4 hours in A&E

Whether it was for yourself or someone who dragged you along, I can probably be safe in the assurance everyone’s had the joy of a trip to A&E.
I recently had this joy for myself a couple of a weeks ago when I dislocated my kneecap (gross, I know, sorry!).
Now for anyone else going to the hospital, especially A&E, it is an unpleasant experience, however, for me it’s a trip of hours and hours of fear and trying not to cry. So because of this I have a heightened awareness of everything going on around me. Along with learning there was at least one other person in the waiting room that had my first name so that when the nurse or the doctor called her name before mine, I had to suffer a crushing disappointment. I happened to learn a few lessons when I was last there.

Forgive the nurses and doctors. Its 1am, they’ve probably been working for a couple of hours (after finishing a 12 hours shift about 5 hours ago) and have seen tens of people with the same ailments who are rude and unpleasant to them, they’re probably rather bored or tired so forgive them if they don’t flash you the biggest grin in the world. They work damn hard and you can guarantee not everyone is as nice to them or as cooperative as you’re being, so cut them some slack.
Although, I had the joy of a lovely nurse, a very smiley (and good looking) radiographer and a very pleasant and helpful doctor so I guess I just lucked out.

Really evaluate whether you understand the definition of Accident or Emergency. During my 4 hours in a boiling hot waiting room I saw at least 6 people get escorted out and down towards the walk-in centre down the corridor by a harassed triage nurse.
If it’s not an accident, like mine, or an emergency, like the girl who had accidently poured a pan of boiling water over her leg, then maybe think twice about taking up peoples time. It’s people who think that a cold or a bad case of food poisoning is an accident or an emergency that kept me sitting in mind numbing boredom from 9:30 pm to half past 1 in the morning for 15 minutes of treatment! *and breathe* Sorry.

Slightly following on from the food poisoning comment, I’m about to explain why A&E and hospital wards in general are such a nightmare for me. If you have an illness related phobia, going to A&E is going to be pretty much the most anxiety inducing time of your life. I have a phobia of a particularly common illness and generally, thanks to people being ignorant of my above comment, A&E is full of people who are making their and my life a living hell.
So, people with illness related phobias, be prepared please. Trust me, just be aware of your surroundings and you’ll be fine. If you see a potential danger zone, sit on the other side of the room and other such avoidance techniques. Just sit in your own little world and breathe.
Truth is, you’ll probably be fine.

My final point? There are going to be those people who have been sat there for a lot less time than you and who complain so much that the nurse will just take them through to the doctors to get them out of their hair. This may seem like a good time-saving solution but please don’t be this person! Fair enough you get to go home earlier than you may originally have, however, you can guarantee at least three death stares and the occasional under the breath tut as you walk back out through the A&E department.

So there you go, story time is over. A&E is not fun. So I guess my lesson for today is don’t get injured or ill.

But if you have to, be polite about it 😉

Rachael Millmoor

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