This is Kitt and I agree the article had some very valid points, but I would like to suggest that you call the hospital administrator on duty before you are in a crisis situation as it all comes from the top, short staffed ERs are the decision of Administration. You are told how many staff you may have on duty. I worked for many years as the only ER nurse and I was house supervisor too as well as filled meds in pharmacy after 5 PM daily. I did staffing for the whole hospital..........It was just me and the ER physician. No secretaries or any other staff. I went home in tears many nights because I knew I did a lousy job of giving the care I wanted to give to my patients.
The staffing has improved now but the number of ER beds has not, our ER is land locked. Patients lay in the hallways, no privacy.
If you come to our local community ER (12,000 patients per year through the ER) please don't call the Administrator while your there. You will just slow things down as you see the first call the administrator will make is to me, the manager, to find out why I am not able to keep up. I will have to stop and talk to him/her. The administrator on call may be the CFO........who knows nothing about how an ER operates, but a lot about the numbers of dollars coming in.
I have a feeling the article was based on more of the inner city hospital' ERs but it is true just because you called for an ambulance does not dictate the order in which you would be seen uptown. In our community hospital all ambulance patients are seen first as we only have 3 ambulances and we have to turn the paramedics around quickly so they are available.
FitzyK23, thanks for sharing the article here. I took early retirement due to the problems talked about in this thread, to much pressure from above without any hope that things would improve and my staff and patients were both paying the price.
I pray that when you need to go to the ER you are met by a compassionate staff, covered with a warm blanket and your family is by your side. I wish for you to receive your tests and treatments promptly and that you will come away feeling cared for.Bless each and every one of you.
I have no family or friends around me other than my husband and children so I very greatly appreciate this group and i'm hoping to become a regular. You are all great people! (I also need to add my father in law does live fairly close as well..I don't want to leave him out.)
I too have limited my visits to ER simply because of the rudeness, they act like it bothers them to care for you. Excuse me its their job. I went into ER in severe pain, I was doubles over, I was vomitting and had diarhea that I could not stop. When we saw there was no end to this after 3 hrs hubby said its time to go. First thing that happened was I was actually yelled at by a nurse because I had become dehydrated and she was having a very hard time getting an IV started. Her comment was you should not have waited till you were dehydrated to come here, remember I became that way on purpose. Yes, I am very ill and I really want to be talked to that way. Getting an IV started on me usually takes an anesthesiologist, I have terrible veins.
I get put in a room, I tell the nurse I am going to throw up more, she did not believe me, I threw up anyway. I have no control over my bowels, so you know what is going on while I am retching. It took a nurses aide 5 times to remind this monster I am in severe pain, before she finally came in with a pain shot. Bless that little aides heart, had it not been for her I feel quite certain I would have never been given pain medication. By this time the shott has kicked in, I have done nothing but retch and squirt and really made a mess of myself and my bed. I asked the monster if she could help me clean myself up and the bed or get someone to help me, she never responded instead she walked out of the room. She showed back up with towels and a wash rag, threw them on the counter by the sink and said you can clean yourself up over here and walked out. My husband finally gets in the room about this time, he had to drag me out of the bed, due to morphine I could not stand up. He took me to sink and tried to hold me up & clean me up at the same time & get a gown on me.
I know you are all upset with your bad experiences and on behalf of every bad visit I apologize as you should never have had to go through that degrading and disrespectful episode.
Here is one more website you might like as CMS is a clearing house for Medicare/Medicaid.
I would still like to see you contact the administration with your concerns as the best way to fix a problem is to keep sending the mail to the right address. Remember behind every good or not so good nurse is a good or not so good Doctor writing the orders. The orders for pain meds etc come from the physician. You should be seen by a physician within minutes of your admission to the treatment area.
I wish you peace and no more ER visits if at all avoidable. :)Respectfully,Kitt
Post Edited (stkitt) : 1/19/2008 5:55:00 PM (GMT-7)
Thank you FitzyK23. That was nice of you to post.
bentwhistle,I am so sorry for your dear Mom, that is awful and I too have a similiar story where the xray was read wrong and my MIL walked around on a broken foot that she should have been non weight bearing on.
I agree it depends on who sees you and who reads the xarays. All xrays are suppoes to be read by a radiologist and if the ER doc is the one who read them, they are to be over read by a radiologist who writes the official interpretation and notifies patient if original reading was inaccurate. How painful for your Mom, bless her heart. Gentle Hugs..............