The New, and Most Definitely Not Improved, Emergency Room Accommodations: The room with the dying woman and the worst nurse on the planet!
Once I was placed into the new room with the dying woman (who I prayed for and hope that her family finds peace), a guy from CT Scan finally came to deliver to me a contrast drink that I was to drink and then he would return in two hours to take me for my CT Scan. I drank the whole disgusting beverage which was essentially iodine contrast mixed with Chrystal Light Lemonade. After finishing the beverage, I waited and waited and somehow four hours had passed and no one had come to get me. I started to get really anxious as I continued to press the nurse call button and no one showed up. after another 2 1/2 hours of waiting and waiting for a nurse or someone to come, I went into a full blown frenzy of a panic attack and had to take the Klonopin I had sitting in my purse. When my nurse FINALLY showed up after the hours of waiting, I told her I was in more pain and wanted to see a doctor immediately. She literally said, “Honey (yes she is condescending), everyone is busy with critical patients and you are not critical and not dying so you need to be patient. A Doctor will only come if you are bleeding, or coding out in cardiac arrest because we are busy. We gave you some pain medicine about 2 hours ago (which was actually 5 hours ago) and you have to be patient until we have a chance to get more orders from the doctor.” Of course, the doctors weren’t going to come unless I was bleeding or coding so I guess the option of getting a doctor was out of this realm of possibilities.
Of course I stuck up for myself and said, “Take the IV out of my arm, I am leaving because I deserve to be treated as well as everyone else who is here. If there aren’t enough doctors and I can’t get you to show up for three hours, than I would rather go to a hospital that is capable of handling my case.” I was very upset and felt completely unwelcome. Anyone would have felt this way if they were in my situation. So I started taking off all the machines in front of this nurse whose name is Dani. Once I had removed everything, I asked for her help taking out the IV, but she refused to help me until I signed papers that said I was leaving “against medical advice” (also known as an AMA form). I literally said, “I am not leaving AMA, because I have not received any medical advice nor have I seen a doctor at all.” Holy crap you would think I just killed this woman’s dog because she went off on me after that, and began to act like a manic nut job.
“You have been seen by multiple nurses, and I have come every time you called and the last time I came you were sleeping. You boyfriend (pointing to Tyler sitting quietly in the chair) can attest to the fact that I came and by the time I got here you were sleeping (Tyler said yes but told her to wake me up and she didn’t) and I didn’t want to wake you. In addition to all the nurses you have seen, you have also been seen by ER Doctor, Doctor (I forgot his name 🙂 ). You have been pushy and needy while I have several more critical patients that are in much more dire situations than yours. If you still want to leave, then you will need to sign this paper in order to do so.” After her speech, she slammed my curtain closed and walked right over to the nearby nurses bench, literally 5 feet from my room, where she proceeded to loudly talk badly about me and make me feel even worse. At that point, not only was I completely pissed off, but I was not staying a moment longer. I took out my own IV and taped it down and walked right out to the nurses station where she was standing and this is what I said;
“Listen, I don’t know why you got so sensitive about me asking for help when I needed it, I don’t know why you think you know everything about my case, but let me be very clear, you are completely and totally unprofessional and need to grow up. Let’s start from the beginning, since you seem to think that telling less critical patients how unimportant they are. Number one, I have not seen a doctor at all since I have been here, I only saw a very passionless Physicians Assistant who called me a drug addict then after reading the notes from my doctor (and not even apologizing) finally decided to give me the pain meds that my doctor ordered for me, which did nothing for the pain I am still in. Number two, I pressed the call button a total of 3 times within a 3 1/2 hour span and not you or any other nurse showed up, so when you finally did you should have woke me to make sure everything was okay. We are completely unsure as to what is going on and I could very well be bleeding internally or have a fast moving infection that could kill me without warning, so before you judge a patient on how critical they are, get your fucking facts straight. Number three, you are not the reason I am leaving, you were very nice until you coped an attitude, but the reason I am leaving is because I don’t feel as though anyone here cares about whether I am here or not, and I believe I can get better care elsewhere . Number four, I will not ever sign that AMA document because I am not leaving against medical advice because news flash, I got no medical advice. The next time you think you are going to talk to me as if I am not a patient in need of care, I will report you and this shit hole hospital to the medical board of Florida and make sure that your nursing license is scrutinized and possibly taken from you. I truly believe you need to learn to treat every patient as if they are in need of assistance because no one wants to sit in the emergency room of any hospital regardless of the reason. I know that a lot of people abuse the emergency rooms and I understand that you have to do your best to weed those people out, but if you took the time to read my chart and get to know my case, you would know I am here for a surgical complication and anything could happen due to that reason. I am not the type of person to be needy or whiny, I truly have agonizing pain that won’t go away and your job is to be there for your patients and cater to their needs. If you are incapable of this, then why be a nurse?”
After I said my peace, this insane nurse said, “You have no right to judge me as a nurse or make me feel bad when I came every time you pressed the call button (which was of course a huge LIE). Before you leave, you have to speak to my charge nurse because when you chose to leave without being discharged, you are leaving AMA and the insurance company won’t pay for your visit. Let’s go so we can talk to my charge nurse.” Just to make sure you understand, the whole time she was speaking, her eyes were tearing up like I ruined her day and she was so snarky and nasty. I wish I could have recorded this conversation on my phone or something because it was literally like talking to my 7 year old. This lady was without question one of the rudest nurses I have ever met. She started out as a sweetheart and became Jekyll and Hyde right in front of my face. It was nuts!
So I said nicely that speaking to her charge nurse would not be necessary. Either way I stopped and spoke to the level headed lady named Diana. “What happened?” she said. I basically told her I was leaving and that “NUT BALL” was making a big deal of it thinking that I am leaving because of her. The truth was that I literally was being neglected regardless of who was to blame and I asked her why should I stay in a place where I am being neglected while I am in so much pain I can barely breath? She apologized for my treatment and asked me if I would please sign the AMA document. I told her my reasons as to why I would not sign it and she left me alone and told me to have a good night. It really was a simple and straight forward conversation. If the nurse would have just listened to me, the whole situation did not need to happen. This is the difference between being in a place where the nurses are good nurses and a place where the hire any old riff raft to care for you.
Before anyone gets too upset about my opinion of Traditions Medical Center, I want to point out that there were some fantastic nurses there once you are admitted and there are even a few exceptional nurses in the ER as well, I just had the bad fortune to get the one nurse that literally needed to be medicated for her obnoxious mood swings. Anyways, as the story goes on, sometimes it’s better to speak up and say how you feel about a person, than to just keep it inside. Who knows, maybe I made her think hard about the way she treats people. Maybe I made it better for the next less critical patient who had the bad fortune to get her as a nurse, but all I know is that I left that place still rattled in pain and throwing up and I knew I was going to have to go back to the hospital, but everything inside me did not want to go back to Traditions.