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Emergency doctors/nurses not having compassion for Cancer patient or Family.

Emergency doctors/nurses not having compassion for Cancer patient or Family.

Posted by binman on Mar 19, 2019 4:33 pm

My husband has Stage IV Colon Cancer and we live in Selkirk, Mb. Due to the spread of his Cancer we have had to visit our Hospital and our emergency dept., lately it has been quite frequent unfortunately. Our last visit was a couple weeks ago due to blood clots. We arrived at 6am in the morning and it wasn't until 14 hours later that they finally admitted him.The on-call emergency doctor was awful on his treatment of my husband, my husband was in so much pain and he asked the doctor about getting relief and the doctor literally raised his voice to him and told him "we gave you 2mg of Hydromorphine you shouldn't be in that much pain".He asks my husbands pain scale and then tells him that, how would he know how much pain he is in??? I told him my husband takes 10X that amount at home plus other medications and asked him if he even looked at his chart to see that he has Stage IV Colon Cancer and he replies "yes,yes I know" in such a tone that really upset me. The nurses that came in were so rough with my husband and I was getting so upset, do nurses and doctors not have compassion training? What do you do when the only person that can help him, treats him like dirt? What am I to do? My husbands oncologist told us if there is ever a problem take him to emergency which is what I have been doing but I have so much apprehension taking him sometime because of doctors like this one. My husband spent a week in the hospital to help with the movement of the blood clots but what we went through in emergency to get him the help was torture. I wish that they could have someway that Cancer patients echarts could be flagged and have recommended treatments or contact with patients Oncologists. I was wondering if anyone else has had problems like this? As a family member watching your loved one in so much pain I have to say it is Brutal, I feel so defeated on what to do....

Re: Emergency doctors/nurses not having compassion for Cancer patient or Family.

Posted by Elsie13 on Mar 19, 2019 11:02 pm

What a terrible situation for your husband, binman‍ , and for you, too. Were you treated better on other emergency visits?  Yes, I think the chart should be flagged, or patients in your husband's situation should perhaps wear a special wristband. Did you ever report back to the oncologist about what happened? 

Re: Emergency doctors/nurses not having compassion for Cancer patient or Family.

Posted by ACH2015 on Mar 20, 2019 4:58 am

binman‍ 

I am sorry to hear of the experience you and your husband went through in the emergency department.

Advocating for your husband is the best thing to do. If this is not the hospital your husband's oncologist is from, perhaps have a letter prepared  by the oncologist that outlines his condition, pain medications including dosages and a brief letter to help get through the basics at the emergency department. Bring a copy with you to give to the triage nurse and hopefully this can break the ice toward getting better and quicker treatment levels.

Don't feel or be defeated. Sometimes the best offense is a good defense. I hope this helps if there is a next time in the emergency department. Poor treatment is not something we need to accept, and if it continues don't be afraid to address it as you see fit. With the doctor or the hospital administration.

Keep well

ACH2015

Re: Emergency doctors/nurses not having compassion for Cancer patient or Family.

Posted by binman on Mar 20, 2019 3:22 pm

ACH2015‍ thank you for the idea, I had not thought of getting a detailed report from his oncologist to bring to emergency. I will contact him and see if he would do that.
Also thank you for kind words.

Re: Emergency doctors/nurses not having compassion for Cancer patient or Family.

Posted by binman on Mar 20, 2019 3:32 pm

Hi Elsie13
Yes other visits he was treated very well, the other Dr.'s seemed to know immediately  what to do they knew certain pain medications would not do anything for him because terminal cancer patients have a higher tolerance. Also they explained step by step what there treatment plan was but this last time and there was a few other times this had happened. I did let his oncologist know and have forwarded a written complaint about this incident. Thank you for asking.

Re: Emergency doctors/nurses not having compassion for Cancer patient or Family.

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Mar 21, 2019 10:06 am

Oh, binman‍ , I’m glad you have filed a formal complaint. I know it’s time consuming, but hospital administrators can’t be everywhere in their facility.

I once wrote a letter to the CEO of my local hospital after I’d had to spend a whole day in emerg trying to figure out a chest pain issue. My letter was for a happier reason, though. In that case, the staff was professional and courteous at all times, and I wanted to let her know about the level of care I saw them giving not only myself, but others in the department, too. 

I’m sorry you were pressed into writing for such a dire reason.

Re: Emergency doctors/nurses not having compassion for Cancer patient or Family.

Posted by ChristineH on Mar 21, 2019 11:02 am

Hi binman‍, I’m sorry you have had to experience such challenging visits. 

I’ve had a few myself (although not as bad as you) and I now do something different regarding pain. I bring my meds with me to the hospital. I know you’re not supposed to, but I now refuse to be left in pain for hours. So far, so good. Nobody has had a problem with it. The day I’ll encounter a nurse or doctor who says something, my plan is to play stupid. And play stupid every time if I need to! 😃
“Never a horse, always a zebra”

Re: Emergency doctors/nurses not having compassion for Cancer patient or Family.

Posted by Victoriamaitland1997 on Apr 11, 2019 7:53 pm

We had a similar situation bringing my dad into emerge. The on call doctor at the time told us we shouldn't have brought him in for his sever dehydration "because hes going to pass away anyways". We made a report against her and were told that shes just blunt. 

