ipad or tablet for hospital?

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Merrilee
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ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by Merrilee » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:07 am

What's out there for an older patient with a long hospital stay ahead?
The caregiving spouse uses mac, the patient uses pc. They don't have smart phones.

Not super tech savvy, but they do have some experience and they do use FB, etc to keep up with friends far and wide (ex-Navy).

I'm not sure what options to consider - any input appreciated. I will be able to get it set up for them, but not around for any day to day issues.

Thank you

ResearchMed
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:20 am

Merrilee wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:07 am
What's out there for an older patient with a long hospital stay ahead?
The caregiving spouse uses mac, the patient uses pc. They don't have smart phones.

Not super tech savvy, but they do have some experience and they do use FB, etc to keep up with friends far and wide (ex-Navy).

I'm not sure what options to consider - any input appreciated. I will be able to get it set up for them, but not around for any day to day issues.

Thank you
Will you be able to arrange some sort of tethering (physical, not electronic), so the device doesn't wander away while patient is sleeping or out of the room for an MRI or something like that?
Maybe something with some length that works like a "lock" and could be wrapped once around a bed rail?
I think those usually need a device that has one of the lock connector/holes (yeah... technical terms :oops: )

RM
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Merrilee
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by Merrilee » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:30 am

I was planning to ask today about the hospital wifi - is there any and is it fast enough? And I was also going to ask about "security" for lack of a better word. The patient will be in a somewhat restricted part of the hospital.

So I need lock suggestions and also a protective, easy to clean case.

jebmke
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by jebmke » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:36 am

As far as I know, physically locking a tablet would require gluing something to the tablet. Perhaps they have a lockable drawer in the room. In any case, if it were me I'd buy an inexpensive or used tablet and load only what is absolutely needed and implement a lock screen and encryption (Android has this built in). I would never use portable devices for any financial activity but I certainly wouldn't leave one lying around a hospital room that had any reference to financial systems (bank, Amazon, credit cards...).
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

ibanda
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by ibanda » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:52 am

I think hospitals generally have pretty good wifi for patients and guests these days. They are aware how much time patients and patient visitors spend there and it is one thing they can provide to help pass the time.

I do not have any specific model recommendations but there are some good 10" android tablets starting at $170. Ipads for about $350. I know if I were going to be convalescing for a few weeks I would like to have one to surf the web and read, just watch the patient's outbound messaging.

A word of warning. We held onto my Dad's phone when he went in for heart surgery in February. We gave it back to him 2 days later when he went off morphine. My Dad is one of those types you can't argue with at all. Well they put him on hydracodone and he started texting his banker and trying to make deals. He was hallucinating and sending unintelligible texts, a bad combination! Watchout for the keeping in touch while the patient is on pain meds.

jebmke
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by jebmke » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:57 am

ibanda wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:52 am
He was hallucinating and sending unintelligible texts, a bad combination! Watchout for the keeping in touch while the patient is on pain meds.
And some anesthetics/sedatives can really do a number on your short term memory so you can make a fool of yourself over and over and over and not even know it.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Rupert
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by Rupert » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:02 am

I'd go with a relatively inexpensive tablet, such as a Kindle Fire, paired with a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime. Then the person would have access to tons of books, magazines, and music and video streaming, plus the usual Facebooking and general internet surfing. They can drop the Prime subscription after a month if they won't use it again. And I think a Kindle is less likely to be stolen than an Apple product.

S&L1940
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by S&L1940 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:23 am

from personal experience (sad), hospitals usually have a "guest" WiFi sign in and a standard disclaimer about personal items of value. A locked device is no protection - except for preventing usage when "borrowed" - unable to use the device someone would simply toss the item, not return it. You may need a cell phone to reach long distance relatives. I would stick with a newspaper and a book and the kindness of strangers... Friend had an iPad, a nurse accidentally smacked the screen when moving it out of the way to care for him; he did not complain, still uses it as a spare :(
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ResearchMed
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:31 am

S&L1940 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:23 am
from personal experience (sad), hospitals usually have a "guest" WiFi sign in and a standard disclaimer about personal items of value. A locked device is no protection - except for preventing usage when "borrowed" - unable to use the device someone would simply toss the item, not return it. You may need a cell phone to reach long distance relatives. I would stick with a newspaper and a book and the kindness of strangers... Friend had an iPad, a nurse accidentally smacked the screen when moving it out of the way to care for him; he did not complain, still uses it as a spare :(
Re: The "lock" comment. That was stated as "physical" (e.g., attached cable), not electronic.
To avoid someone taking it, to keep OR to throw away.

