Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm just a wee bit miffed....and then some

Am most displeased with several members of nursing staff at a particular hosp here in Melbourne.
How do I loathe this place?
Let me count the ways....
When you have two freaking good working eyes in your head and a functioning brain in your skull, please look at an elderly patient who is cynosed (blue around the the lips or in dad's case - lips, fingers, hands, ears, etc) panting for breath and falling out of a wheelchair and DO NOT fecking tell me his oxygen sats are 96% and he doesn't need oxygen.
Oh, yes they did.
And then do NOT even think of rolling your eyes at me, smirking and telling me in a sing-song voice it's my choice if I want to take him to a private hosp, because I will ( and I did) POLITELY request a patient ambulance transport to take Dad to a private hosp.
And do NOT try to trot out the 'against medical advice' drivel at me cos if I can see he's sick and you can see he's sick then fecking DO something.
You know what?
Basic manners in many of these cases would have made a HUGE difference, but at least 2 triage nursing staff were so antagonistic towards me (and me not having even spoken to them!) I am not surprised they need security.
Really, asking someone to leave the triage area is a simple matter of please and thankyou with a smile.
Certainly not
"You have to get out I need these chairs empty" in an aggressive snarl, emphasis on the 'get out'.
And kept glaring at us while Dad was left alone in triage getting bloods done, panting and falling out of the wheelchair while some other nurse made a right royal cock-up of reading the doctors letter and assigning medications/medical conditions my father has NEVER been on and NEVER had.
But what should I expect from the nurse who informed me, several months ago, that my son's meltdown and attempt to choke himself with a belt wasn't as bad as all the other children who needed to be seen ahead of him and that she doubted they could get anyone in to see him at all.
Again, bitch.
I see the formal complaint didn't sweeten your disposition.
But the kicker was finding out that basic communication skills in some nursing staff are non-existent.
I have been informing various members of the nursing staff since SUNDAY that Dad was going back downhill, that he was much improved Friday and Saturday on another ward, that he was eating, ambulating, orientated to time, place, person, sharp as a tack, on the ball, laughing and joking and conversing appropriately.
None of which he's been capable of, to a lesser extent each day, since SUNDAY.
No, if these type of concerns are to be raised apparently the freaking patient's family must be at the hospital at tell the doctors themselves, or so it was inferred to me.
Cos NOT ONE OF THE STAFF passed on anything I'd told them.
The lazy ones, who roll their eyes and think they've got a cruisy shift by having to look after the elderly with bare minimum of requirements and who tell family one story and staff a different one - yes, I know all about you.
The thin-skinned little uni grads so fresh from the halls of study they think a stethoscope waved in their direction is an aggressive stance.
The I'm-so-busy-doing-nothing-but-I-look-good nurses - go suck a lemon, you'll have an ulcer by the time you're 30 for fear people will find you out to be the frauds you really are.
There are some fabulous nurses working at this particular hospital and they deserve every cent and accolade they earn, and then some.
It's such a shame they and the public have to tolerate the dropkicks.


  1. Jayne, sorry to hear all this is going pear-shaped and then some. Hope you manage to talk to someone who can get something positive done soon...

  2. My sister the nurse says the worse thing she has to deal with are the relatives but she shares your views on uni nurses who don't actually want to nurse just run the hospitals.
    I've said it before and will shout it again, 6 weeks on the wards doing the shit jobs will weed out the born to be nurses from the wannabees.

  3. There will be formal complaints lodged tomorrow morning, Kiwi.

    JahTeh, yep, rellies can be a PITA but when nurses just keep assuming he's early-stage dementia and ignore that he was formerly independent at home and improving on another ward, then it's an impossibility for duty of care to be met and borders on negligence.
    Not to mention the list of stuff-ups during this admission...!

  4. Wow -- that is bad! Go the formal complaints! (Why do they assume all people over 60 are demented? My Dad is 90 and has most of his marbles, though he has started listening to talkback in the last few years.)

  5. Jayne... a friend of my Aunty's went backwards in hospital... turned out it had to do with the drugs prescribed. Nobody seemed to realise very quickly...

  6. What's wrong with these people??
    It's a disgrace...

    So sorry you have this to deal with as well Jayne :(


  7. *big hug*

    and one for dad as well *big hug*

  8. Obviously it's too hard for them to read charts and reports. I hope you have better luck with the next bunch of nurses. My sister's had 30 years of observations to guide her as well as reading everything about a patient and she's been known to shirtfront a doctor about his treatment.

  9. That's appalling! But sadly not unlike other anecdotal evidence I've heard/experienced over the years. Yes, I know state/fed govt's have other things to spend $ on (such as the $43B con of NBN, sports stadia and the like) but maybe its time for the 'Australian people' (god how I LOATHE that term) to start demanding a priority fix to get $ flowing to where they're actually MOST needed?

    Good luck with your issue - hope it resolves positively.

  10. Sounds a bit like the nurses are cut from the same cloth as some of our checkout people.
    Do as little as possible for the pay.

  11. I'm sorry to hear what happened to you and your father. Yes, it is intolerable and I hope things will improve as a result of the complaint.

    While I'm here, I might as well let you know that I was contacted by a nurse who is giving a talk on friday about nurses in 2010 who are to posh to wash patients! What has the world come to? I think a return to hospital based training would sort out the good from the bad, perhaps.

    Take Care,

  12. Thanks for all the hugs and support.

    Peter, you've nailed it on the head, that's exactly what my cousin (a nurse, also) and I reckon.
    Get the student nurses back onto the wards and doing real work where they'll learn that observation is using your eyes and not relying on machines and getting your hands dirty cos no one else will do the job for them.

  13. Oh, argh. What misery.