Last week I suffered a rather undignified trip and subsequent fall in a car park – I fell on my out stretched right hand and I knew that I was in trouble.
A Good Samaritan came to my rescue checking I had no loss of consciousness or that I needed an ambulance. He provided my daughter and I with a chair and an ice pack wrapped in a j cloth from a coffee shop for my wrist whilst we waited for my husband to rescue us.
Later on arrival at the Emergency department our combined intelligence eventually mastered the self-check in, we took our seats and waited….
The area was packed; it seemed like whole families accompanying individuals waiting to be seen, seating was limited and uncomfortable and we were in proximity to others with only marginal preservation of personal space. Ordinarily as on the tube in London for example I can cope reasonable well, on this occasion as I was in pain and contemplating the need for x-rays and a pot I felt vulnerable to inadvertent knocks.
When we were seen, the Nurse Practitioner was friendly and efficient and I was directed to x-ray where the radiographer was also friendly and reassuring. Both these interactions helped me to relax. I was given an appointment for fracture clinic and a temporary splint. The clerk informed us that I had the last appointment for the clinic next day and we left the department which was still heaving at the seams “its always like this Monday and Tuesdays”she remarked as no-one can get an appointment with their GP.
Next day I arrived at fracture clinic to discover my appointment was for the following day, as per the letter I had been given but not checked, relying instead on the comments of the clerk, felt somewhat foolish and £5 poorer from the car park charge.
My actual appointment the following day featured another busy waiting area and the seemingly obligatory delay in being seen despite an appointment time, the chairs were comfy though!
The Consultant was friendly, charming and explained the x-ray pictures and the need for a below elbow pot.
A further short wait and then I was called into the plaster room.
This final experience inspired this blog
I was shown into the department and greeted with “Hello my name is Annette how are you feeling Angela?”
Annette explained the procedure and applied the plaster ensuring I was comfortable throughout she gave a full verbal explanation of post procedure care and a comprehensive patient information leaflet to take home.
I was familiar with ‘hello my name is…’ campaign created by the inspirational Dr Kate Granger although the hospital I was attending was not signed up.
As I health professional whilst I understand the system, being a recipient of it was anxiety provoking part in due to the pain I was experiencing but also that feeling of vulnerability. The health professionals I encountered demonstrated compassion and skill in our interactions and on reflecting this episode of care certainly fulfilled Kate’s core values for the campaign
- Effective communication
- The little things matter
- No decision about me without me
- See me, not my disease
Here’s my feedback tweet on the experience https://twitter.com/angelabinkee2/status/735469941709758464
One week on I am managing reasonably well although one-handed typing takes forever and no baking for me for a while sadly.