Treated badly in ER of hospital I work at! - page 2

I am 2 days post op from a laparoscopy and cystoscopy. I was in excrutiating pain today for several hours because my pain meds would not touch it. I tried calling my doc and couldn't reach him so I... Read More

  1. by   TracyB,RN
    Man, people are dumb sometimes. I have a good one for ya'.. just happened last Wed, my daughter got hit in the eye with a jumprope, school nurse calls, "it's just a little red," she had 1 more hour of school, I went to pick her up & her eye isn't just red... it's beet red, & with the naked eye, my hubby & I BOTH could see the scratch, straight across her cornea... I was ticked!!! So, of course, my primary is closed, early b/c it's Wed. We go to ER, b/c she is crying & miserable. Sat in waiting room, 10 minutes, brought to exam room by triage nurse (who was very kind & knowledgeable)
    walk past another nurse who says "Is this my ocular?" Triage says "yes." Does the 2nd nurse EVER show her face to us, set up room for eye exam, offer my kid anything for pain that she rated a '6'???? NOPE... we sat in the exam room for 1hr 30min. I see someone in the hall in scrubs, ask her if she knows how much longer....now mind you, there was just a handful of people in the ER, all with the typical flu symptoms...ugughhg. Anyway, she gets real snippy & says "it's hard to tell when you have a million people waiting." I said, I didn't ask how many were waiting, I asked how much longer for my daughter, & BTW, the waiting room only holds 50 & 1 million people don't live in this town. So, by this point, I was reaaally mad, b/c people were sitting at the desk, reading papers, calling boyfriends.. it was basically a free for all. I went to the desk & asked when & who would be seeing my daughter, who of course, is still hurting...didn't get much of an answer until I asked who was on as house supervisor & can I please use the phone? Well, do you work here? Does it matter if I do? Well, someone will be right in... NP comes in about 5 minutes later, & SHE even got mad, when she saw how long we were waiting, AND to top it off, she wasn't set up for the eye exam, courtesy of nursiepoo #2 making a date with her boyfriend.
    Oh, I forgot to mention how FILTHY the room was & how I borrowed cleaning stuff from the cleaning lady when we first got the the exam room, to wipe down the sides of the bed, counters, floor, all covered with ick, or blood droplets. IT WAS PATHETIC, my hubby yelling at me, you are on medical leave, you just had back surgery (but it was really 2 months ago), & you shouldn't be doing that. I said to him, I don't want my kid near that stuff (the mess). You would think someone would have come running, since he actually was yelling. IT was sooo stupid. So, he tells the NP at the end of my daughter's exam, how I had surgery recently & I was cleaning up the filthy room. Oooh, did she really get ticked then. But we were on our way out, so not my problem anymore.
    UGHHGHGHHG
  2. by   EnduringFaith
    Quote from missmolly
    i am 2 days post op from a laparoscopy and cystoscopy. i was in excrutiating pain today for several hours because my pain meds would not touch it. i tried calling my doc and couldn't reach him so i leave a message on his cell phone, then i wait for an hour for him to call back. when he didn't we decided to go to the er. keep in mind that i have to be in bad shape before i will go to the er. the er doc refused to believe that my pain was from surgery and that it was a uti. i did give a urine sample. they wanted to put a foley in and i refused. for goodness sakes i was in excrutiating pain and the cystoscopy had already hurt my bladder so much. that makes them mad, then i am yelled at for telling them that a certain doc they wanted to contact was not my doctor, and that if they would just look at the surgery reports from 2 days ago they would see that i have severe endometriosis and interstitial cystitis and pelvic adhesions. no, he wants to believe it's a uti. they finally give me a shot of toradol which eventually eases the pain enough that i feel halfway human again. then they leave me sitting in a room for almost 45 minutes. it was very hot in there and i opened the door halfway to get some air. the nurse comes and starts to shut the door. i ask here to please leave it open for it is very hot in there and i thought i would pass out. at this time the pain was still not bearable, that takes about another half hour. she very rudely says that she can't because of hippa and slams the door shut. that was it for me. i asked her to please bring me my discharge papers and she says they aren't finished with me yet. i said yes you are. the er doc was sitting at a desk with his feet propped up reading a newspaper and the nurses were laughing out in the hall. they bring me an ama paper and i sign it, and i inform them that i am a nurse at this hospital and that i will be talking to administration regarding the way i was treated!

