I had to go into hospital for the day last week. I was sent a letter with instructions on what I needed to do and what I needed to bring, pyjamas, slippers and a book etc. All simply written out, easy to follow and to understand.
I arrived in plenty of time and was shown up to the ward. The ward was very quiet; there was just one other lady in the bed next to mine. I was shown my bed and asked to get into my pyjamas and told the nurse would be round shortly to take some details.
Then another lady came in. She took herself off to a bed opposite and sat there waiting on the nurse. She greeted the two of us and remarked on the weather, we all passed small talk that you have with complete strangers. Both ladies seemed really nice.
The nurse came in; she went to the lady opposite and drew the curtains.
There was no confidentiality whatsoever, we could hear the whole conversation, the nurse was taking her whole medial history.
When you are sitting there, nothing to do and everywhere is so quiet it is so hard not to hear what is being said.
I know I shouldn’t have but the lady did make me chuckle to myself at the same time feeling sorry for the nurse taking the details as I imagined there was a lot of crossing out on her notes.
Some of the conversation went
Nurse : Where is your bag?
Patient : What bag?
Nurse : A bag with your pyjamas and slippers
Patient : Oh was I supposed to bring something in to change into
Nurse : Yes it was in your information did you receive it?
Patient : Yes I did (and said no more)
The nurse went off to get the patient a gown
The Nurse returned and continued asking the patient some more questions
Nurse : Do you smoke?
Patient : No
After a pause
Patient : well I do have 3 or 4
Nurse : is that a day or a week?
Patient : errrr well I probably have about 5 or 6 a week.
I imagined the nurse having to cross out what she has already written.
Nurse : Do you drink?
Patient : No
After another pause
Patient : Well………… I might have a couple now and then
Nurse : How much is now and again
Patient : A couple of time a week.
Another pause whilst the nurse crosses out what she has previously written.
Nurse : when did you last eat
Patient : Yesterday at 4.00 pm
Nurse : Did your leaflet not tell you to refrain from eating after 1.00
Patient : Oh I didn’t see that
Nurse : What medication are you taking?
Patient : ohhhh let me think? (this took a bit of time after several changes)
That entry also had a few crossed out too I should imagine!
And so the conversation went on with similar discrepancies to what was originally said.
I must say the nurse was brilliant; she never once got short tempered with the patient, took everything in her stride and was even able to have a laugh with the patient. She really was so professional.
The nurse then came to me.
We whipped through the questions, and when she came to medical history and medication I handed her a typed sheet with all the information on – she smiled and whispered, “if only everyone was as well organised as you.”