Treated badly in ER of hospital I work at! - page 3
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
Nov 16, '05It seems that everyone has a horror story about their visit to the ER...as if all the ER nurses do is goof off and party while all the patients are writhing in pain. There are a few variables at work here that I think people don't realize.
#1- People feel bad when they walk in the door. When you are feeling under the weather, sometimes you are more sensitive and take things the wrong way. For example, a nurse rushing to the med room for some Dopamine may not stop for a conversation as to why they haven't seen a doctor yet. Also, due to the popular ER bashing that goes on, it could be that people walk in with a chip on their shoulder, too.
#2- The nurse can do nothing (pain medicine-wise) until the doctor sees you. In most ER's the doctor is seeing many patients. I know that when an order comes up, I will do it ASAP....but what I am to do when the doctor is behind? I make my pts comfortable by offering blankets, lowering lights, ect...but after that....am I supposed to stand at attention beside the doctor, waiting?
#3- Although I would not advocate giving a smart aleck answer.... the question that we hear at least 10-15 times a shift, if not more.... "how much longer will it be?" OK... here's the answer and I'm sure it won't please people but ~we don't know~ I would LOVE to tell you how much longer it would be...but if I said 30 minutes... then it would take 45 or an hour. The reality is... I have no idea what time-consuming procedure the doc is doing in another room...I have no idea how many CT's the radiologist is reading...I have no idea if the lab work will take longer due to volume, equipment malfunctions, etc...I have no idea what will be coming in the door next that will need our immediate attention...you get the trend here? I know that it doesn't excuse impoliteness but we hear that question sooooo many times that yes, our answer my be a tad short.
#4- Most places have environmental services clean rooms after patients. I have gone into a room with a new pt in it to see a spot of blood on the floor or something of that nature...and I try to remedy the situation quickly and without fanfare. I guess I could inspect the rooms after ES cleans them.
#5- Yes, it is sad, but there are very many drug seekers out there. Again, we see several every shift. Does this excuse judgemental behavior from the ER staff? It most definitely does NOT. I am just trying to give some insight here.
I know that this post will not be very popular... it seems that the ER bashing session is the way to go. I am not in ANY way condoning the horrible behavior of some ER staff out there. On a personal note...I consider myself very warm, compassionate, caring and good at what I do. I would more quickly be "burned out" working on the floor. ER is what I love and it saddens me to see so many eager to share their horror stories. It gives a pre-conceived notion of what to "expect" the moment they walk in the door. I always find it interesting that the ones that come back down to thank us are thanking us for saving their lives. One thank you like that rules out a hundred of the complaints.
Nov 16, '05You deserved to be treated like a human being. Yes, I'd raise hell and write that letter. You did the right thing. Hope you're feeling better now.
Nov 16, '05Leah,
That was very well said.
I cannot comment on Molly's situation, or the others mentioned. I will say that perceptions can be decieving. I know I never seem to have the time to sit at the desk, nor do any of the nurses I have worked with. If I am at the desk I am charting, phoning report or searching for a chart. I am not allowed by law to administer meds without a physicians order.
IT is hard to say from what end of the ER what is going on at the other end. A trauma, cardiac or respiratory arrest, or some other high level emergency will tie up a physician which will delay care to those with less urgent complaints. As will waiting for lab reports, x-ray reports or consults.
I always try to clean rooms as I discharge patients, but sometimes I can step away for a bottle of Virex and return to find someone has roomed a patient for me.
There are just so many things that can be going on in an ER that someone from the outside may not even realize to consider.
Is is possible to be treated poorly and not have your concerns addressed, you bet. Is it possible other things were going on that you had no idea about, you bet.