bad nurse sheffield

Poor nursing = Poor care

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I’m sorry to have to blog such a negative piece today but I need to be talking about the negatives as well as the positives. As I have said many times so far, my care experience has been amazing. The nursing and care support have been just fantastic and I am a huge supporter of the NHS and nurses. My best friend is a kick ass nurse and I think they do a very difficult job in tough circumstances.

So it pains me to write about my experience over the last day, it really does.

Yesterday I had a bad time with my bag, I had a lot of leaking and my stoma was leaking into my wound. This was making me sore, embarrassed, stressed out and upset. The nurses helped me to clean up a few times, they dealt with the accidents with kindness and helped me to maintain some dignity whilst I lay being cleaned up. It was very tough and left me feeling humiliated and weepy. But we got through it.

This morning I woke to find my bag had leaked again and as I looked at my wound I saw the whole thing was swimming in the output from my stoma (poo to me and you!) I pressed my buzzer and a nurse came over, she said she was doing her tablets round and would be over later. I left it a while and then asked again, she quite huffily said she would do it later. I explained that my skin was sore and I was freaking out about infection from the poo being inside my staples!! So could I do it myself. After an hour she came back and said ‘are you expecting me to do this?’ I said yes and she said ‘fine’ I said I could try to do it myself but wasn’t sure where to start. She then cleaned my wound and bag in silence. No comment and no eye contact. I was mortified. I felt like she was a bit disgusted and didn’t want to help me. I felt like sinking into the bed and disappearing.

From then on today I have asked a few times for support. I’ve said that my bag was leaking, I’ve said that I was nervous and didn’t know what up do. I had very briefly seen a stoma nurse the morning before who had fitted one bag but then I’d leaked so many times snc tried so many different things that I was confused.

I asked if I should try to empty the bag in the loo and the nurse said ‘yes, obviously’ – the whole day felt difficult. I was trying to ask for support but not getting it. I had no idea if I was doing it the right way or not and the nurse seemed not to care.

Other nurses I’d seen so far had been open and kind and just asked ‘how can I support you?’ ‘Would you like help with this’ etc. this nurse just looked mad. She looked and sounded like she didn’t care and that scared me into not wanting to ask any more of her.

She was quite rude and abrubt to visitors and just came across in a very uncaring manner.

This afternoon I asked for some water. I’m trying to increase my water input to help with a number of things mainly blood pressure and stoma care. I asked 3 staff for an hour and a half for water.

I asked if I could get it myself and was told no, I’m not allowed in the kitchen. I know they were busy but I was parched and being postop I really needed to keep my fluid levels up.

My stoma nurse came at 530 and was shocked to hear that I had been struggling. She had not been told that I’d leaked 6 times the day before and was distressed. She said that my output needed more fluid and I needed to drink more. I pointed out that I’d been asking for water for an hour and a half. The student nurse then took my blood pressure which was again low an said I needed to drink more.

No shit Sherlock!!!

Anyway I was looking forward to todays nurse ending her shift and hoping that the evening staff would be of more support.

So this evening towards to end of visiting I found my bag was leaking. I had to ask friends to leave and I was quite upset. I found the evening nurse and said ‘my bag is leaking, maybe I could have a shower? Could you please help me and get a towel. She got a towel an just pointed to a cubicle. I waited for her to come but she didn’t.

If I’m honest I thought she would come and help me. I just had my epidural out today and so I’m still unsteady on my feet and in a lot of pain. When she didn’t even come in, I was too embarrassed to ask her. Of course I’d rather not have a person helping me wash my fanny in the shower! But realistically I needed the help.

I felt very exposed and childlike. I couldn’t lock the door and there were blokes sat outside. The nurse was talking to another staff and kind of shrugged as I pulled at the door.

I dragged the disabled chair into the shower and managed to half sit, half stand in the shower. I struggled to remove my surgical stockings and knocked my stomach.

I sat crying in the shower, not know whether I was supposed to remove the bag or not. Not knowing if I should use soap near my stoma or not. I was in a lot of pain and wished I’d not bothered trying to get clean.

I managed to get somewhat clean and then realised if need to do my first ever bag change. Wet. Alone. In pain. And sat in a disabled shower with a door that didn’t lock. Score!!! Well done me!!!

