Analysis Of Five Days At Memorial

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Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by American journalist Sheri Fink is a very inspirational book because it focused on the events that happened in Memorial Medical Center when the hospital was flooded and had no electricity after Hurricane Katrina struck the city. Time, space, communication, and identity are portrayed throughout the book. These four factors are important in inter-ethnic relationships between patients and health care providers. Being able to identify these factors in a clinical setting, health care providers can provide more efficient care for all patients.
Time is an important factor throughout the crisis. For instance, an anesthesiologist Paul Primeaux was at the helipad and gave a friendly
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For instance, one of the patients on the second floor was moaning softly. The doctors and nurses asked what was wrong, but he was unable to respond because he was too ill (Fink, 2013, p. 292). This scene clearly shows a major communication barrier between the health care providers and the patient because the patient was not able to express what was wrong with him or her and the health care providers couldn’t understand what was wrong with him or her. Because of the communication barrier, an ethical issue was involved. During the crisis, a pulmonologist John Thiele gave patients high doses of morphine and midazolam. Most of the patients died shortly after they were being medicated. Since the patients were very ill and weren’t able to respond to his questions, Thiele decided to consult with the nurse manager Karen Wynn, whom he trusted her experience in the ICU and her leadership of the hospital’s ethics committee, about whether or not he could euthanatize the patients. Wynn expressed approval of euthanatizing the patients (Fink, 2013, p. 292). If there were no communication barrier between Thiele and the patients, they could have spoken up and chose whether or not they wanted to survive or be …show more content…
The patients who could sit up or walk were categorized as group one and would be the first one to be evacuated. Those who needed assistance were categorized as group two and would be evacuated after the first group. Those who were very ill and those with DNR orders were categorized as group three and would be the last one to be evacuated (Fink, 2013, p. 137-138). From this scene, we can perceive that the patients who were very ill and those with DNR order lost their identity because the doctors and nurses dehumanized them by deciding that they will be evacuated last. The doctors and nurses believed that the patients who were categorized as group three probably won’t make it, which means that their lives are not as valuable as other patients’ lives. In addition, the doctors and nurses felt that they were superior to their patients and had more power and control since they were employed by the hospital; therefore, they thought it was not necessary to consult with the patients or their families about their decision of who would be evacuated first. From this scene, I learned that health care providers should never dehumanize their patients under any circumstances. In addition, health care providers should treat patients with respect and

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