"Admitted for displaced and fractured ..."

About: Selly Oak Hospital (Acute)

(as the patient),

What I liked

Admitted for displaced and fractured elbow, October 2002, via A&E.

I’m writing this in July 2007 and remember the occasion clearly because the whole positive experience (including my 3-4 month recovery period) made a big impression on me:

A&E staff were efficient, skilled, sensitive and friendly.

Nurses on ward were always helpful, sensitive, patient and cheerful.

Surgeon/consultants: highly skilled in the work they did on me. Positive, honest and open about my condition and its possible effects on my professional life.

Cheery and reassuring atmosphere on being taken into theatre, particularly from the supporting theatre staff.

Physiotherapist was sensitive and gentle in assessing me after the operation.

Ward cleaners seemed thorough, and were conscientious in their work with a very friendly manner.

Out-patient physiotherapist (in the Q.E.H.) also deserves high praise for her complete and intelligent sensitivity to my elbow recovery needs (i.e. for life in general and even enough flex back in it to be able to continue as a professional musician); for her week to week encouragement, and for having a technique that didn’t need me to go through any of the agonising manoeuvres that one of my neighbours gloomily predicted!

End result: Very effectively repaired elbow that’s now working fine, with a neat unobtrusive scar, no nerve damage, no infections. Was aware of it continuing to heal and strengthen little by little for at least 2-3 years afterwards.

What could be improved

All the telephones-on-wheels for bedside use were out-of order, so on being admitted I could only use a phone on the nurses' desks to tell people where I was. Having to walk to and from this from my bed severely aggravated my new injury, causing spasms, which made me fear causing nerve damage. Fortunately it didn't.

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