As I shuffled back to bed a lady from the ward said ‘you need more support love, I can’t believe she didn’t help you in the shower. Can I help?’

I got into bed and then looked down an realised my bag was once again leaking A lot.

I pressed my buzzer and a support worker came, I told her my bag was leaking and i was stressed – I didn’t know what to do. She brought a bowl of water, plonked if down and said ‘is that what they do?’ I said I’d not been getting any support but that I did need help. She just shut the curtains and walked off.

I thought I’d better just give it another go. It’s tough, there’s a lot to learn and I was promised to get stoma education and that the nurses would help me every step of the way over the weekend. This just wasn’t happening

The support worker came back and said ‘you done? Ill open the curtains.’ I replied somewhat snarkily that no I wasn’t done as I had no bloody idea what I was doing but that if they wouldn’t help me that they could at least leave the curtains for privacy. ‘Suit yourself’ she shouted back.

That’s the point I texted Hannah, my awesome nurse friend. I’m a strong independent head strong woman but right now I’m a wilted, broken woman in pain. I’m someone who wants to be able to do things for herself but currently needs help. I needed to speak to Hannah as I sat crying looking at this bloody bag wondering whether my wound was I infected.

Hannah quite rightly told me I needed to speak to someone and to demand some care.

I made a last dash for the loo and when I came out a lady from the ward said ‘Sam I’m worried for you love, why aren’t they helping you? I have buzzed them, this is ridiculous!!!’

I saw the nurse who’d not helped me to the shower and it all built up and fell out!!!

‘I had the whole of my large bowel removed three days ago, I’m in agony, I’m frightened and I am not getting any support from the nurses today. This isn’t fair. I’m in a state and I need some support!’

She replied and said ‘well ask then, it’s not just me’

I looked up quite surprised And said ‘I’m struggling and I haven’t got good enough care from you or the other nurses today.’ I started crying and she said ‘well if you want something just ask!’

She was really defensive and aggressive and I couldn’t believe it! I started crying and said ‘I really hope you are never in a situation where you are in pain, frightened and need help and you’re surrounded by people who don’t care’

She shouted ‘why are you wishing pain on me?!’ I replied that I wasn’t, that I was hoping she would never struggle the way I had. She repeated that I was wishing evil on her…. *sighhhh*

Another patient said ‘The lady’s upset and saying that she hopes you won’t ever be in her situation as we’ve all seen her struggle today and no one helped her!

She was told to be quiet and not to did us other patients.

Then she walked off leaving my curtains drawn and myself crying a lot inside my bed.

I called Timm as I was getting into a right state, I couldn’t believe how things were going and just felt frightened and alone. I was crying hard to Timm and it was obvious you could hear me around the ward. I looked up and the nurse was stood outside my curtain just doing her meds round. I said ‘timm the nurse is standing here doing nothing, I’m in pain, I’m frightened and she’s just stood here.

She did not try to improve the situation, she didn’t try to make me feel better or to pass it on to a superior. She just carried on.

Eventually She said ‘what do you want me to do? You’re just complaining and I’m saying ill do whatever you want.’

I said I wanted to speak to whoever was in charge. The nurse laughed in my face.

I was desperately sad, crying and in a state and she laughed.

Finally the ward manager came over. She asked what was going on. To be honest I’m not sure what took her so long. I tried to explain how unhappy I was at the lack of care and support given all day. I mentioned the shower and the Nurse stepped back I shouting ‘you only asked me for a towel, how’d I meant to know you wanted help?!’ I’d think it was common sense as a nurse to at least offer wouldn’t you?

I said she’d not offered any help and she laughed. Again. I almost lost my head. I can’t believe that when being confronted by a desperately unhappy patient who is three days out of major surgery that anyone would LAUGH I’m their face.

Unforgivable in my opinion.

So I spoke to the ward manager and hopefully pulled in my crazy. I know I wasn’t at my most rational but I’m in pain, I’m distressed and I feel let down so in the circumstances I think I did ok!!!

She has apologised and said that communication needs to be clearer. I think she is suggesting that I need to clearly say the words ‘I need you to get me a care kit and clean up my waste as well as bathing my wound’ – I tend to think that other nurses don’t need it spelling out so clear and asking for help as my bag is leaking should suffice. But perhaps these are particular nurses who suffer from a lack of empathy and common sense….

