"Waiting for painkillers for a dislocated thumb"

About: Queen Alexandra Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I dislocated my thumb playing football and had to go to Cosham A&E to have it examined. Upon arrival I was in intense discomfort and was told by a very cold and distant receptionist that I would have to take a ticket and wait.

After about 15 minutes my ticket was finally called and the receptionist took down all of my details. When I asked for some form of painkillers, the receptionist dismissed the request, saying that a nurse would be along soon and everything would be dealt with.

After another 20 minutes a nurse, who was dealing with an elderly patient in a wheelchair, noticed my grimacing and obviously dislocated thumb, got me to follow her into the ward. Although it was another 15 minutes before I was given any painkillers, the treatment from then on was exemplary. The staff were kind, courteous, caring and thoughtful.

All of which begs the question: why were the staff at reception so unhelpful, callous & totally lacking in any sort of empathy?

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