The 11th of October 2018 started off the same as usual, wake up ,trip over the dog and off to work. But today, i was to have a journey on the other side of nursing. Every nurseses nightmare....being admitted to hospital as a patient. Life on the other side.
As i jumped into my trusty VW camper "kermit", (because he's green) i felt a nose bleed trickling. This i put down to recent cold like symptoms... i waited a few moments then started Kermit and commenced the journey to the hospital where i work as lead physical health nurse practitioner over the Child & Adolescent mental health service CAMHS.
I had bouts of dizzyness while driving on the motorway. Now at this point, if i was listening to a patient tell me this i would have said...." pull over to the hard shoulder.." well, i pushed on and didnt take heed to what i would have preached to my flock... 1st mistake.
I managed to get into the hospital grounds and on meeting with my work colleague it was apparent things weren't right my colleague performed my baseline observations. On having my blood pressure read 150mhg/120mmhg and pulse irregular and my dizzyness what should you suggest. Go to hospital, well after my trying to pull every excuse out of the book a doctor was brought in and insisted 999 was called. This was the correct procedure. In first aid we call this the Chain of survival or The 3 P's element. Preserve life, Prevent worsening, promote recovery... the ambulance was called.
ECG showed changes and i was blue lighted as a "Standy" category orange to the local A&E, or emergency dept. Here i was assessed by the Rapid Assessment nurse and bloods, and other assessments completed. I met the medical team who were absolutdly wonderful and reassured me as thdy could see i was embarrassed this was because i used to work on the very same unit where i was now a patient. This was certainly a strange experience yet reassuring at the same time. Deep down i was nervous as hell and somewhat scared.
The medical and nursing teams were fantastic and made sure i was pain free and comfortable. I was informed of the tests required and what possible outcomes could be on these findings. I felt safe and reassured. Due to the nature of the blood tests and monitoring required during assessment i was admitted to The Emergency Admission unit, montored like a hawk and looked after by all staff.
It was explained that there would be need for two more blood tests to compare and observe any changes in blood work indicating the possible of cardiac issues. After 6 hours i got the news i wanted to hear.. the blood tests were ok (phew). I just wanted to go home to my wife daughter and dog to be normal me again. However, the fact remained i had an arrythmia...the doctors have now reffered me to cardiology for onward investigations and possible treatment.
I just wanted to reflect on how as health professionals we forget what its like to be a patient and i wanted to share my experience and thoughts of my journey through emergency admissions in our wonderful free NHS.
I would like to praise everyone from work colleagues, paramedic and hospital staff for the wonderful service your all doing.
Keep up the good work.