I am writing in response to the letter from the woman who was, in her opinion, not treated well at the Stettler hospital. This complaint really struck a chord with me, because I hear of negative experiences like this all the time. I have had a few of my own.
In caring for an older person, I’ve seen her misdiagnosed in the E.R., I’ve also had a nurse describe with great enthusiasm how they would have to break all her ribs if she wanted to be resuscitated, in an attempt to influence her to sign the directive for “Do Not Resuscitate” or DNR. When I challenged the nurse as to the inflammatory nature of her presentation of the information to this older women, she informed me that “It’s not like on T.V.” I’ll forgive her for such a condescending statement, apparently not knowing anything of my medical background.
I could carry on with negative stories, some of them quite entertaining, some very sad, but this is not my purpose in writing this letter to you.
As patients of this system that we fund as taxpayers, it is our responsibility to do whatever is possible to improve the quality of its delivery.
First of all ,we need to live our lives in such a way as to prevent health problems to begin with, if at all possible.
Secondly, we need to try and not abuse the system. The emergency is not a place for routine medical care, it is for emergencies. We need to try and see our doctors during office hours as best we can.
Thirdly, if we have a complaint, rather than comparing stories with our buddies over coffee, we need to complain to someone who can address the complaint, and make a change, or carry out an investigation if necessary. I will relate to you how to do this.
Alberta Health Services has a ”Patient Concerns & Feedback” department and they say that they value your input.
As well as the funding upgrades that were mentioned in the other letter to the editor, we can do our part to make this a hospital that attracts the best staff, including doctors, as well as one that we have confidence will give the best care to our local population.
If enough complaints about a specific person or situation are reported, changes will happen, but we need to do our part.
On a positive note, it’s also important to acknowledge those that have treated our loved ones with the care and respect that we would treat them with. This can also be done through the “Patient Concerns & Feedback” avenues.