"Rude staff member"

About: King Edward Memorial Hospital

(as the patient),

I’m a new pregnant and Type 1 Diabetic patient at King Eddy’s and I had my first clinic visit recently. I got given instructions by my physician to make a few changes to my insulin and medication. Throughout the next day my blood sugars were more elevated than usual. I tried to correct it myself with extra insulin but failed. My partner usually checks up on me regularly and he asked how I went with my blood sugars. He decided by himself to call the hospital as I didn’t get given an after hours number. He got put through to a nurse who was so arrogant and rude and not very helpful. He called me and told me that he had called and that it would be better for me to call myself. So I felt very overwhelmed to call as he had called already and he had warned me that this nurse was quite rude but convinced me that I should call anyway if I wanted help as soon as possible. So I called and the same nurse answered the phone. She addressed me with - oh yes, your partner called, he seemed concerned about your blood sugars, but are you concerned? So I politely answered, “yes, I am”. She then said bluntly - well what’s the story? So, I tried giving her as much detail as possible but she cut me off. Then she said - just hold. So I was put on mute, but then shortly the mute got put off and I could hear her conversing with a doctor. She said that she had tried asking me the story but that I couldn’t tell her everything! Then she also stated that I should’ve taken more insulin and then the doctor politely asked her why she must speak with me, and the nurse replied - because I’m going home now! The doctor that took over the call was so lovely and helpful. I felt very overwhelmed and upset at this point that I was on the verge of crying (probably because of my raging hormones) but my partner was quite appalled at her manner that she dealt with him over the phone. I work in healthcare myself and I couldn’t believe that she was a nurse dealing with patients and people with concerns like that! I’m disgusted.

Responses

Response from Graeme Boardley, Director, Midwifery, Nursing and Patient Support Services, Women and Newborn Health Service, King Edward Memorial Hospital

picture of Graeme Boardley

Dear Preggolady,

Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. I am sorry that you and your partner have had this experience with our service.

The information you have provided is not consistent with the Values and Organisational Behaviours of this organisation.

I would appreciate it if you could make contact with our Customer Service Unit, 6458 1444, to provide some more details, which will facilitate further investigation into the issues you have raised.

Once again, thank you for bringing this matter to my attention and I apologise that this was your experience. I am pleased that the doctor you spoke to was helpful.

Kind regards,

Graeme Boardley

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