On the one hand, I love being to go where I want to go without anyone asking me what I’m up to. On the other hand, when someone I care about is in the hospital, it’s alarming to know others could be going where they want to as well without anyone asking what they are up to.
I was at Enloe Medical Center in Chico as a visitor on consecutive days in July to be with someone having elective surgery. (She’s fine, thanks.)
No visitor badge required.
No escort required to get me to her room.
I came and went through different entrances and no one asked me what I was doing at the hospital. I walked directly to the elevators, got off on the appropriate floor, wandered around until I found the correct room, and entered the room as someone was exiting—we exchanged hellos. At no time did anyone ask who I was, who I was visiting, what I was doing, or even if they could help me locate the patient.
Coming from South Lake Tahoe this is not what I was used to. Volunteers at Barton Memorial Hospital’s courtesy desk don’t let you go by without confirming why you are there—patient or visitor. Everyone without a badge gets stopped.
I know I couldn’t get onto every floor or wing at Enloe. In fact, one person said how security is the most restrictive where the babies are. And when I was trying to figure out where the exit was doors opened to another wing; there someone said I could not walk through them without authorization. They pointed me to the exit.
Still, what I was left with was being surprised I had the kind of access I had to the hospital. I’m sure there were cameras everywhere. I’m also guessing that footage isn’t going to be useful until after someone does something bad as opposed to someone monitoring the camera images in real time.
I would prefer signing in as I enter a hospital, even having to check out. My goodness, I have to do that to walk dogs at the humane society. And while I think most dogs are more important than most people, when it’s my mom in the hospital, well, I don’t want just anyone to be able to enter her room. And that wasn’t the case at Enloe.