Unacceptable behaviour by Nurse

(as a carer),

STORY HAS A RESPONSE

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About: Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital / 1 East (Ophthalmology)

The nurse at the Sydney Eye Hospital reception was, in my opinion, very rude and insensitive to my elderly parent and myself as a carer on the day we first visited the Hospital for an appointment. 

I have been to a few hospitals across NSW as well as in other states as a patient. Generally I feel humbled by what the medical staff in all these hospitals do and the way they regard the patients. Coming from a place of appreciation for the way Hospital staff work, it was a shock to me how this particular nurse treated my parent and me (as a carer to my parent). To give two examples as to how the nurse behaved towards us:

1. The nurses didn't greet us, didn't tell us their name until at the end when I specifically asked for it. When I gave a response of, not really, on my parent's behalf to a general question the nurse was writing down on the paper, I feel the nurse cornered me by saying: What do you mean?, is that a yes or no?, when I further explained to the nurse what I meant, they scolded me by saying: you should not say not really, you should just answer yes or no. It made me feel like I was a criminal facing a prosecutor or an opponent's lawyer. 

2. When the nurse was examining my parent's eye through a machine, the nurse never explained anything to us apart from telling my parent to put their chin on the rest with one eye looking into the spot. When the nurse paused what they were doing, my parent naturally adjusted their chin position and shifted another eye to the spot, the nurse then, without saying a single word, just moved the machine with the rest away from my parent, causing my parent to lose balance a little. My parent looked bewildered then, I then asked at that point: did you do one eye or both eyes? The nurse then turned to stare at me directly in my eyes without saying a single word, which was, I feel, very intimidating and extremely rude. 

After this incident, I immediately reported back to the Hospital front line staff, and they were very friendly and very warm to take my feedback. I just don't think this kind of behaviour is acceptable, and I am sure it would be against their Code of Conduct. I feel this nurse has a serious ethical problem, and should be put on watch.

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Responses to this story

Response from Jenny Wilson, Acting Director of Nursing & Support Services, Nursing Services, Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital

Dear phoenixzp59,

Thank you for sharing your recent experience in relation to your parent’s care at Sydney Hospital/Sydney Eye Hospital. I am disappointed to hear that your experience was poor, especially the feedback in relation to your encounter with nursing staff. It is my expectation that all staff deliver care in a compassionate and respectful manner. Your concerns and feedback will be discussed with the nursing team and the Department so that we can reflect on your experience.

To be able to follow up on your parents experience, I would like further details, please email me on:

SESLHD-SSEHExecutiveServices@health.nsw.gov.au

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

Regards

Jenny Wilson

Acting Director of Nursing and Support Services

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