The first time I heard this was from a friend’s husband. We both stood in front of the check-in desk in the radiology department at our local Children’s Hospital. We just happened to be there at the same time for very different, yet very similar reasons.
At the check in desk, no one sat. It was empty. No signage to otherwise direct the incoming traffic of parents who are checking in their children with apprehensive, fear, or denial. There was no one available to move us forward to our next step in our own journeys. We stalled, waiting….
“HST” he says to me.
I smiled, “What’s HST?” I asked.
“Hospital Standard Time. They run on their own time.”
… and while I sit here and wait, 95 minutes past the LATEST time they predicted to remove J’s EVD…almost 2 hours after the numbing meds were added to his scalp, I find myself frustrated because he was right.
I think of all the procedures, appointments and consultations that we’ve sat waiting in this hospital. Sometimes the waiting was minimal, they were as courteous and respectful of our time as they would want us to be for theirs. The minor exception comes within areas like the radiology or surgical units (though there, a little nudging can get you far).
Then there’s inpatient… where you have to be MORE than patient.
The nurses are sometimes helpless, left to the whims of the doctors, seemingly distracted by… being a doctor. In this case, asking our nurse to prep our son to get his EVD removed. 2 hours ago. For a procedure that was supposed to happen about 2 hours before that…. which means, we’ve been waiting 4 hours for a procedure, 2 with meds on board; meds wear off.
We have been left to wait, to feel helpless to move forward in our journey or to plan our evening’s recovery. It is late enough for J to reach complete exhaustion, and for my apprehension of his impending discomfort (aka pain) to run amuck. While there are ‘reasons’ and scenarios this happens often enough that I’m left to believe that yes, they’re on Hospital Standard Time.
What’s your experience with HST?
Gina is the owner / editor, and lead author of Special Happens. She resides in Colorado where she is a wife and mother of 3, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the SPD Foundation. You can read more about her here.