My husband ,newly diagnosed with A.F. and in receipt of letter from G.P. offering flu jab, went to have this this morning with the practice nurse. She said " I don't know why you need this. It's not as if A.F. is serious. Nearly everyone over the age of 60 has it". My husband replied that the doctor had obviously thought it was serious enough to send a flu jab letter and also to say he was very sorry he had developed this. She then said " oh maybe things have changed lately, I've been away for a while " Shame she was so free with her opinions then. It was a good job I was at home as I'm still thinking of juicy phrases I could have used on her! Me thinks she needs some in service training. X

36 Replies

  • She certainly does need up to date training

  • Well let's hope when she gets to "that age" she gets it and finds out how it feels for some patients. She needs to develop her practice as clearly no idea

  • Ha that was exactly what I thought!

  • In my wife's job as a carer "re-training" is the buzz phrase for such people. Silly moo.

  • Open big mouth

    Insert foot

    Do not engage brain cell . . .

    You couldn't make it up really. Your husband's calm put down is perfect.

  • I agree with you, she definitely needs some updating if she is working as a practice nurse - she is sure to meet other patients with AF and would be good to know her knowledge is current and she recognises when to refer back to GP!

  • Unbelievable! That's made me so cross! Silly woman - or words to that effect!!!!

  • Doesn't know % of AF suffers nor nhs guidelines. My surgery had three open inoculations Saturday's for those for free flu jabs and after both the first and the second I got a chaser text!!!!

  • cynically i say itas because they get paid for doing flu jabs for those who meet the criteria point make prizes as they say

  • Actually it has probably more to do with the fact that teh practice is one that believes in doing thing electronically and embracing technology. For a few years now we can order repeat prescriptions on line and see status, we can book appointments online, prescriptions get sent to pharmacyelectronically, reminders sent by text for appointments, etc.

  • People can be so ignorant when they clearly know nothing of the condition! My GP offered me my jab at my routine medication check, at least they are not all lacking in up to date knowledge.


  • My practice nurse told me that having af was just 'palpitations' and no excuse for reducing exercise or changing lifestyle at all! I was at a very low ebb at the time and just came home and cried.

  • Please feel assured that having AF is not just a case of having palpitations. It may not be life threatening, but it is certainly very worrying for sufferers. That nurse needs a dose of severe AF and she would certainly change her attitude. I hope you are feeling better now. On this forum we are all here to listen and to offer advice.


  • What a dreadful attitude for a nurse to have NanT. I thought dinosaurs like that died out in the 1950's. Unfortunately, we seem to meet them in life when we are at a low ebb and so they tend not to get the tongue-lashing they deserve.

    Life's mantra: Ignore idiots :)

  • That's awful. If only they knew how awful AF can make you feel --------------- like death warmed up and so bad that you have to lie down until it stops.

    I am very grateful that my records show that I had not visited the GP for 12 years until AF struck! At the very least that should indicate that I'm not a hypochondriac.

  • Needs to learn some people skills. It is probably worth leaving a comment in their client comment box, if they have one, as she may well be causing distress to others too.

  • I don't think this nurse is alone in the need for updating/training....one hears many stories where even understanding basis medical needs are lacking....for example taking blood pressure readings...I have been told that a digital BP cuff does not register correctly if you have AF? Does anyone have the answer?

  • I too have been told the same by at least two doctors and various nurses that the electronic devices cannot always detect AF. My practice still has an electronic blood pressure monitor, but all the GPs and nurses prefer the 'hand-inflated meters and stethoscope' method as that gives them control over the inflation and deflation of the cuff which in turn allows them to get more accurate readings and a better idea of what's going on.

  • There are ones that are specifically designed for use with those who have AF and, as at a year ago, there is one cuff for home use suitable for use with AF. When I bought mine I did a cross check for a few weeks and the wrist monitor (a well known make) was way out. Cuff monitor corresponds well with GP's.

  • Hi there..... Reminds me of our Practice nurse who, 3 years ago I mentioned to her I was having severe palpitations at times, especially in bed and at times felt breathless and dizzy, she said something like - oh well we all have palpitations from time to time, cut down on the tea and coffee. Two years later, after 5 or 6 scary episodes I was taken to A and E and diagnosed with AF and so on and so on.

    Needless to say I always try to see the other Practice nurse now!!!

  • I think it's because there are no signs of illness,we all look normal!

    I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis,am on a load of medication,I wear make-up,I try to dress smartly,to make Me feel better,( so I also get Well you look ok to me!

