Hospitals and Hospital Staff: The Good, The Bad and The Understaffed

On Friday I woke up with an extremely painful lower abdomen. The pain was like a knot in my stomach and sometimes radiated pain through my legs and back. At first, I thought it was a stomach ache, or perhaps a period pain (although this was unlikely – thank you depo). I decided to just bite the bullet and go to work. Once at work the pain got worse. I could barely stand, and all I wanted to do was be hunched over clutching my stomach. By midday the pain was unbearable. I left work and my partner took me to North Shore Hospital.

The last time I went to North Shore Hospital as a patient was in 2015, when I ripped off my acrylic nail by accident, pulling my real nail off with it. It was very painful. They took 8 hours to see me, only to give me Panadol and send me home. I got better care for it at my local Doctor a day later. Needless to say, I wasn’t looking favourably on my visit to the hospital on Friday. But needs must, and we made our way in. Unlike my previous visit, the staff seemed genuinely concerned about me. They wasted no time getting blood tests and urine samples. A doctor saw me virtually straight away. The pain was horrific, but the doctors did everything they could to find out what was wrong. Within 3 hours they had ruled out appendicitis, ovarian cancer, and ectopic pregnancy. My diagnosis? A ruptured ovarian cyst. I was given strong pain killers and sent home to bed. It was a very efficient visit and certainly seemed to solve the problem.

Despite my exceptional care, I couldn’t help but notice how frazzled the staff seemed, and how many discontent patients there were in the waiting room. One woman came in and out 4 times to see if they could see her straight away – she didn’t want to wait her turn. Another lady was crying because the staff wouldn’t let her go and see her mother until they had fully diagnosed her, and another woman was so rude to her father-in-law that all the staff seemed shocked. As for the staff, as nice as they were, there were not nearly enough of them. Nor were there enough beds apparently. They stated several times how full they were. Yet despite this, so much of the public were rude and annoyed at them. They’re doing their best! It isn’t their fault that there aren’t enough staff.

We need to make nursing and medical training better funded and better paid. Council chairmen don’t need 6 figure salaries, politicians don’t need 2 homes, and National Sales Managers, don’t need 6 figures, a car and a new phone every year. We need to put more money into hospitals, so that they’re not understaffed and everyone can receive the exceptional care that I did.

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