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10/25/2016

Patient’s unusual concern for nurse stands out in fraught Chinese hospitals

Patient’s unusual concern for nurse stands out in fraught Chinese hospitals
While cases of violence against healthcare workers continue to hit headlines and remind people of growing tensions in Chinese hospitals, one senior citizen’s heart-warming concern for his nurse shows how a little bit of empathy and understanding can make things better.

Mr. Guo, 71, was having a routine health check in Yan’an University Affiliated Xianyang Hospital in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province on Friday when he suddenly passed out. The medical staff rushed him to the emergency center, where Guo came round after six hours of resuscitative treatment.
What happened next surprised everyone at the scene. The moment he opened his eyes, the old man, who was unable to talk at that point, wrote a few words with his shivering hand on the nursing record notebook: “The nurse hasn’t eaten.” The nurse’s eyes welled up.
“I know he just wanted to say thank you to them,” Guo’s wife told Chinanews.
“The nurses really are doing a hard job, but more often than not we are criticized by patients and their families, and now we’re greatly touched to get such recognition,” said Zhang Hong, a nurse with Xianyang Hospital’s coronary care unit.
Attacks against medical professionals by patients or their relatives who are unhappy with their treatment have been on the rise in China in recent years, raising widespread concern. According to the China Hospital Association, the average annual number of assaults per hospital rose from 20.6 in 2008 to 27.3 in 2012. One of the main reasons behind the violence is people’s frustration with long waiting time and short appointments due to bloated caseloads in major hospitals.
“The public’s health awareness is growing, but medical resources are in short supply and doctors are overstretched,” Hao Jie, a doctor in the liver unit at Xianyang Hospital told the Chinanews reporter.
“If doctors and patients can have more trust and understanding for each other, they can unite in a concerted effort to fight diseases,” Hao added.

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