Odd ER visit

  1. Well, my husbands Doc (actually his staff) told me to bring him to the ER. It's a SMALL hospital, and we get seen fairly quickly. The triage nurse asks me to wait in the waiting room while he talks to my hubby and that's cool, but my husband doesn't feel good and doesn't have a lot of his own info easily "at hand" but hey, I figure the triage nurse doesn't want to ask him questions and have the wifey answer. Perfectly understandable. Sure enuf, ten minutes later he comes out and asks me to come in to provide med info etc. later my hubby says that the triage RN kept asking a lot of questions which he couldn't answer and kept telling him to get me. All of this is fine and dandy, and of course I don't tell him I'm a nurse but boy this triage nurse seemed unhappy and bored and po'd. I'm sure he would have preferred an interesting trauma.

    Ok so we get to the ER and that nurse was FANTASTIC but the ER doc, sheesh! He spends a t least five minutes GRILLING us about whether We spoke to our doc. I say no, repeating several times all my calls to the dr and how eventually his staff spoke to the doc (Presumably). they told us our dr says GO TO THE ER. I would have preferred at trip to the office but I wasn't given that option. Well the ER doc seemed to have a bug up his u know what about this but again I try to go with the flow.

    Hours later the ER doc then asks if my hubby ACTUALLY passed out, which my hubby wasn't 100%sure but the doc didn't like that response and again seemed to give us a hard time. I felt like we were treated like criminals trying to take advantage of the ER or something. Hey my hubbie was I'll, couldn't walk, probable passed out, and our doc TOLD us to go to the ER.
    Well we felt awful how we were treated, like criminals or morons or something (and he does have an underlying condition requiring chemo) It was like they were all in bad moods (except for one great nurse)

    God I've been a nurse for years and years and I at least TRY not to make my patients feel bad or guilty. Ah well, thanks for listening to my vent.
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  2. 53 Comments

  3. by   amoLucia
    Be gentle if you do that satisfaction survey!
  4. by   inshallamiami
    Quote from amoLucia
    Be gentle if you do that satisfaction survey!
    Really? So it is ok to treat people like crap? We tried to be the best pt and family ....asked for nothing in 5 hours, it was like they were miserable BEFORE we got there! And it's a 25 bed hospital with a total of three pts in the ER. I just wanted to get OUT of there. There was one really nice nurse tho, she seemed pretty unhappy too, but she was nice to us, even tried to smile once. Odd.
    Last edit by inshallamiami on Jul 11, '13 : Reason: Still can't believe this place
  5. by   Altra
    Have you considered ...

    That your doc is notorious for telling his staff to tell people, "just go to the ER" ... in other words turfing patients so that he doesn't have to deal with them?

    That the ED doc did your husband's workup, but is left with calling your hubby's doc who will decide whether or not to admit him?

    That the ED doc and staff were, for maybe the 50th time that day, facing a patient & his anxious wife with the news that ... we can't find anything wrong. We don't have an explanation for your episode of near-syncope.

    Just some additional perspective.
  6. by   inshallamiami
    Quote from Altra
    Have you considered ...

    That your doc is notorious for telling his staff to tell people, "just go to the ER" ... in other words turfing patients so that he doesn't have to deal with them?

    That the ED doc did your husband's workup, but is left with calling your hubby's doc who will decide whether or not to admit him?

    That the ED doc and staff were, for maybe the 50th time that day, facing a patient & his anxious wife with the news that ... we can't find anything wrong. We don't have an explanation for your episode of near-syncope.

    Just some additional perspective.
    Definitely I considered that, we definitely were caught in the middle between these two docs, but maybe the ER doc should have offered to duel my doc in the parking lot instead of making us feel bad. My husband has never passed out before so all he could do was describe what happened and the ER doc starts freakingout saying "it's like asking someone if they are a virgin, either you are or you aren't. " Meanwhile my husband is trying to describe having everything go black but not sure for how long and feeling bad that he can't describe it better.
  7. by   green34
    Are you sure there are only 3 other patients in the ER? How do you know they just didn't discharge a bunch of patients? How do you know they weren't waiting for a helicopter or a mobile unit to come and transfer one of their patients who is on the verge of dying?

    Maybe they were frustrated between what types of work ups they should do. Should they do more tests or is it okay not to?

    Unfortunately, it's really hard to tell when the ER just cleared a rush. Like during a shift, it can go from dead to busy back to slow. We had a patient throw a fit because we didn't get to see her kid for 2 hours. We were busy and we had one doc on. A code just came in. When a code comes into the ER, we do not announce it overhead. We take them to the room and we work on them. They were also on the opposite end of the ER so they didn't hear the family loudly crying for over two hours.

