my first ER experiece!

  1. well, to start it wasn't me it was my 21 year old sister.
    My day started by working 12 hours. Then my mother calls me your sister is crying of pain, her abd. etc. So I took her to the ER and oh my God... 8 hours!!!!!! 8 hours of wait to get a push of Rorephin IV! I Never thought it was going to be like hell! first the treatment from the doctors and the nurses COLD! and RUDE! to top it all the nurse that was assigned to my sister graduated with me and she was ok, but I only saw her 4 times in 8 hours. I know they are busy because I am a nurse myself and I know the paperwork is a lot etc, but wouldn't you check on your patients at least every hour? I mean somebody can die behind that little curtain and nobody would know. It was so different that what I imagine. They had a trauma and a little boy was intubated and taken to ICU. Gosh, I can imagine the things they deal with but I was mad and tired of waiting.
    I was feeling so bad for my sister to be in such pain and me not able to do anything.
    I am not trying to put ER nurses down or anything I know its a tough job. I am just venting! My sister is fine now, taking po antibiotics.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Browneyedgirl
    I'm not a nurse yet....but in my very very humble opinion....ER is only for Emergencies...."as in...about to die"

    Was going to her regular physician not an option?

    Not meant to flame...just
  4. by   fourbirds4me
    unexplained abdominal pain can be an emergency...."as in...about to die" as in perforated appendix, ruptured tubal pregnancy etc...

    I feel for you Pamelita.... my dd had a car wreck a few weeks ago. After 48hrs she was still complaining about a headache and stiff neck. Called our FP and he said she needed to go to the ER because that was their "specialty". 5 hours later we left with a script for Tylenol 3 and flexeril. Exactly what you would expect but needed to rule out everything else.

    Sorry about your long day....
  5. by   EricTAMUCC-BSN
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    Last edit by EricTAMUCC-BSN on Aug 29, '07
  6. by   mystc42
    I work in a hospital on the med-surg floor, and have never experienced ER yet. But one thing that is stressed in our policy is to check on the patient constantly....the nurse is required to check every hour, not to mention the CNA's, PT's, RT's, and any other odd person that may enter the room. And especially with abd. pain being something so generalized of the number of things it could be..... I'm sorry to hear about your day and I will be praying for your sister. Hope everything is going well.
  7. by   Tweety
    Perhaps when they realized she wasn't about to die, they treated her like a med-surg patients, every 2 hour checks.

    But I hear you. Or ER has a couple of burned out cold and rude nurses and the "not about to die" ones wait and wait and wait and wait.

    And to Browneyedgirl, not a flame but I have to agree that severe abdominal pain is an emergency. While most can be treated, ruptured viscous, appendix, etc. are life threatening. And ERs aren't necessarily for "about to die" situations. They are for those in need of immediate medical attention, why wait until it's a life threatening situation. Not a flame, just my usual two cents. Granted many many people abuse the ER which makes for long waits for others.


    I'm glad to here your sister is doing well.
  8. by   Browneyedgirl
    Happy to hear your sister is doing well.

    and Realizing I am from a small town area and call my doctor at 12 and get in by 2.....i must apologize if I sounded uncaring....

    I tend to forget the long waits some have to endure just to get an appointment with their regular physician.

    And knowing how LONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGG of a wait you can have in an ER, I pick my regular physician over the ER anyday of the day/night.
  9. by   tapper
    There are so many variables to consider in why you feel that you were not given the care you, or your sister, expected. If, as you say, a pt came in that had to be intubated, and it had been determined that your sister was not an adb bleed, then all available nursing staff may have been involved with the care of the intubated pt. for a couple of hours before one nurse could provide for that pt. until they were stable. Unfortunately too many people use the ER as their PCP (come in screaming that they can't breath . . . whatever), which can also decrease the level of care provided to those who have an actual emergency. I am sure that you realize that just because nobody is checking on your sister, it does not mean that she is not being "cared for." There are many steps in the process before a doctor will see a pt and before the correct Tx can be instituted.
  10. by   ton
    Waiting times are getting longer and longer because of the increasing amount of people who are not going to their regular physician!
    Most hospitals have a triage system, this one not????
    If your lucky you can wait a long time! if you are not lucky at all you will be helped immediately.
    I think the regular physician could have done this treatment, and if he send you in, then it goes also faster.
  11. by   charissa
    from my personal experience right quad ab pain is NOTHING to fool with, seen to many bad perfs . . .
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    As 2- time sufferer of ectopic pregnancy (losing one tube and emergency surgery notwithstanding), I would say her use of the ER as to seek treatment was NOT abuse and WAS right-on. I am, , however, VERY sorry for the wait and the rough treatment.

