Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Northwell Health – A long night at the emergency room

So my boy appears to have gotten a nasty ear infection. We were gonna wait until the following day to go see a primary care doctor, but he said it hurt a lot so we went to the emergency room at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills.

I’ve been to this emergency room before and the process was fairly smooth. I mean, I’ve been to ERs in the Bronx and those were rough. By contrast, my experiences at this place have been okay. So I figured, it’s a Monday night, late, we should be in and out of there. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

We arrived at the hospital around midnight, and there was no one at the area we were, it was quiet, and I was thinking to myself, “Oh yeah, we are good.” Then they sent us in, and though there were a few people ahead of us already seated, it wasn’t enough to make me nervous, so again I thought to myself, “Oh yeah, we are good.”

Then one hour passed, two hours passed, three hours passed and nothing, not a single person was called or seen. Like seriously? What the heck y’all, ain’t no way in hell you have so many patients that there is this complete and utter lack of movement in the waiting room area.

Then after what felt like an eternity a doctor came by and saw a kid. She said he probably had an infection and prescribe antibiotics. An hour later she came and saw another kid, she said the same thing, not pneumonia, just an infection, here’s some antibiotics.

We saw cops come in for a kid who said he was assaulted. We witnessed more cops come in from the 102nd precinct and talk to the kid and his family. I witnessed a sergeant call b.s on the kid’s story and said he was lying. The sergeant said “this ain’t my first rodeo kid, you went to the school to start a fight, that’s not your school! You went there to start a fight, but you lost!” I mean, this dude was ripping into this kid. Either he’s a total jerk, or he knows the kid is full of crap. Either case was plausible.

Hours later we were the only ones remaining and now I thought to myself, “Oh yeah, we are not good.” This was getting beyond ridiculous, so I decided to channel my inner mom and went to inquire. What I mean by inner mom is that she wouldn’t take this crap and would have long ago let loose on this people for this abuse of our time and patience.

So I went over to what appeared to be the nurse’s station, she appeared surprised that someone had the guts to come over and interrupt what seemed to me as a nightly socializing session.

First she looked shocked and appalled, then she shifted into a smile and tried to be polite, “Can I help you sir?” Yes M’am, we’ve been here since midnight and its now 8am. Do you guys have my son on the list or queue and is anyone planning to see him today? I want to make sure he hasn’t been forgotten, I know you guys are very busy, but he’s in a lot pain and we’ve been here for a full days work shift. Do you guy’s have him in a queue or something?

She smiles, and looks on the system.

Yes, I see him here. A doctor has been assigned to his case and will be there. Uhm, is the doctor here or are they not in yet? She’s here, she’ll be there soon. Yes, I see, but it’s being over 8 hours and no one has checked on anything. Sorry about that, she’ll be there soon. Okay, thanks.

Eventually, after them looking for someone who was obviously gone over and over, to the point where I even said, “That person is gone, move on to the next one already, we are wasting time guys.”

Yeah, eventually a doctor comes over. She spends less than 3 minutes with my son and gives us antibiotics for his ear infection. Seriously, we spent over 8 hours there for a 3 minute solution which thus far hasn’t even helped my boy. Before we left, a nurse rushed over to take his vitals. This happened on our way out, something that should have probably happened before we were leaving I’m sure. SMH.

Oh, and then magically, as if out of the blue, this woman pops up to collect the $100 copay that we have to cover for the ER visit. I thought it was very funny how quickly and effectively they were about collecting their money, but not about getting the actual work done.

The woman went over to my son and said, “Hi, you have a $100 copay, we take cash, credit or check. How would you like to pay?” My son pointed to me, so the woman came over and repeated the same thing, no greeting, nada. Another strike for this place yo. After 8 or 9 hours, the least you could do is be polite.

So I said, credit card, “Okay, I’ll take your card. You guys sit here and I’ll come right back.” I said, “No, that’s fine, I’ll walk with you, your company here doesn’t seem very reliable in terms of getting things done in a timely fashion so I want to stay close so we can get out of here.” I could tell she didn’t like that, but I’m not gonna sit there for another 10 hours waiting for her to bring back my credit card. You want payment, I’m coming with you.

Besides, we are not trying to be all fake and nice here, right? We just trying to get things done. So let’s set aside the formalities and get things done.

Honestly y’all, I was extremely surprised at how crappy the service was here. It wasn’t like this before and I wonder if its due to new management or something. Are they understaffed? Lazy? I don’t know. However, as far as hospital visits go, this was one of the more painful ones I’ve experienced in a long time.


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Angel Rodriguez

Angel covers fitness, social issues, reviews, news & more! He's a veteran, tech and fitness pro which has been featured on Huffpo, NatGeo, NPR, NY1, HLN, Men's Fitness, MTV, & other major platforms. Angel is also Brazilian Jiujitsu White belt.
Angel Rodriguez

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