Our ward has an official capacity of 40 patients but we frequently swell to more than 70. Sick children and their caretakers can occupy nearly every foot of free space.
Last year, I had to make my way through each patient, quickly examining them and hurrying through a plan. It was poor care to say the least. However, this year, each doctor (there are four of us) takes only two rooms and we spend quality time getting to know each story.
I’ve had a maximum of 25 patients and on some days, I have only eight or nine. Now I have time to ask more important questions, teach the nurses, walk the junior doctors through difficult cases AND sit down for lunch at noon.