Visit to the Emergency Department

(as the patient),

STORY HAS A RESPONSE

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About: Fiona Stanley Hospital / Emergency Department

In the Short Stay area of the Emergency Department (ED), the nurse questioned my understanding of treatment, understandably as not all information had come through on notes. The nurse talked with other staff, debating my treatment within my hearing, then set off to the previous department to confirm.

I believe the nurse just wanted me out quicker. The nurse came back with the correct information, which was that I would have a catheter put in. I heard the nurse then asking a colleague to do the catheter, with many justifications as to why they couldn't do it themself. The nurse who put it in was ok, though made a couple of installation errors. They then gave me brief management instructions referring to the pamphlet as back up.

At this time it was 3 am, I was in mild shock as I have never been catheterised and was now in extreme discomfort getting used to the catheter. The straps kept slipping off my leg. Blood results came in and we were shooed out into the rain. I felt pretty devastated. I wanted to rip the catheter out as it felt awful. No concrete details were given to me on departure. Totally felt on my own. I don't really think the two nurses in Short Stay knew my name. I did not feel cared for in Short Stay. I felt like a problem to be solved and gotten rid of. I don't think anybody should be catheterised and sent home that quickly. Brutal. 

I am now waiting for related surgery and have no idea how long it will be or who to speak to.

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Responses to this story

Response from Neil Doverty, Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group, South Metropolitan Health Service

picture of Neil Doverty

Dear telescopiumjg99,

Firstly, I would like to offer my sincerest apologies for your experience in Emergency Short Stay Unit (ESSU) at FSH.

There is a competency required to insert male and female catheters. If the nurse does not possess this skill then another nurse who is competent in this skill will be asked or assigned to assist with the procedure. After a patient’s catheter has been inserted, education will be provided to the patient or the patient’s family. They will be given catheter equipment as well as discharge information. Once the patient’s catheter is inserted patients should be discharged with education, equipment if required, and a follow-up appointment given by the clerical staff. Part of the nursing responsibility is to ensure patients are discharged in a safe manner, including how patients will be discharged home. We do not expect patients to wait outside and are happy for patients to wait in the waiting room until transport arrives to take them home.

I once again apologise that this process was not what you experienced. I understand that you may already be in contact with us regarding an investigation of the matters you have raised. If not, I encourage you to please contact us on 6152 4013 so that we can investigate the matter fully.

Kind regards,

Neil Doverty

Executive Director

Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospital’s Group

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Update posted by telescopiumjg99 (the patient)

Neil,

Thanks for your response to my story. What I experienced was not what it should have been. I was given no discharge information, no follow up appointment or plan for what happens next. The education I received was brief and did not cover all that I needed to know. Surely there is more support needed for patients than this. I have since developed an infection relating to the catheter and I am not able to work full days due to being unwell.

The situation makes me think that efficiency is being placed above patient care. It's false efficiency though if patients are inadequately supported and develop complications.

I have emailed the hospital directly and will wait for a response.

Thanks again for responding.