My hospital stay


  • Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, HH, Geriatrics.

I had a laminectomy with a microdiscectomy last week. The hospital I was in was one of the better ones. I woke up post op-took myself to the bathroom. Crawled back into bed, no one had answered my call button yet. Had a Morphine PCA thank god!!! Pushed it, took a deep breathe and tryed to sleep. Heard an alarm, the nurse came in, I was desating she put on O2. Left the room. I drifted in and out of a drug induced stupor, got up to pee without help again. Alarms started ringing, I pushed the call bell, a CNA came in. Told him my alarms were going off, what did they say? He told me my heart rate was below 50, I said get the nurse. Off he went. Some time later I heard another alarm, turned to look my BP was 83/40, heart rate was 48, called the nurse again. CNA came in, told him to get the nurse. She finally came in, I said "Can't you put me on Tele or something?" She told me my doctor was gone and she couldn't and proceded to give me a bolus. Then left. After the 500cc bolus I was up to pee alot, without help most of the time. Everything finally came around okay, thank god. I was terified I was going to CODE!!!!!!!!!!! Alone!!!!!!!!!! The next day PT came in to show me how to log roll, I had gotten out of bed how many times at this point???? Then they discharged me home, to another state with NO PAIN MEDS!!!!!!!!!!!!! My doctor is the Cheif of Medicine at this hospital, what should I do????? What would you do?? I am a nurse guys........what about the other people who don't know better???


6 Posts

Specializes in PUBLIC HEALTH,ICU, MED SURG, ADMINISTRAT. Has 45 years experience.

Several years ago my husband had major back surgery in a University Hospital 100 miles away from home. The entire week was an unbelievable nightmare. The neurosurgeons were fantastic, but the nursing care was deplorable! I was embarrassed to admit I was an RN and was afraid to leave my husband alone in Neurosugical ICU. After discharge I wrote a letter to the CEO detailing all the issues and the poor Nursing care. Not that I expected much, but eventually I received a form letter back saying he was sorry we had a bad experience at their hospital, but they were rated # 1 in the area!! I would hate to see what # 2 was like. I hope you are doing fine since you are home.

Specializes in CT ,ICU,CCU,Tele,ED,Hospice. Has 36 years experience.

i am sorry barbq that you had such a rough time .they certainly should have responded quicker and you should have had assistance to br and back.i would write a letter to the hospital and describe what may not change anything but you need to try also you could request to speak with the ceo in person .i hope you are feeling better now.


482 Posts

Specializes in ICU;CCU;Telemetry;L&D;Hospice;ER/Trauma;.

I am still wondering why your heart rate and blood pressure were so low.....and why the 'reason' was dx'd and treated by a nurse who had not even listened to your heart or lungs as 'dehydration', ie bolus.....

I am sooooo angry that this happened to you.....

Believe me, this would not happen on my watch...EVER....

If the call light goes off, IT GETS ANSWERED by the third 'ding'....and people do not get up alone.....

I am thankful you made it home....I hope your healing continues....and please, ask to see your medical records et al....there are lots of reasons, both serious and not so serious, for post op bradycardias and hemodynamic instability.....please don't assume that all you needed was just a little fluid....

take care, crni


13 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, HH, Geriatrics.

THanks for your responses, it was frightening to think that I might die right there!! I will request my records, I was so horrified, we hear these stories all the time. I don't know what we can do to change things, I myself bailed from the hospital scene. Not the best way to deal with it, but I just didn't know what else to do, 8 patients on tele was too much. I am recovering slowly but plugging away. Anyhow I am tired, need to continue to try to be a good patient!! Take care all.... Thanks again


18 Posts

Hi Barbq,

I had a lumbar laminectomy about 3 years ago and I also received poor care,( I didn't know WHAT to do at the time and,unfortunately, I did nothing). About a year later my grandmother was hospitalized at the same hospital in New York and she too received, at times, lousy care. I than learned that the hospital had a 'patient advocate' who I contacted and described the problem I was having. I was quite literally shocked when the problem was addressed and resolved the next day. Also, if you have any questions regarding your surgery and recuperation I would be more than happy to answer if I can.....Here's a tip I found so very useful - A satin fitted sheet which made moving around in bed so much easier and much less painful.


