Under anesthetics, a patient of this kind is likely to vomit when his muscles relax, and by the following morning, my grandfather had vomited two litres of fluid, one of it from the lungs. The fluid in the lungs had caused serious damages and eventual caused his death. Although the doctor appeared remorseful of his wrong surgery, he blamed substandard patient care as the main cause of my grandfather’s death. The doctor added that under such circumstances, death is unavoidable. (Natalie, 2010, p.1).
Many people die because of substandard patient care. The government should institute proper mechanisms of controlling deaths that occur due to substandard patient care.
In the past, we have seen some families take health workers in court for their professional mistakes. To some extent, this has made nurses and doctors extra careful when executing their professional skills. Perhaps, professional medical bodies should enact legislations aimed at discouraging negligence and laziness at work.
To some extent, this will improve standards of patient care and health care delivery.
Amanda, G. (2006). Most Americans Getting Substandard Health Care.
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(2009). Negligent Patient Care: The Impact on the Cost of Health Care. Retrieved August 4, 2010, from
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Patient’s care ‘substandard’. Retrieved August 4, 2010, from