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Rumbling in the Distance

This entry is part 12 in an ongoing series of semi-irregular posts detailing my frustration with Workers Compensation and the wonderful world of rotator cuff surgery. In case you haven't been keeping up: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 (YOU ARE HERE)

After my last post, I sent a carefully worded email to the hospital regarding the Nurse Drama™.

Dear Sir or Madam:

On the 18th of April, I had outpatient surgery at Meridian Mark for a rotator cuff repair. First of all, everyone I met that day was completely awesome to me. During the time I was being prepped for surgery (information entered into the computer, IV started, forms to sign, etc.), I was in a small 'room' partitioned off by a thin curtain.

Outside of the curtains, two of the nurses got into a tiff over something and had a public argument about it. I heard literally every word that was said, and I'm sure other patients could, as well. Voices weren't raised, either. It was all done at normal conversational level.

Their supervisor did intervene, eventually, and I think everything got smoothed out. But it's just been bothering me. Patients being prepped for surgery are already anxious enough as it is, and to hear two nurses having a public argument doesn't help.

I've been waffling back and forth on whether to even say anything. I remember no one's name (I was anesthetized right after that), and can only tell you that it was on April 18, 2014 between 12:00 to 1:00 pm in the surgical prep(/recovery?) area. One nurse asked the other to help out with a patient while she finished up with another, and the second nurse apparently didn't like the first one's tone.

Disputes of that sort should be settled in private, behind closed doors, and not in front of patients. I don't want to get anyone in trouble or disciplined for a momentary lapse in judgment. Ideally, the message would go out to all medical personnel to settle their disputes out of earshot of patients and visitors.

I got the following reply today:

Dear Mr. Henderson,

Thank you for your correspondence, we truly appreciate your feedback.

I sincerely apologize for the unfortunate incident you witnessed. We strive to provide excellent care in a professional and comfortable environment; it's very disappointing to hear we did not meet our goal. I have shared your concerns with the Surgery manager for review. We regret that you had this experience. It is our commitment to do everything possible to ensure this situation does not occur in the future.

Again, thank you for allowing us the opportunity to improve our services. I would be more than happy to have a manager follow up with you after the review. Let me know if you would like to have a follow up call.

Kind Regards,

Patient Affairs Specialist

I replied back and said that there was no need for anyone to follow up and that I just wanted them to have the information. I also explained that at no point was I given bad service by anyone involved; I was merely concerned that something like that could increase patient anxiety. She thanked me and wished me a speedy recovery.

Thus concludes part 12. I have a really bad feeling that part 13 is going to involve compensation for the two weeks I was out on leave. I have only received payment for 1.6 weeks of the 2.6 weeks I was out. I have a stack of paper an inch high of all kinds of stuff from my insurance carrier. Forms to be filled out, complete with doctor's signature, before my return to work . . . which arrived in the mail after I was already back at work, etc. This isn't over by a long shot.

Only, now . . . the big guns are involved. If Some Woman and Some Company are the anthill of frustration, I have a sneaky feeling dealing with Big Insurance Company is going to the Olympus Mons.


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