Just have to share the lunacy…I had contacted my nurse in Neurology, the fabulous and meticulous Mike Hall, and asked him to make a follow up appointment for me re my peg tube, preferably on the same day as my neurology/ALS clinic appointment. Upon my release I had not been scheduled for a follow up( I think I was supposed to be?) and as the wound from my peg tube had become more sore and more red, pussy and all around gross since last thursday I thought I’d better have this looked at. I vauguely recall Dr. Tepper saying I’d need to come in and see him for a follow up and I should have that appointment made when I’m released. I didn’t get a notice in the mail within a week for a follow up so I called Mike the meticulous.
So I just got a call from the from radiology dept. at Northwestern calling to confirm my appointment tomorrow ~ the follow up to check on my peg tube…and the nurse began telling me all kinds of directions for it -
a- come in 1 hr before, No one mentioned this when I had scheduled the appt. it said 12:30pm
b- don’t eat after 6 am , due to possible sedation. WHAT?
c- and she couldn’t tell me what Dr. I was seeing – “whoever is scheduled for that room ma’am”
Really? I don’t think so…
Luckily my assistant was over and I had her communicate for me…a) I didn’t know it was a “procedure”; b) no one told me there was any sedation required for tomorrow and as the neurology dept ~whom I have an appt with at 2pm did the scheduling there must be some mistake! Also, would they be so kind as to have my surgeon Dr Tepper or Dr Stevoff, be the person I’m seeing or have them pop in to check on me, given it’s who I’ve been working with. Please hold….was the response. The nurse then returned to say, she was gone so long because she was finding out exactly what was going on in my appointment for tomorrow, and that it was just for the t-stop removal, and actually if they were behind they could even take it out in the waiting room…REALLY? Then my assistant recapped the directions from before, no food after 6am, etc etc…”Oh no don’t worry about that!”
One wonders if she would have gotten around to correcting that point if left to her own devices…
Had I not ever so nicely PITCHED A FIT…I would have gone into tomorrow’s business meeting having fasted needlessly, been anxious over another “procedure” that was not quite explained…This is not the 1st time I have encountered this type of communication -or more appropriatley miss-communication: Is it too much to ask that a hospital knows why they are calling before they call you? Is it? really? If I called people and gave them erroneous instructions for a meeting I’d have no customers. If I called people with out knowing why exactly I was calling them and what I was setting them up for I’d be what we call an ASSHOLE. AND I’d have no clients, because I don’t know my ass from a hole in the ground. And Rightfully so!
I just can’t believe it’s that difficult to give good customer service. That would look like checking the patients file BEFORE calling to reconfirm and set up their appointment. In fact, I think they should review your file before coming into an examining room and asking you “So why are we here today??”. If common courtesy is too much to handle how exactly do they think they are going to be able to provide “personalized high quality, state of the art care that is focused on your physical,emotional and spiritual well being” as stated as their “committment” in a letter from Dean Harrison to me?
I want you to know I DON’T BLAME THE NURSE THAT CALLED ME…not one bit! The system she is working inside of has not set her up to win. She wasn’t set up to provide good customer service, either not trained or working in an ethos that encouraged to take the short cuts that would have her talk to me about prepping me for sedation when it’s not what’s wanted and needed! In fact I applaud her for putting us on hold at the 1st signs of pushback, and inspecting what was accurate…she could have not done that, and that would have sucked for me.
I hate to say this but when dealing with a health care institution I have now come to believe it behooves me to have a combative attitude, I must question each and every thing in order to be taken care of appropriately. It’s exhausting. It’s boring…I am bored with being a complaint, with having to 2nd guess and ask people to reconfirm because I can’t trust them to KNOW WHAT IS ACCURATE.
My life was meant for bigger things than this…