135 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Educ, IC, CM, EOC.

As with any patient, if you do not get satisfaction from the previous steps mentioned (patient advocate/patient satisfaction liaison then CEO) a last resort is always a report to the state or JCAHO. If you're healing well enough to take on the letters or calls it might help patients in the future. Glad to hear you didn't cause yourself additional problems by needing to be up unassisted! Best wishes in your continued recovery.:balloons:

Christie RN2006

572 Posts

Specializes in SICU, EMS, Home Health, School Nursing.

I am sorry you had such a bad experience! Do you know what your heart rate and blood pressure normally run? The morphine could have been a part of your problems... Do you know if the nurse called the doctor at all? If I had a patient who's heart rate was in the 40s and bp in the low 80s, you had better believe I would be on the phone with the doctor at least updating them, because who knows what might be causing it. I would definitely write a letter to the CEO explaining your situation and how disappointed you were.


2 Posts

I too had a recent hospital stay-almost 3 months between ICU, neuro stepdown unit and then the neuro rehab. Bad case of meningitis with bilateral cranie's. My care was superb and this wasn't even the hospital that I worked at (but was within the same "system"). I did have some issues in the rehab hospital and the neuro NP and the case manager were wonderful and so helpful. But what helped me more than anything was that my husband (or some other family or friend) was there around the clock and they made sure that my needs were being met. I think that is the big difference. My husband had prostate surgery several years ago and I physically stayed in his room with him for the 4 days that he was hospitalized so I was totally on top of his care all the time. Nurses these days are so over worked and under staffed that it can be dangerous so the family must step up and take care where the nurses aren't able to. It's scarey because more and more of us are retiring or leaving the profession. I know that I never want to be hospitalized again but if I am my family will have to step forward to take care of me again.



4 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 4 years experience.

im so sorry to hear about your hospital stay, i recently had a bad experience too, i had a pilonidal cyst removed, couldnt lay on my back or hardly walk. Every time I put my light on they would turn it off from the nurses station and not even come to see what I needed. I was scheduled to get morphine push but they would never answer my light so i went a whole day without any pain meds. I missed 4 doses of iv antibiotics for whatever reason, they could never give me a reason why, just saying well im not sure why mam i dont know what happened on the shift before me. Im thinking, didnt u get report? My IV was infiltrated and it took 6 hrs before the IV was changed and thats only because I finally took it out myself, and luckily I am close friends with my Dr so I called him and told him. With in 15 min he was in my room and so where 3 nurses, it sucks that I had to resort to that, but I did. I do plan on writing a letter to the administrator. I had to have my surgery postponed another day because of the nursing errors, I was so disgusted.:angryfire:o

Specializes in med/surg/tele/neuro/rehab/corrections. Has 13 years experience.

Wow what frightening stories here! This makes me want to never be hospitalized again. As a nursing student now I know better.

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 17,705 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 46 years experience.

Add me to the list of bad hospital experiences. Got resolution by:

a. Contacting patient advocate and informing them concerns.

b. Getting copies of my chart within 48hrs discharge to review records

c. Filing typed 4 page complaint which documented deviations from standards of care and listing professional standards from websites.

Requested in service education as part of corrective action plan due to professional standards breached.

d. Hand delivered complaint to hospital offices Quality Improvement Director, Administrator, Nursing Director, Chief Medical Director, Anesthesia Director, Surgeon and PCP

Multiple phone calls ensued from hospital staff. Surgeon reassured me I'd lit the proper fires, corrective action taken to prevent similar incident, education in-service/training provided to employees involved; care delivery changed and future patients would be spared from my type experience. Written letter from hospital CEO also stated issues addressed.

Pen is mightier than a lawsuit sometimes.

I now treat complaints received in my department as a "gift": opportunity to make amends and change procedures/educate to minimize future occurrence.....what I don't know, can't change.


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