All I can do is move forward from here, ill be complaining about certain members of staff and making sure the hospital know what has happened.

It’s not just me, other patients have commented that we have had the most awful day of staff being rude, unhelpful and not caring.

I have had another leak tonight and pressed the buzzer. The nurse came over and I told her my bag was leaking into my wound. I asked if there was anyone else who could help me. She said no. So I have had to let her clean me.

I just want you to imagine how it feels for a grown woman to ask another person to help clean faeces off them. Now think how it feels knowing that you’d asked before and that person had already not wanted to help. Now imagine that being the only person who is available to help you.

Feel good?

Nah, me neither.

Well let’s get this blog post out into the ether, eh?! It’s not to slag off nurses or to be nasty. It’s about real experiences of patients of the NHS.

Im laid here raw, exposed and totally frail to these things happening to me and experiences like today have made the whole thing so so much harder.

I really hope tomorrow will be a more positive day.

Thank you for reading

Sam xxxx

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47 thoughts on “Poor nursing = Poor care

  1. OMG Sam i am in tears here. If i were there i would have been there in a heart beat and beat the colon out of that bitch. Thats one of the reasons my daughter did not want to stay in my beloved England, The health service stinks. i hope you are getting better help now and i am sending evil, VERY evil thoughts to those nurses that hurt you. They should not be in that service if they have no heart for it. I know the pay is crap *sorry* but you have to love being a nurse. I always wanted to be a nurse but never did it.
    Well i hope the next shift was better and that you are feeling a bit better love.

    Take care xxxxx

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  2. My partners gran had the same experience Sam. She is 97 and its so unfair how those nurse treat you.
    I feel so angry for you. Hope you are feeling well soon and get the good care you deserve.

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  3. aww Sam I am so angry for you. My Dad had a stoma and I understand how hard it is for a grown up to have to ask for help to clean themselves. The nurses should be ashamed of themselves! its good that you are writing this blog as you can then forward it on to senior management with a serious letter of complaint, maybe even get some of the other people in the ward who have witnessed this harsh treatment to write a statement to back you up. I hope today dawns with a better day and you get the care you deserve. keep being strong and brave even though its hard and show them that you wont be treated like you were yesterday again.
    Thinking of you and fingers crossed you will be home soon with your family x x Julie Lloyd and boys x

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  4. Please PLEASE put this into writing / as a formal complaint and make sure it goes to senior management asap. Absolutely amazed and appalled that anyone (experience/ qualified nursing staff or even the tea-lady for that matter) would be so totally insensitive, callous and unhelpful towards a young woman who is recovering from surgery and learning to live with a stoma.

    I’m really sorry you’ve had such a set of bitches to contend with. 😦

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  5. That’s just shocking! I am so sorry you have suffered so much, it really upsets me. I think a strong letter to hospital management is in order. I hope things improve for you. Xxx

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  6. I’m so sorry you were treated like ‘shit’, i really am. Makes me ashamed to be a nurse when I read things like this. Please,please,please take it further, complain to PALS. With a bloody useless ward manager, it’s no surprise she’s got nurses like that in her team. I can’t wait to retire but I’m making it my mission to weed out the bad apples…I’m in the process of disciplinary process for two of my nurses for very similar behaviour. I hope things improve for you, i really do. Please remember that the vast majority of nurses are good and kind.
    Oh, and in response to the poster who made a comment about bad pay, it’s actually quite good these days.

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  7. Honestly? I’m stunned, shocked and actually feel sick. There is no way other staff don’t know how that woman is behaving. Fair enough the ward manager is going to try to be professional and not say ‘yeah she’s an utter bitch and we’ve been trying to get rid of her for months’ but still, her behaviour is so very, very far from your previous experiences I really do not see how ANY blame should be put onto you! You are three days into this, presumably she has dealt with stoma patients for longer than three days and has a better idea of what care you need than you do. Please, please get as many people ‘in authority’ as you can made aware of this incident and your blog. I know it really is the last thing you need right now but people need to know just exactly what sick people who are in pain are expected to endure. I’m praying today sees you getting the support you need.

