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  #21  
Old 28.04.2020, 14:45
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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Well, not an expert. My experience is taking friends with broken bones to the hospital. When you put them in the car they could still move. When we got to the hospital, they were taken of the car by the emergency people. Also, took a family member once to the hospital due to kidney stones. I drove at 30 km/h max because the slightest imperfection on the road made him agonize in pain. He could not get out of the car by himself.
I know how this feels, yeah. Good for you. No highways?

Well, you know, we all live through emergencies differently. I think the worst is when you don't feel pain but should. I know of somebody who swalled his own fake teeth and didn't know it.
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Old 28.04.2020, 16:31
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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I'm not an expert at all, but if you can walk......it's not thaaaaat urgent.
Incorrect, I'm afraid. I know from experience. Walked in... ended up staying for 3 nights in the "very poorly, directly opposite nurses station" room.
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Old 28.04.2020, 16:37
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

OP, perhaps you are projecting? Having a new baby during a pandemic and with difficulties can’t be easy.

While you will find poor medical staff in any country in this world, I assure you that there are heroes here as well and I’ve personally never received better care. In my country, you would have had to wait much longer and walk out with a massive bill too. Perhaps you should open up your perspective a bit.
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Old 28.04.2020, 16:41
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

Not had much luck have you? This and then Digitec won't provide warranty for your monitor!

https://www.englishforum.ch/complain...ml#post3176660
  #25  
Old 28.04.2020, 16:46
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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As many of you, I already had the experience of waiting for a very long time at the urgency of a hospital to be seen by a doctor.
For example, my wife that was 8 months pregnant had a dizziness episode that we did not know what it was, and she waited on a hospital bench during 4 hours to be seen by a doctor. At one point, we left and went home because she was getting worse sitting down due to her condition.

Now a friend of mine that started to work as a doctor here in Switzerland and explained to me the reality at the hospitals.

Basically in a time frame of 3 hours he can take care of 20 patients while he has colleagues that take care of 1 single patient during the same time, which is not normal for an urgency service. He already tried to expose this reality of lack of performance from his work colleagues but he was threatened by his hospital managers to stop doing these kind of denunciations.

There are some cases of children with broken bones that have to wait for hours as well to be seen by someone and nobody cares. The patients dont complain and even if you complain it will be worse.

There is a clear lack of performance within hospitals here in Switzerland. There is no regulation, no control or performance evaluations.


I really dont agree clapping every day, cheering the medical staff here in Switzerland during the Coronavirus crisis. I would cheer Italian doctors in Italy, Spanish doctors in Spain and people that work in Coop, Migros etc that are really risking their lives everyday to serve us.

Doctors here in Switzerland are not taking any risks and dont deserve this praise.
OP, sorry you had this experience. I am guessing everyone can run out of luck sometimes when things are more crowded than usual.

I wouldn't let this experience ruin my trust in the medical staff, here or elsewhere. Take care.
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Old 28.04.2020, 17:35
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

OP I'm sorry you had such a terrible experience, but I'm also confused. Your thread title makes perfect sense - if you feel you're waiting too long and the patient's condition is worsening, speak up.

Yet you said you simply left. Why didn't you speak up? Emergency rooms deal with a lot of patients, many of whom you don't see because they're back in different rooms or already in an operating room. The staff aren't necessarily being lazy. They treat people first in order of severity, and once that's under control they treat the less severe roughly in order they arrived. Scans, blood work, and other tests take time to get results back, so sometimes a bed is occupied for a very long time by someone who might not be as severe as you.

If you did speak up, did you use the same attitude you have here? I know you were under stress but being a jerk will not get you far. Not in the emergency department and not in life.

Finally a word for those who haven't ever needed emergency care - plan ahead, please, even if it's while you're in the car on the way there. Be ready to state as best you can what is wrong so that the triage nurse can better determine how urgent your case is. Be ready to state things like medical history and any medications currently being taken, including any supplements. Be prepared to wait. If you're THAT poorly you feel it's life-threatening, don't drive yourself just call the ambulance.

An example with OP could have been "I'm 8 months pregnant and my blood pressure feels very high and I'm dizzy." Then when feeling worse and not yet seen: "I'm so sorry to bother you but I actually feel worse sitting than standing and I think something is very wrong with the baby. Can you please at least check my blood pressure?"
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Old 28.04.2020, 17:52
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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on day I was in the emergency room after a bike accident.
A nurse came to me a few time asking if I needed to pee, I my answer was always the same "I am OK" until I wonder what the question really was.

Then I say do you need an urine sample? and she say yes, it's what we are waiting for. I say you should have ask, I don't need to go to the toilets but I can pee if it's needed.

Was this in English or German?
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Old 28.04.2020, 19:08
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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Be ready to state as best you can what is wrong so that the triage nurse can better determine how urgent your case is. Be ready to state things like medical history and any medications currently being taken, including any supplements.
And for those not fluent in the local language, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a summary of your medical history correctly translated to keep on hand.

