ROAR! I am a patient’s voice hear me ROAR!

ROAR! Yes, that is what I did, that is what Hubby#1 did and that is what we will continue doing over the lack of care and professionalism experienced by Mum.

RAH staff did NOT get her out of bed yesterday despite this being in an agreed recovery plan and despite my INSISTING that they do so. Could not get to the hospital until after 3 PM because of my Saturday Yoga class but she had not been helped out of bed again today and was “sleeping” and not eating. Well DUH!

David went to to the Ward desk and raised holy hell after we spoke to Rosalee (who now has another big black mark next to her name by the nurses on Ward 53). She told us that one nurse was extremely rude to her and thus Mum when Rosalee reiterated my request to get Mum out of bed. Not only that the nurse than proceeded to lie about what was happening with Mum when the Palliative people came around. Except Rosalee wouldn’t let her get away with it, calling her out in front of Palliative Care!

When we arrived and demanded that Mum be helped out of bed we got the same old song, which we know the chorus by heart. “We don’t have enough time or staff. The special chair has gone walkabout (you know there are other patients who need this equipment too… Sorry, we are doing med rounds (left in the room and forgotten about as has happened many times). We are about to start dinner. Your Mum needs to have a BM which is much more important then getting her up and ensuring she can eat! (When Rosalee said that Mum had already had two BMs today the nurse said this was not the case as it was “not in the charts”. To which Rosalee retorted that Mum certainly had because the nurses who had cleaned her up had bitched the second time very loudly and unprofessionally!) Yes, Rosalee is a bundle of tenacity and we are so fortunate for that.

The nurse called me out to the hallway to complain about Rosalee’s “interfering” something I did not appreciate nor did I agree with the nurse.

David has told the Unit Manager that it was not acceptable to not clean up Mum until mid-day, to not get her up (the difference is incredible) nor to talk around her. We do not know how much she understands but she is a human being and deserves respect as such. (Rosalee will not let anyone be negative around her son either, this should be the most basic of nursing but does not appear to be so.)

Found out today that due to shortages (and the closing of the adjacent Ward because of an infection outbreak) that there is a real possibility that another person will be squeezed into an already crowded four-to a room set-up. The room beside Mum’s already has five in it. Um, WHO gets the oxygen of which there are only four outlets? Will the patients have to share? What next, bunk beds?

There is NO room for the medi-lift that is needed to get Mum out of bed as is without the bed having to be angled tightly and everything moved as far away as possible. No better for Rosalee’s son. Across the room is the same except the closets and washbasin is on that side. (The washroom is two feet from Mum’s bed.)

A new Hong Kong Chinese man recovering from a stroke has been moved into the rotating bed. Despite asking for an interpreter (and that the RAH brags that they have interpreters in so many languages) no one had come up to speak to the man and his wife. Indeed, while we were visiting a nurse came up to ask what language they spoke! She assumed Mandarin which the wife confirmed but knowing Hong Kong Chinese people as well as I and David do he asked if they were more comfortable speaking Cantonese (David asked in Mandarin and then switched to Cantonese because my man is excellent in languages, his major at Uni was Asian Studies and his roommate (and the best-man at our wedding is Hong Kong Chinese). The wife was visibly happy to talk to someone. When her husband was brought back into the room after four hours of test in a wheelchair the porter took off with it despite the wife, Rosalee and myself asking for it to be left. His response? Other people may need it… The wife chased him down the corridor and ended up retrieving the wheelchair in front of a random room where it had been abandoned. (Probably beside the bed which has been blocking the door to Ward 53 for days, yep, health and safety standards being met allover.)

Yes, I am POd and bitching all over about the Stroke Ward. I know they are horribly understaffed and do not have anywhere near the equipment needed BUT guess what? I HAVE ONE MIL and will scream for her to get care because she cannot and also, NOTHING is going to change until the damn government stops allowing executives have unlimited expense accounts, until AHS cuts the way too top heavy executive pool (Managers, Directors, Managing Directors, Executive Directors, Senior Managers, Senior Directors, VPs, Executive VPs, Senior VPs and the list goes on and on…). Virtual teams which means one of those VPs may have an assistant in another city necessitating huge conference call bills and travel costs. Also, the AHS CEO needs how many offices? All fully equipped and not only in Edmonton but in Calgary…

NONE of the above gross misuse of TAXPAYERS money improves front-line care but still it goes on and on! Throwing more money at AHS WILL NOT improve patient care (lack thereof) because that is not where the money will go. Wheelchairs, IV Poles. PILLOWS, more qualified and engaged staff and better adherence to infection controls will make a huge difference — saving lives and improving recovery rates but alas with no accountability in the system and because that is not the “sexy” answer this will not happen. Instead, a new specialty ward will be opened as others are closed because that makes it appear that the government is doing something and “cares”.




  1. Well said Debra! This is an ongoing problem which I think they want private health care to solve. We do not want private health care. We want our AHS to improve; after all are we not the province with the $$.

  2. Pam said

    Yes, yes, yes! Glad to see you roaring a bit more publicly – now you really do need to get the media involved. I suggest sharing this on the Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Sun Facebook pages. 🙂

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