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unempathitic nurse, really rude

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 544
Joined: Apr 2009

ok, guys, I am 3 years 8 months post treatment and  i am sooooooo blessed with a good report on all tests (had 7 insertions of various tubes and fingers into my anus)  at MD anderson including ct scan with barium enema....  i have NEVER been treated with anything but kindness at this institution but this appt.  was horrible at my colorectal surgeons while I was waiting to have the procto.... had to wait almost 3  hours in the room with gown on before anyone came in to even do the preliminary questioning.....finally at 2.5 hours I tried to speak to nurse and i was practically hyper ventilating from the anxiety and fear of pain that i did come on too strongly when i talked to her ... she was soooooo rude to me and my husband.....i realize docs get behind but we had not even been informed at all during that long wait ( i could have gone to my radiology oncolgy appt and come back for procto if she had just told me what was happening).....also she curtly answered my hubbys question.....then,  when we finally got through with the procto and walked out, i told her thankyou and she just glared at me and did not even say anything....... anyway i did have all good reports  so this is minor in comparison.....  thx for letting me vent......sephie

z's picture
z
Posts: 1273
Joined: May 2009

I am so glad everything came out all right.  We are the customers and we need to be treated with respect, there is no need for anyone to be rude to us.  We have a right to know how long it will be, maybe not down to the minute but a generalized time.  I know one time I had to wait for my oncologist for 2.5 hours and was so nervous because I was waiting for scan results.  Apparently, a patient had to be rushed to the hospital, which I understnd things like this happen.  I hope your next visit will be more pleasant.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I am glad that your test results were good. There is no excuse for the treatment that you received at the hospital. I would not let it go unreported. Every hospital has a patient ombudsman. For future patients, you need to report this. It is unacceptable. Imagine this treatment if you were also getting bad news?

Glad you are well!

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 513
Joined: Jun 2011

I'm so glad for you too, that your tests came out ok. Like z, I've had to wait on occasion when there was an emergency of some kind. Since I WAS that emergency in the past, I do understand the situation (but they could have at least told you what was going on so you could do other things while waiting and not have to worry so much). As for the nurse, hopefully she feels bad about treating you like that - she was maybe having a real bad day herself. No excuse, but it does happen (I guess to all of us at one time or another). Hope things in the future go back to the good way they've been for most of your visits.

LaCh
Posts: 537
Joined: Dec 2012

Vent away; I've sure done my fair share.

But I never say thank you to someone who treats me inappropriately, unprofessionally or rudely and I never wait more than an hour in the waiting room or 30 minutes in an exam room dressed in a gown. But that's just me. 

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 544
Joined: Apr 2009

laCh , you are right in your thinking but   my thankyou to her came out of my mouth automatically before i  had time to think rationally ....  My hubby did not speak to her at all as we walked out----his brain works better than mine under duress.....we drive into Houston for 7 hours so i felt that we needed to finish this appt.  even though i was upset.... Thanks to every one for  your kind replies and yes,  i have had to wait as long as 5 hours before due to 2 emergencies---so i do understand about that circumstance but we were kept informed.....  thanks again to all of you.....sephie

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

How are you doing? Have you been able to walk the dog yet? I saw some spring flowers trying to break through the earth today. Not too much longer for Spring!

LaCh
Posts: 537
Joined: Dec 2012

Hey Marynb,

Thanks for asking, I'm doing pretty good, feeling pretty good, working out at the gym now and feeling good.  The fatigue is still a problem but better than it was, and seems to respond to the accupuncture and working out (sleeping helps too but I've had insomnia for 10 years and that's not going away any time soon). I'm eating anything that I want but in small amounts due to some digestive issues that I think are unrelated to the cancer. My gastroenterologist, a true angel who rolled off a cloud, has told me that she's going to "have the talk" with me next week when I see her about having a PET scan and I told her to "you go for it," but that a PET scan isn't in my future. In any case, the biposies that I've told her she's welcome to do to her heart's content are for her benefit, not mine, since I'm sure that the tumor's gone.  I've not quite had the energy to get to Central Park yet (kind of silly since I'm going to the gym to work out and Central Park is just 15 minutes from my house, but still, I've not been yet. It's still too cold.) All in all I'm feeling pretty dang good and I thank you most sincerely for asking.  And you... how are you doing?  Are you hanging in???  My best... as always... 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Sounds like you are moving right along in your recovery! I do understand your feelings about the scans. As far as I can decipher from the NCCN standards for surveillance, no scans are recommended post treatment.

I am doing ok, but getting restless these days. I am thinking of selling everything I own and traveling around for a year or so. I have been so responsible my whole life. When I first graduated from college, a lot of my well to do friends backpacked around the world for a year. I was too damn busy trying to support myself and moving on in my education and career, and then family...blah, blah, blah. So, I want to see the world now. Just thoughts right now, but I simply can't go back to sitting behind a desk. I am rambling....

