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scruffy1

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i'd like to recommend this letter as a necessary dose of reality to medical bureaucrats everywhere, and a head's up to everyone who will ever need medical attention

 

yes, that's all of you, regardless of how immortal, or herbal or otherwise inclined you may be

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Having waited in A&E a few times (once for myself) for up to 9 hours, I 100% respect the work they do, and absolutely never complain or whinge about the wait.

 

I've sat there in the waiting room, see the lights of an ambo pull in, then hear some screaming person get wheeled by, to me that is more important than anything I've got going on.

 

Those people getting frustrated and abusing staff imo are abusing the wrong people.

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i'd like to recommend this letter as a necessary dose of reality to medical bureaucrats everywhere, and a head's up to everyone who will ever need medical attention

 

yes, that's all of you, regardless of how immortal, or herbal or otherwise inclined you may be

Great letter! Thanks for sharing

 

I don't hold much hope for the changes requested/required occurring, but you never know

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Nice insight, nothing I didn't already know.

 

And yes, it's the governments fault, but even knowing that and that they are incompetent to fix it helps neither patient nor medical staff. :(

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having been on the receiving end of countless bouts of abuse, spitting and foot stamping, glass petition punching glaring, yelling chair throwing etc etc i remember a point where we were told NOT to wear our ID or uniform outside because of the abuse (both psychical and verbal) that was going on....

 

this kind of letter or media campaign needs to go viral.

 

the public need to take responsibility for themselves and understand that an emergency dept is just that - for emergency treatment - too many factions of the public see it as "right now" care for the week old sore throat or mother who brings in mildly upset 10year old with vague symptoms on a Saturday night (for her own entertainment, dramatic self worth or simply escaping the rest of the screaming kids at home?)

 

the countless discussions i have had regarding the acuity of care required determines when a patient is seen to - YES you are going to wait hours so that we may resuscitate a heart attack victim or whilst we try to stem the bleeding of a pregnant woman in a high speed MVA . NO - your sore shoulder from last week or maybe the week before when you were drunk and fell over will NOT be prioritized just because you managed to get here before the ambulance thats bringing in a stabbing victim.

 

honestly - spot the $50 and go see a GP who will maybe make you wait an hour or two but you will be in and out with a script and/or scan request within minutes!

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since my child was born (in a public hospital) we have been back 3 times,

1 head impact injury (slipped while getting him out of the bath, no major damage)

1 severe cold (needed oxygen due to bad GP advice on cough syrup, over nighted)

1 leg laceration (stabbed his leg on a metal fixture in a pool, no permanent damage thank god)

 

 

Each time we've had a wait ranging from 2 to 5 hours before we were seen, each time the staff have been polite, helpful and great with him. Even when he lacerated his leg they talked to him and calmed him while they were steri-stripping it closed. I have never whined, whinged or complained that treatment didn't come fast enough, and I don't ever intend to. I know the pressure that our health care workers are under, and I appreciate any time they can spare to check myself, my wife or my child's problem.

 

I am disappointed when some people come in thinking they are far more important than the rest of us. (Like one up herself mother i saw during one of those trips who was complaining no one had looked at her child's runny nose which really just needed soup and a few days of bed rest)

 

I am thankful that we have the most dedicated and professional front line people I know of, regardless of whether it is a big metropolitan center or a small regional hospital. And to all of them, thank you.

 

M

Edited by milamber_of_the_assembly

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Good one scruffy1.

Over 12 years ago now I was on the receiving end in Cairns.

 

Bloody Marvellous doctors and nurses there.

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I've been once myself and they didn't prioritze shit, I know this isn't the norm but I was the most damaged (broken wrist) and I had already been to a GP and got an X-ray to shorten my waiting time and speed things up, instead it took over 12hrs to put a cast on (whislt I was in agony and could only have panadol which do nothing for me) I was pushed to the back of the queue by health staff putting others in front of me because their parents were more vocal,and contributing to their own problems as other followed suit.

 

I mean emergency care is not for scrapes grazes and a sprained wrist these people should be FUCKED OFF (don't even look at them this is not a service for over protective parents. right away not clogging up emergency rooms and holding up the line.