    when i get home i see that my regular doc has returned my call so i call him back and he is appalled at the way i was treated and said i had every right to get my pain treated, and that i did the right thing by leaving when i did.

    did i do the right thing or did my emotions get the best of me due to being in such horrendous pain?

    missmolly,

    so sorry to hear about your adventure! i hope you feel better soon. i am not yet a nurse (trained as an emt-basic some time ago), but a very experienced patient. i know about pain down there..i myself had bilateral endometriomas the size of tennis balls and my severe endo completely destroyed one half of my reproductive system and moderately damaged the other side. i feel for you, especially as you have those other things too. trying to get treatment for just my endo was a nightmare for two long years, which included a visit to an er myself for the pain. the way i was repeatedly treated during that time was pathetic.

    i had a very bad experience after a car accident too. while at a stoplight i was rear-ended very hard and pushed through the intersection. i immediately had felt something was very wrong with my neck. then my treatment nightmare started. first, the paramedics i had called for had asked me if i'd be willing to let my family take me to the er (huh? yeah, you read this correctly) i said no and made them take me anyway on a backboard. i got there only to find my neck quickly xrayed and i taken off the board. however by this time i was having chest and back pain (seatbelt). thankfully the nurse i had was very concerned and kept asking the doctor for back & chest xrays. the dictator, excuse me, doctor refused. i was given a neck warmer (soft collar), a prescription for a painkiller and was discharged (even though with the swelling in my neck i felt like i was half choking). about 1.5 years later it was discovered that i had two dislocations of my ribs at the thoracic vertebrae.

    i will never forget, however, probably the worst experience i ever had in an er. fresh out of emt school, i landed a job as an er tech. i was horrified to learn after i was hired that i was going to be trained to do urinary catheterization, either by foley, or the temp and quick way for a sample to send to the lab for drug testing. they sent me into a patient room, initially alone, to cath an uncooperative male for drug testing (fortunately somewhat restrained)-- to learn on and he knew it. i realize that to some this may seem funny, i was horrified by it, especially for being only an emt-basic fresh out of school. i quit. not only for the questionable level of responsibility, but also that i felt that i was not adequately protected from harm (he could still cuss, shout, spit, bite. i was not asked to put on any protection like a shield, mask, etc).

    that's okay, only a few years before this, when i visited this same er with a head injury from a car accident, they took x-rays of my neck only and discharged me all the while giving me the name of a gastroenterologist to follow up with whom when i called, was found to be out of the country for some time.

    i have all but given up on ers.

    as for you, you have been in terrible pain; anyone would be emotional. but also as a nurse, you know many things that the average patient would not pick up on (and imagine, if you can see how bad the treatment is, with your knowledge, what it's probably like for unsuspecting patients? yikes!)

    i am also not familiar with dealing with warm hospitals. usually they are pretty chilly, especially in your birthday suit. i wonder, was this er literally hell?

