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to think that a nurse could have the decency to go and let my dad know that I was there instead of making me wait??

26 replies

GoodGollyMissMolly · 15/11/2007 08:53

Cutting a long story short, (Kind of!)

I get a call early this morning (Aprox 12.45am) from my cousin to say that something is wrong with my mum (Who has been ill since last week) and no can find her or dad.
(Mum had called an aunty in tears and she couldn''t make head nor tail of what she was saying)

So after frantic ringing round I couldn't find her and decided to get DH (Bless him) out of bed to drive me to the hospital to see if they were there.

We gets to the hospital and dads work van was parked in the car park so I know they are there. I go to A&E to ask and they say mum has been admitted to the ward.

I go up to the ward, by this time it is aprox 01.30am, and I speak to a nurse who said yes she is here but she has too many visitors (dad and Bro) so could I wait in the corridoor. I oblige and thank her thinking that she will go and tell my dad that I am here and one of them could come out to let me in to see my mum, or at least dad could come out and tell me what is going on.

But noooooooooo, that would have been to blardy easy for her. I know nurses are very busy people, but what did she think I was doing there at that time of the morning and 9 months heavily pregnant? Did she think I was my jollies ffs.

The nurse then came and asked me to call my cousin who had since called the hospital to let her know what was going on, but how could I when I didn't even know myself what was going on. DH had alrealy called said cousin to say they are here and we will call as soon as we know anything.
So I told the nurse I will call my cousin as soon as I have spoken to my dad or bro and could she at least let them know I was there.

I had waited about 45 minutes ish by this point, and was getting more and more hacked off in the mean time. I mean I wasn't there for a visit ffs, I needed to know what was going on. I needed to know how my mum was.


OP posts:

pigleto · 15/11/2007 09:07

You sound like you had a hell of a night.

How is your mum?

No YANBU the nurse should have told your dad that you were waiting.


Nedmum · 15/11/2007 09:12

I don't think you are. At the risk of pee-ing anyone off, just because someone is a nurse doesn't necessarily make them kind, conscientious or empathetic (if that's a word). Many of them are Bill Oddie marvellous, but some think wearing the uniform is enough to make them a saint. Hope your mum's ok


THelesbellsRINGOUTFORCHRISTMAS · 15/11/2007 09:13

poor you in your condition too - agree your relatives should have been told you were outside.

hope your mum is feeling better soon x


GoodGollyMissMolly · 15/11/2007 09:14

Thanks Pigleto, mum had to have blood taken and xrays early this morning and they are doing more tests today.

She has had a gastric bug for about a week now and the GP put her on 3 different meds for it, then yesterday put her on 2 more to combat the side effects of the other meds

I am going to see her this afternoon, to spend some tiome with her.

OP posts:

GoodGollyMissMolly · 15/11/2007 09:19

Nedmum, thats how I feel about certain medical professionals also, but I know that they do a damn hard job with no help from the 'men in suits' so I always like to give them the benefit of the doubt. I am always poilte with them and use my P's and Q's But she just wound me up. Also I know it is only a minority of them, the majority of all medical proffesionals do a wonderful job in such hard circumsatances.
DH said I got quite abrupt with her at one point , but I think I was quite calm considering.

Thanks elesbells, I hope she is ok too, I'm gonna ring the ward in a bit to see how she is.

Glad I'm not being unreasonable.

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SpiritualKnot · 15/11/2007 09:31

Awful. I work in a hospital and know it's only due to my previous bad experiences as a patient that make me very aware of visitors needs.

For example,I often see visitors standing with bunches of flowers looking lost and I'm always rushing off to get them vases.

When I was discharged after a bad time, my husband commented that the best nurses were the one in the burgundy uniforms..I almost wept, they were the domestic cleaners.

I found that the night staff were worse than the day staff. An inpatient ward at 1.30am in the morning would not have been mad busy and there's no excuse for her not doing what you asked her to.

I hate to hear about people's experiences such as this. There'll be a complaint procedure at the hospital and I'd fill in one of the forms if I were you..they have to act on it if you do and it'll at least make them more attentive to visitors.