 

I had not qualms about being put being people dieing or the guy with half his face bashed off and his teeth in a baggy of milk, but the care I received was not inline with the so called standards.

 

This was ~6 years ago and if things have deteriorated as is being indicated I feel sorry for anyone working in emergency departments. And anyone looking to abuse staff outside work should be shot, though I would guess it's mostly mouthy women looking for some empowerment, so there would be little in the way of losses.

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interestingly the letter is by the date now almost 3 years old, but has been picked up and is going viral

 

we love a good epidemic

 

and sorry for your experiences pomky, although by decree paediatric patients get priority over older patients; any gp should be able to immobilise a wrist adequately as an interim measure

 

and to comment on experiences, i was transferred between hospitals by ambulance with my daughter when she broke her hip, being only a week after it was pinned for a slipped epiphysis

we waited for a few hours for emergency access to theatre, cognisant of the fact that the longer it was delayed, the more chance the bone would die, and she would be effectively crippled until she was old enough to get a hip replacement - she was 13

we were just about to go in, when they apologised that another case would get priority - a child with a penetrating eye injury, who was likely going to be blinded, but had maximum chance if operated on immediately

 

i might have kicked shit as a senior emergency medicine staff member myself, but could only wish them good luck and hope the delay didn't ruin it for my daughter; i appreciate their decision wasn't made lightly

 

thankfully the outcome for us was good, but there was several days of anxiety awaiting the bone scan after the weekend

 

despite your claim, as someone with 20 years experience in a number of emergency departments, i doubt that it is as clear cut as you paint it... however, i am equally aware that the quality and timeliness of service is highly dependent on the staff working at the time you present for care, and also who pulls your case from the pile - and how many patients they are overwhelmed by, and who else rocks up in the meantime

 

if it's overnight then plasters are considered a physio job if there are medical priorities, and physios seem to cleverly work "normal" hours, not nights - but a swift backslab as an interim measure and some decent analgesia is realistically a 10 minute job if you are efficient... not everyone is, and they need to have a "spare" 10 minutes in any case

 

hope your wrist is happier now; my lisfranc fracture still aches in cold weather, and my foot sounds creaky like old floorboards when i walk downstairs in bare feet, but meh! shit happens

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Education and healthcare.

 

Two of the most important places to plough resources into. Why do they seem to be the hardest?

 

Rob.

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To the people without real medical issues, get the fuck out of the emergency wards and either

 

A) Find a 24 hour doctor

 

OR

 

B) Wait until the morning

 

I have had real, sometimes serious fucked up, I'm going to die, debilitating, mental health issues related to anxiety/depression and get sick and tired of waiting behind someone who has a fever or a nose bleed because I might be able to restrain myself and not show any outward symptoms in a waiting room so as not to disturb everyone else in it. From experience the triage system rarely works for those with mental health issues even when I've gone to the only hospital near me that has a mental health care ward. A friend of my brothers tried to get help from that same hospital but ended up killing himself instead.

Edited by i_am_banned

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Debilitating? You are going to die? Yet you are able to restrain yourself and not show any outward symptoms?

 

What's up with that? Those sound contradictory.

 

Rob.

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It's very hard to explain when the only real "sensation" you have some times is "I am going to die, this must be what dieing feels like, I don't feel safe in my own body right about now" couple that with intense chest pains, numbness/pins and needles, dizziness, an irregular/racing heart beat, etc... I have the intestinal fortitude sometimes to tell myself that none of the sensations I am feeling are real and can sit there mostly quietly, or pace around an emergency ward, but that's only come through learning about what goes on when I have attacks like that and knowing I'm almost probably not going to keel over and die right there and then. That said sometimes I just don't feel safe sitting around at home dealing with shit like that.

 

As messed up as the above sounds and some may chose to call me a certain variety of cake, I probably don't have it as bad as some other people, my risk of self harm is fairly low, but that's what annoys me, knowing what other people like myself but with more serious mental health issues go through only to be turned away as low priority at triage.

 

But yeah, coming back to debilitating, it pretty much stops me from doing anything relatively normal at the worst of times, I failed a unit at university just because I couldn't get my head around what I was going through and it stops me from actually going out and doing normal stuff like going to shops, talking to people, or working, etc... so yeah, debilitating is one word for it. I've learned to live with it as best as one can but that doesn't mean its not debilitating.

