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my hospital stay my hospital stay

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Unread 01-25-2003, 10:08 PM
my hospital stay

I had a terrible time in the hospital. Not because of the surgery, but because of the nurses.
My surgery started at 8:30 A.M. Thursday and I got to my room at about 12:45 P.M. I never asked for anything for pain until about 6:30 that evening. When I did page the nurse and ask, she said, "sure....just a minute". well, the minute turned into over two hours of waiting. My husband went to the nurses station twice, and my mom even called the nurses station (because she had called me and I was crying) During the more than 2 hours of waiting, three more nurses had come to my room and I asked each about my meds. Got the same response as the first. Finally I screamed at the 4th one that came in. I finally got my pain meds.
The rest of my two day stay went the same way with the meds. I got meds a total of 4 times the entire stay. I was supposed to be getting them every 4 hours as needed.
Plus, on Friday morning, my catheder was removed and the nurse told me that I was to have a nurse assist me when I went to the restroom, as I would be dizzy and they needed to measure my output. Well, I paged a nurse for over an hour to take me to the restroom. She never showed. My hubby unhooked my leg pumps, and took me. He put the "hat" down to catch the urine. Then gor me back in bed and hooked the pumps back up. He then went to the nurses station and told them that I had went and that the hat needed measured and emptied. About and hour and a half later I needed to go again. Paged the nurse to NO AVAIL.....hubby took me again. They had not emptied the hat or measured. I went again anyway. This continued, and a couple of times I ended up using a restroom down the hall. When i walked past the nurses station, there were eight nurses standing there talking!!! Only three rooms on my floor were occupied! The nurses never said a word to me or asked what I needed.
Finally I blew up, (the second time) to use the visitors' restroom, when I walked back to my room past the nurses station. I asked one of the nurses if I could please have a "**** notebook and pen" than way I could write down my ouput for them and I would no longer have to cruise the floor for a toilet and their conversation would continue without interruption!!

I told my doctor about this before I left this morning. He was upset. I am also filing a complaint Monday morning with the hospital administration.
Sorry so long....I needed to vent
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Unread 01-25-2003, 10:51 PM
my hospital stay

Hi Sweetie

What a bummer! Those nurses needing lining up against the wall and shooting. I am so angry when I hear this sort of thing. They get paid to look after patients and are obviously not the sort of nurse that sees her job as a 'calling'. I can so understand your anger and I hope you word a very forceful letter to the hospital. It's absolutely disgusting. What would have happened if you got into trouble could have died before any of them appeared. Thank heavens you survived the "nursing experience".

As you can tell I'm absolutely livid that you had this happen to you. I wish you well in your recovery at home. At least there you'll not have to yell for attention (I hope!!!).

Take care.
Unread 01-25-2003, 11:12 PM
your castle stay

I can understand exactly how you feel! I left the hospital after one night because the nurses were driving me crazy. Never available when I needed them. All day long my iv kept beeping, they wait to keep me up for an hour at 2 a.m. to fix it. I told my guy the next morning that if I had any say, I would be going home that day because I couldn't take any more. My morph drip (one of those self administered kinds where you push a button and can't have too much) made me sick and the nurses were reprimanding me for using my pain meds. Sorry, didn't realize that they were there for looks and not my pain! My hospital usually sends around a survey...can't wait to get it this time! Chin up sister, I am hoping the rest of your recovery goes better. It's awful when the people we need to rely on are so useless. Thank God your DH was there for you!
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Unread 01-25-2003, 11:28 PM
my hospital stay

As an RN myself, I apologize for the behavior of these so-called nurses. There's no excuse for ignoring a patient's call light or failing to medicate for pain. Now, emergencies happen, and they must take priority over routine patient care; but it sounds to me like you had repeated problems with the staff that need to be resolved at a higher level.

What I don't understand is why they didn't put you on a patient-controlled analgesia pump so you could have given yourself small doses of pain medication through your IV as you needed it, instead of having to wait for a pill every 4 hours. This is standard care (in my part of the country, anyway) for at least the first 24 hours after any in-patient surgery. If you ever have to have another operation, you should insist on it!

