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I'm an A and E nurse and receptionist AMA

61 replies

SpongeAndBubbles · 31/07/2018 16:08

I'm aware this has probably been done before but just wanted to put this here out of bordom Grin

I'm happy to answer anything from my actual job to being a nurse and mother :)

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DontbeaMuppet · 31/07/2018 23:56

How can you be both a nurse and receptionist?

MissEliza · 31/07/2018 23:59

How do you manage to be polite to obvious time wasters?!

SpongeAndBubbles · 01/08/2018 13:19

I work the front desk where people come in and book in and I also do their vitals in the investigation room it's sort of a double job
I also end up taking patients who have deteriorated to resus if needed, no day is the same :)

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SpongeAndBubbles · 01/08/2018 13:30


Being polite to the ones who shouldn't be there but are terrified isn't too hard I find, they're genuinely scared like someone with the actual medical condition they think they have, health anxiety is debilitating and if they got support I'm confident we wouldn't see them as much

The ones who are just time wasters can be hard to be polite to especially when there's a 4 hour wait and you're blamed for it Envy

A lot of our time wasters actually come from 111 who tell them to go to A and E or god forbid ring them an ambulance

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Cellardoor23 · 01/08/2018 13:41

Sorry, complete personal question and also I don't want to go back to a&e if I can help it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

I sprained my knee quite badly last week (still off work) but I've noticed my foot is swollen and sore. I didn't notice it at the time as my knee was taking centre stage, pain wise that day.

I don't want to go to a&e because of my foot or seem like a time waster. Is this normal at this point to still have swelling?

AnotherOriginalUsername · 01/08/2018 13:45

Most pointless/unnecessary presentation you've seen?

And the most impressive? (ie the one that really should have been an ambulance job but presented as a walk in, eg leg hanging off)

SpongeAndBubbles · 01/08/2018 13:54

Is the foot red and hot or blue and bruisey?

I think the best thing is to make an appointment with your GP swelling after this long may indicate damage such as tendon damage or a sprain. It is hard to know the extent of course without tests so my advice is to make a GP appointment or go to a minor injuries unit :)

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KitchenFloor · 01/08/2018 13:56

Why did I get asked when I walked into A&E with an injured elbow following a bicycle riding incident whether or not I was wearing a helmet at the time? It was not relevant to the injury at all, and I hadn't been asked if I'd hit my head/helmet either.

SpongeAndBubbles · 01/08/2018 14:00


I want to say the most pointless was norovirus season butwe saw too many of those it became normal so I would give the hat to the one who was worried they had tonsillitis (ever so slightly inflamed couldn't tell if it was bacterial or viral so best thing was to wait a while and see GP) still booked himin for some bloods as he had a slight temp however when I called him in he was gone Hmm not scared enough for a blood test I guess Grin

Most impressive I give to the woman who apparently woke up informed her hubby she was thinking she may be having a heart attack, not enough to potentially waste a paramedics time so got him to drive her in sat down and said she may be having a heart attack very calmly despite the level of pain (she was indeed having one Shock)

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SpongeAndBubbles · 01/08/2018 14:04


I am a bit surprised as at first I was going to say you may have had a head injury so they wanted to make sure you were wearing a helmet but then I saw they didn't ask if you hit it? Hmm

Many parents have brought their kids with bike or scooter injuries in (knees, elbows, ect) and it is protocol to ask if they were wearing protection but also to ask if they hit their head or passed out, threwup ect

My guess is they either were following protocol or were worried about a head injury even though they didn't ask about it? Hmm

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OhTheRoses · 01/08/2018 14:08

Why do nurses use the patients first name without asking but afford the doctors (fellow workers) the courtesy of a title. Let alone "love" "dear" "darling" and worse of all "mum". People have names; why don't nurses use them.

Would you be offended if I called you "nursey". It's no more reductive than calling a parent who has not given birth to you "mum". If you call the dr Dr Jones, what gives you the right to use my first name please?

Cellardoor23 · 01/08/2018 14:08

It is warm to touch. Mainly blue/reddish and a bit bruisey. It's the top of my foot. So the whole top of my foot is swollen up to my toes if that makes sense?

I can walk on it, but if I put any pressure on top of my foot it's quite painful. I've broken my foot before, so I don't know if that carries any additional risk when it comes to further damage?

I have an appointment with my GP next week.

