It's probably one of the pioneers in patient education, but the rosy picture it painted of tonsillectomy was bending the truth more than a triffle. Pediatric patients were told many half truths and outright fibs to gain their cooperation. Every old peds nurse knows that sneaky trick of telling little Peter Ponsil that it's time to check his temperature and then administering a painful intramuscular injection. That old Vistaril pre-op shot used to burn like a branding iron Misleading youngsters to gain their cooperation was just plain wrong, but I never had much of a say with older nurses.
Peter Ponsil conveniently neglected to mention some of the complications and post op
The most unusual complication I witnessed involved removing the uvula along with a tonsil. The surgeon told the family not to worry because the little thing hanging down in the back of the throat was unnecessary and just got in the way. He was half right - it did indeed get in the way of his snare.
Another youngster had to make an emergent trip back to the OR for a bronchoscopy because the eschar sloughed off a tonsillectomy wound and lodged in his right main stem bronchus. I think our friend Peter Ponsil would be singing a different tune post-bronchoscopy.
Our pediatric unit was divided into 3 separate wards: pre-op, post-op, and isolation which was affectionately known as the diarrhea ward. The unsuspecting kids in pre-op frolicked about in their Johnny Coats consumed by blissful ignorance courtesy of Peter Ponsil and his ilk. Post-op was where the reality of the situation reared it's ugly head. Kids howling in pain suddenly aware of how deceitful their friend, Pete, had been. The more rambunctious were even restrained on papoose boards. Peter Ponsil was a spin doctor of the highest order.
There was a great deal of deception in old school healthcare and Peter Ponsil bunches it all up in his little song that represents an entourage of hospital falsehoods. From nurses telling patients that a Bicillin injection would feel like a mosquito bite to surgeons obscuring an ominous finding, half truths and outright deception was everywhere. The pain word was beclouded by referring to it as discomfort. Of course this was all done for the patient's own good.