"One person's experience with the NSW Health system"
Posted by Goong (as ),
(I shall try to condense my experience using bullet points, abbreviations.).
1. Infected Left middle finger (Cellulitis of finger) from tip to first knuckle resulting in severe swelling to finger, whole of left hand and past the elbow.
2. Visited local GP mid morning early in August. After cutting open and in as delicate a way as I can describe it, squeezing out the pus (painful), he suggested I go to the hospital without delay.
3. I went to St George Hospital Emergency after midday. I have and have had occasion to visit St George on numerous occasions in the past six years and with the exception of a couple of memorable experiences involving insertion of a catheter, the specialists and staff have always been competent, friendly towards me personally at least and relatively strict on procedures. In the recent visit, the Emergency Department
a. Admission process was seamless with little waiting time
b. Initial assessment was thorough
c. Wait for an X ray was longer than I would normally have expected
d. Attended to the infected finger
e. Most importantly, knowing my medical history, liaised with my Hematologist whose Registrar visited me on two occasions . Given that the infection had gone as far as the arm, it was suggested I go to the Hand Hospital of whose existence I was not even aware.
4. St George arranged for me to go to the Hand Hospital where I arrived at 7pm. At the Hand Hospital
a. Emergency check-in was similar to St George, (a) above, but because I was to be admitted to the Hospital, assessment was more detailed and thorough.
b. I was taken to a room with 4 beds and after showering, one of the nurses on duty noticed I had a condition called Cold Agglutinin. Without prompting on my part, she arranged for me to move to a warmer room with a heater. It was much appreciated.
c. The finger was operated upon the next day and I was discharged three days later.
d. Of equal importance was the dedication, knowledge and care of the nursing staff post the operation. This included treatment in the follow-up visits as well as advice on physio.
5. I can only speak from my own experience. The ultimate test is when one leaves the hospital thinking perhaps they deserve to be paid more.