While some (many?) doctors are willing to speak Engish, you should never assume that all will. Things really can get horribly 'lost in translation' when your medical German (French, Italian) vocabulary isn't foolproof, especially when you are in distress. Just a short summary is all that is needed.

And don't forget your Patientenverfügung!
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Old 28.04.2020, 19:29
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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Just to reply to your ignorant comments. My wife gave birth shortly after this episode due to a preeclampsia diagnosis. You are not a doctor neither am I. But due to the symptoms and her condition it was recommended that we went to the hospital. She remained at the hospital for 2 weeks after the birth of my son.
I'm not ignorant, I stand by my comments. That's why I asked whether they checked her blood pressure when doing the triage at the hospital, or were you just made to wait without any communication ? If they did not, I would put a complaint forward and send the hospital a letter describing what happened.

I'd be very curious to hear the rest of the story and how much time elapsed between "we left the hospital because we got annoyed after waiting 4 hours" and being properly diagnosed and being properly admitted to hospital ?

I have several friends who gave birth early due to pre-eclampsia. Typically it was diagnosed by blood pressure and urine tests at their regular checkup by their regular obstetrician or midwife.



And yes, one thing I have learnt from having a child with a life-threatening medical condition, you need to advocate for yourself with the health system and speak up/communicate/advocate for yourself or your family member - they won't do it for you...
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Old 28.04.2020, 20:10
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

I guess I've been fortunate to only have good experiences in the emergency room here in CH, in terms of waiting time; although in truth I've only been to the ER of one hospital here (Uster), which is quite small. I'm sure larger hospitals become much busier. And I think the problem is often a lack of available beds, which can make it difficult to prioritize patients sometimes.

However, my 'faith' in medical professionals only runs so deep. I had a heart attack 5 days after having a C-section, while staying in the "family center" next to the hospital, and the attending nurse refused to call an ambulance for 10 minutes as I was lying there writhing in pain, literally begging her to call one. (The hospital later called me to apologize, perhaps because they feared I might sue, I don't know). But my point is that just because someone is a doctor or medical professional, that doesn't always mean they're a good one.

I'm glad that your wife and baby are okay.
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  #31  
Old 28.04.2020, 21:03
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

4 hours is really not bad. I once waited over 8 hours in an A and E department in E London with crippling stomach pains. I was given a trolley in a bay at first, then moved to a plastic chair in the corridor because they had a mass influx of drunk clubbers come in. Any of them who'd fallen over in the street was given a trolley as a priority, yet they kept going outside to smoke. I ended up signing myself out at 8.00 am, then sat outside my GPs surgery waiting for it to open (I was diagnosed with a severe gastric condition). I remember when I said I wanted to sign myself out a nurse who had done nothing but walk up and down with a clipboard all night snippily saying to me "if you sign out we won't be responsible for you" and me thinking they hadn't taken responsibility for me anyway.

I would much rather be here as in the UK when it comes to healthcare. GP surgeries in the UK are another nightmare to deal with.
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  #32  
Old 28.04.2020, 21:06
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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4 hours is really not bad. I once waited over 8 hours in an A and E department in E London with crippling stomach pains. I was given a trolley in a bay at first, then moved to a plastic chair in the corridor because they had a mass influx of drunk clubbers come in. Any of them who'd fallen over in the street was given a trolley as a priority, yet they kept going outside to smoke. I ended up signing myself out at 8.00 am, then sat outside my GPs surgery waiting for it to open (I was diagnosed with a severe gastric condition). I remember when I said I wanted to sign myself out a nurse who had done nothing but walk up and down with a clipboard all night snippily saying to me "if you sign out we won't be responsible for you" and me thinking they hadn't taken responsibility for me anyway.

I would much rather be here as in the UK when it comes to healthcare. GP surgeries in the UK are another nightmare to deal with.
Not all of them. Ours is great.
  #33  
Old 29.04.2020, 00:05
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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And for those not fluent in the local language, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a summary of your medical history correctly translated to keep on hand.

While some (many?) doctors are willing to speak Engish, you should never assume that all will. Things really can get horribly 'lost in translation' when your medical German (French, Italian) vocabulary isn't foolproof, especially when you are in distress. Just a short summary is all that is needed.

And don't forget your Patientenverfügung!
Yes! Very good advice!

On one occasion, a doctor call an ambulance to get me to hospital. The doctor followed procedures, and so, too, did the ambulance paramedics when delivering me to hospital. Even though the information was passed on, and although it was serious, once in hospital I was not seen immediately. Fair enough, the staff are under stress, they have to try to assess needs and it's busy.

While waiting, I gradually lost the ability to speak up for myself. A friend had travelled in the ambulance with me. She spoke no local language at all.