mummyofgirls · 15/11/2007 09:45

GoodGolly YANBU, the nurse should definately have let your family know that you had arrived.
Hope ur mum feels better soon. Think you handled it admirably. I'm a nurse and I do the job for money, not becasue I'm a saint. However, I always try to ensure that I treat patients and relatives as I would like to be treated myself. I am certainly not making excuses for the nurse but just to add a different perpective: it may be that the nurse did not deliberately ignore your arrival and set out to make you as uncomfortable and stressed as poss, but that she simply got caught up doing sopmething else like answering a call bell, taking someone the commode, arranging tests for your mum, chasing the junior doctor on for the ward to come and prescribe medications or fill in xray request cards. I don't necessarily agree with SK that the ward would not have been busy at that time of night. IME admissions wards can be as busy at night as during the day but with less nursing staff about. It is likely that there were not as many nurses on duty as there should have been because this governement doesn't think we need nurses anymore and the nursing profession can't stick together to oppose the conditions many nurses work under. The nurse may have been junior/inexperienced and in charge of the ward becasue this saves money too. Whatever the reason I agree with SK that you should give some feedback to the hospital. I would wholeheartedly recommend seeking out the ward manager when you go for visiting this afternoon and telling her what happened. She can speak informally to the nurse concerned who may be mortified when she realises what happened. If you don;t feel satisfied by the response you get from the ward manager, then take the formal route. HTH's. Let us know how you get on!


SpiritualKnot · 15/11/2007 10:01

Hi again,

I was on a surgical ward which I suspect are by their nature quiet at nights. Don't know anything about admission wards, so thanks for that mummyofgirls.



GoodGollyMissMolly · 15/11/2007 10:05

Mummyofgirls, thank you. I know what you mean, and I completely understand that nurses work a thankless job,a and get no help or support from the people above (men in suits) that is why I am always polite and calm with them. I know she didn't deliberatley step out to upset me, and in the most likely circumstance she probably did get busy doing something else, so didn't get a chance to let dad know that I was there.
But I think it was her face IYKWIM that siad it all, like she couldn't be bothered dealing with a relative at that time of the morning, even more so a heavily pg one with hormones

SpiritualKnot, thank you. How awful a sign of our times when you get better bed side manners from the cleaners than you do the nursing staff.

My mum has just called me to let me know what is going on, she sound so much better now, I am so releived.
She has a scan at 11.30 and then she thinks she may be able to come home today, so all is well by the looks of things. She said she had a really good nights sleep so I bet that has done her the world of good.

I suspect that the GP has put her on too much meds (This is my own opinion, I dont have any medical knowledge) she was on so much with a gastric bug that maybe her stomach couldn't cope with it??

Thank you all for allowing me to rant and get it off my chest.

BTW I would like to say that i dont normaly think this way about nurses. The majority of nurses I have come accros have always been wonderful and helpful towards me an my family, and I dont think that they get enough help or have enough resources available to them to be able to do thier job as they would like to.
So I 'take my hat' off to them for doing such a thankless job in such hard circumsatnces.

But I was just tired, hormonal, and worried and didn't get to see my mum .

OP posts:

Unfitmother · 15/11/2007 10:10

I don't know, as I, and presumably you, don't know what else was happening on the ward. It may well have been quiet or it may have been frantically busy with someone, haemmorrhaging, screaming in pain or dying.

I do understand your frustration and am sorry you've had such a rotten time. Hope your mum gets better soon.


mummyofgirls · 15/11/2007 10:12

GG - didn't think for one minute you were slating nurses x There are good nurses and crap nurses just like any profession and a smile costs nothing even if you want to wallop that particular reli! Don't feel too sympathetic towards us either, we are our own worst enemies most of the time as we don't stick together to secure bestter pay and conditions and always cope somehow when another reasource is reduced! Good to hear that your mum is brighter this morning.


Unfitmother · 15/11/2007 10:20

Glad to hear she's better.
I agree with mummyofgirls to have a quiet word with the Ward Manager (I'm one). She will be in a position to know what was happening on the ward last night and will be able to speak to the nurse concerned if there was no reason to keep you waiting.


GoodGollyMissMolly · 15/11/2007 10:25

Mummyofgirls, thanks for that, I feel better knowing you know what I mean, IYKWIM (Oh god it's been one of those mornings, I'm not making any sense now)

Unfitmother, I dont presume to know what it was she was doing. It was exactly for that reason that I didn't press her about it, it was only after she came over to me, after aprox 45minutes, to ask me to ring my cousin, that I asked her to tell dad that I was there.
I wouldn't have been any use telling my cousin what she already knew, all I wanted, at the very least, was for my dad to be told I was there so he could come and tell me what was what.
Thanks, mum sounds a lot better this morning, so I also hope she will be ok.

OP posts:

GoodGollyMissMolly · 15/11/2007 10:27

I dont want to get her in to any trouble, especially as mum seem to be a lot better now. I wouldn't want to get her in to trouble with her superiors, so I dont think I will mention it to her manager.

It's only me sounding off, getting it off my chest, I certainly wouldn't want to get her in trouble.

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Unfitmother · 15/11/2007 10:38

You wouldn't automatically get her into trouble. If it was a one off which had never happened before the Ward Manager would probably do nothing. If, however, this was one of those nurses who doesn't give a damm (sadly, they do exist)they'll probably be really grateful for a relative letting them know what is happening. I know I would be.

