A really good ambulance / hospital experience

I know we get a lot of threads on this forum (I'm pretty sure I've written / added to a few) reporting things that have gone wrong with emergency asthma care, either in the hands of the paramedics or A&E. I think it's really important that we have a place to write these things down to help us understand them and come to terms with them so bad experiences don't make us reluctant to get help. However, I'm also aware that it probably doesn't present a balanced picture and may scare people about emergency care, so I wanted to write about my recent excellent experience.

I had an ambulance called for me at uni by uni staff - first came a fast response car then the ambulance, both really quickly despite the snow. All of the paramedics were fantastic - they read my PSP, treated me appropriately, understood the severity in terms of looking at my best rather than predicted PEF, told me everything they were doing, called ahead to the hospital.

When we got to the hospital I was taken straight into resus, the doctor I saw remembered me, again they went through the letter from my consultant etc., they listened to and understood my reluctance to increase steroids, the doctor ensured I was kept in resus where I needed to be and even had an argument with some bed manager who was trying to clear beds!!

Once they decided I was stable-ish I was moved directly to the ward (no CDU which is where problems can occur) and the nurses and docs were fantastic and also took into account my other issues - they kept a really close eye on me and were offering me nebs even before I asked as they knew my reluctance to ask, followed my med regime exactly, all nebs at the right time. My resp nurse came to see me the day I was admitted and then every day afterwards which was wonderfully reassuring.

Being in hospital is never a nice experience, but having a 'good' experience can make so much difference to how you feel and your recovery.

10 Replies

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  • Oh how wonderful, so lovely to read a positive experience. Whilst I have had the odd positive experience once admitted they are rare. May I suggest that you personally thank those involve, I am quite sure it will be most appreciated. With A & E staff a few bits and pieces like decent coffee and tea for the staff room are always appreciated, and for the paramedics a letter sent to headquarters. I did this last year and was really appreciated by all. What surprised me the most the A & E staff thanked me for my gesture last week on a flying visit, wouldn't have expected them to remember the gesture so many months later.

    Hope you are on the mend now Ratty,

    PS I polite letter to who ever is in charge of your Uni's First Aiders is a must. I order not to offend (if this worries you), say that you valued their attempts to help but know that they way you were dealt with initially was incorrect. Maybe state what should have happened or refer them to the Asthma Nurses at AUK who should be able to provide the University with the correct emergency response information.

  • That is so lovely to read Ratty! I am glad you were looked after so well. I think being on a respiratory ward makes a difference, here the nurses on the chest ward are great.

    I would send a card if I was you, I am sure they would all love to know how much you appreciated them. Tea and coffee is such a good idea Katina, because there are always too many biscuits and sweets around at this time of year.

    I hope you are starting to feel a bit better Ratty. Take care.

    Bryony

  • Thanks for your replies. I was planning to write letters/cards to the ambulance service and the hospital (wasn't sure who to write to at hospital - A&E/Ward/PALS?), I was going to do them this afternoon, but fell asleep instead.

    I am soooo exhausted now, I'd really forgotten how much it takes out of you. Have a GP appointment for Tuesday, but will see if I can go in on Monday if I'm not feeling better.

  • I go personally to the hospital departments who have helped me, they are like seeing the people they have helped looking better.

    Katina

  • I'm so glad you had a good experience, and hope you're on the mend soon.

    I work in a hospital, and would really appreciate it if someone thanked me, it lets you know you're doing a good job, just a card or email would brighten my day. Unfortunately not many people go out of their way to do so. In the 500 or so people I've helped I've had only 2 thank you cards (in contrast I have NO complaints so I know I'm not doing a bad job!!)

  • First aider in need of re-training methinks. Well done ambulance crew and hospital for getting it right.

  • Well, I dunno what's happened, I had another 'good' (have to put it in quotes because it's never actually good needing an ambulance / having to go to hospital) experience with both the ambulance and a different hospital.

    Having the PSP with the ambulance really seems to make a massive difference both in terms of their response and how they hand over to the hospital and the subsequent treatment I get.

    How do you deal with getting help quickly if you can't get it yourself? I was so frightened last night, I live in student halls and though they are supposedly aware of my difficulties I got no response from the staff - duty managers or security - and by this stage I couldn't even text 999. I ended up just banging on my neighbour's door, and all I can say is thank goodness she was in and responded, the last thing I remember was her yelling down the phone to the ambulance service ""she's turning blue"" - next thing I'm aware of is lots of people around me. I am okay, but I'm so so frightened by what might have happened. It seems I'm safe as long I can get as far as getting an ambulance called, but I'm so much at the mercy of others before that. There wasn't much warning, so it's not like I was leaving it till too late to get help either. I'm sorry to whinge here in what was supposed to be a positive thread, this has left me really frightened.

  • Ratty I know you live in student halls, but about looking into having a community alarm put into your room. If you are not aware what this is, it is where a normal telephone line is connected to a phone that that has a sort of panic button, you press it and then connected with their control room, if you are unable to response, they send out the appropriate people like an ambulance crew to help you. Of course this will cost money, there is a small charge monthly of quarterly for the service. Does sound like your safety needs to be looked into whilst in residence at the student halls, so if there is a student welfare officer would advise you talk to them. As a disabled student I would hope they would do all that is possible within their powers to improve things for you. Keep us updated.

  • hi

    I have had many good experiences from hospital and ambulance staff. Its easier to thank the ambulance service cos you can do that online. Stating the date , time of incident and they will forward gifts to the ambulance crew/ recommendations.

    I had a clinic appointment and decided I would visit the Resus team/ A+ E staff at the hospital. To thank them with a card and gifts. As I waited at reception, I realised that only the sick go beyond the doors where they were situated.

    I was perplexed, suddenly the triage nurse appeared, it happened to be the very staff nurse that I wanted to thank. He rushed over, believing I was in with another asthma attack, I quickly explained I only came in with some gifts for him and the staff. He was blown away and totally surprised.

    A week later when I did have an asthma attack another nurse told me they recieved my gifts and rarely get thanked. So Ratty go ahead and thank them.

  • I took my local A&E a big box of chocs and thankyou card, they were lovely and really looked after me when I had anaphylactic shock/severe asthma.

    Wait until you're properly back on your feet though, too cold to be venturing out if your asthma's wobbly at moment!

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