    And it if it is a rural hospital, they may get everyone there.
  8. by   inshallamiami
    I don't know just going by a big white board and what I could see. I actually I didn't mind the wait at all, I brought iPad and books etc. my complaint is not the wait, I didn't feel ignored, just felt that when they DO interact not to be nasty. Is that too much to ask? I didn't need pillows or food or accommodation. And I didn't need sarcasm and being caught in this turf war. And again our nurse was great! Just the Snotty triage and ***** ER doc
  9. by   jadelpn
    Since when is it ok to treat anyone like garbage for utilizing the ED? There are privacy policies in place that adult patients do have the right to be triaged alone. It does say a great deal about someone's mental status when they are unable to answer questions regarding their health history--and one does have to establish some sort of baseline. However, it is common of a nurse's spouse to leave that all up to them. The ER doc just sounds like a jerk. Grilling is far from theraputic, and seriously, if one wanted grilling they would go to a five star resort, order a steak medium rare, and pay a lot less for health insurance premiums. In all seriousness, how many patient walk out AMA due to these type of attitudes and come back via an ambulance critical?

    With all due respect, what is it that one would like to do at work? If patient's don't come due to fear of being made to feel stupid about the choice--it does little for job security.

    It is with these attitudes that people put off going to the ED for hours longer than they should--if coming at all--due to the notion that somehow their complaints will be taken as a hyperchondriac looking for attention.

    There are patients who "take advantage" of the ED. The uninsured, the frequent guests, the I have had a cold for 6 days kind--but they all are bound under rules that they are to be seen. Such as the life of the ER. As frustrating as those patients may be, they are what keeps us all working. Thankfully, in small community hospitals there is not a multitude of level 1 traumas 24/7. So it goes without saying that we will get the patients who are not in the ED as a result of some horrific accident or injury.

    A common complaint is syncope. It is scary, it is indicitive of something, or perhaps nothing. But it should not be ignored at the expense of getting the ER staff all in an uproar of its validity. That is not what the patient is there for.

    The ER staff is not there to give warm hugs and sprinkle glitter and positive affirmations about the fragility of life. But this is not what the OP's husband was seeking. (although if he was, that needs to be dealt with professioanlly as well).

    I would bet my bottom dollar that the OP is going to have a heck of a time getting her husband to ever utilize the ED again under most circumstances. And what makes that sad is that the ER staff seemingly likes it that way.
  10. by   inshallamiami
    Wow jadelpn thank you so much for getting it!!!! I tried so hard not to be one of "those" family members. From the time they put us in the cubicle and shut the door I NEVER bugged them. And our nurse was great. Really. But there def was a pervasive air of misery in that ER and it didn't seem pt care related. I just hated seeing my wonderful, suffering husband being treated like a pick pocket or something. And you're right, it'll be a cold day in hell before he goes back to any ER. (Not good when you are on chemo )And yeah we almost went AMA (I dcd the heplock ) but was afraid the insurance wouldn't pay.
  11. by   classicdame
    regardless of what else was going on the ER staff should at least be polite. Period
  12. by   blondy2061h
    I don't get all the people siding with the ER. If you're mad because a doctor consistently turfs his patients to the ER, that has nothing to do with the patient who is just following recommendations from his physician. Yes, syncope is a frustrating complaint, but generally you can rule out serious causes fairly quickly, hydrate and fix electrolytes and such to make them feel better, and refer for further work up as an outpatient if necessary. That is all the ER needs to do. I'm sure the syncope is still more frustrating to the patient. We all have busy days, but being rude doesn't make your day any less busy.
  13. by   jadelpn
    Quote from blondy2061h
    I don't get all the people siding with the ER. If you're mad because a doctor consistently turfs his patients to the ER, that has nothing to do with the patient who is just following recommendations from his physician. Yes, syncope is a frustrating complaint, but generally you can rule out serious causes fairly quickly, hydrate and fix electrolytes and such to make them feel better, and refer for further work up as an outpatient if necessary. That is all the ER needs to do. I'm sure the syncope is still more frustrating to the patient. We all have busy days, but being rude doesn't make your day any less busy.
    Nor does it make one's patient overly cofident in the care provided to them.
  14. by   laydiebuug
    I agree they owe you to be polite, if you don't like your job work somewhere else its the ED! I work in Peds some don't have the patience for that but it kills me when people do and lack the patience for children or the families. I get that you can be tired and have other things going on but you have to check that mess at the door. So the ED is busy...most are, so you had a rush...they happen. You never have the right to be rude to anyone who is not beig rude to you and even though sometimes people are rude ...be professional.

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