In 2010 at our Level I trauma center there was a new wing of the hospital and the opening of a 20-bed ICU for Neuro, Cardiac, Thoracic and Medical acute care. What a combo! There were four large rooms designed to accommodate Bariatric patients and in general, people weighing 400 pounds and more. Lift tools and devices hanging from the ceiling on movable tracks were part of the standard room setup. Plus, there were new air beds designed for really big clients. The Administration had their fill of hype on all of this stuff, but we nurse discovered things were not so rosy when working with the equipment.
These hot new Bariatric beds
Are super mondo slalom sleds,
We position patients every hour
They slide right down under gravity power.
The bed hydraulics are definitely weak
I'll explain it now, just let me speak,
When we lower the head below the feet
It’s easy to move the patient, slick and neat,
But to bring the head up beyond a 30 degree angle
The hydraulics are too feeble, oh what a fandangle!
The nurse at the bedside must help raise the head
Another “safety” device, liable to make me dead.
These new tech beds are for the super-heavies
Supposedly stronger than Sacramento levies,
Holding back the 100 year flood
But I'm not too sure about this BillyBob stud,
He weighed in at two hundred and twenty kilo's
And we weren't even weighing the pillows,
On beds that are rated to 500 pounds
We're approaching that number in leaps and bounds.
Beds with all the bells and whistles
Not suitable for an ICBM missile.
The beds can rotate side to side
It's really quite a pleasant ride,
But here again this weight thing irks
If you're really heavy it barely jerks,
There's a tendency for big boy Jimmy
To get stuck on one side while the bed just shimmies,
It wiggles and strains to pump air through the bellows
I wonder, “Where is the lift team, I really need those fellows?”
There are lifts on the ceiling with slings down below
When Jimmy's feeling better we can swing him real slow,
Into the chair by the window to improve his outlook on life
Then the bed will be vacant for his long suffering wife,
Her kilo's are many, her cankles are like stumps
I'm praying to Euphemia, “Dear Sister, bless these chumps”
Don't let either of them have a cardiac arrest
Our defibrillators aren't prepared for that test.
We have negative airflow isolation rooms
With lifts on the ceiling on super-strong booms,
But honestly, I'm wary about the safety of it all
Bad things happen when big people fall,
Caregivers damaged, lawsuits are brewing
When the dust has all settled, corporate will be screwing,
Around with the numbers, statistics and more
The science of big is a titanic chore.
Please, don't misinterpret my harangue on what's big
It's really an expose on the bureaucratic jig,
Million-dollar decisions from dubious advice
High cost vendor contracts at an unbelievable price,
End-users suffer at the whim of corporate decisions
Are Workers Comp injuries in the provision?
This light-hearted muse ended somber and dark
But the business of healthcare is no walk in the park.