About: University College Hospital University College Hospital London NW1 2BU
I went to A+E for advice as I had acute and severe pain which was not responding to OTC analgesia.
The receptionist I saw had a terrible attitude, showed no empathy to someone who was in tears due to pain and didn't look at me whilst taking my details. There was no-one else waiting in the reception queue so they weren't under any immediate work pressure from what I could gather. The triage assessment nurse was exactly the same. I was in the worst pain I have ever been in (this was quite apparent as I was distressed and in tears) but I was not offered any help/kindness/glass of water/pain relief - not even a smile - until I saw a doctor.
The doctor was fantastic, very caring and efficient and arranged immediate pain relief and further treatment.
I was seen and discharged with painkillers and anitbiotics within 2.5 hours which is fantastic and should be applauded. However, the appalling attitude and lack of care by the reception staff and triage nurse that I first encountered was extremely upsetting.
As a nurse myself I am aware of the frustrations of working in a high pressure job and I know that people can have bad days as a result of this pressure. However, I would be ashamed of myself if I were to conduct myself in such an unprofessional way. It is deeply concerning that such frontline staff lack the ability to show compassion to someone who seeks help and support and I hope that this comment is shown to A+E staff so they can reflect upon how their action or inaction can affect others.