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About: Rockingham General Hospital / Day Procedure Unit Rockingham General Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I was admitted for my 2nd surgery of a similar nature this year at Rockingham General Hospital. 

I was admitted through DPU, and I felt the nurses were kind and went out of their way to make me feel at ease even though I was feeling a lot of pre-op anxiety. Based on my experience, the theatre nurses were lovely, held my hand and made me feel cared for. I felt the gynae reg and Doctor were lovely as always.

In my opinion, the anaesthetic reg who consented me was quite abrupt when speaking, on induction was not gentle - it felt like they were trying to suffocate me with an oxygen mask whilst telling me to be calm and take deep breaths. I am a nurse myself and I can tell you you don’t need to apply a huge amount of pressure to get a seal.

When I woke post op I was in a lot of pain, I felt the PACU nurses were so lovely and tried to get my pain under control and had me reviewed/spoke with the anaesthetist about starting a PCA (which I’d had my previous surgery and had worked pretty well). I believe the anaesthetist refused and the nurses continued giving fentanyl protocol and various other IV analgesia, subsequently I felt sick and needed antiemetics as well. The anaesthetist walked past at one point while I was crying in pain, looked at me, seemingly said something to the nurse briefly and walked off. 

On return to the ward, I saw the RN once and was mostly cared for by a student nurse whose English was not great in my opinion and I felt just wanted to get in and out to do obs and assess my pain score but did nothing about it. I was in pain and pressed my call bell. It took 20 minutes for a nurse to respond, my pain had increased substantially whilst waiting and the nurse who answered the call bell told me they’d get my actual nurse.

I waited another 15 minutes before pressing my call bell again as I thought they must have been busy. My partner was getting upset as they could see I was in quite a lot of pain. I waited another 10 minutes before my nurse came and by the time I finally received analgesia it had been 50 minutes total which is far too long. I worry that if I had been someone older or more unwell and had to wait that long for assistance I believe something bad could happen. 

Later that evening I was told that I was being moved up to DPU for the night as they were full and wanted to admit more patients. I was a bit skeptical and told the nurse I didn’t want to move but was moved anyway. It was a quiet night however I understand the nurses on overnight were both on double shifts which seems unsafe. My call bell didn’t work and I told the nurse but nothing was done until the morning shift started. The staff on night shift were lovely and checked on us regularly and even made us cups of tea in the morning which was kind. 

The next morning I feel I was kind of forgotten and treated like a DPU patient. It was super busy and loud with all the admissions coming in and I felt embarrassed having to walk past lots of other patients and visitors to use the toilet etc. Breakfast felt like a last minute thought - my original order was cancelled because I moved wards which seems ridiculous - why can't the order follow the patient if they are not discharged? So I was served what seemed to be cold soggy toast and gluten free cornflakes. 

I feel like the nurse really wanted to discharge me ASAP, they asked me numerous times if I wanted to go home that day and I kept thinking, of course I do?! Once my scripts were done (which was mid-morning) the nurse gave me the scripts and told me to fill them in the hospital pharmacy on my way out (why not fill them now while I am waiting to meet the criteria for discharge?).

When I finally was able to go home it was early afternoon, I was walking out feeling a bit sore and light headed, another nurse asked my nurse if I needed a wheelchair out, to which my nurse responded, I recall, “no they need to walk”, this again made me feel like they just wanted to discharge me ASAP. I wouldn’t make any patient walk that distance to the car after having extensive gynae surgery.

On the way out my partner and I went to the hospital pharmacy who initially only wanted to fill one of my scripts and told my partner to fill the other two externally. I felt this was so weird. My partner said they’d like to fill them all here so we don’t have to stop again on the way home. The pharmacist left and returned saying it’ll be about 2 hours for the script to be filled. Now I know hospital pharmacies are busy and the waits are long but my partner thought this was ridiculous especially considering the nurse didn’t want to fill them when we were waiting on the ward. 

Overall, I would say it was an average experience, my previous experience was actually much worse so I’m glad that this time went a bit smoother. Previously I spoke with the pharmacist about my medications, was cleared by physio and had a lot more education so it would have been nice to receive these this time too. 

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Response from Kath Smith, Executive Director, Rockingham Peel Group, South Metropolitan Health Service 4 months ago
Kath Smith
Executive Director, Rockingham Peel Group,
South Metropolitan Health Service
Submitted on 20/07/2021 at 16:12
Published on Care Opinion at 16:12

picture of Kath Smith

Dear Doglover123,

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

I sincerely appreciate your positive feedback regarding the care you received pre-operatively and I will ensure that this is relayed to the staff involved in your care. I am, however, very sorry to hear that there were aspects of your care post-operatively that you were unhappy with. We are committed to delivering safe quality care and I am concerned that this was not your experience after your surgery.

Without your specific details we are unable to further investigate your feedback related to the anaesthetic team and day procedure unit. I invite you to contact our consumer liaison office directly on 5999 4323 and provide the date and time of your admission.

Once again I am very sorry to hear of your negative experience and hope that you are recovering well.

Kind regards

Kath Smith

Executive Director

Rockingham Peel Group, South Metropolitan Health Service

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