You do whatever is right for you. Glad to hear that talking about it has helped.

All the best!


GoodGollyMissMolly · 15/11/2007 10:48

Thanks Unfitmother, it has helped taliking about it.
If my mum ends up staying in and this nurse continues to be unhelpful with a bad attitude then I will say something. But it looks as though mum will be home today (Thankfully) so no real harm done.

Thanks for your advice

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ratclare · 15/11/2007 11:46

it might be worth still ahving a word with the ward manager though ,because if the ward was understaffed on that paticular night,they can then go to their supperiors saying staffing levels are causing complaints ,so you could well be doing them a favour . Glad to hear your mum is better .


GoodGollyMissMolly · 15/11/2007 12:55

ratclaire, thats a good point, I never thought of it that way. I may just mention it to them in an off the cuff manner, so as not to draw too much attention to it.


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McDreamy · 15/11/2007 13:10

Sorry to hear about your awful night last night GoodGooly, hope your mum feels better soon.

I think you are right to feel peeved about the response from the nurse on duty last night but as a former ward sister myself I have probably been guilty of similar crimes .

Although it is wrong relatives sadly do not become no 1 priority on a busy night shift I am sorry to say, just like vases during the day although to leave you waiting for so long is quite unacceptable, but what was she doing during this time....I guess you'll never know.

Those that said that night shifts are quieter than days are sadly wrong (although sometimes it can be the case). I always found that at night the support was not there, you are relying on minimal staff and on call doctors covering everyones patients. An admissions unit is particularily busy (not my forte thankfully).

I think composing a short letter is probably the best way forward if you feel so aggrieved. In fact I would fetch a pen and paper to anyone who complained of their standard of care because of short staffing and beg them write. If it's not on paper then "the men in suits" don't acknowledge it happened and my job gets no better.

My days of nursing have been on hold for the last 4 years while my children are so young but I do intend to return and as a mother I think my approach in some areas would be a little different. There's alot about nursing that you can't learn from any medical text book...just a little life experience.


McDreamy · 15/11/2007 13:10

Goodgooly!!!! Sorry GoodGolly


GoodGollyMissMolly · 15/11/2007 13:27

hi Mcdreamy, I completely agree with you, hence the reason I didn't persue her to let my dad know I was there. I always think that although it may look like the nurses are not busy and have enough staff on, you never know what is going on behind the scenes. And they are probably run off their feet.

TBH, I've got over it now, I think I was just very tired yesterday, I went for a rather long walk hoping it would get the baby on the way (40+3 today) then I was at mums to do tea for dad and bro and clean up and to help take care of her. So I was knackered when I got the phone call so early in the morning.

But seriously if it helps the nurses with staffing levels and such then I will deffo send in my comments (Not complaints) on paper, it would be good to get the 'men in suits' to sit up and take notice.

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AnneMayesR · 15/11/2007 13:45

As nurse myself I can tell you that telling someone that so and so visitor is here is the last thing on the priority list. It sucks and it's horrible but that is the way it is. They are so overwhelmed and have so much to focus on with too many patients. This doesn't meant that she didn't care. The only way to survive a shift and get out of there without killing anyone is to filter all the little things out these days. That includes your own needs to eat, drink, use the loo, check on kids etc. If something isn't a life or death problem, and doesn't have the potential to be a life and death problem than it is a little thing unfortunetly.

You have to weigh everything that is happening not on it's own but in comparison with everything else that is going on. You would be surprised at how dangerous it can get up there when you start thinking about visitors needs as well. It's sad but true.

That being said that if it was an easy day I would have been straight in to tell him you were there (as a nurse) but on a normal day I wouldn't even be able to get so far as too let that kind of stuff cross my mind.


AnneMayesR · 15/11/2007 13:47

Nurses go to their unions, the nmc, their managers etc with complaints about the wards being staffed to dangerous levels quite frequently. Nothing changes.


GoodGollyMissMolly · 15/11/2007 14:09

AnneMayesR, how awful isn't it that nurses cant even get the support they so desperatley need off the people who's job it is to help them.
Like i've said before on this thread, I think nursing is a thankless job, and I take my hat off to anyone who does it. I couldn't even begin to think about going in to a proffession like that.

I didn't mean to come accross a slating the nurse, but I just thought that she would have told dad that I was there instead of having to be prompted by me to do so.

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mummyofgirls · 15/11/2007 15:46

GG - I don't think anyone thinks you are slating the nurse, don't worry. The 'men in suits' as you called them are not listen to us - I am also a ward manager! Please, please write or tell the ward manager about your experience - McDreamy is right, it's the only way to make them listen x

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