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To Whom it May Concern… and it should be everyone in Vernon who has paid their hard-earned money to build this state-of-the-art new hospital.
Well a Night to Remember, no not the wonderful evening of music at the Performing Arts Center… but a Night to Remember in the emergency ward of Vernon Jubilee Hospital
It all began with a call from my friend who was suddenly feeling unwell and needed a ride to the emergency at VJH.
It was five minutes to six when we arrived to a busy room of folks, from a mom with two toddlers to several older folks wrapped in blankets sitting in whatever corner they could find to wait for help.
We were admitted, tagged and sent to our chairs – to wait. And wait we did. After four hours some blood was taken and an ECG given. Then we were sent to our chairs again… to wait. I so understand what triage means, and I do understand there are emergencies coming in via ambulances..… but whoa… my friend was having an emergency too.
At midnight we were still waiting. I approached a staff member and asked politely about seeing a doctor, after all it had been six hours since being admitted.
She said, sorry. But we only have one doctor in Emerg.
I thought I hadn’t heard right…one doctor. OK maybe our wonderful Interior Health can’t afford to have two doctors on at once. Why couldn’t they have a call board of sorts, maybe retired doctors?
Sorta like Doctors On Call – we could call them DOCS. And they could come in for a few hours when things get hectic in Emerg?
OK no doctors, how about a cup of coffee after sitting in a corner for seven hours?
“No sorry there is no coffee shop."
What? No little kiosk where waiting families could have a little perk while waiting for loved ones to get processed? There was a machine dispensing cold drinks, but the change machine was out of order, so if you didn’t have the right change you were also out of luck.
Are we having fun yet?
It would have been a little comforting if a staff member, of any kind, would have come over and asked how we were feeling and to tell us the doctor would be seeing us as soon as….
Finally about 1 a.m. a doctor called my friend in. She needed another blood test since the one she had when we arrived was now over four hours old and not acceptable… Another hour to take, spin and read the results of the test. At 2 a.m., after waiting eight hours, we were told we could go home (the mom with the two toddlers was still there).
My friend is going to see her own doctor this week for a follow up of the diagnosis given.
I am not complaining about the medical people at VJH.
I am complaining bitterly about the procedures that we have to endure when coming to the Emergency, when we are already stressed out.
This is just not acceptable.