    I can't excuse it, but having spent time in ER's, I know prioritizing and taking care of EVERYone expeditiously is TOUGH! I waited 4 hours before they decided I was an emergency case, myself. By then, the tube was ripe for rupture. But they had MVA's and MI's in there, so how can they know I am life-or-death, sitting there, talking to them, appearing in control? I can't say I want to be in THEIR place, either.

    I was lucky. Your sister is, too, she is ok. I am sorry for how she was treated, however, Compassion is in short supply sometimes. I know how she felt :-(
  13. by   colleen10
    Hi Pamelita,

    I just wanted to add that I know how you feel.

    A few years ago my mother and I went to Key Largo for a much needed vacation and on the third day she developed nausea and severe abdominal pain. She waited a good 8 hours before going to the local hospital via cab, thinking is was just a stomach bug.

    When we got there the best they could do with one ER doc and one nurse was to give her a basin to throw up in while she waited in the waiting room. It took two hours to get her a bed in the ER, there were only 3 beds total. Finally after another 12 hours they diagnosed her with a severe case of an intestinal virus.

    This was, however, after spending every two hours before that diagnosing here with something else. Once it was pancreatis, 2 hours later it was gall bladder, another 2 hours after that is was malignant tumors that had matasized throughout her abdomin and I was told to find an oncologist in Pittsburgh ASAP.

    Eventually all these (and other) possibilities were ruled out and they decided it was food poisoning and they would keep her over-night and pump her up with anti-biotics and I could pick her up the next morning.

    Well, at 6 AM the next morning I get a call from my grandmother up here in Pittsburgh telling me that they were wheeling my mum into surgery because the surgeon came in and examined her and diagnosed her with appendicitis, which it was.

    I didn't get upset that they weren't able to pay much attention to my mum, because with only three beds and one doc and one nurse I could see that when other patients came in they definately needed attending before my mum did. There was a possible heart attack, another guy cut his finger off, etc. etc.

    The only grip I had with them is that they didn't take my mother's pain and symptoms seriously. When we first got to the ER they didn't pay much attention to her for the first couple of hours because they said that she was "hung over" from drinking too much and having too much fun on vacation, despite the fact that we both told them that she nor "we" had had anything to drink at all.

    A few days later while I was visiting her in the hospital I ran into the ER nurse who asked me how she was doing. I told her the surgeon had performed an appendectomy and the nurse said to me, "yeah, I had a feeling that your mum was having real trouble and something serious was going on."

    Well, I kind of went off on a tangent there, but abdominal pain is nothing to mess with and I am glad that your sister had you, at least, to stick by her and keep an eye on her.

    What did they end up diagnosing her with?
  14. by   atownsendrn
    You know - you might not have just been waiting for the nurse to check on your sister. If they drew blood you might have been waiting on that, or xray results, or the doctor to re-evaluate her, or the med to come up from the pharmacy. Although I think that you and your family should have been kept better informed about what was going on, you have to realize that it's not always the nurse that your waiting on.

    I do agree that abd pain can be an urgent/emergent condition. I always triage abd pain as an urgent (or emergent if indicated) because you never really know what you are dealing with until the test are done. But if they were dealing with a trauma patient and an intubated child, then they were dealing with alot. But while all of that was going on, they were probably getting back your sisters lab results - H&H, WBC's, amylase, lipase, etc. - and were evaluating and re-evaluating her condition. And more often than not a patient presenting with abd pain isn't going to get anything for pain (in case they need surgical consults and consents)

    So to sum up my two cents worth - when visiting an ER remember that a lot of different departments are involved with your care. You might not be waiting on the nurse. And if you have or see a problem then you need to let the nurse know. Sometimes in the ER we get so involved with the traumas and the general flow of the area, we forget to do the "little" stuff like keeping families informed.

    Sorry that your sister isn't feeling well. Hope she recovers quickly

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