"“Wait till I’m finished here.”"

About: Ipswich Hospital

(as a relative),

Recently, my husband was taken to Ipswich hospital by ambulance. Due to circumstances I wasn’t able to be with him for about 45 minutes after he was taken.

When I arrived at the hospital I stood in front of one of the windows waiting to be seen, the 2 ladies that were supposed to be on the windows wouldn’t look at me or even acknowledge my existence, they didn’t throw me a glance and say a quick ‘someone will be with you in a sec’, I stood there for about 5 minutes.

Eventually one of the ladies came over and I told her that I was there for my husband who was brought in by the ambulance, she asked for my husband’s name, looked him up on the computer, told me that the ambos were still with him because there wasn’t a bed for him yet but as soon as there was a bed for him they will come and get me (she didn’t ask me for my name) and to go and sit down and wait.

I felt this woman had an air about her that she was the most important person there and she wasn’t going to be hurried by or for anyone.

About 2 hours later I was still sitting there very worried about my husband and wanting to be with him, so I approached the window again but this time tended to by a man, he was very helpful, he said to hang on and he’ll go and have a look for me to see what was happening, he came back and told me that I could follow him and he took me through to my husband who was still laying on the ambulance trolley.

After a little bit of time one of the doctors came and took some blood, did his blood pressure and something else. We were then told that they were going to put my husband in a wheel chair and put us back out into the waiting area and the staff out there would keep an eye one him (which was fine) so the ambos could get back on the job.

They put the wheel chair on the end of the row closest to the window and I was sitting on the last chair next to my husband.

We were talking a little bit when my husband said to me that he felt that he was going to pass out again, then a few seconds later he said ‘yes’ he was going, so I got up and went to the window where the same woman was and told her that my husband was going to pass out again and she said to me “wait till I’m finished here” and kept on typing on the computer.  I thought that her tone was that I was an inconvenience to her and was disturbing her, by the time I quickly turned back to my husband he had passed out and his head had rolled back, his eyes rolled back into his head and he had turned grey, (while I’m typing this tears are coming to my eyes because it was very stressful and upsetting to see my husband like this) I then kept calling out to him and a nurse noticed what was going on and came over to us and took us through to the back and found a bed for him.

The purpose of this complaint is not the doctors or nurses but about that particular woman who was rude, dismissive and disrespectful.

I have worked with the public in many different areas in my life from being a secretary, office manager, lolly-pop lady, drive thru attendant at a fast food outlet, waitress, manager of a café to the assistant co-ordinator of a local charity that handed out food parcels to those that are struggling, my role was to work out what would go into the food parcels, put together the packages and interview the people who wanted the packages.

Believe me I have seen all sort of people come through our doors and I have been told some ‘swifties’ just so they can get the most out of us but I always kept a check on my attitude towards people because there are always people that want to take advantage of the people they go to for help but I never wanted to miss the opportunity to be able to help the genuine people.

I am not a person to complain or to draw attention to myself, I have always sat back and just let things happen but I can’t do that this time, that woman does not belong in that job, if she wants to work doing something like she does then she should not be dealing with the public.

I shudder to think of what would have happened if my husband was having a heart attack (which is possible because he has heart problems) and she had the same attitude or if she is like that with someone else. I understand that dealing with the public is stressful but I am sorry it is not an excuse for being rude and dismissive especially in an emergency.

I trust that you will bring this to her attention so that she can learn from this and keep a check on her attitude towards people especially people who are already stressed, worried and sick.

Regards

Responses

Response from Joy Wyatt, Senior Consumer Liaison Officer, Clinical Governance, Queensland Health - West Moreton

Dear Shouldn’t be so rude

We were sorry to hear that your husband had been so unwell and that you felt that our staff member was rude and dismissive to you during such a stressful time. We understand that being in the emergency room can be a frightening experience so we try and make sure that we never lose sight of the “human” factor by ensuring that our patients and loved ones are treated with dignity, kindness and respect throughout their stay in our hospital.

At West Moreton we are committed to ongoing staff training and development in all aspects of care, including the importance of clear and supportive communication with both patients and their families. Your story confirms for us just how important it is to get this right, and to strengthen our efforts to ensure our staff are well skilled in this area.

We have passed your feedback on to the Director of the Emergency Department so that they can follow up with the staff member involved. On behalf of West Moreton Hospital and Health Service we would like to apologise that their behaviour on this day did not meet the standards we expect.

We really appreciate you taking the time to share your story and providing us with an opportunity to improve our services. If you would like to speak with someone further about your concerns, a Senior Consumer Liaison Officer would be happy to assist and they can be contacted on 3810 1111.

Kind Regards,

Consumer Liaison Service

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