Impersonal Treament and Shocking Behavior at Kaiser Roseville
by Jennifer H. - Posted Sun January 21, 2007 @ 2:18 PM
Ok first of all, this is really sad when I have to make a complaint when I'm not even a Kaiser patient!!! I had to take my roommate to the hospital last night around 1am in the morning due to extreme head pain. His insurance is Kaiser so I took him to the Kaiser Emergency Room in Roseville at Rocky Ridge and Douglas. Although I did not stay until he was released since family had arrived and allowed me to go home to get some rest, I was shocked and appalled by the service and treatment he received within the short hour that I was there. Don't get me wrong the wait time had nothing to do with it, but the service and way he was treated would never had taken place at any other local hospital in the area at least to the best of my knowledge and experience. I worked as an EMT for AMR and Alta Fire Department about 6 years ago as well as had my phlebotomy license and have a few simple ways of dealing with patients that I have always thought to be common sense. It started from the time he was evaluated in triage. The triage nurse was the typical nurse at the moment and seemed fine until later. He was walking to the room they had assigned him and the nurse walked far ahead ignoring the fact that he was stumbling and walking very slowly. I asked for a wheelchair and she said he would be fine even though he stumbled to the room and almost knocked several things down on the way in. Next, the doctor came in to evaluate him. This doctor was the most impersonal and rude doctor I have ever met. I have not only worked in the Ambulance and volunteered at the emergency rooms in the area but have been a patient at the local Sutter Hospitals as well as Mercy Hospitals and no doctor there had ever acted or would possibly act the way he did to my roommate as a patient.
Now I will say my roommate was exaggerating some of the screaming and noises and had a tendency to use some mild cursing (such as D^$$ it, it hurts, holy S&$^%). When I went through my Kidney stones at Sutter in Roseville, trust me when I say a lot worst came out of my mouth. Try a pregnant woman and tell me she won't ever curse. Pain can do that to a person. You see patients usually exaggerate there pain or noise when one of two reasons are happening. One, this is not something they are use to dealing with so when the pain is at a 10, noise and screaming/cursing, is the only way they "know" how to handle it. Two, they are simply scared and need calm, polite re-assurance that things will be ok, but they just need to calm down. Not once in the emergency room was anyone nice enough to take 10-20 second out of their night to say to him as a screaming patient, it's "ok" you will be fine, but you need to relax for us to help you. Instead the Doctor told him, he would not help him if he keeps cursing which there was not even more than 2 curse words used while the doctor was in the room. Most of his cursing was quiet and only heard by me within the room. My roommate even apologized and said that's just how he normally deals with extreme pain. The doctor then was acting all rude and didn't say anything as far as what was going on. There was no "we'll get you some medicine, just relax and be patient" or no "just relax you'll be ok" but silence as he just walked away. Later the phlebotomist came in to put an IV in my roommate. I told the guy he is deathly afraid of needle and need to be calmed down first. The guy barely said anything and just went right ahead with prepping him. Then after he sticks him with the needle my roommate stated to freak out but of course someone with a diagnosed fear of needles who can't even really stand to watch people sew is going to freak when not reassured by the person sticking them. They taught us that when I took the class to get my licensing. The guy then looks at him and instead of putting any effort into calming him down states, "you're the worst I've ever done." What the *$^$!?!?!?! How inhuman?!?! When I told the guy he just need to be told it's going to be alright from someone other than me, he looked at me and said no, he'll have to deal with it. Hello, but do you treat all your scared patients like that!!!! And again, instead of trying at any time while he was in the room to calm him down, he starts fighting with him verbally and physically trying to hold him down when I'm there clearly telling him, he just needs you to reassured or explained in detail why he need to relax or what can happen if he doesn't. Instead, he just ignores me like I have no idea what I'm talking about. He even said at one point, that as his wife I needed to be the one to calm him down. Well first of all I'm not his wife. Just because I brought him in and I have a ring on my finger does not make me his wife (since my fianc is his other roommate, duh) and if for some reason I was, it's not "my job" to be the one to calm him down. I know from experience that patients need to know that the ones treating him know what they are doing and that they even care! I'm had to calm down a 60 year old kicking and screaming man having a heart attack in a moving ambulance. It took me less than a minute to get the guy calmed down enough to get the IV in just by talking calm and explaining that this short period of pain is what needs to be done to make him feel better. Why couldn't this guy take 10 seconds to be patient and polite with him?
After that ordeal, my roommate, who still has not had any reassurance or told anything (and I mean they told him nothing!), is continuing to scream in pain. Instead of a nurse coming in and saying just relax and wait a minute like Sutter did what I was screaming in pain with Kidney stones, they shut the doors to the two bed room to close out his screaming while also locking this other patient in with the screaming instead of dealing with the patient for a minute to stop the whole situation. All it takes is a little compassion and patience, but never did I witness anyone show him anything other than laughter then they walked away or complete rudeness. Now I understand if they tried to calm him down and it didn't work, but the whole time I was there, there was never any effort made by anyone to try to be "human" to him instead of treating him like cattle! It reminded me of the difference of a Sutter hospital being Jet Blue Airlines and Kaiser Hospital being Southwest Airlines. When the nurse (who I must say was the nicest and most human in that emergency room) came into give him drugs for the pain she was the only one to explain what was going on and that if he relaxes it the pain medication will work better. After he had the pain medication he was much, much, much more quiet and relaxed and calm. As I walked towards the exit to meet up with his sister to inform her that I needed to go home and get some rest, the security guard and some other waiting room workers (looked like janitorial) snickered and laughed under their breath as they asked if my Husband was alright. I corrected them that he was not my husband, it's not "funny" and that he will be fine and walked off, even more upset and annoyed at this point. I had to do my absolute best not to say anything right then to my roommate or his sister so that hopefully the rest of the night would go smoothly since his pain was finally under control.
Now I am currently in the process of finding private health insurance for my fianc and I since we are now 1099 employee at our new job, and I have officially decided NOT to go with Kaiser after seeing this. Kaiser Hospitals has shock me into a state of complete disbelief. It's like comparing Kaiser as Wal Mart Brand and Health Net, Blue Shield; any other the other health plans (Sutter, Mercy, UC Davis) as Macy's Brand. I am now convinced I am willing to spend a little bit more for the other health plans instead of Kaiser. It is truly sad because after previously working for the California Primary Care Association, I saw what wonderful things the Kaiser Foundation has done for public health and the state of California as well as CPCA, but the service from their Roseville hospital truly makes me sad. I really hope this was an isolated incident and that your organization can address this issue and those involved in the proper manner to make your organization truly uphold all their core values and beliefs. I hope this letter is not just ignored but taken seriously. My roommate is not one to say much about these things, but I cannot honestly stand back and watch this go un-noticed. Please look into this issue and take the appreciate action. I know the Kaiser foundation is a great foundation and does many great things, but a lot of improvement need to be made in their hospitals (the Roseville one at least) to truly uphold Kaiser's good honest reputation.