    good for you for leaving! nobody should have to put up with that. i personally would have walked out either without signing the ama, or if i signed it made sure it was known on the same page as my signature why i was leaving. i hope you feel better soon!
    Last edit by EnduringFaith on Feb 14, '05
  3. by   BETSRN
    Quote from missmolly
    I am 2 days post op from a laparoscopy and cystoscopy. I was in excrutiating pain today for several hours because my pain meds would not touch it. I tried calling my doc and couldn't reach him so I leave a message on his cell phone, then I wait for an hour for him to call back. When he didn't we decided to go to the ER. Keep in mind that I have to be in bad shape before I will go to the ER. The ER doc refused to believe that my pain was from surgery and that it was a UTI. I did give a urine sample. They wanted to put a Foley in and I refused. For goodness sakes I was in excrutiating pain and the cystoscopy had already hurt my bladder so much. That makes them mad, then I am yelled at for telling them that a certain doc they wanted to contact was not my doctor, and that if they would just look at the surgery reports from 2 days ago they would see that I have severe endometriosis and Interstitial Cystitis and pelvic adhesions. NO, he wants to believe it's a UTI. They finally give me a shot of Toradol which eventually eases the pain enough that I feel halfway human again. Then they leave me sitting in a room for almost 45 minutes. It was very hot in there and I opened the door halfway to get some air. The nurse comes and starts to shut the door. I ask here to please leave it open for it is very hot in there and I thought I would pass out. AT this time the pain was still not bearable, that takes about another half hour. She very rudely says that she can't because of HIPPA and slams the door shut. That was it for me. I asked her to please bring me my discharge papers and she says they aren't finished with me yet. I said yes you are. The ER doc was sitting at a desk with his feet propped up reading a newspaper and the nurses were laughing out in the hall. They bring me an AMA paper and I sign it, and I inform them that I am a nurse at this hospital and that I will be talking to Administration regarding the way I was treated!

    When I get home I see that my regular doc has returned my call so I call him back and he is appalled at the way I was treated and said I had every right to get my pain treated, and that I did the right thing by leaving when I did.

    Did I do the right thing or did my emotions get the best of me due to being in such horrendous pain?
    I sincerely hope that you will write up the ENTIRE incident (without emotion) and send it to the administration. You are a patient (as well as an employee) and the feedback you would give would be very important.
  4. by   Wehwee
    that's horrible! I've seen it happen to friends of mine that I work with and it's happened to me, and it's happened to family members I've brought in thinking "If I am there they will get better treatment"

    Follow up with admin. That really sad thing is that if they treat US... as fellow employees, like that...imagine how they are treating people who DON'T work there.

    It's depressing how patient care has gone out the window
  5. by   laurasc
    Hm...sounds so very familiar. About 5 years ago I found myself in the ER for about 7 hours, literally screaming into my pillow from abd/pelvic pain. No one took me seriously. And like you, the doc and the nurses spent all their time goofing off in the nurse's station. Finally at shift change they called in a gyne (the ultimate in CYA) who diagnosed an appendicitis in under 2 minutes. I was in the OR within the hour. Turns out my appendix had perfed at the tip. Luckily when it did, it leaned against my fallopian tube and resealed itself, so I didn't end up with peritonitis.

    Complain to the hospital about your treatment. Write a letter to the head of ER and CC it to the head of the hospital, nursing supervisor, your local doctor's licencing board and whatever branch of your state government is responsible for governing medical care in your area. I wish I had done that. I never did, and I regret it to this day.

    Oh, and next time...go to another ER.
  6. by   apaisRN
    I've been thinking about what I would do in such a situation as the ones described above. We just have the one hospital here, so I think I would call up to my unit (MICU) and ask the charge nurse for help. Our charge nurses are mostly great people, but they're no shrinking violets. I would totally trust them to come down and raise hell until my pain was managed. But if I wasn't a nurse, didn't work at that hospital, or didn't have such trust in my colleagues - I'd be f*cked. Screaming only makes the ER nurses walk slower. These stories are terrifying. I know pain patients are frequent and often fraudulent in ERs, but if you've never met me, I have no history with your hospital and I don't display any telltale drugseeker signs - I have a right to be treated with the same concern as the fractured femur next door.

    this just makes me so mad!
  7. by   z's playa
    Quote from laurasc
    Hm...sounds so very familiar. About 5 years ago I found myself in the ER for about 7 hours, literally screaming into my pillow from abd/pelvic pain. No one took me seriously. And like you, the doc and the nurses spent all their time goofing off in the nurse's station. Finally at shift change they called in a gyne (the ultimate in CYA) who diagnosed an appendicitis in under 2 minutes. I was in the OR within the hour. Turns out my appendix had perfed at the tip. Luckily when it did, it leaned against my fallopian tube and resealed itself, so I didn't end up with peritonitis.

