Several weeks ago, I watched on television as the first patient was wheeled into the new building at the University of Vermont Hospital in Burlington. As the camera scanned the spacious room complete with luxurious accommodations for the family, I thought back some 35 years to the long days and even longer nights that I spent in a remarkably uncomfortable chair at the bedside of my dying husband in the ICU of the Old Mary Hitchcock Hospital and thought how nice this new arrangement would have been.
My thoughts then wandered to my own recent and very brief hospitalization at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. I would gladly have been cared for in an open ward with 20 beds to a side in order to avoid a bill, which after Medicare payments is greater than my monthly income.
Kathleen R. Fellows, R.N.