"Day Surgery team talking about other patients while working on me (Mater Hospital)"

About: Mater Adult Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I was having a small skin cancer cut off the side of my face through the public system at the Mater in Brisbane. The team was in the middle of a conversation about other things when I was lead into the operating theatre. They seemed to make no effort to engage with me or run through what they were about to do to my body.

After 10 minutes of waiting for them to finish and wondering if I should say something I asked them as politely as my jitters and anger would allow, to please stop talking about other things and people and be present with my procedure and the present moment. They complied and the surgeon said "Oh we are just putting the local in" like that was supposed to explain everything.

After that they were better at making sure I was informed about what was happening but half way through the surgery while cutting and using a laser on me both the nurse and the surgeon once again started talking about other patients and scheduling issues again. I was so angry and upset but I didn't want to say anything as I thought an angry team would be more dangerous than a distracted one.

The surgery was just a local anaesthetic procedure and to them might have seemed minor but from my perspective I felt like they were as present and focused as someone texting while driving.

I am not going to submit a formal complaint as the surgery was free and they appeared busy and were maybe just trying to fit as much into the day as they could but I think it is very dangerous behaviour and I hope that telling my story here may help prevent this sort of thing happening again.

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