How's the book coming?

LaCh
Posts: 537
Joined: Dec 2012

Traveling around the world?  I think that's a GREAT idea, I think you ought to try to move it from a dream to a thought to a plan and DO it!  I think it's a great idea. Regardless of whether a person has cancer or not, none of us leave this life alive and after a certain point, many people begin to think of trying to eliminate regrets or at least not accrue any more. Who wants to lie on his or her death bed and think Why didn't I do that?  I wish I'd done that.  And that has nothing to do with cancer, it's a natural feeling for many people.  I wholeheartedly support your dream, I really do. If there's any way that you can practically do it, I think that you should.  As for my book... I'm getting it ready for publication in August or the beginning of September. 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I just may do that. My cat doesn't love the idea, she is too old and set in her ways! Hate to leave her because she is so attached to me. We will see.

LaCh
Posts: 537
Joined: Dec 2012

yeah, I sure get that.  I've got my dog. I wouldn't love him any more if he carried my DNA but getting away does get a bit complicated.

LaCh
Posts: 537
Joined: Dec 2012

Hey Marynb,

Do you by any chance have a link to the NCCN guidlines for standards for survelliance for anal squamous cell carcinoma?

jcruz
Posts: 280
Joined: Jan 2013

It looks to me like the recommendation for follow-up includes imaging in some cases:

On page ANAL-3: Follow-up

under complete remission:

every 3-6 mo for 5 y

· DRE · Anoscopy · Inguinal node palpation

 

T3-T4 or inguinal node positive - consider chest/abd/pelvic imaging annually for 3 y

 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3120
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm so glad you are feeling better these days!  It's only a matter of time before the weather warms up and you will be strolling in Central Park with your dog!  I wish you continued healing!

LaCh
Posts: 537
Joined: Dec 2012

Thanks Mp...  yeah, I'm feeling pretty good (except for my hair situation which gets worse by the day... I'm not sure whether to call it really thin or almost bald at this point but if the hair loss doesn't stop soon, the decision will be clear.)

I was almost almost contemplating Central Park today but....  it's still a bit too cold for me .... Maybe the River (the East River) another huge favorite of mine.  Thanks for the kind words.

mxperry220
Posts: 369
Joined: Mar 2011

You should talk to your doctor regarding her attitude.  Hopefully she will not be on the other side of the table at some point in her life.

Mike 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3120
Joined: Jan 2010

I think any doctor worth his or her salt would like to be informed when one of their staff members has treated a patient with disrespect or rudeness.  At the very least, I would let the doctor know.  I'm sorry this happened to you, but I am so glad everything turned out good for you on the tests and exams.

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 566
Joined: Jul 2011

From the beginning I have said MDA hands out "happy pills" to the people who work there.  Maybe she was late for work and just missed hers?  Just kidding....  

Sephie, I would still let your onc know how y'all were treated.  At our stage of the game we've beenthrough a LOT and except a lot fairly calmly.  But what about someone just STARTING this journey????   The first doc I saw in my hometown told me this was primarily a "gay mans disease", insinuating what?   I was devastated and never went back.  

No one is too old to learn MANNERS if not impathy.

Congrats on good results...

Ps its 800 miles from my home to MDA.

7243
Posts: 223
Joined: Feb 2011

First of all .... Yeah!  Great news!!!!!

secondly .... Tell them about this incident.  They will soon be paid based on your good or bad patient experience.   And that matters to them .... And,   That behavior is counter to the culture EVERY healthcare organization should be building today!   You deserve better .... Tell the CEO.  Don't hold back.   Write a balanced letter to the top including how pleased you've been, how disappointing this experience was.. Don't mess around With the lower level. 

Believe me ... Leadership cares.

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 513
Joined: Jun 2011

If it was more than a one-time thing, I'd say report it too. But in the spirit of Easter, forgive her, because we don't know what her situation was that day. I'd actually try to see the same nurse the next time you're there, and see if she acts the same way. If she does, yes, report it - because patients (everyone) should be treated with respect. (She may very well remember you and be sweet as sugar the next time you see her, as a kind of apology.)

Phoebesnow
Posts: 453
Joined: Apr 2011

Thank you for your wisdom. Again.

 

HappyEaster 

7243
Posts: 223
Joined: Feb 2011

Im holding firm on this...treating a cancer patient or any other patient with less than "patient-centered, professional care" must not be tolerated.  It is not the standard of care and is absolutely counter to patient safety.  "What we tolerate, happens".

MD Anderson is the flag ship of cancer care in this country...hold them to their high standard.  