Edited by i_am_banned

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It's very hard to explain when the only real "sensation" you have some times is "I am going to die, this must be what dieing feels like, I don't feel safe in my own body right about now" couple that with intense chest pains, numbness/pins and needles, dizziness, an irregular/racing heart beat, etc... I have the intestinal fortitude sometimes to tell myself that none of the sensations I am feeling are real and can sit there mostly quietly, or pace around an emergency ward, but that's only come through learning about what goes on when I have attacks like that and knowing I'm almost probably not going to keel over and die right there and then. That said sometimes I just don't feel safe sitting around at home dealing with shit like that.

you would do better with cognitive behavioural therapy, and quite likely an ssri

 

emergency deppartments for such stuff is crazy - if you want anxiety, there's plenty there

 

so i hope you were joking suggesting febrile patients, or epistaxis (nosebleed) deserve to go somehwere else and leave the place to you - the difference is panic *feels* like you might die (you won't), but people suffering the other two potentially can die

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Me and medication don't see eye to eye scruffy, nor do I with docs that have an attitude of "here take these pills you'll be right mate". I would also rather not feel like I've consumed nothing other than a concoction of chemicals that makes me violently ill, or have no feelings at all... sure the anxiety might disappear and sometimes the depression and helplessness that comes with it, but as does feelings of being happy, sad, or in between.

 

I've learned to deal with it mostly naturally, some changes in lifestyle, some psychology. As for nose bleeds and fevers, I was talking of the milder kind. No need to twist my words there and yes I do believe mental health is a serious issue and that crisis units are an important part of hospitals when the shit hits the fan and people like myself can't cope.

Edited by i_am_banned

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Me and medication don't see eye to eye scruffy, nor do I with docs that have an attitude of "here take these pills you'll be right mate". I would also rather not feel like I've consumed nothing other than a concoction of chemicals that makes me violently ill, or have no feelings at all... sure the anxiety might disappear and sometimes the depression and helplessness that comes with it, but as does feelings of being happy, sad, or in between.

 

I've learned to deal with it mostly naturally, some changes in lifestyle, some psychology. As for nose bleeds and fevers, I was talking of the milder kind. No need to twist my words there and yes I do believe mental health is a serious issue and that crisis units are an important part of hospitals when the shit hits the fan and people like myself can't cope.

 

if it works for you (and that's not what you're describing) you can do as you please

 

disabling anxiety is a very real problem, and if you aren't helped by well delivered cognitive behavioural therapies and / or medication i would suggest that you have been poorly served, or pressed to use "pills" too enthusiastically - ssri's can make you feel vile, but if the dose is small and titrated up slowly, the effect is usually better than the illness after a relatively short time, but the idea of "flattening" mood is only true of major tranquillisers or novel antipsychotics, which are a poor choice in patients where the diagnosis is panic attacks; maybe your "anxiety" is not properly diagnosed

 

pills don't make it right; you have to do some work also; but not all medication is ineffective or causes ongoing unpleasant effects... but sometimes it is imperfect, and it isn't always easy to find the best treatment for an individual on a single trial

 

but that's something for you to consider - i am just offering an observation based on my experiences

 

and 20 years in emergency tends to give you a lot of exposure to mental health issues (as your experiences would obviously suggest)

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Well, I'm not disagreeing with you medication does work for some people. What I will say is that at least one of those drugs made me absolutely flat that was Lexapro, and that took me quite some time for my levels of emotions to return to something resembling normal. I've tried a few other SSRI and SNRIs, I've also tried tetracyclics which worked reasonably well in lower doses but made me feel vile as soon as I started upping the dosage.

 

I've been on the medication merry go round and it doesn't particularly work for me. I am, mostly, fine these days. I've chosen other paths, CBT being one of them, mindfulness and awareness another, a better diet/lifestyle and less work/life stress are among yet others.

 

And yeah, I've dealt with this stuff for at least 10 years, so have a reasonable amount of experience, I've also seen a few scary things in hospitals at times. I trust your experience, I'm just really talking from personal experience about what hasn't worked for me and another person I knew. Your a trained medical practitioner though and I'm just a person, I'm not trying to subvert your level of qualification.

