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Disscussion 1 The disease I chose to focus on is Typhus. Not only were patients passing from this condition, medical staff were as well. A patients first attitude was not initially presented for this outbreak. Especially not at New York Hospital which was the 2nd of the two hospitals available in New York during this era. Anyone they deemed unable to be treated accordingly was sent off to Bellevue. Bellevue soon became the hospital where ill or incurable people were sent. A doctor mentions that he recalls seeing people die at the door! This significantly drove up their mortality numbers.
The board of governors began to implement new rules for Bellevue. One of their new guidelines was anyone who was deemed unable to be treated could not be admitted to the hospital! These patients were to be sent to another facility on an isolated island. Their focused then shifted to more acute cases that they deemed curable. However, they would not turn away any patients who could not afford to pay for their care. In some way this does resemble, a patient first attitude. Not entirely though.
There was one Physician at Bellevue who did put the patients first, Dr. Clark. His method of handling the sick patients was amazing. He put their needs first and focused more on a natural recovery. He also used alcohol to help the patients. His willingness to strip the units clean and allow fresh air flow and alcohol, worked (Oshinsky, 2016)!
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I enjoyed reading your post. It is interesting how certain services we may take for granted today or assume were always in place, such as Environmental Services, were not a common practice during that time period. I do agree with you that Dr. Clark did demonstrate a patient first attitude, despite the board of governors trying to prevent these patients from being hospitalized at Bellevue. Both the code of conduct and healthcare policies have come a long way since the Typhus epidemic, however we still have opportunities for improvement. During this current pandemic, there were instances were healthcare professionals and organizations were hesitant to admit COVID-19 patients with chronic symptoms into the hospital.
The Ebola virus outbreak in the United States had a rather unique character, as the incidence of the virus was minimal and yet virtually everybody was talking about the virus. The incidence of the Ebola virus contamination proved that the health care system of the United States was ready to handle the new virus only in a case when the number of patients is extremely small. What is more, the outbreak of the Ebola virus also demonstrated that the health care system of the country and of the world in general was not ready to handle a full-blown pandemic, as can be seen today during an outbreak of a new disease. Nonetheless, the case of Ebola virus is colorfully described in the book ‘Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital’, following a story of one of the few patients who have been diagnosed with Ebola virus in the United States (Oshinsky, 2016).
An argument can be made that based on the example of the Bellevue hospital, the treatment of the patient with Ebola virus falls under the category of the ‘patients first’ attitude. On the other hand, this attitude can be explained by the fact that Spencer was the only patient with Ebola virus in this hospital and was given full attention of the staff with the highest levels of the protective measures: “Ebola wasn’t necessarily a death sentence, that a well-prepared hospital, treating the disease early and aggressively, stood an excellent chance of saving the patient’s life” (Oshinsky, 2016, p. 35). Based on this, even with the excellent preparedness of the hospital, the number of patients with a potential deadly virus can shift from ‘patients first’ to treating the patients with the help of the best available measures in order to stop the outbreak.
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Hi Erica you summarized the Ebola epidemic very well. I think this epidemic hit at a very different time than the other epidemics we studied and it showed the preparedness and knowledge that the hospital and medical staff had. Although in Dallas, TX they did not expect to treat patients with Ebola, here in New York they began to prepare by having certain protocols and trainings in place. As a leading teaching hospital and because they had a designated quarantine area, Bellevue expected to take a big role when Ebola hit. Taking initiative and planning for what might occur is a good example of the patient first attitude because they wanted to make sure that if an infected patient appeared, then that patient would be treated well with all the precautions in place and keeping the staff and patient safe.