life stories

the center of the universe is the brain

Archive for the month “June, 2009”

Experiencing Heathcare 1

Health care. Say those two words to any American and you’re likely to hear a horrifying story. It will be a story of care gone wrong or of care being absent or care givers not caring. It will be a story that will make your blood boil.

We cannot fix improve our health care system by complaining about it in terms of a system. Each instance of a problem, no matter how minor, is a demonstration of a process, a person, a policy, a methodology, a passively accepted culture that needs to change.

In a series of short blog posts I will write about some of the problems we encountered that, if changed would have an immediate positive impact on patient care.

1. UNDERSTAFFING

I have a few wonderful stories of doctors, nurses, social workers and others who have put in their all and really demonstrated their passion for their work as they tended to my mother’s care. However, most of the experiences in this journey involve a disheartening lack care, inaccessible services and even demonstrations of a complete lack of knowledge from doctors.

One particular problem has been consistent over the last six months since Mom broke her hip. There is a lack of quality care on the weekends.

Each facility Mom has utilized – hospital, rehab and nursing homes – have lacked weekend staff. One would reasonably expect that the administrative staff work Monday through Friday. The patients don’t leave on the weekends yet the ratio of direct care staff to patients is much lower and supervision is minimal.

How many times does a patient have to say, “I push the button and no one comes” before someone takes notice?

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Kick It Up

Oh how I cherish the taste of the old fashioned Rice Krispie Treat. But what is wrong with this, the “Original Recipe?”

1/4 c margerine
10 oz marshmallows
6 c Rice Krispies cereal

Then you melt and mix and flatten it all into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

I’ll tell you what’s wrong. It’s damn boring and makes thin, chintzy treats that lack substance! I confess that I don’t care for most of the variations on the original. Chocolate, peanut butter, candy added… none really compliment or blend with the foundation. A simple change, something subtle but…

Oh come on! Who am I to be saying this? The original Rice Krispie Treat couldn’t possibly be improved upon. But try this:

6 Tbsp butter
15 oz marshmallows
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
9 c (8.1 oz) Rice Krispies Cereal

On low heat melt the butter in sauce pan (or ideally, your Breville electric wok), add marshmallows and stir your hungry little heart out. As the marshmallows start to smooth, add vanilla and keep stirring until everything smooths out. Add in cereal about 1/3 at a time and stir until evenly mixed. You may want to turn off the heat while stirring.

Press mixture into a greased (or buttered or oiled) 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Allow to cool and set-up and then indulge!

I leave this recipe in your capable hands. Enjoy!

End Note: In case you’re an impatient sugarmonger such as myself, put the pan in the refrigerator to speed up set-up. Otherwise, the vanilla keeps the marshmallow gooey for… just way too long.

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