Edited by i_am_banned

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Well, I'm not disagreeing with you medication does work for some people. What I will say is that at least one of those drugs made me absolutely flat that was Lexapro, and that took me quite some time for my levels of emotions to return to something resembling normal. I've tried a few other SSRI and SNRI's, I've also tried tetracyclics which worked reasonably well in lower doses but made me feel vile as soon as I started upping the dosage.

 

I've been on the medication merry go round and it doesn't particularly work for me. I am, mostly, fine these days. I've chosen other paths, CBT being one of them, mindfulness and awareness another, a better diet/lifestyle and less work/life stress are among yet others.

 

And yeah, I've dealt with this stuff for at least 10 years, so have a reasonable amount of experience, I've also seen a few scary things in hospitals at times. I trust your experience, I'm just really talking from personal experience about what hasn't worked for me and another person I knew.

good that you found things that help, and you can tolerate

 

as a doc it would be great if there was a "one size fits all" prescription for every perceived illness, but it ain't so - as you obviously know

 

less work and less stress is always a winner if you can afford to live okay on what that pays - i have just rearranged my working week to be on huge long day (23 hours) followed by 2 much shorter afternoons (the 2nd of my working week is tomorrow), then a morning - it seems to be good so far (only a few weeks into it) - especially as i then get 3 and a half days off before working the big shift again - it seems to suit my mania and need for a coherent period of "nup, i'm not working" :)

 

i hope you find what works for you, and that for us both it continues to hit the spot

 

cheers !

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Education and healthcare.

 

Two of the most important places to plough resources into. Why do they seem to be the hardest?

Because they are two areas where there is never going to be enough money, and always room to spend more.

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Education and healthcare.

 

Two of the most important places to plough resources into. Why do they seem to be the hardest?

Because they are two areas where there is never going to be enough money, and always room to spend more.

 

By "the hardest" I actually meant that figuring out what/how exactly to plough the money in. If there was an extra spare billion, whats the best way to spend it? There doesn't seem to be a remotely authoritative answer on this.

 

Rob.

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I copypasted the letter and started a chain email, and sent to my usual peeps. Not usually one for that sort of crap but felt this time it was worthwhile.

 

Let me know if you get one. Hah

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so the message just boils down to "Don't be an arsehole".

 

mkay, hardly remarkable. but i *suppose* in this case there's a core group of people who are 'reachable'.

 

ive been in casualty on a few occasions with problems you would expect to be low down on the triage scale and sat there quietly waiting fricken forever whilst it certainly appeared no emergencies were in progress and no doctors and nurses were even slightly busy. but what the fuck would i know about how busy they are? or who needs a break for their sanity, and enduring competence.

 

when i am a patient, man, i am a patient man.

 

having said that, i have encountered quite a few incidences of incompetence in public hospitals either first hand or from reliable second hand sources. so its not like my patience knows no bounds. but if and when i feel the need to assert myself i am always deferential and ready to extend the benefit of the doubt. coz, like, i'm not an arsehole!

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so the message just boils down to "Don't be an arsehole".

 

mkay, hardly remarkable. but i *suppose* in this case there's a core group of people who are 'reachable'.

 

ive been in casualty on a few occasions with problems you would expect to be low down on the triage scale and sat there quietly waiting fricken forever whilst it certainly appeared no emergencies were in progress and no doctors and nurses were even slightly busy. but what the fuck would i know about how busy they are? or who needs a break for their sanity, and enduring competence.

 

the ambulance entrance is generally not the same place people walk in and get to sit, so a lot off activity originates completely invisibly to the waiting room

 

and as for a break for sanity; we were lucky if we got to eat while scribbling notes during what was often 8-12 hours of chaos - and even then it was hospital food :P

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I presented to emergency once with a nosebleed... turns out it was leukemia.

 

So... sometimes people with nosebleeds should go to the emergency room! :P

 

Been back plenty of times since - stem cell transplant, double THR, lots of reasons to go back and go "please do these tests and tell me I am not going to need chemo/revision surgery". Staff has always been awesome, and while it was never instant they always looked after me in due time.

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