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"Unsuccessful procedure and staff attitude"

About: Fiona Stanley Hospital / Day Medicine Procedures, Day Stay & Short Stay

(as a carer),

As a carer, I accompanied a patient recently for a procedure. I have accompanied the patient for the same procedure on two previous occasions. 

On the previous occasions, the facility was a hive of activity with staff under enormous pressure due to the number of patients all presenting challenges. I couldn't help but notice the high level of efficiency and professionalism of all staff. The atmosphere was simply wonderful, however, on this occasion that was not the case. I recognised one staff member, the remainder were all new. I also noticed it was particularly quiet there in comparison to previous visits. The staff weren't even comparable in professionalism to what I had  previously been exposed to. The doctor doing the procedure appeared to me to be very unsure & it was apparent they seemed to lack confidence, albeit their personality was really lovely.

Upon the doctor checking the patient's abdomen, starting first with the right side, which was visibly bruised, the doctor moved to the patient's left side. They then left the patient to seek support from their supervisor, who returned with the doctor to the bedside. The supervisor actually stood at the end of the bed with hands in their pockets while obviously instructing the doctor what to do & obviously observe the process. I found the stance of the supervisor rather imposing & could have been intimidating to the young doctor. The supervisor turned to speak to me stating, the needle was inserted too deeply & may have ruptured the bowel, chances are slim, however, we now need to do a scan. The procedure naturally had to be discontinued. The supervisor left, leaving a rather distressed doctor, whom I really felt for. I consoled the doctor as they felt very disappointed the procedure didn't go as planned. Unsure if the patient was aware of what had happened due to cognitive impairment.

I took a break from the ward for 15mins & upon my return the patient had been moved to a hospital bed being attended by the afternoon nurse. I asked the nurse what happens now besides the scan, and they said quite clearly possibly surgery. I then spoke to the nurse co-ordinator & mentioned the word surgery to them. Their reply was, who told you? The nurse who told me this was standing beside us & responded in a tone of voice I didn't really appreciate. Their response was, I said surgery as the worst-case scenario. Really, I wasn't interested in disagreeing with the nurse in front of the patient. It had been decided the patient would be admitted, thus I was free to leave. I left feeling so uneasy and so terribly disappointed with my negative experience as opposed to the wonderful amazing experiences I had previously. Quite concerning really, how staff can make such a difference to the overall atmosphere & care of patients in general.

Responses

Response from Neil Doverty, Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group, South Metropolitan Health Service

picture of Neil Doverty

Dear plutony33

Thank you for your feedback about your recent experience attending the Day Medical Procedures unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital as a carer.

I would firstly like to thank you for your kind words about the unit on your previous visit.

I am disappointed to hear that we did not match that same level of communication and professionalism on your recent attendance. We would appreciate the opportunity to investigate why this occurred. Unfortunately without further patient details we cannot investigate further. I encourage you to contact our Patient and Family Liaison Officer via 6152 4013 or email FSHFeedback@health.wa.gov.au so we can investigate the issues you have raised and respond fully.

In regards to the department not being as busy as previous visits, I can advise that these procedures had previously taken place on Tuesdays which is one of the busiest days within the department. These procedures have now been moved to a Monday to assist with scheduling. This may have been why the department appeared quieter.

I look forward to hearing from you soon and I thank you for taking the time to share your story.

Kind regards

Neil Doverty

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    {{helpful}} other {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} it is helpful