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AIBU to ask if member of hospital staff was rude?

(37 Posts)
healingfood Tue 09-Aug-16 19:01:25

Was kept in hospital much longer than planned following major surgery. All staff were amazing except for one healthcare assistant who had previously been abrupt and terse.

So this HCA started nightshift on night I was kept in. When taking my blood pressure remarked that I was 'still there' and asked 'didn't i want to go home?' then walked away muttering that 'we make it too comfortable for patients…'. It was not done in a jokey manner. I was left feeling upset and like a burden on the hospital while already feeling down, scared and alone about being in hospital and the surgery/illness.

AIBU to think that this was rude and insensitive? Should I complain or let it go? I know it is not an easy job to do and that everyone has bad days.

FasterThanASnakeAndAMongoose Tue 09-Aug-16 19:12:33

I had a similar experience with a hca when I was in for a few days after DC1's horrific birth. I was struggling to breastfeed and beyond exhausted. She actually rolled her eyes when I asked for help and made a sarky comment about me to the woman in the next bed. I wish I'd said something to her at the time.

In your situation I don't think I'd complain, but if you see her again pull her up on it. I'd say something like "you said xyz to me yesterday and it upset me and made me feel like a burden. Was that your intention?"

I'd make her feel uncomfortable but I wouldn't take it down a formal route. I don't think it's that bad, but hopefully she'll think twice next time.

Hope you get well soon! flowers

oldgrandmama Tue 09-Aug-16 19:13:28

OK, not a nice thing to mutter, but ... just be the bigger person and 'suck it up' as they say. You never know - maybe her cat died that afternoon, or her husband is playing up or her kids being awful.

Anyway, hope you're recovering fast and feeling loads better.

hazeimcgee Tue 09-Aug-16 19:23:37

If you're still in, i'd have a quiet word woth a senior nurse. Say you don't wnat to .ake a formal complaint but this happened

ClockMakerSue Tue 09-Aug-16 19:27:11

Our hospital has a service for reporting things like this called PALS. I emailed them when someone was rude, they called me back and asked how I would like it to be dealt with (I asked if it could just be mentioned to her rather than an official thing). Worth looking to see if there's something similar.

Aimtobecalm Tue 09-Aug-16 19:27:25

YNBU. I'm sorry you've been made to feel like that and I hope you feel better soon. The HCA may have been having a bad day or he / she may act like that all the time. I used to be a midwife and it's really difficult to address behaviour issues with colleagues. The person usually denies the inappropriate behaviour and claims they are being bullied by the rest of the team. The ward manager might know what's going on and might be able to do something if a member of the public complains. If it was a bad day perhaps the HCA needs some support? Either way I'd mention it 💐💐💐

RosaRosaRose Tue 09-Aug-16 19:34:49

That was a really rotten thing to say. You've undergone surgery, you're vulnerable and way out of your comfort zone. She's not paying for your bed, not in a position to judge if you should be there or not. That is what your consultant does. Full stop. Is there a senior you could have a quiet word with to explain how this makes you feel? Not to cause a fuss, but it sounds like a bit of training is needed. Flowers for a speedy recovery

RosaRosaRose Tue 09-Aug-16 19:40:38

And YA so NBU

bunnyfuller Tue 09-Aug-16 19:53:08

I got similar attitude from a midwife when I was being kept in hospital for pre eclampsia 'you're only here because you're consultants patient'. My next 24 hour proteins were off the scale, developed low fluid around baby who was born 4lb 11oz at 38w. And this: called a midwife to look at my catheter bag as it had turned bright orange 'it's blood, dear, you've just had a baby' THE TUBE GOES INTO MY FUCKING URETHRA NOT MY VAGINA YOU DISMISSIVE COW
You wonderwhysome of them are in the job...

OldFarticus Tue 09-Aug-16 19:55:11

Definitely NBU

A registrar once told me he and the consultant "would be glad to see the back of me" and that I was the cause of people's elective surgery being cancelled. Amazingly he and the consultant kept their heads down the next month when I was re admitted for surgery to remove a tumour they had missed on 2 previous emergency admissions.

