I love the VAH's or Veterans Administration Hospitals! Especially because I am out of work and have no other insurance. I find the care is better than some HMO's I have had in the past but with these differences:
Instead of calling 911 for an emergency. The Veteran must put on his old uniform and lay in his yard and scream MEDIC at the top of his lungs until help arrives.
When the helicopter comes, the Veteran must be sure to strap himself/herself securely in the basket. If it is a long trip the crew will pull up the basket into the helicopter. If it is short trip the basket will not be brought up fully into the "Chopper" and it is advised for short trips to strap oneself face down in the basket in case of air sickness. Also wear warm clothing.
For regular appointments get there early so you can wait. Do not be discouraged there are televisions to watch, magazines, a mess hall, which closes at 3 PM, and retired people who are hard of hearing, partcially blind and have arthritis to wait on all Veterans. These employees are usually retired from part time work at McDonalds Resturants.
While waiting one can talk to the other Veterans. Learn about the Korean War, World War II, WWI, Civil and Spanish American War. As Veterans become older soon there will be Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, and Desert Storm Veterans which will add to one seeking knowledge of more current wars.
Veterans in wheel chairs are the best people for information about these wars. It is also interesting to watch Veterans argue and disagree about their outfits during these wars. Common arguments involve which Veteran was in the most dangerous place during a war. Sometimes wheel chair Veterans play chicken in their wheel chairs to settle arguments. This is especially interesting because usually their legs have no feeling and the crashes they create are better than NASCAR.
It is also not uncommon to see people on crutches arguing with the wheel chair Vets and sometimes pulling the air tubes out of each other machines.
A young woman is usally not a nurse but a relative with a old rich Vet.
If a Vet argues with a Receptionist, Secretary, Doctor or Nurse, Security intervines and the Vet must wait an extra hour for his medication in the Pharmacy. If the Vet causes a serious situation he must return his medication and come back the next day to retrive it from the Pharmacy.
No VA Doctor is an American Citizen. Sometimes the doctor is a Veteran of the same War the Veteran was in but on the opposite side or what would then be called the enemy. So it is with the upmost importance that the Vet be friendly to all senior medical personnel.
The Vet must be able to understand, Indian, Eastern, Asian and some European languages.
After getting a blood test the Veteran must be sure to get his free breakfast meal ticket before a politician gets wind of it and tries to take it away.
The Vet does not have to worry about parking in handicapped spaces because all the spaces are handicapped spaces.
Hospital beds in a VA hospital are plentiful because no one is allowed to use them.
Some transportation, non-emergency, is provided to the Vets that have no other means to get to the VA hospital. Sometimes frequent stops are made by the Vet as he/she watches the Van pull away without them as they try to catch it.
Never assume that the Vet sitting next to you is sleeping.
The 50-50 tickets sold in the VA Hospital to raise money for Vets does pay off.
Till some other time