"A poor experience of A+E"
About: NHS Direct NHS Trust NHS Direct NHS Trust E1 8EU Prince Charles Hospital Site / Accident and emergency Prince Charles Hospital Site Accident and emergency Merthyr Tydfil CF47 9DT
Posted by AlextheFly (as ),
When I broke my toe this week, initially I didn't think I needed to go to hospital and was perfectly happy to strap it up and wait for it to heal on its own. However, after calling NHS Direct I was advised that because of the location of of the injury (near the joint between the toe and the foot) I should get it checked out at A+E just to be sure.
This was a Saturday afternoon, so I knew I would be in for quite a wait. However, I wasn't expecting a 6. 5 hour wait!
The wait was the least of my problems however. My foot was too painful to walk on, and yet I was offered no help at all in getting around the hospital, despite telling several staff members that I was having difficulty. I was left to hop down the *long* corridors multiple times (much to my embarrassment) despite the fact that there were several wheelchairs available for use (including one that was given to a woman with a broken nose!).
When I was finally seen, the triage nurse was extremely rude and dismissive, scolding me like a small child because I hadn't had the chance yet to take any painkillers and barking at me to walk by putting my weight on my heel (which I couldn't do because it hurt too much to lift my toes up).
Later, after I'd been given painkillers and an X-ray and it was confirmed that I did have a fracture, I asked about whether I could borrow a set of crutches to help me walk, as the only way I could get to work was by walking to the station. The nurse piped up again, saying "You should be able to walk on a broken toe. I did when I broke mine!"
Now, I don't doubt that it is possible to walk short distances on a broken toe, depending on the person/the type of fracture etc., but as I had already told her that I could not stand on it, and that I had to walk quite some distance to get to work everyday, for her to turn around and say this made me feel like a wimp or some sort of malingerer. Surely she didn't think I'd been hopping up and down the corridor for the fun of it? Her attitude throughout was dismissive and very upsetting. I have been to A+E a handful of times in my life in various locations, but this was my first time attending at Prince Charles Hospital, and I have never been made to feel so worthless and feeble for seeking medical help. Needless to say, I would rather chew my foot off than go there again.