  • Yes , when someone greets you with " oh you do look so well!" It seems churlish to disillusion them so I usually don't bother. Actually it's a relief not to have to go through the details . I have had such a chuckle at all your responses. I knew you would all feel the same as me. I bet that nurses ears are burning.

  • A neighbour who was admitted to hospital quite regularly with AF had an attack at home and died even though the air ambulance landed within 100 metres of her home. Ironically being in AF doesn't cause me a problem in the gym or elsewhere, but the prescribed antiarrhythmic medication nearly finished me off.

    I recall asking at our local health practice for an abdominal aortic aneurysm test that was being promoted by the NHS, and was told; "isn't that something that they do in hospitals". Then hospital clinicians in 2014 who had never heard of dronedarone.

    So your not alone in your experience.

  • This is unacceptable from a practice nurse and should be reported. Then perhaps these lax a daisy nursing staff can be retrained.

  • As a retired district nurse the push from surgeries to "do as many as possible" was the same cry every season do the documents on line too as "we dont get paid" Money into GP coffers not into the pot that nurses salaries came from. Realise it was probably services commissioned by surgeries from then communitey trusts, but little sceptical on motives at times for many things. Had my flu vacc though

  • I do feel a little worried about primary care in cases of AF. I'm not sure if it is fully understood or correctly treated. I visited a GP when I went into AF for the fifth time in my life. I wasn't checked with an ECG. My BP was taken and pulse checked, given a prescription for the usual 5Mg of Bisoprolol and told if it got any worse to go to A&E. I felt awful and did go to A&E that weekend and was taken in for two days, slowed down and regulated and put on Warfarin.

    I am much wiser, since being involved on this forum, regarding the complexities of AF and its effects on us. For primary medical personnel to make such glib comments as the nurse that prompted this thread, worries me - as does the casual way I was sent off by the GP without any follow up plan or concern about stroke risk. I am now very proactive regarding my treatment and AF management.


  • I agree with Dottilind - the nurse should be reported. But temper your complaint with a suggestion that she get some training in AF. She's probably competent otherwise, so it's best to improve weakness rather than tear down a (mostly) good thing.

    You might also tell the nurse what you're doing so she isn't blind-sided. Maybe a comment like, 'I was concerned about your cavalier comment about AF and have suggested to your superiors that you get more information about it.' Wrap that up in some sympathetic language and the pill might go down the right pipe.

  • A lovely suggestion. I think that should get the message a cross to the relevant parties!

  • What??!!!!! Absolute disgrace. Shame she doesn't yet know what it feels like but she might one day!!

    I bet you do wish you were there, I wish you were there too!!

    People like that need telling I'm afraid.

    Hope hubby didn't take too much notice of her impolite remarks, sometimes we have to deal with muppets!!!

    Best regards.


  • Hubby couldn't wait to come home and tell me. He knew there would be smoke coming out of my ears. He doesn't know much about it other than how to deal with me so he was stumped for what to say really. Pity I've already had mine done by a much more knowledgeable nurse otherwise I would have loved to have met her!Regardless of her lack of knowledge her lack of professionalism is unforgivable,after all, whatever she thinks is not a concern of the patient. X

  • Here Here.

  • I am embarrassed to say I am a nurse practitioner...formerly a practice nurse.

    This nurse and the other one mentioned in a reply both need constructive feedback via a letter to the practice to suggest training in certain conditions or as part of the nmc code of conduct ' recognising their own limitations' and referring to a more senior nurse or GP.

    On a separate note to another comment. I have paroxysmal af and am a gym buddy ( not highly exertional) and was strongly advised NOT to exercise whilst in af due to risks of heart failure and reduced ejection fraction

  • When I wrote this post, I was mad but wasn't really intending to do anything about it. However because others on here , especially those of you who are in or have been in the nursing profession , have given such passionate advice , I am definitely going to take it further, in a sensible and considered way. Thank you for your comments. My G.P. surgery is usually fantastic and its a shame if they are let down by someone's ignorance or lack of training. X

  • I got similar reaction on Friday. You don't look like u need a flu jab are you entitled to it says practice nurse...I politely told her to check my records which will show I have been a transplant patient since 2000 and a heart condition since 2009....I would say I about qualifiy....

  • I'll say!! Would love to have seen her face. However it's great that you look good after all that! X

  • Definitely always give feedback. I did when a nurse at the hospital said are you on aspirin for blood thinning!!!! Corrected her on both fronts and told senior one though now I wish that I had written in as it is obviously a wider problem!!!

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