Where civility is a luxury – welcome to hospital emergency

There is chaos and panic everywhere – frail and deaf old ladies with blank looks on their faces, bleeding people on stretchers, screaming babies, handcuffed prisoners with bleeding arms after their little scuffles in prison with sardonic looks on their faces, sick people demanding attention and being served by unconcerned and apathetic clerks at the counter with a look of ‘suit yourself, it’s my way or the highway darling!’

I walk to a clerk: Me: Hi, my mum is very unwell. I…

Her: Can I cut you short there? You need to talk to the other clerk over there I walk over to the ‘other clerk’:

Me: Hi, my mum is very unwell

Her: Do you have her Medicare card?

Me: The doctor asked to admit ..

Her: Can you tell me your current address

Me: (after confirming address) The doctor …

Her (cutting me short): Sorry, but can you give the medical details to the medical clerk

Me: where is the medical clerk

Her: Wait for your name to be called

My name is called by medical nurse:

Her: What brings you here today?

Me: Mum’s unwell ..

Her: I don’t want to talk to you. I would like to talk to the patient

Me: But she is unwell and not able to talk

Her: Where is the doctors referral? When did the incident occur?

Me: Today

Her (with raised eyebrows): Yeah, it has been a long day. Which part of the day did the incident occur? 9am, 10am, 11am

Me (trying to keep my temper in check): 11am

Her: I don’t know why you would come without a referral

Me: It was an EMERGENCY! We didn’t have time to go to a doctor to wait for the referral

Her: Alright, ask the patient to come in

Patient goes in:

Her: What brings you here today?

Patient: I am not feeling well.

Her: I know, but what’s wrong with you?

Me: Thats what we are here to find out.  Maybe if you let her speak without interrupting her in mid sentences, maybe you will find out.

Anyway, this went on for a while longer. At the end of her investigation, her report to the doctor –’ high BP, high Sugar and the patient is from an Indian background’.

Me (think to myself): #$#$@#$@#@#$$%#$@@#$@#$@#$@#@#@#$@#$%# They pay you to be obnoxious, arrogant and then state the bleeding obvious?

Her: Please wait until your name is called.

Me: Do you have any idea how long it will be?

Her: Please wait until your name is called.

Me: Sigh!

(Three hours later in the waiting room) A frail old lady who was sitting next to me calls out to me and says – ‘darling I am cold. Can you please get me a rug?’

I get her a rug and wrap it around her.  She says – ‘they said they’d call my name. It has been 4 hours but they haven’t called me. Do you think they may have called me but I didn’t hear. Would you please be able to ask them if they’ve called my name.’

As I walk to the counter, I hear the plastic voice – ‘wait until you are called ..’

Welcome to public hospital emergency. Apparently it doesn’t matter which part of the world you are in. Public hospital emergency is synonymous to nightmarish experience. Forget about pleasantness, even civil behaviour is a luxury. Are they trained upfront to be cold, plastic, rude, nasty, obnoxious, all of the above.

Makes me wish I had a remote control which will allow me to determine to vanish past my ‘use by’ date. I don’t ever want to go through this indignity again!!

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2 thoughts on “Where civility is a luxury – welcome to hospital emergency

  1. Guddi March 30, 2012 / 5:20 pm

    That is so so sad, Ana! What’s sadder is they have to be mean day in and day out! wot a horrible way of living…. 😦

    • myanasworth March 30, 2012 / 7:44 pm

      I really felt for the old lady. I was thinking of her for a couple of days after that. She looked so sad and forlorn .. no family to accompany her. Must have been from a nursing home 😦

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