But yes, there are many ways to damage it, with "help" or not. :(
So the less expensive, the better, for a variety of reasons.

And good point above about if someone has a somewhat altered mind... But who would monitor?

RM
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jebmke
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by jebmke » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:35 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:31 am
And good point above about if someone has a somewhat altered mind... But who would monitor?
At a minimum, I'd keep any apps or information that would allow purchasing or transacting off the device. I know nothing about social media (what we think of as social media, e.g. twitter, facebook ...) because I have no use for them so I can't comment on how you stop someone from making a fool out of themselves on social media. It seems to be easy to do and difficult to stop.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Pajamas
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:50 am

The iPad IS a tablet and it is generally considered to be the best quality tablet. The newest iPad is comparatively inexpensive vs. older models at $329 and is recommended by a website whose reviews I generally trust:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/11/1612 ... id-windows

https://www.apple.com/ipad-9.7/

Do consider the internet connection availability as suggested above.

An alternative might be a "phablet" or large-format telephone, with service, especially if there is a fee for telephone or Wi-Fi in the hospital and they don't already have a cell phone.

An Amazon Fire HD 8 is an inexpensive tablet that would be a good alternative and fine for reading and internet browsing, and it wouldn't be the end of the world if it got lost or stolen, at $80. It is discussed lower in that same article.

https://www.amazon.com/s/?search-alias= ... B01J94SWWU

Best idea would be to ask the caregiving spouse if they need and want a tablet or similar in the hospital before buying them one.

Merrilee
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by Merrilee » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:29 am

Best idea would be to ask the caregiving spouse if they need and want a tablet or similar in the hospital before buying them one.

Oh, I completely agree, but I did want to bring ideas to them to mull over. I've seen ipads, because the school kids have them, but I had no idea how many more out are there nowadays. It is great to have so many choices. The Kindle Fire might be just the ticket. The patient loves to read, check facebook and watch videos. The caregiver handles the money, so I'm too worried about that, thank goodness.

mega317
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by mega317 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:37 am

If the patient uses a PC I'd stick with a PC. Who wants to learn a new operating system when they're in the hospital? Use their own laptop if they already have one, or one can easily be had for the price of an iPad or less.

Dottie57
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:47 am

Rupert wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:02 am
I'd go with a relatively inexpensive tablet, such as a Kindle Fire, paired with a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime. Then the person would have access to tons of books, magazines, and music and video streaming, plus the usual Facebooking and general internet surfing. They can drop the Prime subscription after a month if they won't use it again. And I think a Kindle is less likely to be stolen than an Apple product.
+1

rgs92
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by rgs92 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:04 pm

An Ipad is a tablet.

mhalley
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by mhalley » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:23 pm

I see a secure tablet case with lockable cable on amazon for 50 bucks. Considering you can get a 7 inch amazon fire tablet for 50 bucks, might be best to get a cheap tablet. I would say if you already had an expensive tablet it might be worthwhile to buy the case, but if you don't have one and don't want to spend the big bucks on an ipad it might not be worth it. Another option might be to just get a bicycle lock and thread it through a backpack or other small bag you already own.

rob65
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by rob65 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:59 pm

I second the Kindle Fire recommendation. Inexpensive enough that it's not the end of the world if it gets lost or damaged.

Might want to get it in advance so they can get comfortable with it.

The 30 day prime trial sounds like a good idea, just be sure to cancel if they don't want to keep it or it will auto-charge for the full year renewal. Might also check to see if their local library offers e-books for the kindle.

If they aren't used to the Amazon ecosystem, be aware that Amazon makes it very easy to buy things on the Kindle. That can be both good and bad.

Not sure the hospital is going to like the physical lock idea. Maybe in a storage shelf, but they aren't going to want anything attached to the bed that could interfere with emergency care.

Katietsu
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by Katietsu » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:40 pm

If the caregiver is used to the iphone, then an ipad is going to be the easiest transistion. If the caregiver/patient is older, smaller tablet might not be very pleasant for to look at. The dexterity and physical condition of the patient and the set up of the hospital can make a big difference as to the best option.

I have not run into a hospital without wifi. Most rehab, nursing, assisted living centers also have it though some do not.

I have spent way too much time in this arena in the last 5+ years. A full size iPad was a godsend for my MIL as a caregiver. She was able to take it back and forth and into waiting rooms, etc. I have seen patients who also do best with a tablet. On the other hand, a laptop can often be better for the patient because it can easily be supported on the tray. Holding a tablet or getting it stable on a stand are not always easy for a recuperating patient. The other advantage to a cheap laptop is that it has a low likelihood of anyone wanting to steal it.

