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Anti Rant – The Canberra Hospital ER

By Danman 31 May 2011 22

Just about everyone has a rant story about ER’s but no one ever hears when things go according to plan, because it does not make great news.

So with that in mind, I thought I would break the mold and recount my ER experience from the sunday just gone.

Miss Danman, a cochlear implant recipient was suffering a fever that was not self resolving, so at 8am Sunday, with a temp of 40.4 we decided we needed to go to the ER.

We presented at the ER and were assessed by the nurse on duty and were given an urgency of 3, where 1 is life threatening and 5 is non urgent (My definition; not clinical).

We sat down and waited and were eventually taken to the pediatric ER ward.

Without getting into specifics, we were seen to by a nurse Initially and obs taken around every hour.

Yes, we had to hydrate and medicate and collect a urine sample from our daughter ourself,under advice from staff, but were supplied all things required to do so.

At the change of shift, the nurses did changeover with staff and also done the rounds to introduce themselves to the patients and their family and further assess the patients.

In all, we were in the paediatric ER for around 7 hours.

I think where people get disappointed is when they think a hospital is like some kind of silver service 1 staff for 1 customer type of establishment. Unless you are dying, hospitals are all about waiting. And waiting your turn.

We were finally given the ok to go home around 1400, and given discharge papers, a script and home care directives. Furthermore, the nurse on duty stopped Mrs Danman, Miss Danman and I from going home so she could finish with a patient and then gave us some gastrolyte drink, gastrolyte icy poles and some regular icy poles, totally non protocol, but none the less a very nice gesture, saving us some money at the chemist later that day.

In all, we were in attendance for around 7 hours.

Sure, it was long, and boring, as hospitals mostly are, but we had great nurses and would just like to say thank you, and that we appreciate the thankless job they do.

No one really notes when they do a great job, finding it easier to complain about not having their cough addressed before a serious road trauma.

So if you’re reading this and an ER staffer that was on duty Sunday, thank you, your efforts do not go un-noticed by all.

What’s Your opinion?


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22 Responses to
Anti Rant – The Canberra Hospital ER
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Catty 7:25 pm 19 Jun 11

A couple of months ago, Mr Catty experienced dizziness, nausea, sweating and low pulse rate. Calvary A & E took him straight in (and got a wheelchair under him as he collapsed). The AE staff were fantastic. He was there for about 6 hours and then was transferred to the ward for overnight, with 4 hourly neuro obs. It was at the ward level that the rot set in. He was checked ONCE from about 7 pm to his discharge at 1 pm next day. And that was just a check for BP and temp – no neuro. He was almost given the wrong meds twice – only the fact that he was lucid by then stopped them administering drugs. They did not ever get his name right and he was often confused with someone else. Pressing the buzzer so that the drip could be unhooked to allow him to go to the toilet meant a 15 min wait before someone answered the buzzer. He would get better care at home!

I have also been to Calvary A & E with chest pains and have been seen straight away, even though there proved to be nothing seriously wrong. The staff work to a defined system of triage, and although they probably get it wrong sometimes, by and large they do a great job, often in very difficult circumstances.

The Frots 9:33 am 01 Jun 11

Danman said :

I think that the being pedantic in the comments has really gotten away from the intended spirit of this post, as it was my point to highlight the thankless jobs that the ER staff do. Concentrating on correcting my terminology just makes it clear that people are not concentrating on the message I have, rather the words that comprise it. And just to clarify, we were in and out in 7 hours, as it was 2 when we got tur word we will be going. It still took time to get a doctor to write a script and letter for our GP. As to how long we sat in the waiting area, that really is irrelevant, as it would not change the outcome or satisfaction. And to avoid speculation, Mrs Danman is a nurse, but we did not know any nurses staffing the ER/ED/A&E (or your chosen generic term) that day.

+1 and a great story Danman. They deserve all the credit they can get.

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