I do wonder, however, if all your caregivers were actually nurses. Hospitals usually have nurse's aides on each floor, who perform routine care tasks like doing vital signs, taking patients to the bathroom, measuring intake & output etc. Because hospital workers often wear the same type of uniforms, it can be difficult for a patient to know who's a nurse and who's the housekeeper!
Nursing assistants are usually a great help to both nurses and patients, but most don't have much training beyond the standard six- or eight-week certification course, and they can't give meds or do any invasive procedures. So some of the caregivers you saw "standing around" may have been aides who couldn't have done much beyond taking you to the BR or telling the RN you needed something for pain. Again, it doesn't excuse the overall poor care you received, but in these days of understaffing and astronomical stress levels among nurses, it's not all that uncommon.

I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. If you'd come to my hospital, a few years ago, I could've shown you how nursing's supposed to be done.....the med-surg floor was frequently understaffed, but we OB-GYN nurses usually had a nurse-to-patient ratio of no more than 1:4, and that was on night shift. I was even able to give back rubs!

Good luck in resolving your complaints, and I'm glad you came out of it without any serious consequences.
Unread 01-25-2003, 11:35 PM

I'm so sorry that you had to go through that. I recently posted on a subject closely related to this. While it is true that people are more likely to be outspoken when they have a bad nurse, I still think it's a crying shame when we have to go through things like this.

I am so glad that you are planning on voicing a complaint, if you don't, it will never be brought to anyone's attention.

When I had my TAH in June....I know this sounds COMPLETELY outrageous!!! but it's true. I awoke at about midnight in terrible pain. I rang for the nurse who told me to USE my morphine pump.....I HAD been....did she think I was a total idiot??? I told her it wasn't working and she just shook her head and left.

The next morning at about 8:00 a.m, the telephone was ringing, I was supposed to be in a private room, but wasn't. I answered since the lady in the next bed obviously wasn't going to do it. The phone call was for her and the caller wanted me to get up and BRING her the phone. I told him that I wasnt able to do that and he called me every name in the book including a lazy bit**! I hung up on him and therefore, he called the nurses station and made a complaint about me. The nurse came in very angry and wanted to know why I hadn't taken her the phone?? I was livid! The nurse said "what is wrong with you anyway?, your leg isn't broken!!!" I thought she was kidding. It turns out that I was in the orthapedic ward and since noone saw any sort of cast on me...they thought I was being mellow dramatic and just being a whiner!!!! The lady next door to me had a broken arm.

My point is, there is no reason for sub standard care! If even ONE of those nurses had picked up my chart and actually read it they would have known why I was there and what sort of treatment I should have been getting, but noone did. It turns out that all the beds in the womens ward had been full and this is why I was there. I called my DR and had a crying cow and was moved to the first available bed in the womens ward and the difference was like night and day.

So many people are tired of us complaining about nurses, yet so many of us are receiving sub standard care. When I had my next surgery....I went to a different hospital and the care was just as bad. I don't think that enough of us are complaining and actually filling out those surveys that we are sent, you can bet that I did this time!

Again, I'm sorry that you had to go through this and I just want you to know that you are not alone, I am sick of it as well.

I'm glad that you are home, most likely things are much better there. Lots of 's to you for a smooth recovery. Make sure you voice your opinion about your care LOUDLY and be sure that someone calls you back to address these issues and if they dont...then you call them back or call the hospital administrator.

Unread 01-26-2003, 03:37 AM
my hospital stay

I have to say i had a wonderful hospital experience until my last day there, at which point i was off the drip, the catheter and my requests for pain meds were taking way too long. After I requested the third time something for the pain (it had been at least 10 hours since my last meds, i called my doctor, then called the chief of staff and finally the nursing supervisor. By then the hospital ombudsman showed up and they were fawning all over me.

The end result was i got what I needed, but was sure glad to leave that afternoon with scripts in hand.

I encourage you to make a fuss, lord knows the bill will get to you quickly enough, then they'll start fussing at you.......good luck, and be tough.
Unread 01-26-2003, 03:59 AM
my hospital stay

I agree with the RN from Oregon, it is shameful to me as an RN also to hear of so many people having problems. But I do know this, I often times have trouble getting everything done that needs to be done in a shift, but that is because I spend time with my patients, making sure they have everything they need and that includes talking things out. There are a very few times that I do forget something a patient has asked for but that is usually because I get pulled in another direction for something that has to be taken care of right then. I can't tell you how many times I get back up to the station and forget what i was going there for. But I have just walked by all my patients rooms and I think about what each of them may need done that I need to remember and by the time I am at the station my mind have beencrowded, usually just ataking a few steps back brings back what I was there for.

