"Outstanding care for my Endoscopy"

About: Russells Hall Hospital / Gastroenterology

(as the patient),

I have emetophobia. And under some circumstances, I get extreme hysterical panic attacks based around anything that I think will make me vomit or heave. Its a phobia thats not well known, and a lot of doctors tend to ignore and treat me like a child.

An endoscopy was my worst nightmare, and I'd been losing sleep over it all week but due to weight loss and pain in my stomach I had to have one. Upon arrival I was panicy and wanted to run already, and as soon as I got called into the room with all the equipment and doctors I knew I wouldnt be able to do it.

The main doctor told me I might wretch. And it triggered me, I burst into fits of tears and had a panic attack. I was taken out to sit with my mom ( who wasn't allowed in) I was dead set on going home. Until a lady came over who I remember under the name Nikki (im still really drowsy, and cant remember the whole thing proper, so I hope thats right!). She was wearing the dark blue nurse dress. I think she was the head of nurse of the department.

She was the most amazing lovely woman I have ever met in a hospital. She took my hand, took me into the recovery unit, and held my hand whilst I cried and panicked and talked me through the whole thing. She promised me that she'd done thousands of these procedures in her time at the hospital and that she promised me I would not wretch.

She gave me the sedative in the recovery room where I was with the comfort of my mother, which was a key thing for me having a panic attack. She didn't treat me like a child, she understood the problems I was having, and instead of flipping me off like every other doctor, she did it in a way I was comfortable and was able to calm down.

Honestly, I went in there today knowing I would have to walk out because I couldn't do it. This phobia ruins my life and prevents me from doing a lot of things, and a lot of people and doctors over look it and make me feel bad for having it because it can make life for everyone a little difficult.

This lady was outstanding and I've never had my anxiety dealt with in such a way before. It might seem like a small thing to everyone else, but this woman was the hero of my day and I want her to understand HOW much this absolutely made my day, that there are still people in the world who have time for mental problems.

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Response from The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to give us such glowing feedback about your experience of our GI Unit.

We understand how nerve-racking it can be when visiting hospital so it is important to us that our staff try to take some of the stress away by making the patient’s visit as relaxed as possible.

We have spoken to Nicky, a senior nurse practitioner in the department, who told us she remembers you and felt quite emotional when reading your lovely comments. Nicky would like to say a sincere thank you for your kind words.

Making our patients feel at ease during their visit is vital so we are delighted that Nicky was able to help calm you after your panic attack and throughout your treatment.

It is really heart-warming to hear stories from patients about our staff making such a difference. We have passed your kind comments onto Nicky and the rest of the team in the GI Unit who were thrilled to receive them.

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