For almost five years, I spent nearly 12 hours a week taking my father to dialysis appointments, sitting near him as he underwent the grueling dialysis sessions that sometimes lasted up to four hours.
During that time I grew familiar with how the clinic worked and the kind of stress his caregivers were under to take care of all their patients. At times I would alert staff that other patients were having problems – especially those who were there without friends or family. I became another set of eyes on the patient floor.
I didn’t mind doing it, but it shouldn’t have been necessary.
Lunchtime was usually the worst stretch of the day. For that 30 to 45-minute period, I would only see one technician monitoring as many as 15 patients. That happened nearly every day. It wasn’t safe and it worried me.