"It only takes one."

About: Osborne Park Hospital

(as a carer),

My spouse recently had surgery at Osborne Park Hospital (OPH). I used to work as a senior healthcare worker, so had high hopes for the way my spouse was going to be treated by staff.  Almost all of the surgeons, medical staff and nurses looked after my spouse really well.  Especially the admissions nurse. He was friendly and fabulous in his manner (especially considering my spouse was very nervous as they had never had any surgery before).  I understand that this particular nurse is a mature age nurse graduate and we just wanted to say thanks.

However, there was one nurse when my spouse was being discharged the next morning that in our opinion, made us both feel like we were naughty children. She spoke to me in what felt like a very terse and patronising manner when I asked about the medication routine my spouse was prescribed. I felt she was very quick to jump down my throat and say that I as a consumer should be asking these questions from my pharmacist in regards to how my spouse needs to take their medication.

I believe she could have said this in a much nicer way instead of talking to me like I was a child and stupid. My spouse could hardly remember what they were told by the doctors that morning, as when they walked in my spouse was still asleep and woke up extremely groggy.  I wasn't there to ask questions as I was told to come in after 9:30am to pick my spouse up and if I had any questions I could ask the staff on duty. As I would be the person who would care for my spouse once we were home, I know I have a right to ask these questions of nurses and medical staff without feeling disrespected and spoken down to - in my view, as if I was a nuisance. 

As someone who has worked in hospitals for many years,  I believe some nurses in the health system are tired of their jobs and this definitely seemed to be the case with this particular nurse.  In my opinion, she had no people skills and made us feel terrible. So, I just want it on record that our experience at OPH was great, and my husband is doing really well.  But, I believe as usual it only takes one person to ruin an experience for a patient and their families. I feel that nurses who don't like interacting with patients and their families should reconsider their workplace, as this is their job. I think if they are on the front line working directly with people then they need to have good people skills. 

Responses

Response from Jennifer Francis, A/Director Safety, Quality & Performance, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, North Metropolitan Health Service

Dear It only takes one,

Thank you for taking the time to tell us of yours and your husband’s experience during his recent stay at Osborne Park Hospital. Whilst it was pleasing to hear of the positive interactions you had with most of the staff, I was saddened to read of the way you were both spoken to by the nurse at the time of your husband’s discharge. ‘Putting the patient first’ is central to everything we do at Osborne Park Hospital and I wish to sincerely apologise that this did not occur at all times. The poor communication and attitude you experienced are not in keeping with the expectations of our staff and service.

I wish to reassure you that consumer-centred care is a focal area of orientation for all new staff and that key messages are reiterated in staff forums, staff bulletins and educational material. I will ensure that your feedback is forwarded to the areas concerned so that additional staff education is arranged.

Thank you once again for your feedback which helps us to understand how we can better meet the needs of our patients.

I do hope your husband is recovering well and wish you both the best.

Kind regards

Jennifer Francis

A/Director - Safety, Quality & Performance

Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group

on behalf of

Tony Dolan

A/Executive Director

Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

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