Themerrygoroundoflife · 01/08/2018 14:15

Is there any way to stop 111 forcing parents to get an ambulance for children? My daughter has been in hospital a few times due to viral breathing issues. Every time I get told that we must go in by ambulance. Every time I refuse and get basically told it’s my fault if she dies and social services could be contacted etc etc. I stand firm because why poorly enough to see a doctor and sometimes is admitted- we live a 3 minute walk to a big A&E. It will take long by ambulance and she is not SO ill she needs a paramedic now. It’s really annoying how they make you feel in refusing even when you have good reasons and it’s a repeated issue that you understand the treatment for and can recognise the severity. Often I only ring 111 because I can’t get an emergency doc appointment at my surgery, but they escalate rather than just giving OOH

Themerrygoroundoflife · 01/08/2018 14:18

Sorry so many typos as on my phone. Hope you can make sense of that!

SpongeAndBubbles · 01/08/2018 14:23


I don't personally use the patients first Name only when I'm asking for their full name at book in.
I'm calling them in for their vitals to be checked(and of course the doctors too when they call them in)
Aside from that I've never just used someone's name like "hi Mary!"
Nursey sounds quite funny a few young kids have called me that Grin

Using someones full name is necessary when being called for tests or appointments but just using someone's first for no reason is a bit unprofessional and I guess you could report it if you wished? :)

The pet names that get thrown around a lot are jokey and are often used for a bit of banter between us when we're not booking in a patient, it keeps us calm and happy and often cheers up the patient :)

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user546425732 · 01/08/2018 14:25

If it's a 10 minute drive to the hospital and a child is having an asthma attack that isn't responding to inhalers would you phone 999 or drive them in yourself?

SpongeAndBubbles · 01/08/2018 14:27

@Cellardoor previous untreated damage can put you more at risk for breaking it again or tendon strain.

Are you at any risk for blood clots? As that would be the main concern right now,
Pregnancy, smoking, being overweight, contraception ect can up your risks for development of a DVT.

I would monitor it, wait for your GP appointment but if it gets more swollen/painful try to get an earlier appointment or go to minor injuries and if you get chest pain or shortness of breath go to A and E

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SpongeAndBubbles · 01/08/2018 14:32

This is a tricky one as driving may well be quicker we've always taken DS there ourselves because it takes a while for ambulance to get down our street and we live about 20 minutes away from ours.

Driving I think is a good option if the inhaler(s) are helping a little but if the child is not responding to them or getting Hallucinations/blacking out I think 999 would be best as on the way to hospital they can give him oxygen and it's not a far drive for response time.

In the mean time give them one puff of their reliever(blue) every 30-60 seconds for up to 10 puffs while they wait

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SpongeAndBubbles · 01/08/2018 14:37


111 always escalates and some paramedics have told me they feel instead of helping 111 worsens the problem because they always send out an ambulance.
You I'll get sent to A and E for anything and if your symptoms contain breathing issues, chest pain, or throat closure you will get an ambulance straight to you however when DS had a bad asthma attack (hallucinations) DH got told "just drive him to A and E"
It really depends.

I think if you're a close drive and her vitals are stable then driving or bus there is okay so i'm really surprised how mean they are Hmm

In future there is 111 online it won't force you to ring one just will say to and then if your instinct is she's stable you can there yourself

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Cellardoor23 · 01/08/2018 15:27

@SpongeAndBubbles Thank you doe your advise Smile

I don't have a history of blood clotting, just lots of sprains and broken bones in my feet in the past. I can't wear high heels anymore not that I did anyway because of this. The tops of my feet can just get too painful.

Cellardoor23 · 01/08/2018 15:27

*for not doe Blush

SpongeAndBubbles · 01/08/2018 15:29

That's fine then you may just have damage it's so easy for me to get tendonitis thanks to my ankle I broke and never treated(it stopped hurting so quickly I thought if was fine Blush)

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slytherindungeon · 01/08/2018 15:33

OP I would heartily advise against giving advice to this poster without actually seeing them in person.

Are you a registered nurse or a clinical support worker?

MadisonMontgomery · 01/08/2018 15:38

I’m so glad you hate 111 too! I work in a GP practice and we get tons of patients calling insisting they need to be seen within 2 hours for really minor issues, then if we offer an appt say 3 hours away they are furious because 111 have told them it needs to be 2 hours.

SpongeAndBubbles · 01/08/2018 15:56

I don't quite understand the service because they can't assess you properly and need to ask a doctor after the assessment it's almost like they have to assume the worst because if you rang up and had a heart attack but they said you were fine they'd get in deep trouble.
More of a "better safe than sorry" I do recommend if someone needs them and can get online to go through that instead because sometimes they just called the paramedics on you and I've had many people saying they feel bad because they know it isn't life threatening but 111 panicked

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