Common Sense Ain't So Common Anymore

As evidence, I present the letter I have written to the Hospital Commander here (and that includes a cc to the Garrison Commander, the Patient Advocate, the post paper, and the Army Family Action Planning committee:

August 1, 2006

Schofield Barracks, HI XXXXX

FROM: HomefrontSix

RE: Radiology Department regulations with regard to children

Dear Colonel,

I am writing to bring your attention to a policy in the Radiology Department that I believe is impractical and unfair. My son came down with a high fever on the night of July 31st, 2006. I was able to get a same-day appointment with Dr. XXXXXX on August 1, 2006. Based on my son’s symptoms, he ordered an immediate chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia. When I arrived at the Radiology Department, I was informed that my son would NOT be able to receive the x-rays that the doctor deemed necessary because I also had my 4 year old daughter with me at the time.

I was told that I needed to secure child care for her and return to the Radiology Department once I had done so. In the mean time, my son was refused treatment.

I understand the reasoning and logic behind a policy such as this but, given the fact that a large portion of the soldiers at Schofield Barracks - my husband included - are currently deployed to the Middle East, this policy is impractical and irresponsible. Had my son actually had pneumonia, the doctor would have been unable to diagnose him and treat him because I was unable to have the x-ray performed. The Radiology Department and the health clinic need to have contingencies in place for situations such as this.

Had this been a routine or non-urgent matter, I would have secured child care for my daughter in advance either through the ASYMCA’s Children’s Waiting Room or at the CDC. However, my son’s illness came on suddenly and I did not have time nor did I have the ability to secure child care for my daughter. I also did not have a crystal ball to tell me that it would have been necessary as I did not know that the doctor would deem a chest x-ray necessary at the time.

It would have been so easy for one of the Radiology Department staff members to simply sit with my daughter for the 5 minutes that it took for my son’s x-rays to be completed. However, I was dismissed with the statement that the department’s policy is unbendable. This is unacceptable and irresponsible. What if this had been a life or death situation? Would my son have been denied care because I had no one to look after my 4 year old daughter for 5 minutes while her father is deployed to a war zone? How is that justifiable?

There needs to be some kind of contingency set up for situations such as this. Thankfully, a nurse from the Family Practice Clinic was able to accompany us and sit with my daughter so my son could be x-rayed. And thankfully he does not have pneumonia. However, had we been unable to find someone WILLING to help us, we would not know that he does not have pneumonia.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter. You may reach me at the phone number or e-mail address listed below.



Again, don't piss the red head off.


- hfs

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