Medical Stuff

Health Services in Richmond/Redwood

There are two major medical service centres in my sim-world.  They double as the workplace settings for my medical career sims, and as photo setttings for sims experiencing medical dramas.  They are unowned community lot, so I can just send the relevant sims there for pictures and teleport in anyone from a different household.

The main hospital is in Redwood City, with all the various inpatient and outpatient services you'd expect in a major city hospital.  Bluewater Village has only a GP service, but there is a second medical centre, in Richmond.  It has an accident and emergency clinic but no inpatient facilities - anyone needing admission to hospital is transferred to the city hospital.  It also has a non-urgent appointment-based GP service, and specialists from the city hold booked clinics there.

The second clinic actually came about because I had two sims who both had the Chief of Staff lifetime want, and I didn't want one to achieve it at the expense of the other.  So I opened a second clinic :)  In-story, the first sim to achieve Chief of Staff is actually the senior as the Richmond Clinic is an auxiliary of the main hospital ... the second Chief of Staff (of the clinic) works below him.

Where I imagine any particular sim working depends on their level in the career and where they live.  For example, in my sim-world you can easily travel between Richmond and Redwood or Bluewater Village, but its not practical to commute from Bluewater to the city... Bluewater has only a GP service so any medical sim living there who is, say, a surgeon, would have to move to the city as you'd only have surgeons at the main hospital.

In-Game illness, Physical

One thing that bothered me a lot in the game, was the way it worked with illnesses and with someone saved from death.  I wasn't too bothered by the actual act of someone being saved from death - it happens all the time in r/l, just ask any paramedic or emergency room worker - but what bothered me was the way the victim would just get up and go eat dinner or whatever, like nothing had ever happened.  So I decided to create some consequences, which I later extended to include other accidents and illnesses in my sim world.

I came up with a one to five random number ‘Sickness Roll’, that I use every time a sim is saved from death, or has an accident (in-game like electrocution or whatever, or ROS-induced), or experiences an illness severe enough to make them think of gravestones.   (If you use the lot debugger, most illnesses have a death severity of 120, and the sim will start thinking of gravestones around current severity of 100 or more... so, pretty bad).

I use a random number generator program, and the different numbers have different consequences, although the exact details can vary depending on the individual story:
One:  the sim recovers quite quickly, with no ill effects - in r/l, they might visit the emergency room or the doctor, then come home and get over it in a day or two. 
Two a little more serious, maybe a day or two in hospital, but not a huge deal really. 
Three: we're starting to worry about them here, and they're in hospital quite a bit longer. 
Four: it’s life-threatening now, an extended hospital stay, and something that will probably shake the family up for a while, too (I love exploring the consequences for other characters too, not just the sim who rolls the thing).  They’ll maybe lose some active or body points or go down a fitness level… and maybe there'll be some long-term physical effects, like some kind of ongoing disability or something, too.
Five: Pretty much as for a four, except that there’ll definitely be long-term effects.  The biggest difference is, there's a second random roll for a sim unlucky enough to get a five.  I roll another number between one and five.  If its another five, the sim doesn't survive - you've got to be pretty unlucky to get two fives in a row, I guess we have good doctors here :)  But I still want some element of risk (My only sim to ever roll a five was James Centowski (for a ROS-induced car accident) and obviously, he was lucky enough not to get the second five).

If any sim is hospitalized, I play their household, without them in it, for the number of days corresponding to the number they rolled.  As my hospital is a community lot, the sick sim can’t really live there, but in game if the sim is away for more than a day, in-game they’ll move out into a room in my guesthouse with a prisoner tag

This means that their household has to cope without them, and deal with whatever problems that creates – be it loss of income, no one home for the kids, whatever.  Usually they also make time to visit the sick sim in hospital – I send them there and teleport in the sick sim, and use this time to take screenshots. 

If it’s a serious illness then I might use a hack to drop down the aspiration levels of the family members, since realistically they’d probably be feeling down in this situation.  This way, they roll wants appropriate to their unhappy state.  Which brings me to the second part of illness in my sim-world…

In-Game illness, Mental

Inspired in part by the Lakeside Heights aspiration failure random roll, I came up with a parallel system for sims having emotional problems rather than physical ones.  I use it every time a sim’s aspiration meter is in the second level of red or lower (Thanks to this hack, I have no real perma-plat sims in my hood).  I went for the second level so that sims who just drop slightly into the red don’t end up having a mental breakdown over something like changing a diaper or using a public toilet :)  .  Usually, this slightly-red state is easy to fix with a couple of small wants… like someone having a bad day who mulls on it for a while then gets over it. 

As for the lower-red sims, again, its a one to five roll, unless its total aspiration failure, ie the sim shrink visits.  Then I just roll a four or five.  I figure if their mood is that low, they’re already in big trouble. 
One: Just a down day or something… well, maybe more than a day, if it was bought on by something big like death of a family member or whatever, but I mean, they’ll deal with it and move on like you’d expect any normal healthy person to do. 
Two: They’re taking things a bit harder now, maybe they’ll get counseling or something, but it all turns out ok in the end. 
Three: They’re getting a bit desperate.  If someone rolls a three, I fulfill their greatest want – no matter what it is (as long as it’s not an impossible want in the ‘ground rules’ I’ve set for my ‘hood (for example, no one gets resurrected from the dead.).  Some good storylines can come out of this one :)  .
Four and Five: They’re in serious trouble.  This is life-changing major meltdown territory.  The big difference between the two levels, is that the five involves a suicide attempt.  As to whether they succeed… if I left it just up to my personal choice, probably everyone would survive, but I want some element of risk here, too.  So there is some chance involved in the outcome.

Like the four and five of physical illness, the four and five have long-term repercussions, which could mean a change of aspiration/ltw/personality/etc… I choose depending on the situation that created the problem.  I seem to have had more four and five mental illnesses than physical illnesses, but that just might be because, even though I base my play around fulfilling sim wants, red aspiration is still more common than serious illness in the game (even with the real sickness mod).