Sunday, October 27, 2013

Here is What Happened at Seton ER

My friend was unused to the whole catholic-hospital concept, and she is pregnant. In for a back spasm, of course she was asked when her last period was. She was asked who had confirmed the pregnancy, she said, "Planned Parenthood." Right then, the nurse's attitude changed. Admitted into a treatment room, a different nurse asked who her OB was, and my friend told her she didn't have one, as she was planning to terminate the pregnancy. 

(Silly had never occurred to me that I would have to warn her what not to say.)

My friend was dehydrated from nausea (the vomiting had caused the back spasm) so the nurse set up an IV. My friend told her it hurt and the nurse told her to wait a while to see if it was still hurting. After that, with her left arm hurting from wrist to armpit, she was told to gather her things (I was graciously permitted to help), and walk to another exam room. Apparently they had some sort of policy against bringing in the gurney with stirrups from the other exam room to this one. The nurse lied and told her it was just across the hall. It was actually at least 35 ft down the hall and even more around the corner. Her attitude was extremely cold, callous and judgmental. 

They made my friend lie down on a gurney that was almost flat, and then started yanking a velcroed insert out of the end of the gurney so that the doc could do a pelvic exam. Every time the nurse yanked on the piece of padding (held with industrial strength velcro), it jarred the whole bed, and my friend's back. Once the mattress was removed, there was metal underneath that had to be pushed up under the rest of the gurney, which apparently required banging the whole thing headfirst into the wall several times. There were no real stirrups, just plastic restraints, into which they forced her feet. By then, my friend was crying. The doc and nurse started to force her knees apart to do a pelvic. I suppose they wanted to check and see if there was some connection between the back spasm and the condition of the fetus, but none of that was explained, and she had not signed any consent forms. The doc had a speculum that looked like a pair of salad tongs. 

Somewhere in there, this nurse told my friend, "everything happens for a reason," and my friend sort of lost it and was raising her voice and calling the nurse a bitch (the truth, I assure you). The doc asked, "what can I do for you?" and my friend said, "Get me another nurse." I had been trying to maintain a calm presence, but that was MORE than enough for me. I said to her, "How about we get them to take out this IV and get the hell out of here?" My friend said "yes, please." Meanwhile the doc was saying, "I can give you something for the pain--all you had to do was ask!" We asked for a supervisor, but my friend was too hysterical, at that point, to deal with yet another person scolding her. The head nurse looked at the IV site and said there was nothing wrong with it (discounting my friend's pain completely) and it STILL took 15 to 20 minutes for them to get the IV out of her arm. They called security and we were escorted from the building and watched all the way to the car.
26 July at 14:40

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