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  8. Hi Sam, I’m Corinne’s sister….I am disgusted to read what dreadful treatment you’ve received. Treating someone with dignity and respect should be priority in nursing at all times, no matter how busy or stressed they are.
    I deliver Dignity training to social care staff working in learning disability and older people services and wonder if you would mind me using part of your blog as a real example, especially the last few paragraphs where you describe how it feels to be supported with intimate care by someone who shows no compassion. It would be very powerful in training to read that out and someting the staff would remember.

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    • …Sorry, I didn’t mean to end it there, my phone wouldn’t let me continue! Just want to wish you well and I hope things improve. (also to add nurses should also receive training in dignity although I find it beyond belief that this training is needed for anyone who chooses to work in health or social care) xxx

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  9. I know I am a random stranger to you but can I kust send love to you for being so brave and dignified in the face of horrific treatment. I hope you’re well soon xx

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  10. Oh Sam, I read your post with sadness and increasing rage that someone, never mind a nurse, would be so dismissive of another human beings suffering. I hope today is better for you, and I hope you get all the support you need. My Mum had a stoma, and I know she needed lots of support and advice in the beginning, she got there in the end though, and so will you. In the meantime, I hope they give you all the care and help you deserve. Sending you loads of love xxxx

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  11. I’m so sorry that these few are giving the nursing community a bad name. Yes they’re busy, understaffed, whatever but why would you nurse if you seem to have such disdain for people and are oblivious to their suffering? Livid for you.

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  12. Hi Sam, I don’t actually know you but came across your post from a tweet. I’m so sorry you’re having a shit time and getting zero care. They are in fact making things worse, those “nurses” I hope you find strength to make a formal complaint. It’s disgusting how you’re being treated. I hope you feel better soon and get the care you need and deserve. Sending hugs xx

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  13. Hi Sam…. although we’ve not ‘spoken’ for a long time (BadMum days!), I’ve recently been following your blog. I’m struck by the amazing courage and determination… and humour….you’ve shown throughout your illness. I’m just plain saddened by the appalling treatment you’ve received from a ‘Nurse’. Thank you for ‘having the guts’ (!) to speak up about your care (or lack of), at a time when you really should be resting and using your energy to recuperate. So many other people may be unable to speak up for themselves. (I know when my own Mum was very ill and unable to communicate, there was a Nurse who she hated coming near her, but was ok to us.. always begged the question why, but we’ll never know….).
    I hope you begin to get the level of care and support you need, and can bounce back soon from yesterdays ordeal.
    Much Love Sue.. (aka BettySwollocks!) xxx

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  14. What a horrible experience for a person to go through. I’ve occasionally met nurses like that. As a student nurse myself I intend to provide a better example…

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  15. I’m so sorry to hear of your situation and it is inhuman the way they have behaved and treated you (and from the sounds others too). I was brought up to treat people as I would like to be treated AND cannot understand how anyone cannot see your pain and stress then consider how it would be for them in that situation, especially trained ‘professionals’. We know they are over stretched, under resourced etc etc BUT Christ that’s horrific, unacceptable and absolutely appalling behaviour…why be in a ‘caring’ profession and treat people that way.

    I wish you a swift recovery and very best wishes for the future.xxxx

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  16. Sam that’s awful, I’m so sorry your currently experiencing all that. Your post is my daily read, which I find both interesting and very emotional. Keep up the good work! Hope your better soon and receive the right sort of care and support that you need 🙂 Big hugs Sam xxx

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  17. Sam, I am so sorry this happened to you. Im nearly in tears reading this. I hope this experience won’t effect you asking for help in the future. Just remember all the nice nurses who are always there to help. *hugs*

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  18. I’m so sorry you’ve experienced this. Hopefully the nurses will start acting with compassion and empathy for their patients. I cannot believe that she’d LAUGH at you when you were distraught and upset.

    Feel better Sam, and I wish amazing nurses for you for the remainder of your hospital time!

    Xx

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  19. This post brought a tear to my eye. I’m so sorry you have been treated like this at a time when you are at your most vulnerable. I want to say I’m surprised at the treatment but I’m afraid I can’t. I’ve heard similar stories and recently witnessed how little some nurses actually care about their patients when my father-in-law was in hospital after a stroke. They are a disgrace to the profession and to the thousands of other nurses that actually do care. Nursing used to be a vocation that people chose because they wanted to make a difference and help people – it seems that’s been lost along the way.

