A dialogue between the mayor and the hospital director
A: Mr Hecky, welcome to Blackwell Community Hospital. I am honored you decided to attend our modest opening ceremony. Before we begin the tour of the facility, I would like to thank you for your personal involvement and endeavors, which greatly contributed to the construction of the most modern medical center in the region. We are also very grateful for...
B: Sorry to butt in, doctor, but I have a very busy schedule today and only came to see what so much public money was spent on.
A: Ahem. I totally understand that, taking into account the fact that you yourself might end up being an inpatient some day.
B: Get on with it, doctor. This is the east wing, right? What's that place over there, near the entrance, with A&E sign flashing above? We only treat American and English citizens or what?
A: That's not quite right. A&E stands for Accidents & Emergency, which is a department where patients come without prior notice.
B: So are they treated there and then go home?
A: Well, those who are not severely injured and whose life is not in danger, are asked to consult a specialist at one of our clinics for a detailed diagnosis. Can you see a large sign saying 'Neurology' on your right? Patients are sent there if it is suspected their condition is related to problems with their nervous system. Opposite is a sign which says 'Cardiology', where patients suffering from heart disorders are sent. At a clinic, patients may be given some medicine, which a doctor picks up from the pharmacy at the end of the hall. We also have many patients who do not stay in the hospital, but only come in for treatment. In such a case, we call them outpatients.
B: What about people after accidents or with serious conditions, you know, when an ambulance brings them?
A: Well, they are taken upstairs, where we will go now. This is where patients with severe injuries or diseases are transported. On your left you can see operating rooms, where surgeries are performed.
B: Surgery? I heard that can be very painful.
A: As long as anesthetics are administered, a patient does not feel a thing.
B: Right. What about that room on right, with all that fancy equipment?
A: This is the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where patients with the most severe and life-threatening injuries are provided care. Frequently, people who were involved in a traffic accident are taken there.
B: How long do patients stay there?
A: It may be a few days or a couple of weeks, it depends on the severity of injuries. When their condition improves, they are transported to a ward, where they remain until discharged.
B: Which means they are healthy and can go home?
A: Well, they can go home, but may need further treatment. Very often physiotherapy is necessary, particularly in case of victims of accidents, to recover fully.
B: I understand. What about the west wing?
A: Let's go there. Originally that part of the building was a university hospital. Twenty years ago it was adapted to serve as a psychiatric ward. Now its first floor addresses needs of female patients. There is a gynecology clinic, a maternity ward and a neonatal unit, where newborn babies are provided treatment if necessary.
B: What about the second floor?
A: The oncology ward is located there, where cancer patients are treated. As they often suffer from agonizing pain, we located the palliative care there, which ...
B: I have to go, doctor. But I have one final question to you - if in the future I need some advice, where do I go?
A: I am very sorry, Mr Hecky, but the funds that were available to us were not sufficient to build the geriatrics ward. I am afraid it will have to be Stanton General, only 30 miles from here.