Re: Emergency doctors/nurses not having compassion for Cancer patient or Family.

Posted by binman on Jun 11, 2019 2:00 pm

Yes it is unfortunate that when you talk to Cancer Care or your oncologist they tell you to go to the nearest Emergency but the treatment you get sometimes is not worth the wait. Sometimes it has gotten so bad my husband wanted to take his own life, what an awful, awful feeling...

Re: Emergency doctors/nurses not having compassion for Cancer patient or Family.

Posted by Elsie13 on Jun 12, 2019 5:56 pm

Victoriamaitland1997‍ That was terrible, what the doctor said.  binman‍ , it's awful your husband feels that way.  ChristineH‍ , Cynthia Mac‍ , ACH2015‍ , anyone hearing anything about a card that an oncology patient would carry with them? 
 

Re: Emergency doctors/nurses not having compassion for Cancer patient or Family.

Posted by WestCoastSailor on Jun 12, 2019 9:11 pm

Not one of the tagged ones Elsie13‍ but I have a red card that I carry given to me by my oncologist for use in emergency. Primarily it is because I am immuno-compromised. But I would use it to explain my situation if I needed to. I also carry a list of my recent prescriptions given to me by my pharmacy each time they change. Furthermore I carry a folder with all my recent test results and any explanations that I have been given of treatment protocols (and emergency rations - protein bars etc.) As someone who has worked in technology I just don't trust it enough to have everything available.

I've had a few trips to ER over the last year. None were life threatening - just procedures that couldn't be done in my doctors office. I found staff to be helpful and kind. I've had a few discussions with them about visiting tips "Don't come in on Welfare Wednesdays cause we're always super busy." Another one was to come early in the morning. The night's emergencies have been cleaned up and people haven't started to come in with the "I woke up and this terrible thing happened." yet.

binman‍ Documenting the poor treatment and filing a complaint is one way to have the situation looked and changed in the future. In the  moment though it can be quite traumatic. I went through a similar situation with two paramedics moving my wife from the hospital to hospice. As a trained first aid attendant myself I knew what the protocols should be.  They treated her like a slab of meat starting to move her from the hospital bed to the transfer cot. I was on the phone another doctor explaining that we wouldn't be needing his surgery services at that moment. I hung up, looked at them and said "Please treat my wife with respect and do the transfer properly. Explain to her what you are going to do. Get the help you need. She can assist you and it will go much more smoothly." At which point there was an amazing turnaround in attitude. Knowing what is needed and asking for it clearly and courteously can go a long way in getting respect.

The final days are never easy. Don't let a bad interaction mar it and leave you bitter.

Angus

Re: Emergency doctors/nurses not having compassion for Cancer patient or Family.

Posted by binman on Jun 13, 2019 3:22 pm

WestCoastSailor:
Not one of the tagged ones Elsie13‍ but I have a red card that I carry given to me by my oncologist for use in emergency. Primarily it is because I am immuno-compromised. But I would use it to explain my situation if I needed to. I also carry a list of my recent prescriptions given to me by my pharmacy each time they change. Furthermore I carry a folder with all my recent test results and any explanations that I have been given of treatment protocols (and emergency rations - protein bars etc.) As someone who has worked in technology I just don't trust it enough to have everything available.

I've had a few trips to ER over the last year. None were life threatening - just procedures that couldn't be done in my doctors office. I found staff to be helpful and kind. I've had a few discussions with them about visiting tips "Don't come in on Welfare Wednesdays cause we're always super busy." Another one was to come early in the morning. The night's emergencies have been cleaned up and people haven't started to come in with the "I woke up and this terrible thing happened." yet.

binman‍ Documenting the poor treatment and filing a complaint is one way to have the situation looked and changed in the future. In the  moment though it can be quite traumatic. I went through a similar situation with two paramedics moving my wife from the hospital to hospice. As a trained first aid attendant myself I knew what the protocols should be.  They treated her like a slab of meat starting to move her from the hospital bed to the transfer cot. I was on the phone another doctor explaining that we wouldn't be needing his surgery services at that moment. I hung up, looked at them and said "Please treat my wife with respect and do the transfer properly. Explain to her what you are going to do. Get the help you need. She can assist you and it will go much more smoothly." At which point there was an amazing turnaround in attitude. Knowing what is needed and asking for it clearly and courteously can go a long way in getting respect.

The final days are never easy. Don't let a bad interaction mar it and leave you bitter.

Angus

Hi, WestCoastSailor
I was clear on what he needed and also courteous in the beginning but when you are continuously ignored it takes it's toll on you. I was specific on his diagnoses what treatments he was getting but didn't seem to matter to this particular doctor or nurses. Then what do you do? These are the people you have to rely on, no choices there...but thank you for your suggestions though I will do that on next visit to Emergency because I know there will be a next time..
binman

 

Re: Emergency doctors/nurses not having compassion for Cancer patient or Family.

Posted by LPPK on Jun 15, 2019 9:22 am

WestCoastSailor‍   Another good reason to keep a health binder and take it for all doctor/hospital visits.