San Juan Regional Medical Center Complaint - Causing a big stink!

Review by 120719 on 2010-04-22
FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO -- My wife has life long asthma. She controls it fairly well. But on occasion, she'll get sick and her asthma symptoms are heightened. The complaint she has the most, and sadly I cannot relate, is that when she is having these attacks any strong perfume or cologne makes it UNBEARABLE! I'm not allowed to wear aftershave, cologne, bathroom airfreshners, table top cleaners, etc...I've spoken to other asthmatics and they share the same sentiment. The first thing that we noticed upon checking in at the hospital was the strong perfume odor every nurse carried. It was almost as if they were having a contest as to which could saturate themselves the most. We asked if they had any "neutral" nurses, and they just about laughed in our faces. During my travels through this crazy universe of ours, I made a temporary stop and was employed in the cardiopulmonary department of a hospital. It was policy for all staff to not wear perfume or cologne because of it's overbearing and intrusive tendencies towards others "air space". This has happened on several trips to the E. R. and so forth. I'm not sure what department would handle such a complaint? Who would I have to talk to or lobby against to incorporate this policy? Any suggestions would be helpful.
Comments:13 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-04-22
Posted by MRM on 2010-04-22:
First thing first, from your previous post, did you ask them why they keep on asking you your information on very visits.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-04-22:
I cannot STAND people who saturate themselves with cologne/perfume, but I also can't stand people who refuse to bathe for days on end.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-04-22:
MRM just can't let it go can!
Posted by BEJ on 2010-04-22:
I my particular hospital is is forbidden for staff to wear perfumes or colognes. In most hospitals it is that way today. Perhaps the manager does not care to enforce that particular rule. Ask the next time you go in if staff are permitted to wear colognes/perfumes.
Posted by Pepper on 2010-04-22:
if the nurse laughs in your face about your concern, then contact the hospital/clinic administrator.

explain that your wife's medical condition makes her very sensitive to the smells. That the worker in question was so drenched in perfume that you yourself - without asthma - found it difficult to be near her... and that your wife could not breathe.

and let them know that when you requested a different employee to handle your case, so that your wife could at least breathe without having an respiratory shock, that the employee laughed in your face.

Remember - your wife has rights as a patient. Legal rights.

The right to breathe should not be taken away, just because some employee doesn't freakin understand the concept of "leave the perfume at home".

I once tried being a nurse, but didn't last the schooling. I do however remember that patient's rights are very important. And that we had strict rules on how our hair had to be up, and about not smelling like a ****-house.
Posted by idontthinkso on 2010-04-22:
Everything is colored by experience. Being in customer service, every angry person with a complaint has been treated "Horribly". There are always two sides to a story, and I'm sure the nurse who "laughed" would describe the exchange differently.

That being said, I work at hospitals all the time. The staff and the care level vary greatly from site to site. One common theme is that they are all scared pantless of lawsuits. Every site I've been to has an HR person and a method for lodging complaints about patient care.

Documentation will help you in any portion of your life, but it is ESSENTIAL to making anything happen in this situation.

Who was the Nurse you dealt with?
Who was in charge of the floor at that time?
Where is your full paperwork?

If you've lost part or all of the issued paperwork, don't have the staff member's names involved, don't know exact times... you'll have problems pursuing this.

One other thing, You didn't mention asking for a supervisor. There ALWAYS is one, they may not be agreeable/available/competent but it's usually the way most problems start to get fixed.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-04-22:
I get headaches from strong colognes and perfumes so, I tend to stay away from people like that. Heck I don't even know how they can handle it.

Tell your wife to never go in to a Abercrombie and fitch store. The spray perfume and cologne everywhere even on the cloths.
Posted by Pepper on 2010-04-22:
personally i think the staff should use the same rules that we had for the choirs i've been a part of (both my church choir and for the giant college choir i was in)

the rules being that while performing on stage (college choir) or singing for mass (church) - since we'd be all stuck around each other for well over an hour...

no perfumes or colognes allowed
just basic soaps, deodorant, and dental hygiene.

cos you really don't wanna make the person next to you gag.
Posted by momsey on 2010-04-22:
I work in a nursing home, and the official word in the employee handbook is "no perfume/cologne, etc." However, everyone does it, including some of the aides who work closely with the residents. There's one aide who must bathe in the cheapest perfume she can find every morning, because she about knocks me out with her stench every time she comes in my office, and the scent lingers for minutes after she leaves.

It really should be an enforced rule in any healthcare facility. You should complain to the administration office.
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2010-04-22:
Maybe they should ban AXE deodorant. I heard of many people who literally mask their body odor by spraying themselves with AXE. The scent of both B.O. and AXE don't agree with me one bit. Spraying yourself with AXE is not a substitute for bathing or showering. Just my 3 cents on the perfume/cologne matter.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-04-22:
I spray myself with AXE all the time it smells good. And I bathe also so thata a plus.
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2010-04-22:
I do like the smell of AXE after a shower; however, too many people do use the product as a substitute for bathing. AXE is marketed to the teenagers/twentysomethings. I sort of nickname AXE as a "slacker shower", since some people do try to mask their body odor with it.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-04-22:
I spray my AXE with WD-40 to keep it from rusting. 'Course ya gotta wipe it off.

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