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"Attitude of particular staff in ED"

About: Albany Health Campus / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

The last year I have been in and out of hospital a lot. With a diagnosis of a pretty crappy brain disorder that causes pretty intense migraines and pain. In addition to this, I've developed a heart condition and have to take a pretty decent load of disgusting medications. That sucks the life out of me and some days the side effects are worse than the actual disease. 

A few days ago, my medications were changed. Again. This is always awful and brings with it a myriad of crappy new symptoms and sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between what is causing what and what is the best option for my health. As in, to keep taking new meds - switch back to old ones etc. 

Recently, after 3 days of vomiting, diarrhoea, intense flank pain that was getting worse as the days went on I decided I couldn't ignore it anymore (like I always try to, because quite frankly the Albany ED is, in my opinion, awful and I'd rather never have to go there)... I heard a clinician in ED hand my file to a doctor (my file is huge, again - I believe maybe it wouldn't be if you did your job and fixed me) whisper something, and then continued to say that my Intracranial Hypertension isn't even that bad.
1 - I wasn't even there for that, and
2 - even if I was... have you experienced it have you? Or was I confused and you weren't a nurse but in fact a neurologist? 

I felt your attitude and absolutely disgusting bedside manner was a disgrace and, in my opinion, until you've experienced your brain being crushed inside your skull... I believe you should withhold your comments and keep them to yourself. 

It's demeaning and I feel, a sure-fire way to keep people with chronic illness out of EDs. Like we don't suffer enough. To have to question if we should go or not because of people like you is horrible. 

I believe nursing should be for people who want to help people who are in pain and sick and struggling. Not making what I feel are snide snarky remarks ensuring those people won't return when God forbid they need to. 

I think you need to pull your head in.


Response from Vicky Besier, Clinical Nurse Manager Critical Care, Albany Health Campus last week
We are preparing to make a change
Vicky Besier
Clinical Nurse Manager Critical Care,
Albany Health Campus
Submitted on 05/05/2021 at 13:05
Published on Care Opinion at 13:06

Dear French87,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us about your recent attendance at the Albany Health Campus Emergency Department.

Managing a chronic disease can be physically and emotionally challenging and I was so sorry to read that you felt disrespected at a time where you were unwell and needing support. We want our patients to feel safe and receive compassionate care and I offer my sincere apologies for any distress caused to you.

I would like to work with you to see how we can better support you with your care going forward and gain a greater understanding of what happened when you attended the ED. If you would like to, I encourage you to contact Janine Watts, Coordinator of Nursing and Midwifery, on 9892 2213. Janine will welcome your call.

I would also like you to know that we have scheduled our Patient Experience team to deliver staff training sessions next month on the importance of providing compassionate care. These sessions will provide valuable opportunities for staff to reflect on their roles in ensuring that patients and their families feel safe and well cared for and support us in improving what we do.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your story with us.

Kind regards,

Vicky Besier

Clinical Nurse Manager Emergency Department

Albany Health Campus

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