IS IT POSSIBLE THAT SOME HOSPITAL CLINIC NURSES HAVE LOST THE EMPATHY AND CARING TOUCH?
Today I attended a scheduled appointment for 2.30pm at the Sleep Clinic, (Clinic 6, East Wing, St. Bartholomews Hospital, London)
Having arrived 15 minutes early, I had a cheery and professional greeting from the receptionist, and seeing that there was only one other patient in the waiting area at that time, I thought that this was going to be a smooth standard visit. Perhaps I was being a bit over-confident.
Clinic 6 St Barts E. Wing
A clinic nurse came out and took my weight and height in open
- The type of scales used.
view of the public using a standard Machine that you would find in most doctors surgeries, and amusement arcades, which are designed only for estimations. Although I had told her that I have heavy items in my pockets, (that fell on deaf ears) and apparently when she noted my height, no allowance was made for heel height or inner shoe risers. All this when they have specially located confidential measuring rooms at each end of the reception desk which were unoccupied.
Ten minutes later this same nurse returned and asked me to go to Room 6 which was up the steps. There are only 3 steps (as you can see above) but to attempt to climb them without a secure hold on the other hand or arm, could have been risky in my case, so as there is a chair hoist right behind where my mobility scooter was parked ( I had parked it there as the hoist was blocked off by a chair which had a notice on it saying it was not to be removed.) I asked if the hoist were available, as I have trouble with steps. The nurse looked at me with a total blank expression on her face. The receptionist had to point out to the nurse that I was saying that I cannot climb stairs. The nurse said “Oh well sit down then, I’ll bring you out a form” so I sat again.
The same nurse brought out a form and pen. The form was one which assessed my sleeping problems. I had to fill out this form in reception with other patients walking past.
As I was filling this form, I heard the relative of the other patient, who had just been called in, saying angrily to the other nurse “I have to object to what you said, and the way you said it. He has limited hearing because of a plate, so he couldn’t have heard you!” They then went out of my hearing range.
My nurse returned, and collected the form and pen.
A few minutes later, I began to wonder whether these were really qualified nurses or clerks, so when I was alone in the waiting area, I asked the helpful receptionist. She assured me that they were fully qualified nurses.
Thirty minutes later I was asked to go to room 13, which is on the same level, and my case was handled quickly and efficiently.
I have always been one of those who are thankful for all the work that nurses do. They are fantastic and deserve to be paid much more than they are. In this case there was more empathy from the receptionist than the nurses.
Today’s experience has led me to thinking that perhaps these nurses had been in a clinic environment for too long, and need to spend some time in the main wards to polish up on their empathy and caring skills. Perhaps the time a nurse spends in the limited confines of a clinic should be kept to a strict limit!
As of now I am going to keep an eye on the nurses in all of the clinics I attend, just to find out if this is what happens to nurses who are out of the ward type environment, or whether these two were the exception to the rule, which I hope they are.
If you or a relative have received the same type of treatment, please let me know using the contact form below.