I think an Android based tablet would have more of a possible ease of use problem for people who have never used an Android. I was comfortable paying double for an Apple phone or tablet for my DH. The alternative might have involved violence against a device.

PhysicsTeacher
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by PhysicsTeacher » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:58 pm

An iPad is a fantastic device, but for this purpose I cast another vote for a Kindle Fire. The Fire 7 is a perfectly adequate tablet, small enough to carry readily in a handbag, and cheap enough not to worry terribly about losing. The Fire 8 HD is probably even nicer, but I've never had my hands on one. Perhaps throw in an inexpensive micro sd card to download movies and shows at home in case hospital wifi isn't fast enough for streaming and some earbuds since the speaker might not be loud enough to hear over the din of monitors, roommates, etc. You might check whether the patient's local library offers ebooks and magazines for download as well.

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BL
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by BL » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:36 pm

Great ideas! I would also consider a small Chromebook for low cost and no viruses or uploads to deal with. Can she try some of these things ahead of time to see what works for her? It is no fun to learn complicated things in the hospital.

stlutz
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by stlutz » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:45 pm

If they aren't the sort who don't know how to get along w/o their phone/tablet, I would just skip the idea.

I spent a month in the hospital once and felt no need for an electronic device. Once I got to the point where I could move around more, there was a place where I could use a computer, which I did a number of times but not every day.

Physical magazines or books are a better idea.

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Ged
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by Ged » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:54 pm

I've been in the hospital overnight twice in the past couple of years, two different hospitals. I had a tablet with me both times. It was a great comfort. There was no problem with getting good wifi service and having use of the internet really helped alleviate the boredom of being confined considerably. The second time I brought both a tablet and a KIndle.

The only difficulty was charging the tablet. You may find that an electrical outlet is not in reach if you are flat on your back and tied into some sort of monitoring equipment. I'd suggest being prepared with a charger that has a long cord.

rgs92
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by rgs92 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:16 pm

Well, an Ipad would be a great idea if she is not too familiar with tablets because it's great opportunity to learn how to use one if you have nothing else to do. It's a great skill to have. It would give her a feeling of accomplishment and confidence to develop expertise on it.

The skill would carry over to the Iphone and all things Apple. (Maybe there will be a Macbook in her future...)

And the problem with the Kindle is she may start ordering things; the Kindle makes it super-easy to do that and it tempts you along the way (I had one).
And learning an Ipad is a much more useful skill since it is the Apple Operating System. Why waste this valuable opportunity to learn a skill on something as non-mainstream (and quite possible obsolete in the near future) as the Amazon/Kindle OS?

Remember the Amazon Fire Phone? It's a dead technology.

Tex1234
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by Tex1234 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:52 pm

If they are familiar with an iPhone I vote iPad too. Set them up with some free trials for Netflix and Hulu and download Facebook and they'll be set.

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BL
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by BL » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:29 pm

The more I think about it, the more I feel she would do well to keep what she is familiar with. It probably depends on her condition and also on her comfort with technologies.

I am using an Ipad now, but I prefer a keyboard. It got better when I discovered Chrome so I don't have to use Safari, which I dislike. I like it for Amazon music.

By the way Chromebooks batteries last about 10 hours.

You can get reconditioned laptops at prices around 200+ and new Chromebooks for even less.

Pluto9th
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by Pluto9th » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:48 pm

An elderly family member was in hospital/rehab for weeks recently and found her ipad mini a great way to keep in touch with outside world (keep up with news and contact with friends/family). Also it was a good conversation opener with the facility's staff she came in contact with. If the patient is able to use a tablet (or willing to learn - great boost to morale that way) and the stay is more than a few days, IMO it's well worth risking a loss of, say, $3-400 for a good, easy-to-learn-on tablet; also it would have been worth paying for a cellular tablet/data plan had the facilities not have wi-fi. If there's doubt about availability of wi-fi, call the hospital to find out.

If the patient is frail, a full-sized tablet might be too heavy.

To discourage theft, try "personalize" the tablet garishly - e.g. a hot-pink (or worse) cover; if a white ipad, use marker pen to write something like "Grandma's Tablet" on the margin; draw art work to make the whole thing look cheap.

Will likely need an extension cord to plug the tablet charger in. If the patient is not able to do it herself, enlist the help of visitors (pass the word about the need). Most of the time the hospital staff would be willing to help.

