"Nurses didn't understand my condition"

About: Derriford Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

A lot of the care I received at the Derriford hospital was good when I went in for a knee replacement.

However, some of the nurses handled me with no understanding of my condition. I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and after the operation when I needed to get out of bed I had various apparatus to help me. I was repeatedly told by the nurses that I needed to pull down on the equipment, as I have very little grip in my hands I found this very difficult. I found it distressing as I also felt that I was not being heard. The equipment was difficult for me to handle.

Also whilst I was in hospital I needed to take a tablet on Sunday, it’s one I need to take once a week on the same day each week. The instructions are that I should remain upright for an hour after taking it – either sitting or standing. When I told the nurses they would not listen and gave me the tablet when I was lying down. As a result I developed terrible cramp, again they would not hear what I had to say.

Even during my week in rehabilitation I felt that nurses did not understand the condition. I was given other apparatus to use but with the poor grip in my hand I found that I could not use it.

The physiotherapists were very good. They knew how to handle me and the problems I had with my hands and so the difficulty with some of the apparatus. I think the other nurses need to be training treating people with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I am very grateful for the good care I received, it’s just the lack of understanding of RA that upset me.

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Response from Daniela Boyd-Waters, Media and Communications Officer, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS)

Hi Toy197,

We are sorry to hear of the difficulties you experienced. The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) provide information, advocacy and support to people living with or affected by RA.

We have a helpline team who are excellent at providing people with up to date information. The team can provide emotional support especially for those going through a difficult time and help people understand more about the disease and the treatments available.

You can contact the helpline by telephone (free from landlines) on 0800 298 7650. The helpline is open Monday - Friday between 9.30am and 4.30pm. If you would rather email, please contact helpline@nras.org.uk

We do hope things improve for you.



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