Angry mom treated rotten in ER today - page 3

I just am not sure what to do. I'm sure if i call the hospital tomorrow to complain i'll get transferred here and there and finally to an answering machine or get hung up on or no one will return my... Read More

  1. by   TracyB,RN
    "meanwhile she was told if she had problems to go to the ER."
    So your mom was in ER, being told to go the ER?? That's just weird.
    I agree that your mom needs another gyn. I don't know what state you are in, but there has got to be some sort of program that will assist her. What about Medicare? You mentioned that neither you or your mom can get assistance from Medicaid. Sounds like income being too high is an issue. Here in IL we have many clinics that operate with volunteer nurses & doctors & charge for service based on income, a "sliding scale."
    Instead of calling the hospital, you may want to write a letter to the CEO, explaining her situation and ask about any charity programs they may offer, in addition to asking for a referral to an OB/GYN who also participates in a charity care program. They're out there.
    In the ER's defense, if this has been a chronic problem (past 2 years) they are going to make sure she is stable, which it sounds as though she may have been based on your statement about her not needing a blood transfusion. The IV was probably just a fluid bolus to replace fluids she lost while actively bleeding.
    Any ER I have dealt with has never had any scrubs, let alone have any to hand them out to patients. We're lucky to get them to work in sometimes.

    Maybe your mom & you need to get a bit more vocal in demanding appropriate care from the GYN or actively seeking one who will treat her.

    Sorry I can't be of more help.
  2. by   CritterLover
    i have to agree with those who say it sounds as though your mother needs a new gyn. i first read this post this morning while i was at work. i don't post at work, so i had to wait until i got home toinight to reply, but that was the first thing that went into my mind.

    what treatment were you expecting in the er that you didn't get? i hope that question doesn't sound snotty, because it isn't meant to be. i'm truely wondering what it is that they didn't do that you wanted. it sounds as though they checked an h/h, which is pretty standard for a vaginal bleeding complaint. since that was ok, there really isn't anything else to be done in the er. they may have wanted to give her some ivf to perk her up some, but since she said "no" to the iv, they can't do that. occasionally i'll see premarin given, or an ultrasound, but not often. since here hct was ok, she isn't going to be admitted. an er visit is a temporary measure. we usually arn't going to cure you. we don't have ob/gyns on staff. our doctors are trained in either emergency medicine, family practice, or internal medicine. and you don't want them doing anything ob/gyn related outside of a basic pelvic exam!

    as for the scrubs and w/c, i noticed that you wrote that they "didn't offer" these things. did you ask for them? i don't typically offer either. scrubs are very hard to come by. it takes the nursing supervisor to go to the or and get a pair. some will get them, some won't. (hospital policy is against giving them out) definatly not something i volunteer for. why not? there are other options -- you could have gone home and gotten her pants, for example. maybe that wasn't feesible, and if you had asked me for scrub bottems, i would have checked with the nsg super, but that doesn't mean i would have gotten any. as for the w/c, if i had give her pain meds i would have insisted on a w/c to the car. but if i hadn't given her anything, and she had walked in, i wouldn't necessarily have offered,. however, if you had asked me for one, and were willing to wait until one was available, then i would have gotten one for you.

    the only thing i read in your post that really seemed out of place was when she wanted to go to the bathroom. we always give a second gown to put around the back (like a robe) to wear when walking to the bathroom. is there a reason they didn't want her to go?

    one thing i find when i work in the er is that people tend to expect you to anticipate their wants. this is something i'm not very good at. if you need a blanket, i need you to ask for one. you may be freezing, but i'm trying to peel off all the clothes i can and still be decent. running around makes you hot! i have a bunch of patients, and most of my energy is focused on taking care of their medical needs. i'll be happy to get you something -- blanket, water, w/c, another gown -- if you ask for it, are allowed to have it, and it is available (don't bother asking for a pillow, though. they grow legs and walk away). but please don't expect me to read your mind!

    i hope you mom is feeling better, and please, call a local teaching hospital for a gyn referral. it sounds as though she needs treatment -- just not the kind of treatment one gets in the er.
  3. by   CritterLover
    Quote from tracyb,rn
    "meanwhile she was told if she had problems to go to the er."
    so your mom was in er, being told to go the er?? that's just weird.

    i think that was probably the usual disclaimer "if you are not better in xyz amount of time/begin to feel worse....return to the er." we do it all the time -- tell people to f/u with their pmd, but to return if their symptoms worsen.
  4. by   P_RN
    Going to the ER can be a humiliating experience. I'd only been to the ER one other time in my life-at my facility- but after I was out on medical disability-I had to go to another ER.....I had never been treated so badly in my life....I was accused of drug seeking-abx for a severe bladder infection? (duh) and accused of abusing the system. Hey I was an RN, (formerly as it came to be). Fortunately for me the supervisor there had been a preceptee of mine. Otherwise I believe my story and your mom's would have been cut from the same cloth.