    As for that nurse? You may not wish her pain but I DO. Mean, I know but I hope one day she finds herself in a similarly vulnerable situation and learns to have some bloody empathy.

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  20. My poor girl,
    I am so so sorry you had this complete lack of care. I am finding it so hard to comprehend how people could be so mean let alone people that have chosen to go into a caring profession.
    I have supported many people with stoma bags as part of my job and I promise that as a caring professional it is nothing for you to feel embarrassed about. If its leaking, needs emptying or changing that’s our job and what we chose to do.
    Do not let a horrid experience make you feel undignified, embarrassed or worthless. The staff today are the problem not you. You are a brave, strong woman that all your readers are proud of.
    Xxxx

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    • Thank you – and you know, most of the staff were brilliant – I won’t let a couple of bad eggs mar my opinion of nurses and support staff. The majority do an amazing job and make an enormous difference to peoples lives. I had some great support and appreciated it so much

      xx

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  21. Hi Sam,

    MotherScuffer linked to your post on Twitter and I am generally horrified to find out there are people, let alone nurses, who act like this to other people. People who need their care, their support. People who just need a hug. Being a nurse myself makes me want to kick those people right out the hospital door.
    I’m glad to see so many other people here supporting you! You shouldn’t have to go through all of this.

    As many others before me have said, complain. I can understand not wanting to go through it again, but complaining is a good thing in this case. Write a letter of complaint to the head of the ward, the head of the hospital and to the NHS. Now I’m not from the UK (I’m Dutch) so I’m not sure how everything works, but are you insured? If so, write them a letter too. Is there a charity for Stoma patients? Write them as well. The more people hear about thi, the more will be done about it.
    Written letters have to be archived and held onto for a certain amount of time. With every complaint the pile will grow and they have to look at it.
    Maybe you can take names and addresses of the people on your ward. They might be able to back up your story if needed.

    Last but certainly not least; I hope you’ll find someone who can give you the support you so despeartely need. I hope you’ll feel better real soon. And I hope you’ll get to go home soon.
    I’ve added your blog to my reader so I can keep following your progress. I wish you all the best and I’m giving you a big virtual hug!

    AngelFrouk

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    • Hi

      Thanks so much for your comment – I am going to make a formal complaint – I need to do it for my own peace of mind, I need to know that next week its not my mum, or an elderly person with no one to stand up for them.

      Thanks for the virtual hug!! x

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  22. What a f&*(ing bitch. Please, please complain. Contact PALS (patient liason, all hospitals have them) and write to the PCT and write to your MP and complain complain complain. There is NO excuse for this.

    When my Nana was dying she had exemplary care from most nurses and bloody disgusting care from two. You bet your arse we wrote to all and sundry praising the wonderful ones and made sure they knew how grateful we were… and you bet your arse we wrote to all and sundry about the bad ones too.

    My sister is a nurse and she would be horrified by this.

    Huge hugs.

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  23. Good Lord!! This is truly horrific to read this. I’ve tears in my eyes after reading this 😦 No compassion, kindness, empathy, understanding shown by those who are supposed to care. Those nurses responsible should be disciplined severely!!! You poor love. I’m so sorry that you have had to endure this disgusting behaviour. As others have said, compile a letter to PALS. You are so brave to go through all this. I can only hope that you can get some comfort from those who love you and support you through this distressing time. ((((gentle hugs)))) Take care lovely lady and I hope you recover well from all this xxx

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  24. This is just unbelievable. However tired a nurse might be, they should still want to care for and about the patients, else what’s the point in them being there? So sorry to hear about your pain and distress and really hope the shift change brought someone better. When in labour, I had to deal with a night nurse who was called Comfort… really. I always used to say she was anything but. 😉

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  25. There are obviously some people who should NOT be nurses if they lack the empathy and common decency to treat patients with respect and care. So sorry you had to experience this, and hoping that things improve tomorrow.

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  26. Hi Sam,fellow bm here and I am gutted for you and what you are going through,I am utterly speechless at the way you are being treated :/ I really hope you get some better support and soon. Stay strong you brave young lady xxx

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  27. Thank you all so so much for reading and taking the time to comment. Im only just having the time to go through all these comments properly and it means so much. Thank you xxxxxxxx

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  28. Pingback: My hospital complaint – an update | So Bad Ass

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