Sunday, March 1, 2009

The "bergie bath"

Sometimes the patients are really very very poor. Indigent in fact. So indigent that no-one cares for them and they are unable to care for themselves. So destitute that they cannot afford to wash themselves...for months. These patient's somehow manage to make it to hospital.

The day hospital is the one place they can come to where people will care about them. That's not not saying much if this place is better than being at home.

We wash them here.

In the place called the "bergie bath"

It's an open area with a hosepipe. They strip, and then we hose them down. with a hose. It's a barbaric act of kindness but it's necessary. Sometimes they have body lice. Body lice really scares me. I had an HIV positive TB riddled patient exactly like this who got hosed down, because the other insensitive patients in the queue complained viciously about the way my patient smelled. One of the nurses phoned her husband who brought him a bag of old, but clean clothes to wear once he was thoroughly washed.

What the hell is NOT happening in this country in order for a "bergie bath" to be necessary. It's shameful and pathetic.

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