As a follow up on my last post about County/USC, last week I made an extended visit to Cedars-Sinai. Here are a few things I learned:
1.) There is no metal detector that patients and visitors have to pass through, however, newborn babies have little RFID tags attached to their little ankles at birth and can’t be removed from the maternity ward. Please note, I did not visit the maternity ward, but there were big signs on the floor that cautioned people DO NOT REMOVE BABIES FROM THIS ZONE! ALARM WILL SOUND!
2.) It’s confusing. I’ve decided all hospitals are like casinos or something. Except there are clocks everywhere. But things chime and ding just the same. Halls dead end, seem designed to get you lost, nothing seems clearly marked. I never quite figured out where I was in the floor layout, but then again, I really didn’t need to know.
3.) All rooms are private rooms. As it was explained to me on the phone by the admissions interviewer (who sounded rather like Doris from The Critic) “This is Cedars honey, they’re all private rooms!”
4. Parking is free for the patient on day of check in and day of release. Visitors pay up the wazoo. Unless you feel like parking at the Bev Center. Which I would probably do if I were visiting someone there. And I’d probably stop at Sees first to get them a gift. Or if they weren’t well enough, I’d buy something for me to eat on the walk.
5. The nurses were great. This doesnít surprise me, but I was pleased nonetheless. At every shift change they’d come into the room and change the little bulletin board that listed their names. Actually, I should also note that the bulletin board went like this:
Your Name Is ________
Today Is ____________
Your Nurses Are _________
6. The food sucked. No offense, but it really did. It was really salty and rather bland and not terribly nutritious. My first meal when I was still on clear liquids was apple juice, apple juice, orange jello, black coffee, chicken broth and orange italian ice. That was the best it got.
8. Pain pumps aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Either that or I’m sadly unaffected by dilaudid.
9. They have a concierge. Okay, they don’t call it that, something like a hospitality center, but you get the picture.
10. They have a menu of services in the room, like it’s a hotel or a spa or something. And while I’m not going to have a baby there, I couldn’t get over their Deluxe Maternity Suites (“Enhancing the Birthing Experience”). Can’t afford it? You can register for it as a baby shower gift and have your friends and family pitch in for it!
11. Visiting hours are posted as nine to nine, but if a husband doesn’t sleep on a cot in the room every night, he’s looked at as oddly uncaring. (And it’s true, I sent my husband home. No sense in both of us getting a crappy night’s sleep.)
12. Surgery is much like having a car repaired, they feel obliged to show you the parts when they’re done. But unlike mechanics, they won’t let you take them home. (Some OSHA regulation or something about biological waste or some nonsense like that.)
All in all, I liked the care at Cedars and put it at the top of my in-hospital stays during my lifetime. (Okay, I’ve only ever been to one other hospital in my life, and that was two stays at Akron Children’s Hospital.) The doctors were top-notch, the pain control was excellent, everything was clean and all the people I came in contact with seemed very concerned with giving me the best possible care. It’s kind of reassuring to know that even though the health insurance system is broken in this country that a girl with halfway decent insurance can get that level of care.