But this does not excuse those nurses. You all are doing the very right thing by lodging a complaint or filling a survey out truthfully. We get our surveys back like report cards on how we are doing and the manager HAS to follow up on complaints, going as far as having to call the patient up at home to get all the details.

I am so glad that my experience was ok. They knew I was a nurse but I saw them treat the other patients just like they treated me. I also know there are certain nurses where I work that I wouldn't want to have taking care of me. Sad, isn't it? I always feel like if a nurse can't be nice to her patients, no matter how they really feels, they shouldn't be in the profession.
Unread 01-26-2003, 04:23 AM

Thanks for all your posts. When I am in the hospital or even in a dr office, I am usually quite understanding. I am usually not the impatient type. But these nurses (and the assistants) were absolutely ridiculous. The first night that I got so upset they had tried to tell me that the delay was due to the shift change. I could understand a few minute delay, but I had first asked a half hour before shift change and three of the people that had came in were AFTER the 7 P.M. change over. 2 of them were RN s. The other was one of those aide people. And it was after 8:30 P.M. before I got my meds. I told her that that long of delay was NOT because of a shift change.
I forgot to mention the vitals!! Someone that replied mentioned them, but That was something that bothered me too. One of the RN's the first night told me that someone would be coming in frequently during the night to take my vitals. Well, I could not sleep, other than 5-10 minute catnaps here and there. Nobody EVER came in at night to take my vitals. The day shift staff did it like clockwork, but the night shift never took it once. I thought that was odd, since the RN said that it would be happening.

I was warned not to go to this hospital, but it is the one my doctor is affiliated with. And my surgery was fine.....just the aftermath was terrible.
Unread 01-26-2003, 05:47 AM
Amy, this is inexcusible

Been there, had it happen to me too. I was on the phone with patient relations, raising sixteen kinds of Cain. ER care with one of my miscarriages was horrid. End result, my copay on the emergency care and surgery was written off by the castle, a nurse was reprimanded and new policies enacted.

One thing that really gets hospitals to pay attention is losing money. And the other thing that gets them to pay attention is a doctor mad about poor patient care.

Joint Committee on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations is an agency that audits hospitals on patient care issues. for what this agency does. You can complain to this organization in addition to the facility itself.

Five hundred bucks a day for a hospital room and nursing care, least they could have done is provide the nursing care for you. No pain meds, no vital checks, pretty negligent. I don't entirely blame the nurses with some cases of poor treatment since I know money and cut-backs are a huge influence on what nurses can accomplish.

(I love good nurses, just want to be clear on that with our fellow sisters who are angels of mercy. I just rant when I see patient mistreatment and I realize nursing is hard work that requires administration supporting the nurses.)
Unread 01-26-2003, 01:00 PM
my hospital stay

I am a nurse who takes care of post hysterectomy patients. I give excellent care to my patients, I believe. I had to go to a different castle than the one where I worked, as my dr didn't go where I work. I expected to get excellent treatment, as that is what I give to others. My nurses knew I am a nurse, yet they even treated one of their own badly. I had a really bad nurse who yelled at me because she made me wait for pain meds for 35 minutes with no response to my request, and I called a second time, not knowing if she even got my first request. I called administration and reported her that day. Her nurse manager paid me a visit just moments later, and the rest of my nurses were wonderful from that point on. I also wrote a letter to administration about this nurse, and also mentioned all of the good nurses. Everyone should get the recognition they deserve, be it good or bad, and administrators should be made aware of problems so they can address them, if for no other reason than to keep others from having the bad experiences we had.
Also had I not been aware of the post-op routine, I would have been in bad shape. No one ever emptied my hat, and no one came to assist me out of bed for the first time until after 3pm the day after surgery. Fortunately my mom was with me and she had done the job of assisting me to walk several times by then. I always recommend patients have a family member to stay with them for just such an occasion. Unfortunately, all nurses are not created the same. Sorry for all of you who had bad nurses. Some of us do a great job, and our patients are always happy to see us when we come back to care for them a second time.


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