Treated badly in ER of hospital I work at!

Nurses General Nursing


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?

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

No one should ever be treated that way. Sorry that you are feeling so bad.

z's playa

2,056 Posts

You acted completely rationaly and you never deserved to be treated that way. No one in pain should be treated that way. Please make sure you follow through and report the incident and all who were involved. I hope you feel better soon.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

I am so sorry. Yes, indeed, write a letter. And make darn sure the manager and administration get it. Demand redress. you did deserve better.

Specializes in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc.

I have had this happen to me also...and I have now TWO ED's I refuse to go to..and yep..they are the closest to me!

I too was pre-diagnosed from the get go and they wouldn't listen to me at all that I had just the previous day been diagnosed with adhesions binding (from a c-section) my ovary to my bowel and causes bleeding in the pelvis if I torque it wrong. 10/10 pain! (I went to another hospital once and the Doc was so cool, and he said that any blood present in the pelvis (outside the uterus) triggers an inflamatory responce causing 10/10 pain and gave me....*angels sing* TORIDOL! Oh I love that stuff..non-narcotic and works IM in about 10-15 minutes...I now have an Rx for it so I don't have to go to the ED all the time!).

They insisted I had a UTI or an STD...I was a newlywed, with my hubby for 4 years..and he and I were attached at the hip when we weren't STD was totally utterly out of the question. wasn't hitting the urinary tract at was the rip by adhesions!

So every time they told me..take these antibiotics and go see your PCP. Oh yeah right, that Dx cost me how much? I was a better listener and MD then them, and could make my own Dx thank you very much! (IE the reason my PCP did give me the Rx...I was livid! and he agreed that if I could avoid the trip, to avoid it..two years and doing well...attacks down to only 1 every three months or so and toridol cures it!).

Then in a hospital I worked in...I was transfering a patient just to the comode, and yep...during that 1/2 second transfer she went grand mal on me...we both fell and I was her cushion! She was fine, I was okay...but after work and once I relaxed at home my hip was in terrible pain. I knew I had to go into that ED for workers I did! I was very pleasant so I don't understand what the heck happened, but they tried to give me valium..and I asked if I could please try toridol first since it works so well for inflamatory pain on me and is non narcotic...

The PA freaked out on me, asking me if I had a drug probelm (because I said no to valium!?!?!), and I told her "no, I just don't like the way it makes me feel, I have to go to work tomorrow if able, and I really don't want that med on board if I have to be keen to what is going on for workers comp!" They had me peeing in a cup asap for a drug test!!!!!! OMG!!!!! Came clear (gee go figure!), and they finally after hours and treating me like some enemy...I finally got that toridol shot..pain gone, and I was up at work the next day! That ED visit...9-10 hours post work and long drive home, drive back! Totally utterly unexceptable for anyone! I was furious!!!

Then I was 'randomly' drug tested from that point on at every two weeks! Thanks ED! I asked for a NON that so friggen odd?!?!? Does that make me a druggie to ask for something NON! UHGGGGG! I did wind up quitting soon afterwards, but this was the start of the bad blood between me and that hospital! It just went on from this point!

Yeah, and I wanted to go into ED...planned on it...but being a patient in one after being a nurse...well, have to say it was part of my highly critical examination of ED's before I would even apply...and so far none around here have passed the test in the least for my comfort! Very sad!

And sadly I had to report that the nurses were not being patient advocates for me at all! And that really disturbed me, I counted on my peers to help me when I need it, and when I am on 'the other side' of the fence being helpless..and I got LESS than any Joe/Jane walking in! That hurts!!!!!!!!! But as I look at the want ads, those hospital employment turn over rates for RN's in the ED are averaging 3 months!!!!!! So I guess patient advocates or good nurses just know when NOT to stay! I sure hadn't seen any!


138 Posts

You did the right thing, and your emotions got the best of you. I say it's both because, this is pretty common in the ER really and most people just put up with it. But since you are a nurse, and it's your place of work, you probably got fed up faster than the average patient. I don't think I've ever had an ER visit that was any better than yours. Your chief complaint was pain, and something about asking for pain control makes most ER staff turn on you. It's the whole drug-seeker issue, and though I feel for the ER staff that have to deal with them so often I don't condone treating patients badly for any reason unless they are treating you badly.

I hope you're feeling better and that you follow through with your complaint. Hopefully, a complaint coming from an employee will carry more weight.


928 Posts

So sorry you feel so bad and then was treated so horribly. I would definitley follow up with administration. They should be ashamed of themselves. Hope you get to feeling better!

prmenrs, RN

4,565 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

Follow thru w/administration!!

Specializes in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc.

This actually cracks me up...but I was in the ONE ED that treated me well...with my hubby..he and I were gitty although I was in pain (being gitty helped!), and my hubby said..oh honey...I bet you don't know this...and showed me that you can get an EKG reading on a three lead by putting it in various areas besides the chest ( were obsene!). He was like..okay so put it here (chest) this here (ground) then put it on my forehead..sure enough...silly I know, but I never knew this..LOL!

So just then a nurse came in..oops! Here I am..bent over in pain, laughing which actually made the pain worse but oh well..and now red faced with a EKG pad on my head! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But then I showed the Nurse what he was trying to show me..and she was totally cool and was like me..."oh wow! I didn't know that!" My hubby was find out these things when you have to in intresting car wrecks and stuff".....LOL!

I got treated better there than any other hospital, and actually the MD was commenting and laughing!

Too bad that was one out of 8 times I had to visit the ED for this probelm before I got the Toridol no more ED! :)

Specializes in Me Surge.

Miss mollySorry that you were treated that way. Man I would have loved to see the look on there faces wehn you told them that you work at the hospital. By the way, when I am the patient I never menton that I am a nurse. Some MD office and hospiatl admission forms ask for an occupation, if its not relevant I leave it blank. I had a neck injury ( still suffering form it) and went to the ER, I never mentioned that i worked at that hopsital. A nurse came in, not the one who had been caring for me, and this nurse askd, so what floor do you work on. The only way she could have known that I work there is by going to the admissions clerk area and looking it up. Why would the nurse want to know this information? Shouldn't they ahve been concerned about my symptoms? I guess they wanted to decide how to treat based on my insurance.

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,494 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Agree, follow through. Good luck. Hope you get well soon.

Specializes in Me Surge.


The PA is an freaking idiot. An idiot who doesn't know that Toradol is not a narcotic. that would explain his reaction. Idiot.

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