"A little more thought from staff could make all the difference"

About: Royal Preston Hospital / Neurology

(as the patient),

I attended Royal Preston hospital for an MRI scan. I had not had this done before & did not know what to expect but assumed would propably be similar to an X ray or mammogram but with a more sophisticated piece of equipment.

The scanner was in a large portacabin which contained the machine & the trolley to lie on at one end & the office area at the other end. It was very cold.

3 staff were working in the scanner but only 1 introduced herself.

i was asked a series of questions from a check list about whether I had metal in my body & asked to sign to confirm my responses.

What didn't happen at this point was any explanation of what was going to happen in terms of had I had it done before , what to expect & did I have any questions. I was asked about any allergies then told I would be having a dye injected into my arm for the second part of the scan.

At this point I was taken aback as it was the first time it was mentioned & I hadn't been expecting it.

I asked if the substance would have any side effects & was told no only sometimes people get a metallic taste in their mouth.

I was asked to lie on the trolley & put my head in the concave section told I would have to keep very still. Next a member of staff said I would have to put ear plugs in & had I used them before I said no. She advised me to roll them round in my fingers then push into my ears as the scanner was ver noisy & loud & the ear plug were for protection.

Before the scan I also had a venflon sited so that the dye could be injected later.

At this point I was told again to lie very still & was handed a buzzer to press if I wanted it to stop or come out. A lid section came over my face & I went into the machine. I was very alarming & the noises were loud & random it felt like I was in a space rocket on a dangerous expidition occasional very loud sound made me jump. It seemed to be going on for ages & I realised no one had told me how long it would last. I could feel myself becoming more anxious & cold I could feel my legs jerk as the noises made me jump.

Then it stopped & I felt the member of staff touch my hand she said the were going to inject some saline to check the line. I was still lying with my head in the scanner not moving. It seemed that the venflon wasn't working & needed re siting. 3 more attempts were made to put this in my arm & then I asked could I come out from inside. I was told I may have to come back but I said I'd rather have it done. An other member of staff was brought from radiology & she got the needle in at the 2nd attempt. I then went back in the scanner thankfully only for a few minutes more. I must have been lying on the trolly for half an hour totally flat , was very , cold, had been jabbed in my arm 6x & was feeling shaky. The member of staff said right you can get up now. I wasn't assisted or asked how I felt I was told to put my clothes, glasses & jewellery back . The staff got on with preparing the machine for the next patient who was brought in before I left. I asked the staff if I should expect any side effects as I was now going to drive & go christmas shopping & was told I should be fine. I didn't feel it I felt shaky so I went to the cafe in the main reception & had something to eat & drink before I left.

Why was I not put at my ease?

Why wasn't a detailed explanation given about what to expect?

Why did no one check how I was feeling?

Why did I feel as if I didn't matter ?

I think the staff will think they did everything correctly- questions asked , checklist completed, minor hiccup with injecting dye but otherwise scan done as required

From my point of view something that I was not worried about turned out to be an unpleasant experience

With a little more thought given by staff to the experience of the patient it could make all the diffenece

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