"My first experience needing to use the ED at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital"

About: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

(as the patient),

One day recently I was out of bed early feeling fine, had a little breakfast and soon afterwards had the most severe abdominal pain. Also my body seemed to be in crisis as I did not want to stand or sit and just did not know what to do with myself; I just felt terribly ill. My husband rang the emergency ambulance services, however he seemed to be passed from pillar to post and eventually I spoke with one of the operatives. I said I didn't particularly need an ambulance as my husband would drive me to the hospital and asked if they could tell me which hospital would be accepting emergency patients. They gave me two options, Royal Perth Hospital or Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. I chose the latter as I knew they would have my records as I have bone density scans there.

My husband drove me to the hospital and did not have to wait too long before I was attended to by one of the doctors on duty. After initial questioning I was taken to the Observation Ward and was subsequently admitted as a patient in the Surgical Ward.

From being transferred to the Observation Ward the medical staff proceeded to diagnose my pain which they thought was coming from my gallbladder. I had a CT scan which indeed seemed to show there may be a problem in that area. The medics were undecided that surgery at that stage was necessary. However they gave me a window of 24 hours and I was taking antibiotics intravenously. It was discovered after the 24 hours and further blood tests that the antibiotics were not proving to be affective. The doctors decided that surgery to remove my gallbladder would be necessary. I must say here that the nursing care and subsequent treatment by the medical staff was amazing. They were so caring and careful and provided me with answers to all of my doubts and questions. I am an elderly person and was concerned at the effect of the anaesthetic, as my procedure was considered to be of a serious nature. The hospital staff were diligent in asking me the normal medication I took at home. I was admitted to hospital without any of my things, including my medication. Each day they gave me my required medication for my blood pressure.

On the third day in hospital I was prepared for surgery. I must say here that the night nursing care I received was faultless. The girls on duty were very caring and promptly attended to me whenever they were required. I needed help with the intravenous apparatus whenever I needed to use the bathroom. Also, I am a very light sleeper. They were very much aware that both the apparatus that seemed to be pumping medication into me all night together with the noise from other patients meant I did not sleep very well. Prior to the procedure the anaesthetist came to see me and was very patient with my questions, alleviating any concern I had about being put to sleep!

Following the surgery the nursing care again was exemplary. The surgeon who was responsible for my procedure came to see me the next morning with some of his colleagues and said the procedure had gone well. I enquired what was wrong with my gallbladder (I had no symptoms there was a problem) and he said it was dying and that it had twisted and was black!

I can say that I had not eaten in 6 days – and because of the medication I needed I did not want to eat – my appetite had gone. However that was a minor matter as I was intent on a good recovery – which the nursing and medical staff provided the incentive to do as they were positive I would make a good recovery. I was discharged two days after surgery with a list of instructions and antibiotics to take for 7 days. I think this was the worst part of my rehab as the tablets really badly affected me in that I felt shaky, couldn’t eat, and when I did everything tasted of metal. I must add here that I am allergic to Penicillin and the staff were very aware of this, always asking me if this was correct. As soon as the antibiotics had finished, I began to feel better.

I was very impressed with the nursing care - the treatment and diagnosis of the medical staff - which was more than I could have wished for.

My husband was beside himself all the time with worry and was at the hospital very early in the mornings and leaving late at night. The medical staff were so good to him too and for that I shall always be grateful.

Responses

Response from Jennifer Francis, A/Director Safety, Quality & Performance, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, North Metropolitan Health Service

Dear atlasjb63

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience of Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. I appreciate how daunting it must have been for you and your husband having to come to the Emergency Department by ambulance and not knowing the reason for your illness. It was such a pleasure to read of the quality of care you received and the positive feelings this left with you. Our motto at Charlie’s is to ‘put patients first’ and it was heartening to hear that this was how you and your husband were made to feel during your admission.

I will ensure that your message of thanks is passed onto all staff involved.

Thank you again and I do hope you have recovered well from your procedure.

Kind regards

Jennifer Francis

A/Director Safety, Quality & Performance Unit

Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group

on behalf of

Tony Dolan

A/Executive Director

Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group

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