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Health Care Facility reviews in Beltsville

  • D
    Laurel Regional Hospital
    I woke up Friday morning with a sharp pain in my arm that spread to my chest.  My wife drove me  to the emergency room at Laurel, which is close to our house.  There were few other patients there, so they saw me right away.  An EKG and a blood test quickly showed that it probably was not a heart attack, and another blood test six hours later firmly established that.  They gave me 1 mg of morphine, but that didn't really alleviate the pain.  From 11:00 until 12:30, they ignored me as the pain got worse.  It turns out that they do have nurse call buttons, but they neglected to give one to me, and I was in too much pain to yell.
    The emergency room kept me until 4:00 for observation, then the doctor strongly urged me to spend the night in a hospital room.  I was still in pain, so I made the mistake of saying yes.  I was hoping they might diagnose and treat whatever was wrong with me, but they made no effort to do that.  Rather, they just kept doing expensive tests (EKG, blood tests, echocardiogram) to make extra sure it wasn't a heart attack.  Mercifully, the one cardiologist that I saw cancelled a scheduled stress test, saying it was not immediately required.  Every staff member who saw that raised an eyebrow, as if to say, "Doesn't this guy know the hospital administrator's marching orders?"
    I shared a semi-private room with a man who apparently was on his death bed, surrounded by relatives he didn't recognize.  The staff exploited the fact that he was incoherent to enter his room in pairs between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. to gossip.
    At 8:30 the next morning, the pain had largely subsided, so I asked to be promptly discharged.  But they would not remove the Holter monitor from my chest or the IV from my arm, so I was a prisoner to their further tests.  They finally let me out at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.  I have not yet seen the bill, and I hope that CareFirst will negotiate it down, but I am preparing for a battle.
    - Robert R.
  • B
    Mercy Hospital
    We were not pleased to be sitting in a waiting area for so long while they cleaned a room for us. Why did it take so long? We selected Mercy in part because several of the rooms have baths and we wanted a water birth, but since they were filled to capacity, we did not get a room with a bath. We were told that the woman who arrived after us had to give birth in the triage office!
    When we got to the room, we were given no orientation. We could not find the bathroom or any way to call the nurse. There was just a big monitor asking us to click here to start, so we assumed that was the orientation, but we could not find the remote control unit! When the nurse finally came in and gave us the remote, the system turned out to be nothing but entertainment, which was the last thing we needed! Very frustrating start.
    Fortunately things went much better after that, and the birth went well (albeit more painful than if we had had a bath). Everyone was very responsive to our birth plan. The nurse who came on duty at 7 a.m. was wonderful.
    The mother/baby room was very nice and spacious. All the rooms are private. You are constantly being interrupted by someone wanting to check mom or baby or get information or drop off a meal, so you can't get much sleep, but that's the nature of the situation. They were filled to capacity, so they could not staff the nursery at night, so baby slept (and cried) with us. Dad could sleep on the couch, which was adjacent to windows which let in a cold draft. The lactation consultant was very helpful but not available on the weekend. The beautiful rooftop garden was locked even though the weather was nice.
    The facilities at Mercy are newly renovated and beautiful, so it's very popular. It's hard to know whether the crowding we experienced is the norm or just one of those statistical fluctuations you expect due to the random timing of childbirth. It would be nice if they published statistics on, for example, the percentage of patients who want baths that get them, but since they do not collect such information, that won't happen. That said, we were pleased with our experience.
    - Robert R.
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Health Care Facilities in Beltsville

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