Opening in theaters this Friday from director Peter Nicks, Open’Hood and CPB is a look at an emergency room night with THE WAITING ROOM.
This film tells the story of Highland Hospital in Oakland, California and an evening in the emergency room. It is a national epidemic that more and more Americans have no medical insurance. With job losses and cut backs there are more people that turn to the emergency room to help.
From a jobless father who has to travel great distance to be with his ill daughter, to a young man who finds from another hospital that he has a testicular tumor but must leave because he doesn’t have insurance, to a carpet layer with back pain who has lost wages and work to illegal immigrants the E.R. sees them.
The nurses see patients such as the man who comes with a drug problem and people around him are tired of helping, and finally a man who is so tired that he’d rather die than deal with the medical problems he faces one more day.
This is the reality of being ill in America.
FINAL WORD: It is quite easy to see how this film is so relatable. Ask any American who has been without insurance and you will hear fear in their voice. This film also shows the viewer of people waiting for six to eight hours to see a doctor, wait even longer when there is an influx of gunshot victims.
The staff must deal with the patients as the conversations vary from being supportive, sharing wait times, frustrations, stories of pain, faith and most of all anger with a system that is failing them.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE WAITING ROOM three tubs of popcorn out of five. This are moments that hit close to home and moments no one wants to face. Watching patients make choices that no one should have to in a system that is controlled by those following the dollar.
I have been in an emergency room where there were beds filled and the staff had no choice but to put beds in the hall ways. Exposed physically yes, but also emotionally which in this writer’s opinion is more hurtful in this situation. This film comes as close to that feeling as it can.
Watching this film just reminds us that the United States needs to consider affordable health plans for its legal citizens. Public hospitals stretch themselves to the limit trying to help as many people as they are technically ‘allowed’ if the truth be told.
In the end – one hospital, hundreds of stories.
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