Who’s Ground First?

When you have to meet up with someone it’s always good to know the area you’re going to.  When you’re meeting up with someone at a hospital, it’s best to have it pretty much memorized.  But what happens when the building itself make the meeting even more difficult?

My stepfather went in for a wonderful “so you’re at that age are you?” day procedure at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital.  Let’s just say it involved scopes at both ends.  For obvious reasons, not being awake during these procedures is more than ideal, so since he would be waking up from an hour long Michael Jackson nap I offered to drop him off and pick him up when it was all said and done.

This is the point where I say there were absolutely no issues with the staff or procedures that happened at WLMH.  Everything happened right on time, no hitches, no issues, good to go.  I did however take issue with one interesting floor planning decision.  More importantly the floor naming decision.

When I dropped him off, we just pulled up to the front of the building, he got out, and we drove away.  We didn’t have to actually step foot in the building.  When we picked him up we got to do the “drop off/pick up” parking, which is unbelievably free.  FREE.  At a Niagara Region hospital!  Good thing we were at a hospital because I may have needed treatment for shock.

Like a unicorn next to a waterfall...

We walked into the hospital and checked for directions for day surgery.  I know there’s no way to under-complicate a building directory when there’s so many things happening, but it took about 20 seconds of scanning and re-scanning before we saw it:

“Day Surgery – First Floor.”

Seeing as we’d walked in from the parking lot straight to the sign, my mother and I figured it was straight ahead and to the left.  After walking to the end of the hall and turning the corner, we surmised we might not be in the right place.  If the patients in that hallway were there for day surgery, those doctors must’ve had some magical medicine at their disposal.  Trying not to breathe too deeply, we asked the closest scrub-clothes wearer the location of day surgery.

“You want to take the elevator to the first floor, and it’s all the way down the hallway.”

Wait.  We’re not already on the first floor?

The  WLMH does something that I’ve seen at other buildings, and I have NO idea why.  The floor you enter that’s at street level is the GROUND floor, and the next floor up is the FIRST floor.  B is still for Basement.  At least, I hope it is, maybe it’s “B for Beneath the Ground.”

We took the elevator, walked the hall, grabbed our Propofoled patient and were on our way.  All’s well that ends well…

…but seriously?  Someone explain that to me.  I walk into a building from street level.  You can call that the ground floor if you want.  It is also the first floor.  It’s the first one I can walk around on when I come from the street.  When I go up a floor, that would make it the second floor.  I have already walked on one floor, going up a level makes it the next, or second.  You want to go ground and second?  Fine.  You want to go first and second?   Even better.  Ground-first-second?  Why not call it the fifth?  Maybe they’re being named by level of importance:  Trauma is on the 5th floor, so it’s 1st, making the 4th the 2nd because it’s got recovery and day surgery, the 3rd is the 8th because it’s maintenance, 1st…who’s on 1st?   The basement is the balcony, 7th is 9th, 8th is…

Cross Eyed

Good thing I’m at a hospital.


  One thought on “Who’s Ground First?

  1. January 9, 2014 at 9:43 am

    That’s baffling and I see it all the time! Hotels are bad about it too. As if people can be expected to think when they’re on vacation pft!

    • January 9, 2014 at 9:51 am

      The only vacation floor I’ve ever found with any consistency is in the bathroom. And yet I can hardly remember any of them…


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