Thursday, February 10, 2011

The average hospital visit

The average hospital visit
Well it all started about 5:00 pm on February 09 2011 at work; I got excruciating pain in my right leg, I found it hard to stand let alone even walk on the leg.

So with all the pain I ended up going to the Dartmouth General Hospital, I got there at approximately 7:00pm. I went through the Triage nurse and then off to the registration desk and then proceeded to go to the waiting room. I did not have to wait all that long (Approximately 30 minutes) before I was called in.

When I was taken in I was put in bed #4 where the very nice nurse that was on duty came in and introduced herself to me and then gave me a hospital gown to put and then checked over my leg quickly and asked me a couple of routine questions and then went to find the resident doctor on duty. Unfortunately all the doctors were busy with more important injuries.

When I finally got the chance to see the doctor it was 10:22pm thus putting me at that point almost 3.5 hours in to me being there; still not bad for being in a Emergency Room with lots of ambulances coming and going all night.

The doctor looked me over and asked me a couple of routine questions and looked my legs over, he then said that I mostly likely have an infection in my leg but could also have a blood clot as well, so he decided to put me on a blood thinner as well as antibiotics just to be safe and requested blood work to be done as well (blood work cam back as being normal), he then directed me to come back again in the morning for a Ultrasound of my bad leg. He then left and the nurse came back in again and provided me with some pills as well as the antibiotics.

She made sure that I was comfortable and that everything was setup properly for me and then started the intravenous (IV) and then left but came back every so often to make sure I was OK and not having a reaction to the intravenous I was getting. Once everything was done she asked if there was anyone she could call to come get me, I thanked her and politely said no.

I ended up getting the last bus home from the hospital, once I got home I set the alarm (Which I slept through) to get up to be back at the hospital again for 8:00am (February 10, 2011), Unfortunately I did not get back to the hospital as early as intended but I did get there (Thank you Denise) at about 9:00am. I went directly to the ultrasound room and I was done there within 30 minutes or so.

Once done with the ultrasound I then went back to the ER again and seen the triage nurse and re registered again, I was called in about 45 minutes later (10:15am); When I went in I was asked to sit and wait in another waiting room just up from the bed I was in only a matter of hours earlier.

As I am sitting there waiting I am watching patients come and go and some even left due to the length of time that they were there and not seen by anyone but the on duty nurse. Now I will say that sitting still and not moving my leg and then all of a sudden getting a twitch in it and my leg moving is very painful, this happened a couple of times so I got up and walked around a bit to try and relieve the pain but it did not help much.

As I am walking around I happen to come across a clock on the wall (And I only found that 1 clock during this visit); I then realized that it was almost 3:00pm; this puts me being there for almost 6 hours of which 5:15 worth of time I was left to sit in this waiting room in a very hard chair with no interaction from anyone other than the nurse occasionally to make sure that I am still there and have not left like some of the other patients did, mean while I keep seeing this one female doctor constantly on the go but seeing her help anyone within sight of me other than a elderly lady that came in after I did.

Now during this 5:15 of waiting in the other waiting room I had asked if I could go outside and get some fresh air to the nurse that had brought me in, she recommended that I not do that so I did not miss my turn; when she said that I was thinking to myself how is it I can miss my turn when no one that came in before me has been seen yet.

So I went outside anyways and came back in again in a couple minutes and I notified her that I was back. Approximately 40 minutes later (putting me at 6 hours of waiting now) this male doctor comes walking in (If I am correct this was the start of his shift and I think he was the one I saw come in with his bike) and walks right to the nurses station and I hear him say to the nurse “Where is this patient that has been here for 5 hours already”, he grab the chart and came over and introduced himself and then asked me some questions and looked my leg over and such; He then prescribed the antibiotics again for me as well as instructions to be off work for a couple days; Within 20 – 30 minutes of him coming over to me I was then discharged with my paperwork and the medications that I had been waiting for all day.

Now I will say that I do not hold the Doctors and or Nurses at fault for the delay in the waiting times to get seen but having to wait 5+ hours for something that only took 20 – 30 minutes to have done unsupervised while sitting in a chair is uncalled for. Something definitely should be done to eradicate these long wait times in our local hospitals throughout Canada and or any other country that this happens in; Now not only am I out of work for 2 – 3 days with a doctors note but I had to surrender a full 6+ hours of my day that I should of been at work and getting paid; Unfortunately not everyone can afford to lose a day of pay like I did while at the hospital for something that did not take long to do at all and was done by the nurse and not the doctor.

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