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"Experience regarding treatment for cancer"

About: The Townsville Hospital / Women's Clinic

(as the patient),

I was referred to the Townville for Hospital for bleeding post-menopausal early this year. I was seen by the registrar at the Women's clinic and told that I had a particular condition whereby he needed to obtain a specimen from my uterus and that this could be done that day.

When I voiced that I was bleeding excessively now wearing incontinent pull ups and embarrassed, he called on his Locum Consultant who told me it was a hospital and I should not be embarrassed. After further discussion it was decided that I would require surgery and that a recommendation of a Mirena be put in reduce the bleeding.

At my follow-up visit a different registrar saw me and started the conversation that we are here to talk about your plan of care and asked what plan of care and then told that I had cancer and sat in the office for an hour while he complied the letter for the gynaecological oncologist.

Then a flurry of calls re surgery and I had not yet seen the gynaecological oncologist. My own family position was difficult.

When I did see the gynaecological oncologist it was decided that I could have the surgery in 4 weeks when my family situation was better.

The Friday before the surgery I was told that I needed to be at the hospital on Monday as the gynaecological oncologist was a different surgeon than the one I saw 4 weeks earlier. A day that I planned to relax and have some quality time with my family. Waiting time that day over 2 hours.

I arrived early on the morning of my surgery to be admitted.  Had support of my family who sat with me. The day previously I asked if this was OK and was told that this was not a problem. On the day when I was admitted was told I could have only one support person with me in the OT waiting room so decided that I would wait with my family in the main area.

I was then approached by a nurse who took me into a room and said that I needed to have a Heparin injection when I asked why I was told that the anaesthetist ordered it and had no time to explain. I believe this should have been discussed at pre-admission.

At 10.00am on the day I was called back into the OT area to be told that my operation was on hold and might even be cancelled due to a bed shortage at the hospital. Yes I did lose the plot and was very angry.

I do have to thank the young anaesthetist who came and spoke to me and I could see that he was also visibly upset as well. What could he do – this was the hospital system.

I decided it was best for everyone that I redress and take a walk. I was called backed at 11.00am and told that surgery was happening.

My family waited and when I was in recovery not one of them was allowed to sit with me. I did not have a bed till 7pm that night.

My experience in hospital was very mixed to caring and not caring. I failed trail of voiding twice when my catheter was removed. Did not see the surgeon again. Heard the registrar tell the staff that I was a whinger. Treated by one staff member as I thought - as if I was a child who spoke to me lik I was a three old (I do have grey hair).

Other staff I saw were compassionate and caring and I could not thank them enough.

I am now three weeks post surgery and will be seeing the third gynaecological oncologist tomorrow with my results.

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Response from Julie Shepherd, Nurse Manager Patient Experience, Patient Services; Clinical Governance Directorate, Townsvillle Hospital and Health Services 6 years ago
Julie Shepherd
Nurse Manager Patient Experience, Patient Services; Clinical Governance Directorate,
Townsvillle Hospital and Health Services
Submitted on 12/05/2016 at 3:29 PM
Published on Care Opinion on 13/05/2016 at 10:25 AM

Dear Caring and not caring,

Thank you for taking the time to share your story on Patient Opinion and giving us your valuable feedback. I apologise that you have experienced our service in this way, please know that our hospital takes all feedback seriously.

We are here to help those who are unwell and anxious and it is vital to note that your story highlights just how significant compassionate and respectful communication is for health care workers to provide to everyone we come into contact with.

We would like an opportunity to discuss your experience in more detail so that we can explore the issues you have raised. I encourage you to please contact staff in our Patient Liaison Service on 44331074 to discuss further.

Once again, I thank you for sharing your story and I do hope that you are recovering well.

With kind regards,

Julie Shepherd

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