Monday, November 5, 2012

Health Care- here and beyond!


I've mentioned before that I'm a nurse, and my main character from my WIP is one also. I love nurse humor because being able to laugh makes the hard times easier to deal with at work.

Today, times and health care are changing. I feel it on both sides of the equation, as a patient and as a health care worker. Our family insurance has gone from bad to worse- as in, if your healthy, GREAT! you're covered. Got issues? Not so much. As a nurse, I see working conditions deteriorating as companies try to cut corners.

I don't have the solution, and I think as long as people get sick and die, no one is going to be happy with the outcome. In Ecuador, people pay for doctor's visits out of pocket but the hospital is government run. The care is not the same quality as in the U.S., but I had a few minor health issues and came out okay. A doctor visit at the time cost me about $10 (That was a while ago though- I'm sure it's gone up), and medicine was dirt cheap.

I have my fair share of horror stories however, as a friend of mine lost her baby twins in a botched up delivery. The emergency response system was rather pathetic too. The only ambulance in the city was driven by a drunk! I was an emergency medical technician (EMT) when I went to Ecuador, not a nurse, but I would love to see how the hospitals compare, now that I am one. Maybe I'll get a chance to check it out someday.

This is relevant to what I write about, but how about you? Do any of your life experiences play into your writing?

12 comments:

  1. Nothing like that! Sorry I don't have the answers.
    I'm a military brat, so my exposure to fighter jets helped me craft the space fighters and battles in my books.

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    1. That's important! I know nothing about the military and strategy, so reading a book from your point of view on those areas would pull the picture together for me.

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  2. Oh my gosh... crazy stories, Rose! Wow.

    But I'm soooo grateful for nurses. We have a little boy with Leukemia and other health issues. And his life has literally been saved multiple times. I'm SOOoooo grateful for people who take the time to learn and help others!

    Anyway, right now, my "other" life is what I write about... the ballet world is a fun world ;-)

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    1. Wow! I had no idea. I knew right off the bat that I couldn't be a pediatric nurse. The thought of trying to keep it together when a child was suffering seemed impossible. Watching grownups is hard enough! I'm so sorry you've had to go through all that. No parent should ever have to.

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  3. I love it when writers have interesting life stories to weave into their fiction.

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    1. Which is why I've so enjoyed yours! :)

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  4. Our healthcare is also in a shambles.
    I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford medical aid, which is a requirement in the "non-government" hospitals BEFORE they attend to you... shocking, I know!

    I'm in the entertainment/education fields, and in my WIP, one of my main characters is involved with a music/dance/drama community Outreach Programme.

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    1. Seems like the problem is across the board!
      Sounds like an interesting setting for your WIP- hope to read it some day!

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  5. Our health care is actually pretty damn good. We pay for it with high taxes but 6 years ago when my first child was born at the public hospital, she was 6 weeks premature and spent 3 weeks in neonatal care. I was able to stay in the hospital for 8 days after labor to be close to her. We both had excellent nurses and doctors on hand to care for us, my child benefited from top notch exams and care. In the end when we all left the hospital to finally go home, I had to pay 35 Euros out of pocket, that's it, basically the cost of telephone and TV use in my hospital room. People like to complain about how expensive things are over here, but I've learned to be grateful. I can't begin to imagine the cost of all that if I had been in the States. One thing is sure, I would not have gotten the chance to stay 8 days in the hospital close to my newborn. The only problem now is the health care here is starting to change and not in a good way. ):

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    1. My experience has always been with private insurance here in the U.S. When my daughter was born, almost 12 years ago, I paid $10 out of pocket for everything- prenatal visits and hospital stay, and they deducted under $50 a month from my paycheck for the insurance premium. (I worked in the same hospital I gave birth at.)
      Now, we are paying almost $300 a month premium, and our out of pocket expenses could reach between 4 and 5 thousand a year- and we're the lucky ones!

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    2. (O_O) 4 -5 thousand a year for out of pocket expenses!? *shakes head*

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    3. Yup! And that's the better of the two options. We went with the higher deductible last year and could have had about 8,000 dollars out of pocket expenses (which we almost reached). So much for saving for the kids' college fund!

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