"Great ED care, but inadequate care in ward"
Posted by Madam Manners (as ),
I felt great after a surgery at Hollywood Private Hospital, but a week after my return home I felt so sick I went to Geraldton Regional Hospital (GRH) Emergency Department. I was diagnosed with pneumonia and a couple of blood clots and transferred to the ward within 5 hours. The treatment and care I received in the ED was thorough, thoughtful and I was given adequate explanation about my treatment. I'd also like to thank the security officer who brought me a sandwich for lunch. I had not eaten for 24 hours and was ready to snatch the tray from another patient who wasn't eating their food.
However, I’d like to outline my thoughts and concerns.
1. I understand the triage system, but why can't you just explain the likely wait? I couldn't breathe and was very distressed and had no idea whether I should just go away and die or keep waiting.
2. There were mistakes in the admission record. My temperature was 39 degrees but the discharge notes called this 'mild'. I'm not confident that my condition was accurately assessed and recorded.
3. There was a notice on my door - masks were required on entry to my room. Nursing and cleaning staff wore masks but the doctors I saw didn't. I guess being so close to God they don't spread nasty pneumonia bugs.
4. The meals on the menu are not healthy choices. A breakfast devoid of protein and loaded with carbs, salt and sugar is not okay. There was a lot of Class A and A2 carcinogens available and no salads. Was that packet soup?
5. Nursing staff gave me a drug on an empty stomach and it was agonising. The drug info clearly states that it is to be taken with food. I hadn't eaten for over 24 hours.
6. The pain in my stomach was excruciating. I pressed the call bell and it took 30 minutes for someone to come. The nurse told me this was the sub-acute ward so everyone needed care. True - but if you don't check how do you know the level of danger to a patient? Just letting the bells ring and ring is not okay, especially for the old people in pain on that ward. Cruel and unnecessary.
7. Who were the team of strange people who marched into my room and started talking to me? One of them was very rude to the others, patronising and demeaning them in front of me. None of them wore masks or introduced themselves. Then they gave me bad news and stared at me - except one person who hugged me when I cried.
8. Thanks to that medical student - your bedside manner was relevant and healing - you'll be a great doctor. Thank you also to a resident (I think) who came back with a screen and explained my condition and treatment options.
9. I was discharged with antibiotics that failed to treat my condition because no-one ordered the sputum culture. Another contribution to antibiotic resistant bugs in hospitals?
To summarise, the level of care in the ED is mostly high standard. Care on the ward was not adequate and my condition deteriorated after discharge. Patient engagement needs attention. Staff engagement too. Give the menu a healthy overhaul.