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The scary approach of the weekend in the hospital

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In  a New England Journal of Medicine piece, Perri Klass, M.D., talks of her anxiety, in looking after her now-late mother’s care in a hospital, as the  weekends approach and so  much of  the hospital closed down, leaving patients vulnerable and family caregivers scared.

“I would start feeling tense every Thursday afternoon, every Friday morning, staving off panic by displaying a slightly frenetic need to get consults done, problems reassessed, orders written. I would waylay consultants, try to pin down residents about when they could come by and when they planned to sign out, press the nurses to page the attendings. I became one of those people I would have hated to encounter on a Friday afternoon….

….”I felt scared, as Thursday turned to Friday and the dark clouds gathered; I could feel the staff signing out, the hospital slowing down around us, and the weekend closing in.”

Will the understaffing on weekends of hospitals continue or even worsen with the Affordable Care Act and the flood of aging  and ailingf Baby Boomers swells.

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