Part 3- Make Health Care Great Again.
I was taken to West Florida Hospital in pretty rough condition. My blood pressure was severely hypertensive, heart rate in the150’s, pain 25/10. The only time I ever spent in any of the areas hospitals was during my time in clinical for nursing school. So my impression/experience of West Florida Hospital was pretty positive.
Boyyy was I wrong. At least for their ER on a Saturday. I was screaming from the pain in my abdomen it was that bad. I knew something was wrong.
My nurse, let's call him George* was "over his shift", heartless, and simply “did not care.” I could hear the annoyance in his voice after I mentioned my history of PTSD and infertility. I felt like after I told him this everything that followed went in one ear and out the other. I was new to being a patient in the health care setting. I had never been on the other side of the bed. I had no idea how poorly disabled veterans and infertile women were treated in the hospital care settings. I had never been so stereotyped and categorized by someone. George* and I were not "jiving" well... I kept telling him something was wrong. He kept telling me I was "paranoid" or having (((you guessed it))) a "panic attack."
((insert rolling eye emoji)))🙄
I am a Forensic ER nurse I know how patients should be treated and respected in the ER setting. It is the worst day of their lives. I requested to George* if I could please have a different nurse, preferably female. George* said, "No."
I am a Mother-Baby nurse, I know it's a patients right to be able request different medical staff if possible. In this case it was very possible. George* just simply "didn't care" enough to make it happen. So I asked to speak to the charge nurse. George* says, "No. He won't help you either." In an egotistical annoyed voice. I ask to speak to the House Supervisor.
George* literally laughs in my face and says,
"Welcome to West Florida Hospital, your out of luck because it's a Boys Club on the weekends."
To say I was upset and in total disbelif would be an understatement. That's when I told George* I was a Registered Nurse as well and I knew my rights as a patient. This is when George* starts back tracking and frantically tries to save his self/career. He calls the charge nurse. I was suffering and simply wanted a nurse who cared at least 30%...
By this time I had George*, male charge nurse, male house supervisor, a handful of male medical staff, plus 3 security guards in my room. That was counterproductive and I was in total disbelief. As a nurse I knew this situation was not right. I called my boss from Sacred Heart I needed help. After I told my boss the situation she tells me, I was going to be okay and she will take care of it.
Five minutes later I am still in total disbelief that:
1) The amount time that has past causing a significant delay of care was embarrassing for any emergency room. All because George* was a lazy, arrogant, egotistical nurse who had no heart for a women in pretty bad condition.
2) The reaction the "medical staff," mainly the men, was pathetic. They were laughing. Literally laughing at me...
I asked if I could be discharged so I could receive the appropriate care at a different facility. Male charge nurse says, "you can leave Against Medical Advice," leaving AMA automatically means your insurance won’t pay for the visit. He said I could, “stand on the side of the road" and made sure to make it clear, “NOT on hospital property and then I can call an ambulance."
I was sicken.
Not only from the amount of pain, nausea, and vomiting I was experiencing but from the way I was being treated. The way the nurses were treating me. I knew that my health was not in good hands. At this point I didn't care how much it would cost me to leave AMA. I was going to Sacred Heart well because I wanted to LIVE.
This hospital was literally going to kill me for their pure entertainment.
After a few chuckles directed in my direction the male charge nurse tells George* to take my IVs out and to, let me go. I couldn't believe the amount of torment they placed on me as a patient, me as a human. George* did a 20% effort on taking my IVs out because by the time I left my room I was bleeding down my arms due to the poor nursing care.
I begin to walk out when the security guards storm me. I was being treated like a, you guessed it, a “crazy person."
I break down...hard.
I literally drop down in the middle of the emergency room hallway in the fetal position. Between the pain, fighting to survive, and torment I just encounter my world was closing in on me. I felt like no one was listening. I felt like no one cared.
I was screaming in silence.
I'm not sure how long I was in the fetal position. Crying. PRAYING. All I remember is seeing a nurse named Nikki* headed in my direction. I don't know what made me cling to this random nurse, begging her for help! Screaming for her too, "help me!" But I did. I looked at her in the eyes. Grabbed her arms and she picked me up. She told everyone to, “back off and give me some space." She took me back to my room, wiped my tears, and listened. She explained to me my manager had called West Florida Hospital and told them to, "take care of me!" My manager Nikki* and Nurse Nikki* cared about not only my health, but for me as a person.
Nikki fixed my pain not only physical, but now emotional pain. She made me feel "okay" in a time my world was crashing. For that, I thank you Nikki*. I thank you for having compassion in your heart. I thank you for listening. I thank you for understanding.
If you don't believe in God, let me preach for a second…
Things don't just happen.
These women were my saving grace.
They were placed there by God at a time that I needed them the most.
My manager and nurse were without a doubt God sent.
Come to find out the very ER nurse that picked me off the ground is my neighbor. I had no idea the women that picked me off the ER floor with my arms dripping in blood, tears rolling down my face, and a total hot mess lived a few houses down from me.
I doubt it.
Love thy Neighbor? Without a doubt heaven sent.
West Florida Hospital I am highly disappointed in the care you provided me.
The added PTSD that you have given me is just another emotional scar I will carry around.
Because of this horrible experience I was almost too scared to go back to the ER the nightS* I was dying.
Because of this horrible experience I second guessed every medical decision I made after that.
Because of this horrible experience I delayed my care to the point that it caused me to later almost die on another ER Floor Waiting Room.
Not once. But twice.
But I forgive you.
I forgive George* and everyone else apart of, "The BOYS Club” in the West Florida Hospital ER.
I pray that one day you will find an ounce of empathy for women who are infertile.
I pray that maybe next time you will listen instead of stereotype veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I pray that no patient will ever have to beg for your help again.
*No names have been changed