Letter: A Patient’s View – the Follow-up

The Beacon of May 2017 published a letter titled A Patient's View. The author received a number (and variety) of comments. Now, comes the follow-up.

After eight days on "601 Neuroscience" floor, I was deemed ready for transfer to "Rehab" i.e. "5 North”. This included a "slider"-transfer onto a wheeled gurney, then through lighted corridors to "5North." The hospital was, of course, at capacity bed - state. Thus, I was temporarily accommodated in a linen-closet. Yes, really (with the expected jibe of being "a washout" etc.). Rather than being offended I found the situation hilarious. More importantly, sad proof of obvious patient-overload and need for additional accommodation. As with 601 Neuroscience, the new floor was busy, busy, busy. Again, excellent patient-care, and, I did learn to peel and eat a hard boiled egg using one good hand.

One less-encouraging moment occurred when another patient both abused and threatened me. I duly reported it to ward staff, and in spite of clearly-displayed notice concerning policy towards abusive language or threats, nothing was done - to my knowledge. Both that patient and I were discharged, separately, as condition and treatment allowed, several days later.

I am very much in favour of the "Keep Nurses Safe" initiative; hopefully it also applies to (sometimes helpless), patient-to-patient incidents?

In case patients' constructively critical comments might be taken with a modicum of interest, I offer three examples from my recent stay in Victoria General Hospital:

The most commonly heard staff utterance on 6 Neuroscience: "I'll be back!" On 5 North (rehab), "I'll be right back."

A comment I heard from a fourth-year UVic nursing student who was soon to graduate, when asked what she latterly planned to do - "Look for a job!" I thought to myself, “She has to look for a job?” Is there not a shortage of such qualified personnel?

Hopefully, the current initiative "Keep Nurses Safe" will apply to both staff and patients! Although forwarded to several related in-hospital authorities, I have never received written acknowledgement from the Director of Patient Care. Sad commentary, indeed, towards a constructively-critical ex-patient, who is also a retired long-service health-care professional.

Stephen Lamb

Letter – 25 Years of the Beacon

Cartoon: Pookie and Family

Cartoon: Pookie and Family