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More stories from Becca Malachowski
March 23, 2017
February 23, 2017
September 22, 2016
That is one of the first questions the EMTs will ask you as your sprawled out in an ambulance on your way to the hospital after you sprained your ankle. The ambulance’s bright lights blind you, but you do get a little shade from the tall medical magicians standing over you. Well, I sprained my ankle. And also tore a ligament in my wrist. And after both those experiences I have a lot to say about our country’s “equal care for everyone” medical system.
Once at the hospital, on both accounts, I was greeted by great staff. They were kind, funny, and gentle—constantly cracking jokes with me and trying to ease my discomfort. They are not the problem. Trust me, they are angels in disguise. It’s just that their place of work is the problem. The system they work for is completely broken.
The staff try to accommodate the long wait time by putting you in a room with a bed and a little TV. Then, they hurry around trying to get you taken care of as well as the other hundreds coming into the emergency room. You feel helpless while you wait for some doctor to rush in and fix you, and although they are rushing, they never come rushing in. With little room to put people, some are huddled up in the waiting room or even put on cots set up in the hallway.
America does have better access to medical treatment, I must say. I was always in a clean room that even had a bathroom. The view out my window was always beautiful and the rooms were the perfect temperature. But the wait time was, like I alluded to earlier, forever. I was laid out in beds each time, with pillows and ice surrounding me. I was waiting for what felt like an eternity. Each hospital I visited had only one x-ray room on that particular floor, which made the wait time that much longer. I probably waited three hours for my torn ligament to get scanned and a whopping five for my ankle.
Prospect.org and I agree that health treatment, for anything, is not convenient. Along with waiting for hours, us Americans also pay the most for health care. According to Pnhp.org, $2.8 trillion is spent every year on our health care. That, my friends, comes to a staggering $8,500 for one person. This organization also states that Medicaid and Medicare cost $700 Billion all together. Once I discovered this, it didn’t even surprise me that 17 percent of the economy depends solely on our medical system. Also, from my own experience, I’ve seen that insurance doesn’t cover everything—sometimes it doesn’t cover anything. And when you’re a college student without your parents around to hand you the insurance card, it’s a bit terrifying.
Now that I’m done with these experiences I can firmly say that I think this medical system of ours needs to change. More medical staff need to be hired and more rooms need to be available. Once these things change, everyone will begin to get the care they need, and the care they deserve.