    Complain to the hospital about your treatment. Write a letter to the head of ER and CC it to the head of the hospital, nursing supervisor, your local doctor's licencing board and whatever branch of your state government is responsible for governing medical care in your area. I wish I had done that. I never did, and I regret it to this day.

    Oh, and next time...go to another ER.

    Actually check the time limit concerning complaints.....I do believe you can still file one.
  8. by   missmolly
    I did speak with administration this morning over the phone and she said she would look into it. I was told that in a few days I could read a copy of the ER report and make any changes to it if I feel something in it is inaccurate. I said that I will definetly do that. I also did tell her that I feel my insurance should cover this. She said that I will probably get a bill from the ER doc. I said that is fine and I will take that up with the state medical board. I refuse to pay him for screaming at me and treating me like dirt.
  9. by   GingerSue
    She said that I will probably get a bill from the ER doc. I said that is fine and I will take that up with the state medical board. I refuse to pay him for screaming at me and treating me like dirt.[/QUOTE]

    So sorry that you've had this unpleasant experience. Why should you pay someone who treats you like that? I hope things work out.
  10. by   sleepless in norman
    I've had three surgeries to remove a Lotts pin form my right tibia, all unsuccessfull, the ladder resulted in a interogate fx of the tibia, cellulitis set in one wekend, my doc was in Kansas at a football game, he told me to go to the ER, I get there and lo and behold the nurse on duty is one that I dated years before, I thought I was in for it, but after the one crack she made to a co-worker and the doc about me being homeless and drug seeking, due to the way I looked and the pain I was in, fortunately my temp was up and so were my remaining VS, she even had the odassity to call me a frequent flyer, it had been at least 8 yrs since I worked at that hospital or even seen her, so no one but her knew me, after she came clean and told everyone who I was, I was in for even more ridicuole, all in fun of course, as I and another male RN were quite the pranksters in the early 90's, she even showed me pictures of her two toddlers, oh, and my discomfort was well addressed, I even left there with a job offer, I allways wondered what it would be like to be cared for by the people I slept er worked with. Sorry to hear about your misfortune, Good Luck 's with wolves.
    Last edit by sleepless in norman on Mar 3, '05
  11. by   ChristinaLPN
    Are you kidding me? 1st of all as an employee of that particular facility it is disgusting that you were treated in that manner, 2nd of all, patients should not be treated in that manor period. HIPPA does not require the door to be closed unless the practitioner is in the room discussing medical information with you and pain mamagement is supposed to be the big thing these days with JCAHO, shame on them! and I hope your feeling better!
  12. by   Danianne
    I know the feeling.... we only have one hospital where I live. I sepnt 3yrs with many many visits to the er for various things bacterima, high unexplained fevers, severe abdominal pain and absolutly no diagnosis. the nurses were absolutly terrible and talked behind my back syaing that I was faking it or making my self ill.............. 5 months ago i had my gallbladder out and have some permanent liver damage.
  13. by   HuggyPuglet
    Quote from Danianne
    I know the feeling.... we only have one hospital where I live. I sepnt 3yrs with many many visits to the er for various things bacterima, high unexplained fevers, severe abdominal pain and absolutly no diagnosis. the nurses were absolutly terrible and talked behind my back syaing that I was faking it or making my self ill.............. 5 months ago i had my gallbladder out and have some permanent liver damage.


    Ouch!

    I don't advocate anyone putting down anyone else's job that they do, but this goes beyond the pale if the nurses were terrible to you and falsely accused you of faking it or doing that to yourself.

    I sure don't know where the answer lies in this mess, except that some people just shouldn't be nurses either because they never belonged there in the first place, or that they have simply been burned out. (It happened to me so I know what I'm talking about). I suspect this is the case with the ER nurses who treated you so badly - or at least I hope this is the reason.

    When we become so callous and uncaring to the point where it affects our care of the patients, it is time for a break.

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