    This was a Catholic hospital (and I have no problem with Catholics-Mama is Catholic) and they had the rules and regs about treating every one right there framed on the wall.)
    As the Commuter said there IS a difference. We may not look at a patients pay source but that doesn't stop someone else from leaking it to everyone in earshot.

    You do need to write to the administration....plain and simple...no need to go into the full physical description-but they need to know that your mom was not respected. And you need to follow up with a call to the admin. You may or may not want to speak with the risk manager though they are on the hospital payroll. I am so very sorry about your experiences but unfortunately you are not alone.

    I've been there, done that and have the tear stains to prove it.
  5. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from MLOS
    Cholecystitis patients are almost always discharged from the ER with a referral to a surgeon, regardless of whether they have insurance or are self-pay. These patients are rarely admitted. Cholecystitis is generally not a surgical emergency.
    If you're jaundice and vomiting it seems like it would be. And how would he know, anyway? He never even laid eyes on me, and certainly didn't offer a referral to a surgeon. It was about 2am, and the nurse called him (I guess he was in a back room somewhere sleeping) and she told him my symptoms, then she said, "just a minute" and turned around and asked what kind of insurance I had. When she relayed the message I had none, almost immediately she said okay and turned and told me the doctor said it wasn't an emergency.

    Well, anyway, it's been about 10 yrs. later, I still have my gallbladder and am still hangin on (other than some minor pains haven't really had an attack since.)
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I am so sorry for what you and your mom went through. Please, seek other medical opinions and care providers until this chronic and very uncomfortable situation is resolved for her. It sounds like it will not get better until definitive treatment (which you cannot get in the ED) is accomplished for her, for once and for all.

    I wish you and her all the best.
  7. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from MLOS
    Cholecystitis patients are almost always discharged from the ER with a referral to a surgeon, regardless of whether they have insurance or are self-pay. These patients are rarely admitted. Cholecystitis is generally not a surgical emergency.

    Again, I sympathize with the OP's extreme frustration and concern for her mother, but the bottom line is that this situation has been ongoing for 2 years. It's been going on for so long that her mom has come up with adaptive behaviors (wearing 2-3 pads at all times) and so has the family (covering chair seats with towels). While this is a very unfortunate situation, it is not the fault of the ER. If the patient's H&H had been critically low, she would have been transfused. If her condition was a surgical emergency, she would have been sent to the OR.

    When I had a stone in the duct, they admitted me, called in a GI guy to endoscope me, had me on IV abx and pain Rx. Maybe her case was not the stone in the duct?

    This whole thread is really terrifying and very sad. Makes me mad, too, to think that the IV guy didn't get the answer, no w/c was offered, no towel could be spared. This is just so inhumane, so lazy, so, I hate to say it, so American healthcare at its worst. We really need to share these stories with our legislators and demand universal health care.

    I feel guilty about not nearly bleeding to death during the change of life. I just stopped bleeding, gradually, without event, except for hot flashes - and growing a beard, LOL.
  8. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from motorcycle mama
    If you're jaundice and vomiting it seems like it would be. And how would he know, anyway? He never even laid eyes on me, and certainly didn't offer a referral to a surgeon. It was about 2am, and the nurse called him (I guess he was in a back room somewhere sleeping) and she told him my symptoms, then she said, "just a minute" and turned around and asked what kind of insurance I had. When she relayed the message I had none, almost immediately she said okay and turned and told me the doctor said it wasn't an emergency.

    Well, anyway, it's been about 10 yrs. later, I still have my gallbladder and am still hangin on (other than some minor pains haven't really had an attack since.)
    He didn't even examine you??? I hope you didn't get charged for a doctor's evaluation. I think I'd have been very tempted to report him.

