"A & E Staff could do with some training in empathy"

About: Northwick Park Hospital

Friday night may not be the best time to be requiring the service of the A&E dept.

However, staff need to remember that one usually only visits A&E when desperate.

I do not have any issue with the level of medical care received by my daughter in our recent visit, but feel that the staff - right from the reception to the nurses and doctor - could do with a few training sessions in empathy, and patient communications.

Mechanical and rote treatment with little or no information/communication really does not help a distraught patient, or their even more distraught mum!

A few kind words of reassurance to my daughter who was in the throes of an allergic reaction to nuts (retching, cramping stomach, swelling throat, etc) would have gone a long way to reduce the stress and trauma.

Explaining the procedure, and the next steps would also be a bonus - rather than leaving us blind for most of the time we were there.

Our entire visit took around 3.5 hours, and rather than alleviate the worry, the attitude of the staff only elevated our stress levels.

Did I feel confident in the staff - not really because I had no idea what was going on.

Did I find the hospital clean? not really - spurting blood not wiped down properly, vomit just dabbed off... Yes, I know this is not the job of the nurses, but that didn't make me feel safer.

It wasn't all bad though - the NHS must have had a brilliant moment in hiring a catering porter for the waiting patients and their carers.

The nicest, most calming and friendly person in the entire hospital made their rounds profferring tea/coffee to those who wanted.

Well done, NHS!

Story from NHS Choices

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