"Conduct unbecoming"

About: Bunbury Hospital / Emergency Department

(as other),

I attended the Emergency Department of the Bunbury Hospital recently.

Whilst waiting to be assessed by the nurse at the reception, I was shocked to hear the questions being asked to a teenage girl. I believe it was obvious that she had sustained a hand injury and was in pain. The nurse proceeded to ask the young girl to rate her level of pain on a scale of 1 to 10,  10 they said being childbirth. What was this nurse thinking? Of course the girl couldn’t answer this question, having not given birth as yet.

The nurse then threw another inappropriate question to the girl. What if I got a knife and chopped one of your fingers off, would that rate a 10 ++.  I did speak to the parent of the girl later and they told me they were lost for words and should have spoken to the nurse at the time and aired their amazement that they should ask these insensitive and embarrassing questions to her daughter, but they were more concerned about their child's health at the time.

I believe someone needs to speak to this nurse and educate them on appropriate questions to ask and to be more sensitive to the needs of others, especially when they are sick and in pain. 


Response from Denise Clement, Nurse Unit Manager Critical Care, Bunbury Hospital, WACHS South West 8 months ago
Denise Clement
Nurse Unit Manager Critical Care, Bunbury Hospital,
WACHS South West
Submitted on 25/11/2019 at 11:58
Published on Care Opinion at 12:49

Dear plutohk73,

Thank you for your feedback regarding a conversation you overheard in the Bunbury Hospital Emergency Department waiting room between the triage Nurse and a teenage girl.

I agree the question was inappropriate in the circumstance that you describe, lacks sensitivity and not the expected standards of communication that our patients and visitors should be receiving whilst in care.

We are assuring the Triage staff receive this feedback to ensure their approach is age appropriate and sensitive when assessing patient pain levels.

If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Liaison Officer on 9722 1510. Thank you again for taking the time to provide us with this valuable feedback.


Denise Clement

Nurse Unit Manager – Critical Care

Bunbury Hospital

  • plutohk73 thinks this response is helpful
    {{helpful-1}} other {{helpful-1 == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} so too

Update posted by plutohk73 (other)

Thank you for responding to this issue. What I don’t get is why did the nurse involved go to the point of saying that they would use a knife to cut off a finger to enable the patient to rate the pain that would have or should have caused. Not appropriate at all.

The problem is also, that they did not batter a lid, it seems like the nurse used this phrase beforehand. I feel it is so cold & uncaring.

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