Royal Alex Nurses – really?
My father was at the Royal Alex in one of the emergency department’s P-rooms on November 19th. I had gotten there to drop off some things for his overnight stay only to have my toddler have an accident on the way in. We had to move so that I could get my little properly cleaned up at home.
When I got to him, my dad was in so much pain that he was crying silently. He asked if it was anywhere near time for his next dose of pain meds, so I went up to the desk and stood quietly until someone acknowledged me. I know how busy they are firsthand, so I never want to be disruptive in a hospital. A wonderful lady asked what she could do, and I explained what dad had asked. She smiled and said she’d tell his nurse. I thanked her. She was great.
I went back to tell dad what she had said, and he told me about another concern that they had found. Worried, I asked if they would be treating it and finding the cause of it while he was here for the other issue or if they were gonna treat and then refer. He didn’t know. He couldn’t remember. My father is an adorably husky older man with a quick wit but a terrible memory. I’m always at his appointments to make sure he gets all the information. So! I wandered back out to the desk…
A younger nurse with very thick black glasses and dark hair glanced at me a couple times. I just smiled politely and waited. Finally, she said, “Yes?” I could tell she was stressed or on edge or something, so I apologized for being “that annoying daughter” but had to ask about this issue to make sure we had the information about it correct. She rolled her eyes (seriously- I wish I was dramatizing this) and told me she was doing “way too many other things” but she would come see us shortly. I thanked her and went back to dad.
I had waited about twenty minutes when I told him I couldn’t wait any longer. My babe was getting uncomfortable and rather loud. I said I’d call the desk later to ask for the information– just make sure I’m on the chart. He agreed then asked if I could get him ice chips. He was allowed one or two every so often. Okay! Ice chips!
I toddled with my toddler- who is whining at this point- for about five minutes hunting for a little station, but I couldn’t find it. Back to the desk, I went. I waited again. Another lady looked at me, so I asked where the ice chips were. She refered me to his nurse. I nodded and moved over to where she was. I asked the same question, and she answered me with a frustrated sigh and the further response that she didn’t even know if he could have them. Again, she reiterated that she would be right there. I just nodded- not wanting to cause a scene…
…until I went around the corner and heard another voice snark, “I already told him he can’t have them!”
That voice came around the corner as she finished her comment. I was standing there still in my tracks when I pointed a finger and told her quietly but firmly that my dad is old, in a ton of pain, and may not be able to remember anything much right now which is what she needs to remember.
I was too angry to stay any longer. I kissed my dad and told him what they had said. He was adamant that they had allowed him to have them and said it was okay. I told him that the nurse would apparently be here soon and left.
On my way out, I asked what I could do to see that my dad’s quality of care was amended while here. I was given a phone number that wpuld answer me in three business days.
I’m sad now.