"Dismissive treatment by Triage Nurse"

About: Bunbury Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

I had presented at the ER at approximately 7. 20pm with an urgent referral from my GP as he felt I required an ECG and blood tests due to high blood pressure, heart palpitations, raised temperature, high resting heart rate and earlier left arm pain, nausea and heart palpitations.   When undergoing triage I felt that the letter from my GP was completely disregarded and that as I wasn’t experiencing any chest pain that I was downgraded to minor illness.   I was told to wait in the waiting area and to inform staff if I started to experience chest pain or my symptoms became worse.   After waiting nearly an hour and a half I left without any treatment and informed staff I would return if I started to experience chest pain.   Considering it is my understanding that women can experience heart problems without chest pains, this made me feel that indeed I had wasted the staff and hospital resources and I certainly would be very reluctant to present again.  

Responses

Response from Marianne Slattery, Director of Nursing & Midwifery, WACHS - South West

picture of Marianne Slattery

Dear Need better healthcare

I am saddened to read that you felt dismissed by the triage nurse during your presentation to the Emergency Department at Bunbury Hospital and that you left before you were attended to.

It is important with the symptoms you described that you seek medical assistance if they reoccur. Should this occur, you should call an ambulance to attend the emergency department. As a precaution, I encourage you to make contact with your GP, who will be able to assess your health and order appropriate investigations.

I also offer an invitation for you to meet with the lead Doctor and Nurse of the Emergency Department so that they can discuss your experience and respond to your concerns.

Please contact Ms Janet McGeoch 9722 1521 to arrange a time that is suitable.

Best Regards

Marianne Slattery

Director of Nursing and Midwifery

WACHS – South West

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Response from Jan Cook, Operations Manager Coastal Hospital, WACHS South West

Dear Need better healthcare

Thank you for contacting us. We wish to reassure you that your feedback is important to our quality improvement activity, and we take the opportunity to improve seriously. We would really appreciate the opportunity to review the care processes that were experienced. Should you wish to meet with us, the invitation to do so remains open.

Kind Regards

Jan Cook

A/Operations Manager Bunbury Hospital

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