    And they actually asked you about insurance and didn't examine you because of a lack of it? That is really despicable.
  9. by   Jennifer, RN
    In the ER I work at, the docs and nurses have no clue what health insurance a pt has, unless needed for d/c planning. Everyone is treated the same. Everyone is given a follow up MD to contact. It is up to the pt to follow up. Unfortunately, most doctors offices require pt's to have insurance or to pay their bills on receipt of services. If a pt is unable to pay, their other option is low cost clinics, where the wait to be seen may be months. The health care available to the citizens of this country is by far lacking, but nothing is being done about it. Emergency care is available 24 hrs a day, but care for chronic conditons is next to impossible to obtain unless some type of insurance, at least medicaid, is carried. Just taking one of my kids to the doctor for a sick visit cost $100.00. If I were working a minimum wage job, or unemployed with no insurance, I couldn't afford that. Also, many doctors will not perform procedures or surgeries if pt does not have insurance because of the likelihood that they will not get paid.
    So, it is very easy for all of us employed nurses with health insurance to tell others without insurance to go find another gyn, but it is a different world for those w/o.
    For OP, I am sorry you received poor nursing care. I am sorry ERs do not treat chronic conditions. Keep trying to find a new gyn for your mom. You may have to pay up front for treatment, but in the long run, it will probably be worth it. I am also sorry our national healthcare plan is non-existent. We are supposed to be the most powerful, wealthiest countries in the world, yet we can't take care of our own people. Sad
  10. by   Zizka
    Personally I treat almost every situation as if all the people around me are idiots because most people DON'T seem to have much in the way of common sense. I think we might all notice that when we drive around on the roads.

    Just because somebody has jumped through some hoops and aquired a license means squat to me.

    Anyway since you've taken the time to research into your mothers condition a little more by looking at this forum I would suggest that you research further and basically manage your mothers problem by knocking on "doors" until you get some postive results.

    If you have access to the internet you have a huge resource right at your fingertips into which you could find the answers. For example one good place to start would be:

    WebMD - Better Information. Better Health.
    Last edit by Zizka on Dec 27, '06
  11. by   nuangel1
    Quote from MLOS
    :yeahthat: I feel badly for your mom's situation, it's a terrible thing to go through. But this is the difficult thing about patients who present to the ER with a chronic problem ... it's not something that can be fixed now, today, which is what we do in the ER. Honestly, if your mom's gyne has been putting her off for 2+ years, that is the problem, not your experience in the ER yesterday.

    I'm sorry that scrubs and a wheelchair were not available, but I can tell you that is common as well ... in my ER we sometimes have paper scrub tops & bottoms, which I will gladly provide if they are available. Wheelchairs are put to use almost as fast as escort staff & volunteers can try to accumulate them in the hallway, so if you need a wheelchair to get to your car upon discharge, I will be happy to try to provide one, but it may well take 20-30 minutes while I round up some available escort staff (if it isn't during night shift) to make another sweep of the hospital to find one for you.
    yes your mom should have been treated more curteously.however vicky and mlos are correct .the er is for emergency situations your mom needs to find a gyn that will help her .social services may help as far as the insurance issue.the wait time ,w/c wait no pants that is what the er is like thats the reality of er .the er sounds like it did all it could.
  12. by   nuangel1
    Quote from MLOS
    Cholecystitis patients are almost always discharged from the ER with a referral to a surgeon, regardless of whether they have insurance or are self-pay. These patients are rarely admitted. Cholecystitis is generally not a surgical emergency.

    Again, I sympathize with the OP's extreme frustration and concern for her mother, but the bottom line is that this situation has been ongoing for 2 years. It's been going on for so long that her mom has come up with adaptive behaviors (wearing 2-3 pads at all times) and so has the family (covering chair seats with towels). While this is a very unfortunate situation, it is not the fault of the ER. If the patient's H&H had been critically low, she would have been transfused. If her condition was a surgical emergency, she would have been sent to the OR.
    :yeahthat: while i feel bad for the mom they should have explained why she needed the iv .mlos is correct if h+h was low or she was unstable they would have transfused her the fact that she was d/c was because it wasn't an emergency .she has had this for 2 yrs.we never look at the insurance in any of the er's i have worked and currently work in .we treat the pt.the woman needs a different gyn.
  13. by   MedSurgeMess
    same as original post, only wasn't my mother, it was me! I would go ahead and make an appt at the gyn, then try to hang in there-as it was pointed out, this is not acute, but a chronic situation that adaptations have been made for. I got the ablation and transfused 2 units and it saved me. h+h was 2.9-my dr didn't have a clue how I was still functioning at all-or even alive really, and said she just noticed when looking back that my hgb had been dropping a little every time I came and demanded labs drawn either at her office or at ER. Within 6 mos, I was back to normal and since then have felt better than I had in years. I can really relate to the frustration, having been there myself. There are many issues with this; being tired, worn down, and susceptible to other illnesses, as well as the embarrassment of the leaks when you go anywhere. I will keep your mom in my prayers, but tell her to hang in there, and if she must find another gyn who will do something!

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