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Editor:

I would like to address the issue of Emergency services in our Cypress Regional Hospital.

On May 22, I visited the Emergency because I have had dizziness and headaches and trouble focusing. As we are always advised if anything to that nature changes we should visit the hospital to rule out stroke, etc…

My son took me there after work at about 5:30 p.m.  I was admitted promptly as there was no one else waiting. I was taken to an examination room and questioned, and then I was taken to another waiting room. There were two other patients waiting there. After 10 minutes I was taken to another room and put on a blood pressure monitor set to take my pressure every 15 minutes. My son was waiting in the previous room with the other two gentlemen.

After a half an hour I called my son to come and sit with me. He told me he was talking with the other two patients, and that they have been there waiting for three and four hours and not seen a doctor yet. The ward appeared quite quiet.

At about 7:30 p.m. the one fellow who was complaining of a very serious headache with swelling and redness to his face, and he had kept asking the nurses to help him to no avail, finally went to leave. He stopped a nurse and complained about waiting so long and would anyone be seeing him soon, she said if he didn’t like it he could always drive to Moose Jaw. He said he was from Winnipeg and he would never have a long wait like that in one of their hospitals to which she replied, “Well, you can go back to Winnipeg then.”  So he left. I hope he is okay.

I was pretty disgusted with the way she handled him. I figured that for me wait was futile since it was now 8 p.m. and no one had come back to even check on me or my pressure readings. So I left the hospital.

I do understand about priorities, and I know we don’t see all the patients that are in the exam rooms, but I think the wait time was excessive and the way that nurse dealt with that patient was appalling!

Joanne McIntosh - Swift Current

Geographic location: Swift Current

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  • er
    June 19, 2013 - 02:54

    Uh, if "on call" they are not "there" for 12 hours... If Swift Current wants alternating 24/7 coverage, you have to pony up and pay for a full time ER doc. Pay them even when patients aren't constantly there, ie salary and i'm sure you'll actually have one, in house, 24/7, instead of having to make up stuff And "trauma" nurse? Hah. Any moderate trauma comes into Regina. Guess the trauma nurse is there in case of emergency bum wiping. $45 is pretty much $50, RN's get $3 extra for evenings, morning etc. And sure... $500 an hour doctors. Ha. I am sure if Swift Current offered to pay a doc $100 per hour, salary (rather than fee for service, no breaks, work like crazy) they would Now I'm not a nurse, not a doc but work with both The docs make about double Love that a nurse will gripe because they only make $45 an hour, plus $3 per hour shift dif, and not a princely $50 an hour. Except on overtime. When they make double. So over time RN = salaried er doc But spin however you want So RNs can feel okay about making $200,000 a year, working some o.t. at an old folks home or covering trauma diaper changes

  • Jo
    June 15, 2013 - 00:14

    This is not heresay....... The patient did not verbally abuse the nurse "recipient" to cause her to react rudely. The conversation was witnessed by 2 people. Thanks for YOUR interpretation even though you were NOT present. We need self- absorbed, self-obsessed individuals like yourself to explain what really happened "in your mind" to simpletons like the rest of swift current, thanks for that.

  • Dallas
    May 28, 2013 - 16:11

    That said, have had, makes it sound ongoing. Good family docs, locally trained ones not just concerned about making money, leave a few spots open each day for "urgent" cases. Unless symptoms just started at 5 pm, you'd be wise to call your family doctor as soon as symptoms happen, ask if any way they can fit you in. They usually can. At least where I've worked. As most regional centres do not have an actual salaried ER doc, as Wall would rather rely on family docs seeing patients out of the goodness of their own hearts (about $30 to drive into hospital, see patient and work up, meanwhile, the RN gets $50 an hour, plus benefits to sit in ER), rather than ensuring Wall's paying some one to actually be their full time. Ask Wall for full time, staffed ER's, rather than asking family docs to do fit in sick patients around or after full time days. Again, to pre-empt this issue, better to call family docs office, between 8 and 5 and nip it in the bud, rather than wait for family doc to finish seeing all patients, do paper work, and make it over to ER, to start seeing back log. But again, tell the Sask Party this is not the service rural Sask expects. Tell your MLA you want 24/7 ER coverage!

    • Anonymous
      June 14, 2013 - 23:51

      To Address the comment of having a doctor work for $100hr.....try 3-4x that!!!!! $300-400+ dollars per hour. And the RN working for $50? Try tops out at $45. Get your facts straight people before you feel the need to run amuck.

