After 3 wks of abdo pain I was instructed by my GP, that if my complaint worsened to go to A&E. 2 wks after that it did, so as instructed I went where I managed to tell the triage nurse “abdo pain & diarrhoea” (perhaps I should have said change in bowel habits). Immediately she threw her head in her hands and seemed to be berating me for going there, “we don’t want you here, we don’t like diarrhoea, this is ridiculous etc”. My GP had told me to do this so I didn’t appreciate this apparent level of unprofessionalism when I was worried about my condition anyway.
I was immediately whisked into a barrier room, with no explanation as to what was happening and no chance to ask if someone could tell my dad who came with me where I was. I had to text him. Nobody asked if I came with anyone. I texted dad to knock on the A&E door where the staff then told him I wasn’t in A & E and that I should be in the waiting room.
Unsurprisingly they seemed to forget about me. They had parked a cleaning trolley in front of the door with no window that had to stay shut. It felt like I was literally put in that room and forgotten about. When dad finally found me, I was so upset and overwhelmed I burst into tears and when he asked the nurse what was happening, she said in what I found an impatient and abrupt way “I did tell you it would be a 2-3 hour wait for a consultant”. Which she definitely did not and if I was that contagious like they must have thought, 2-3 hours seems a ridiculous time to keep me in isolation with my dad being allowed to come and go as he liked. He had to remove his coat but was allowed to bring it into the barrier room with me – is this ‘containment’?
I wasn’t even allowed to the toilet. I had a commode wheeled in, with no toilet paper and had to hold the doors shut while I was using it because the various nurses didn’t knock when coming in. How many nurses were working on my case I don’t kow because there were so many faces peeking in the door I felt like a circus show.
Nurses snapped at me and I felt like an inconvenience to them. One nurse was very rough when removing the cannula from my hand I couldn’t wait to get out of there to be honest even though my case is ongoing.
The doctor was fabulous, can’t fault her one bit. The nurses I met however need to sort their attitudes to patients out. I was worried and upset anyway, fine put your gown and gloves on but you won’t catch anything from talking to me. I won’t bite. I felt like an experiment to be honest. The doc was brilliant but the nurses did nothing to attempt to explain what was happening despite me being on the verge of tears from frustration.
Bedside manner was lacking among the nurses I met. I appreciate they work long hours in a stressful environment but if they can’t hack it they shouldn’t be in A&E. You can know everything about procedures and infection control but if you make patients feel rubbish in the meantime, you are not a good practitioner.