Please do complain. There are too many staff in the NHS who think they can get away with this kind of thing. (And I say that as the wife of a lovely NHS consultant, who agrees!)

Firsttimer82 Tue 09-Aug-16 19:59:01

I'm a senior nurse and if one of my staff was acting like that I would want to know. Its totally unprofessional and inexcusable. Please contact PALS at the hospital and report the incident. Things don't get better unless things are reported. Some nurses as some people are gruffer than others, but rudeness is not acceptable at all. Good luck with your recovery.

Snowwhitequeen Tue 09-Aug-16 20:01:52

I'd have a quiet word with a ward sister or similar, in my view this really isn't on. It isn't as if people want to be in hospital and after surgery feeling poorly and emotional, this isn't kind. It's not kind words as my 4 yo would say wink

You didn't deserve to be muttered about, and you're most likely not the first person she has done it to. As rosa said, she isn't paying for you bed - actually given you pay your taxes, YOU are paying for your bed.

I feel for NHS staff, I really do, but there is no need to be sour, they should save that for the drunks in A&E if they really feel the need (I understand they're very unpleasant to those!).

As a vulnerable 16 year old I was treated very poorly by a GP and it had a very negative effect. I so rarely went to the doctors and to be roughly handled and snapped at was really upsetting. These days I'd tell them to eff off, but back then I just meekly took it.

Say something in a kindly way to a senior member of staff.

flowers for a speedy recovery

frumpet Tue 09-Aug-16 20:07:18

OK that is a really shitty thing to say to someone in hospital , given that you were there because your consultant decided it was the best place for you to be following your surgery ! There is a teeny tiny minority of people who prefer hospital to home , and even then you need to look at the bigger picture if you work in healthcare and have a good wonder why that is ?

Sorry you have had to deal with this aswell as everything else you are currently going through , I would consider talking to the ward manager and highlighting this with them if you feel up to it , otherwise consider PALS on discharge if you feel vunerable , as people often do when making a complaint whilst the person they are complaining about is possibly still going to be 'caring' for them .

FranTan Tue 09-Aug-16 20:07:50

Second using PALS. The culture and attitude in the NHS can be very negative (I worked in NHS and also was on the receiving end as a patient). It won't improve if incidents go unreported. It's v upsetting to be spoken to in this way and completely negates patient dignity, possibly the NHS's most important value. Hope you make a quick recovery. flowers

SilverDragonfly1 Tue 09-Aug-16 20:12:49

There is always one. It's like a rule that every shift has to contain one staff member, whether HCA, nurse or other, who obviously hates the job and is just doing it to pay the bills. Try and find out their name if you don't know already and make sure it goes down on the patient survey when you leave. You can be sure that no one likes working with that person either and the more complaints made, the sooner they'll be off the ward.

Be assured, it's not you! The hospital will not keep you a moment longer than they have to, so anyone who is in there needs to be.

Atenco Tue 09-Aug-16 20:22:18

I have the utmost respect for how nurses and nearly all the people working in hospitals are so utterly kind, but it has to be so. I remember when my mother was dying, just a grumpy look from a porter reduced her to tears.

So please report her for the benefit of people like my mum.

Bahhhhhumbug Tue 09-Aug-16 20:40:05

I always remember having DS1 many years ago (in his thirties now) and I was nearly three weeks overdue when I finally had him (they used to let you go longer in those days) so understandably in the last few weeks I was pretty anxious as I knew my dates were accurate (H in forces ! ) and knew I''d gone well over so I ended up going in a couple of times and it was a false alarm. My first false alarm was when l was nearly a fortnight overdue and there was a horrible HCA or Auxilliary as they called them in those days and when it was established l wasnt in labour and was being sent home she queried with me why I thought l had been in labour and l said because l 'd had really bad backache to which she retorted grumpily 'Well we all get backache , l get backache ,good job we don't all go calling an ambulance when we get backache isnt it ' I was very young at the time and not very assertive now l would tell her to fuck off in no uncertain terms so didnt say anything but was in floods of tears as l ordered a taxi home and all the way in the taxi, even the taxi driver said 'what a bitch' when he asked me if l was ok and l told him.

icelollycraving Tue 09-Aug-16 20:41:47

I would report to pals if you feel up to it. There was lots I wanted to complain about after being admitted a week after having ds. I didn't though & I just pushed it to the back of my mind.

