"Complaint re: Nursing Staff Behaviour at Charters Towers Hospital."

About: Charters Towers Hospital

(as the patient),

I was admitted to the Charters Towers Hospital. During my admission I witnessed a member of the nursing staff belittle, degrade, bully, harass and embarrass another nurse, complain to a doctor about having to administer medications to a patient (within hearing distance of this patient) as well as witnessed and received hostile, rude and substandard treatment from this person.

• During my admission it took over 3 hours for me to receive medications requested. During this time I asked both 'the nurse in question' (who I will refer to as 'the first nurse') and the other nurse for medications and was informed by 'the first nurse' to wait and the other nurse reported that medications need to be retrieved by an RN and she would get onto it for me.

• I felt unable to ask for help as I did not want to be on the receiving end of 'the first nurse's' rude, abrupt behaviour. And when I did ask for assistance I was made to feel like I had done something wrong.

• I overheard the 'the first nurse' belittling myself on 2 separate occasions. This was in relation to my inability to swallow tablets and requesting I receive an injection for my medication - which the doctor was happy to allow.

• Witnessed 'the the first nurse' bring the other nurse to tears by harassing her and insulting her constantly.

• Overheard 'the first nurse' tell another staff member to stop setting up a patients drip and to go on her break. When the staff member informed 'the first nurse' that she would go once the drip was set up and started, 'the first nurse' reported that it was not important and to go on her break now because if she does it stuffs up everyone else taking their breaks.

• 'The first nurse' bad mouthed and ran down the other nurse to both nurses and patients numerous times.

• Another patient stated after 'the first nurse' had left the room that, “I’m scared of that nasty nurse”.

• When admitting a patient 'the first nurse' stood at least 1 metre from the end of the patients bed where both she and the patient had to speak loudly to be heard enabling the entire room to hear confidential information.

• 'The first nurse' chastised and belittled another patient because the patient did not bring her medication in with her to hospital. The patient tried to explain that she was at another appointment when it was suggested she come to the hospital, so she did not know she would be admitted. 'The first nurse' responded by saying something to the effect - you need to be more organised.

• 'The first nurse' also attempted to give a patient the wrong medication and argued with the patient about this for several minutes before looking at the chart and realising the patient was correct.

• 'The first nurse’s' tone of voice and body language was hostile and aggressive at all times.

• All other staff at the Charters Towers Hospital were fantastic and I have nothing but praise for them.

• I understand that nursing staff are constantly busy and in demand and I respect the work that nurses do. However, what I do not respect or tolerate is; rude, belittling, degrading, bullying, harassment, deliberately embarrassing others, hearing staff complain about their job, hostile, rude behaviours and receiving substandard treatment

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Responses

Response from Julie Shepherd, Nurse Manager Patient Experience, Patient Services; Clinical Governance Directorate, Townsvillle Hospital and Health Services

Dear charterstowers4820,

Thank you for you your feedback on what you have described as an unsatisfactory hospital experience for you, for which I apologise.

Please know that we take feedback very seriously and I will be passing on your story to the Rural Hospitals Service Group Director and our Executive Director of nursing today.

We would very much like the opportunity to discuss your experience in more detail so that we can explore the issues you have raised. I strongly encourage you to contact the Nurse Manager of our Patient Liaison Service directly on 44331074 to discuss further.

I do hope you are feeling much better charterstowers4820,

With kind regards,

Julie Shepherd

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