They're cold, they smell like disinfectant, and they have dead bodies in the basement. What else do you need to know about hospitals, other than the fact that they're where you end up if shit hits the fan?
A lot, actually. Nurses -- you know, the hard-working professionals who do the dirty work of keeping you alive -- have to put up with tons of literal and metaphorical crap at their job. The least you can do is try to understand the realities of their work environment (and your healing environment!). Here's what five nurses wish more people knew about hospitals.
Hospitals are frigid and bare-bones for a reason
Hospital rooms aren't exactly hotels, but couldn't things be just a little more inviting? Sure, they could… and you could invite a staph infection. "The bare-bones decor of rooms is so it's easier to clean and thereby sterilize," says Jennifer*, a nurse in New Orleans. "It's cold for a reason -- to kill bacteria. It can't survive in cold temperatures."
Don't expect a good night's sleep, either: "You will not get much rest -- inpatients typically have their vital signs checked every four hours," says Nancy Brook, RN, MSN, a nurse practitioner and educator at Stanford Hospital and Clinics.