Dontyoulovecalpol Tue 09-Aug-16 20:46:03

Bloody miserable cow

When I was in after DTs (c section) a couple of midwives/HCAs made remarks insinuating that I wasn't trying hard enough to recover (if you don't at least try to walk you'll
Never get better will you? Don't gets up and promptly faints

It devastated me because I am the bravest most stoic person ever and very proud of that part of me. I just wanted to wail "you know NOTHING about me! I am a fucking ninja!!"

limitedperiodonly Tue 09-Aug-16 20:46:12


I would make a formal complaint. I don't care if the HCA assistant was having a bad day. Patients are generally having an even worse day. Do it for the sake of other people.

Lemonlady22 Tue 09-Aug-16 20:48:22

no excuse for her being brusk, but we all have off days....i had a patient complain i had a miserable face....looked after her all night plus 9 others....a really busy night...if all she had to complain about was my miserable face she didnt know how lucky she was....really understaffed that night, had a very ill patient and was stressed up to my eyeballs worrying whether i had missed anything with my patients and workload....thanks to her though i had to write a reflection on what would have made me happier at work that reply was to not have the ward at dangerous levels/staffing and to not be left to cope.....that went down well!

reallybadidea Tue 09-Aug-16 20:59:21

It makes me so angry when I hear about this kind of treatment from HCPs. I will always remember how scared my grandmother was of a particular nurse in the days leading up to her death and I so bitterly regret that we didn't complain.

I've also been on the receiving end of unkind treatment as an inpatient and it had a lasting negative impact on me. I'm sad to say that it is disgracefully common in the NHS and in my first week as a student I complained about the behaviour of a particular nurse which, in part, led to her being removed from her post.

Nothing will change unless individuals speak up. I would suggest that you focus on the way she made you feel - it is much more difficult to dismiss this, whereas a tone of voice or particular phrase can be open to interpretation.

I'm so sorry you had this experience.

IceBeing Tue 09-Aug-16 21:00:18

lemon that sounds dangerously like a system that nearly worked! Nurse miserable, patients complain, nurse gets chance to stick it to management for making work miserable....

DollsHouseTales Tue 09-Aug-16 21:08:12

Obviously she was rude and you have every right to be there flowers

On a separate note, I do want to say that the health care professionals will be under a lot of pressure from people who do spin out a stay (not looking at you, Mum...)

Just wanted to say that this is NOT YOU but I guess I wanted to hear it for the staff who grin and bear all kinds of patients. I can understand why some of them crack from time to time (NOT at you though).

Wishing you a speedy recovery. I would mention it quietly to the staff nurse. Maybe in a "complaint sandwich" i.e. The staff do an amazing job here and I'm really grateful for the care I've had. I did want to mention just a small incident involving X member of staff, which made me feel upset and that I was somehow not supposed to be here. But the rest of the staff have been great."

I know it's their job and all that, but I have so much experience of the kind of person who would be fairly irritating to deal with that I actually feel sorry for them, a bit. (NOT the HCA who was rude to you though).

Littletabbyocelot Tue 09-Aug-16 21:11:57

At 23, having had major surgery that day, been told I would have serious issues having children, on a morphine drip & told not to get up till the next day the night nurse decided I was being lazy and insisted I got up. I remember asking to wait until the morphine top up kicked in and she refused. It's still the worst pain I have ever been in. When I was in floods of tears she told me fine, if I wanted to stiffen up she'd leave me to it. The day shift were shocked - I wasn't supposed to have been moving round.

The next night, someone told her that I'd be starting work as her senior manager's assistant as soon as I was recovered. I got an incredibly grovelling apology.

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