"Need to be assessed first, before we're told of the wait."
Posted by Not checking in (as ),
My partner and I recently had to attend the Box Hill Hospital emergency department. Unfortunately for us, we attended at a very busy time – we knew when we left to go there, that it would be busy, but due to the pain my partner was in, and had been for several hours, we couldn’t wait any longer. So knowing it would be busy, we knew there would be a wait. What I couldn’t believe was what happened when we first arrived. The first staff member we met said to us, If this was a hotel, we’d have the ‘No vacancy’ sign up. I said, that would be great if we were trying to check into a hotel. The staff member then said, there will be a minimum wait of at least three hours, and most of that will be in the waiting room. Now I could see the staff member was clearly under pressure, and I’m not trying to get anyone into trouble, but what I couldn’t believe was that this was said, before anyone had even looked at my partner. There had been no triage, so how would they even know how long the wait would be. If they had assessed my partner first, before telling us that there was a three hour wait, I might have understood it better. They didn’t even check what was wrong. As it was, we decided we’d go to Austin Hospital, and the first thing they said was, are you in a lot of pain? Then the first thing they did was manage the pain. We still had to wait, but at least my partner had been assessed, and they dealt with the most immediate need, relieving the pain my partner was in, which made it easier when we saw people go in ahead of us. We understand some people’s needs are greater than ours, but they had attended my partner so that we didn’t mind waiting for a more in depth investigation.
As I said, I could see the staff were under pressure, but I think it’s important to at least assess the situation first.