My opinion...I expect healthcare organizations to keep their promise....this is their vision;

Strategy 1.6 - We will enhance the experience of our patients by providing counseling, hope, education and compassion in a supportive environment.

Best to you all!  

mxperry220
Posts: 369
Joined: Mar 2011

One strike and the nurse is out.  Turning the other cheek is not appropriate in this situation.

Mike

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 513
Joined: Jun 2011

That's not really too cool. Everyone has a bad day, nurses included. But everyone has their own opinion, and that's ok.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I usually agree with you, but not on this one. This is not about forgiveness. We can all choose to suffer fools gladly if we wish. Yes, everyone has a bad day, but a professional does not bring it to work. You are assuming this is a one time occurrrence. I guess if everyone made that assumption there would be a lot of cancer patients treated very poorly by this woman. No excuses! Not for professionals.

7243
Posts: 223
Joined: Feb 2011

one of the very best aspects about this site is we can speak our opinion and we don't always agree!  And you're absolutely right, that's totally ok!  Thanks for your opinions RoseC!   

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 513
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi y'all - I guess I disagree (no, I know I do, haha), but that's totally, totally ok.

It IS about forgiveness. Yes, I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt and assuming it was a one time thing. That there was a lot going on both in the office and maybe out of the office that led to her behaviour. That's why I thought seeing her again on another visit might be a good idea. No, she shouldn't have been rude - I agree - but still, professional or not, all people are just that, people. And we make mistakes. And we're not always nice to each other.

Maybe I'm just lucky, but I've often found that when someone is rude to me or when I'm rude to someone else, it's because of other factors, not because I or they wanted to be rude. There have been more than a few times that I just could not understand why someone acted the way they did, only to find out later that there was something bad going on in their life that I had no clue about. I like to think that was what was going on with that nurse. (Course, I DO think that if she acts that way all the time she maybe should be relocated to billing, or something like that. )

Something else - I don't think having cancer makes us more special than someone who, say, is going through another serious type of illness, the loss of someone, or an infinite number of other troubles. Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and sympathy but those things are not always easy to give out, for a vast pot of reasons. That's why I think this IS all about forgiveness - you never know what someone else is going through.

The waiting for three hours in the exam room with no idea of why - that is something that was wrong. Someone should have told Sephie why the wait was so long.

Hope you all have a wonderful Easter - I'm in New England and the temp is supposed to be near 60 tomorrow - yahoo! It's been a L-O-N-G winter. Happy Easter!

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I won't continue this thread, being Easter weekend. In my Christian faith, you can forgive someone but not accept the bad behavior. Reporting bad behavior does not mean you don't forgive the person. Professional standards for nurses do not include rudeness to any patient. If I had an employee that was treating clients rudely, I would surely want to know about it. It is unacceptable. I am sure you never treated anyone rudely in your professional role, whatever that may be.

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 513
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi Marynb,

I'm sorry you don't feel like you can continue this conversation on Easter. It's that time of year when conversations like this should take place.

Being a professional has nothing to do with much of anything. Being human does.

I'm not angry or anything (far from it) and I'm sorry if I've belaboured this - I felt it was important.

All my best,
Rose

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I feel it is important too. Professional standards mean something much more than being human!

pializ
Posts: 307
Joined: Nov 2012

When I was in the midst of treatment, the specialist colorectal nurse sat in on my consultation with my oncologist. She did not introduce herself, nor did she add anything to the consultation, just chaperone. The oncologist had to leave the room for a moment. I noticed the nurse wiping her nose and putting the tissue in a bin and then getting another tissue. I asked her if she had a cold. She did! So why did she think that was ok when my immune system was under chemo? ? I asked her to leave. I think her behaviour was beyond that of rudeness and totally unprofessional. I did mention it to the consultant. Not one person apologised though. Not one!

Eliz3
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2013

Smile

 

Hi everyone, good to read up on how you are all traveling.

As a nurse myself, many years ago, I am going to go with those of you who said rudeness was not acceptable at all, not at all.  Being human is just not a good enough excuse.  I also believe that cancer patients are more special, you are going through more than any of us could ever imagine and you don't need your day, week, ruined by someone's ignorance.

Let's face it, she is a nurse, and she is educated to, and paid to, look after people specifically going through the harsh cancer treatment, she is there to make sure you are cared for appropriately, that being with kindness and empathy.

I would never have been unkind to a patient but I have seen many who would and they need to be pulled up, not let to get away with it.

Eliz3
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2013

hi Pializ,


It constantly amazes me how ignorant people are about passing on their flu, I think they feel it is preferable to turn up to work sick than it is to stay away and not infect patients and staff.  
 
I know I would have done the same as you did.
 
I realized I had a sore throat when I was out driving with my sister (she commenced treatment today) and I have felt so bad about it, will feel so horrible if I have passed anything on to her at this crucial time.
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