  • Dallas
    May 28, 2013 - 16:05

    I agree this is horrible. Problem is, the Wall government doesn't want to pay for full time emergency doctors. So they rely on doctors coming in, after having seen everyone in their clinic for the day. If Brad Wall can afford an ER full of $50 an hour RN's, surely he can afford one $100 an hour ER doc? Problem with the Wall government, it would be a foreign trained doctors, after public outcry, rather than ensuring adequate pay and working conditions to recruit a local grad. A city the size of Swift should have 24/7 ER coverage. This could be done with 4 full time emerg docs, doing 8 am to 8 pm, and 8 pm to 8 am, 4 on, 3 off, 3 on, 4 off. It should not be done in haste though, as you'll be stuck with lower quality foreign doctors for ever. Start by finding one good local trained, for days. Then add another to do weekends. Then a third and fourth for nights. May take years. But worth it to do it right. So you're not stuck waiting for some one to finish clinic, so they can make it over to the ER at the end of a 10 hour work day, to start seeing emergencies! A side effect of a Brad Wall government that had $300 million for a nursing raise $30 million for some helicoptres he didn't need, and not a lot left over for everything else in health care.

    • Angie
      June 09, 2013 - 18:40

      I would like to write in regards to clearing up some of the misinformation. The Cypress Regional Hospital ER department does have an ER physician on call 24/7, 365 days per year. These physicians who operate in 12hr shifts of continuing coverage, are in the facility at all times. There is ALWAYS an ER physician on call. As well, there is also access to a second on-call physican in the event of a mass trauma (i.e. mutiple victems in a bus crash) or for any other reasons of mass influx of pts. There is also 24/7 coverage of many specialities including Internal Medicine, OBGYN, General Surgery, etc. There are two Registered Nurses in the department as well, a "triage" nurse, and a "trauma" nurse. As well, during the hours of 1030am-7pm is a third nurse who is available to either ICU or ER. The triage nurse first assesses the pt to gather a history of presenting complaint, performs a focused physical assessment of that complaint, gathers other pertinent information such as medications pt is taking and other health conditions, and the assigns that pt a triage level which is based on national standards of the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale...a 5 level scale Level 1 Resuscitative (ie someone needing active CPR), Level 2 Emergent (ie someone with little air entry such as a severe anaphlactic reaction or severe asthma attack), Level 3 Urgent (ie a severe abdominal pain which could be a surgical emeregency such as ectopic pregnacy or appendicitis), Level 4 Less urgent (minor wounds which may or may not require suturing, some cough/colds, etc), Level 5 Non-urgent (some cough/colds, prescription renewals, etc.). The trauma nurse takes care of the pts in the "trauma" end of the department or assists the traige nurse, and both carry out treatments ordered by the physican (ie giving medications, starting IV's, further ongoing assessments, or organizing lab work or x-rays that have been ordered). The physicans are always aware of the pts in the department and use the initial triage level assigned to help guide who they see, assess, treat first. A physician or RN can also at any time increase the traige level of a pt (ie move a 4 up to a 3, but never lower a triage level ie 2 to 4). I would also like to address two comments mad in the original letter..."and no one had come back to even check on me or my pressure readings". We are lucky to have a sophisticated monotoring system that records pts information at a bedside monitor as well as at a central station at both the ER nurses station AND the ICU nurses station, so that any concerning recording NEVER go unnotticed, and are in fact, constently monitored. Secondly, "He told me he was talking with the other two patients, and that they have been there waiting for three and four hours and not seen a doctor yet. The ward appeared quite quiet." Again, a physican is always aware of all pts in the department. We are again, lucky enough to work and utilize a new facilty that was designed in order to keep pt safety and pt confidentialty in high priority. Often, the severely acute pts (traiged at a level 1,2,or3) are in the trauma end of the department closest to the nurses and doctors stations. This is great for pt care, but what may seem to be "quiet" in the waiting area or exam room/traige end, may not be as appears. What may appear as "quiet" may actually be the nurses and physican preforming assessments and/or treatments on the high acuity pts, may be the physician organizing further care of the pt (ie. speaking with a radiologist to obtain a CT, or speaking with another speicalist like the Internal Medicine doctor to determine if pt needs ICU care, or the Surgeon, or speaking with a Neuroligist in a Tetriary Care centre in Regina or Saskatoon, etc.). Something that concerns me is the fact that "hearsay" information can be so widely rampant in a culture where we are trying to protect pt information. Also concerning to me is the way that our doctors and nurses are routinely verbally abused in their areas of work....(which was not at all mentioned in the original letter). It is sad that on an almost daily occurance that swearing at/yelling at to those trying to help people is becoming "normal". I'd like to close by refering you to a recently published letter in the Montreal Gazette on ER etiquette. Thank you. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Letter+Emergency+Room+etiquette/8424045/story.html