Good luck to your friend/relative for the upcoming hospital stay.

rgs92
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by rgs92 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:03 pm

You can use the Google Chrome or Firefox on and iPad easily. You don't have to use Safari.

takeshi
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by takeshi » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:42 am

Pretty much any device can easily handle the required usage.
Merrilee wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:07 am
I will be able to get it set up for them, but not around for any day to day issues.
From this perspective I would recommend an iPad.
Merrilee wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:07 am
What's out there for an older patient
...but from this I would recommend whatever the older patient is used to using. If the patient has never used a tablet, the iPad is still a solid option IMO though probably not the cheapest. Check into refurbs.

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gasdoc
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by gasdoc » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:23 am

I spend a lot of time in the hospital. I would purchase whatever gadget I would prefer at home (except not a desktop) to use in the hospital. Since most hospitals are going to electronic medical records, they have to have good wifi or the docs and nurses couldn't get their work done efficiently. Our hospital wifi has been continuously improved over the past 5 years because of these needs. I generally take an iPad when I spend the night in the hospital, but if I were going to stay long term, I would want the largest screen and keyboard I could get. I would probably lean toward a laptop, actually.

gasdoc

bungalow10
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by bungalow10 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:59 am

My mom is having back surgery and I just bought her an iPad. The reasons I went with an iPad are below...

1. iPads are easy to learn. She's not currently on the iPad platform, but there is plenty of help out there in the world for her, but she's savvy enough she will figure it out.
2. Heat - I absolutely did not want her in bed with a laptop or Chromebook - I don't want her bedding catching fire or her burning herself.
3. iPads are light weight and can easily be used with one hand or propped up.
4. iPads have gotten cheaper. I bought her a brand new one for $350. I think they had the same one at Costco for $320 this last week. You can hardly beat that, and after having had several Kindle Fires and one iPad myself, I much prefer the iPad.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.

bungalow10
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by bungalow10 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:00 am

One note on charging - do iPads work on those charging pads? the ones you don't have to plug the device itself in, you just lay it on top of the charger? Setting one of those up on a nightstand would be much simpler than leaving a cord hanging out.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.

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telemark
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by telemark » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:09 pm

Sorry to hear about the hospital stay. If possible, I suggest letting the patient get used to using the device beforehand. You might also consider adding headphones or small bluetooth speakers, the speakers in most tablets are not very good. Charging is a problem but in my experience the nurses are happy to help with that. The patient will probably do a lot of sleeping anyway.

mouses
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by mouses » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:25 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:20 am

Will you be able to arrange some sort of tethering (physical, not electronic), so the device doesn't wander away while patient is sleeping or out of the room for an MRI or something like that?
Maybe something with some length that works like a "lock" and could be wrapped once around a bed rail?
I think those usually need a device that has one of the lock connector/holes (yeah... technical terms :oops: )

RM
So now I know what the hole in the corner of my Nook HD+ is for. I would think some type of chain and secure lock would be fine for this. I use the Nook all the time for reading ebooks, and the increase font size feature make it more comfortable than reading paper books. I don't have wireless at home, so I don't use it for the web, but it does have that feature. I copy epub books onto it from my pc by using the USB connector which makes it look like an external hard drive to the pc. I have about 1000 books on it and plenty of space left for more. If he has just kindle books on his pc, Calibre will convert them to epub easily.

Merrilee
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by Merrilee » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:38 pm

a very belated thank you for the many helpful responses. The ipad got a lot of use, including people sending her photos of flowers from her yard. She loved "getting fresh flowers everyday."

toofache32
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Re: ipad or tablet for hospital?

Post by toofache32 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:18 am

ibanda wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:52 am
A word of warning. We held onto my Dad's phone when he went in for heart surgery in February. We gave it back to him 2 days later when he went off morphine. My Dad is one of those types you can't argue with at all. Well they put him on hydracodone and he started texting his banker and trying to make deals. He was hallucinating and sending unintelligible texts, a bad combination! Watchout for the keeping in touch while the patient is on pain meds.
I was thinking about this and have seen this multiple times in the hospital where I work. It's like "drunk texting". We had a patient with a gunshot wound to the face. He kept pulling off his bandages and posting "selfies" with half his face missing on facebook until the social workers took his phone away. Had another patient start texting me after his morphine shots that he wanted to give me his Fender Stratocaster signed by Stevie Ray Vaughan since the surgery went to well....

Lastly, many of my patients have temporary tracheostomies after surgery where they cannot speak for several days. Some will use a tablet with a stylus to write with for communication.

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