But it turned out that before the ambulance had arrived, just before the emergency doctor had left, she'd had the presence of mind to ask that doctor to write down (she told him it was for me so that, later, I would understand what he had decided) the relevant medical terms. He obliged. Then, she'd popped a few sheets of paper and a pen into her bag, just before climbing into the ambulance with me.

While we were waiting in the hospital's emergency intake, she tore the paper into about six pieces, each roughly postcard size. Onto each one, she wrote the doctor's name, copied out his vocabulary in block letters, added my name and date of birth, and drew a very rough, identifiable sketch of me. Then, each time a nurse passed by, she jumped up and said: "I know you're busy. This is what the emergency doctor said about this patient here," and gave them her note.

I was soon seen, and the doctor thanked her, because her note had alerted them to the seriousness of the matter. Later, I asked her how she'd had that very clever idea. She explained that she'd previously worked with children with a hearing impairment, and had sometimes given them such a slip of paper when they had to wait somewhere (non-emergency). In my case she knew a provisional diagnosis, but she said she would otherwise have written down the main symptoms. I'm very grateful to her!
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  #34  
Old 29.04.2020, 07:41
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I had the exact opposite.

A few weeks (months?) ago, a palm frond fell on my arm, causing some scratches. I disinfected it and ignored it. Queue a week later, back home in Zurich my arm is swollen and infected.

I goto a local doctor, who makes a small incision, cleans it and send me home. He asks me to return two days later, where he opts to send me to Zurich hospital.

From the moment that I walk into the hospital in Triemli, I never sat waiting for more then 5 minutes. Nurse to take blood, junior doctor, senior doctor, anesthesiologist, xray technician, all done within a half hour slot. I was truly stunned (for something that wasn't that serious - I had a few splinters embedded in my arm which got infected).


They were very apologetic that I had a wait a few hours (as I had eaten recently and couldn't be sedated), and left me with a sandwich (ok, this didn't taste good ) after I woke up.

Admittedly this was pre-COVID, so I guess they were a bit less stressed then...


This compared to London, where I had to ask for some gauze so I wouldn't bleed all over the CARPETTED waiting area in A&E after a motorbike accident... and a subsequent 8 hour wait.
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Old 29.04.2020, 08:15
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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4 hours is really not bad. I once waited over 8 hours in an A and E department in E London with crippling stomach pains. I was given a trolley in a bay at first, then moved to a plastic chair in the corridor because they had a mass influx of drunk clubbers come in. Any of them who'd fallen over in the street was given a trolley as a priority, yet they kept going outside to smoke. I ended up signing myself out at 8.00 am, then sat outside my GPs surgery waiting for it to open (I was diagnosed with a severe gastric condition). I remember when I said I wanted to sign myself out a nurse who had done nothing but walk up and down with a clipboard all night snippily saying to me "if you sign out we won't be responsible for you" and me thinking they hadn't taken responsibility for me anyway.

I would much rather be here as in the UK when it comes to healthcare. GP surgeries in the UK are another nightmare to deal with.

I too have not so fond memories of very long waits in A and E in UK including pretty much the whole of a Friday night when my then 6 year old son fell and broke his arm.

Even before Covid, my mother (who has numerous health issues) has had to wait 3 weeks to see her GP and then many months to have an MRI, X Ray or other scans at the hospital. Get referred to the hospital by the Doctor, wait a couple of months for an appointment letter for an appointment another several months away.

I'll take paid Swiss healthcare over UK any day. At least the Swiss cannot deliberately raise prices so dramatically for the elderly that private health care becomes beyond their means. My parents were in BUPA but year on year their premiums were increased even if they hadn't made any claims the previous year.
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Old 29.04.2020, 09:22
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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Not had much luck have you? This and then Digitec won't provide warranty for your monitor!

https://www.englishforum.ch/complain...ml#post3176660
Yeah exactly, when I noticed registration = yesterday, 2 first posts = 2 complaint topics, I just decided to not waste my time anymore in trying to reason.
I suggest the others on this thread to just save your efforts as well (unless you enjoy provoking a troll).
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Old 29.04.2020, 09:57
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

I don't think you'll find Emergency intake in Swiss hospitals much different from that in other countries. When you come in you'll be quickly evaluated, usually by a nurse (triage). If it's a real emergency, life-threatening, you'll put on top of the list. Most other things, you'll just have to take your turn. If you turn up on a Friday or Saturday evening, that means waiting in line with the drunks who've walked into a lamp-post or similar.
I had a colleague who walked into one of these traffic posts that come up to block traffic in Lyon. He was taken by the pompiers to a hospital and waited 6 hours to be dealt with. He simply wasn't sufficiently injured to be given a priority.
I went to the CMC Nyon last Monday after an accident and was seen immediately, indeed I think I was the only patient there when I arrived. Hospital ERs really ought to be limited to life-threatening emergencies. You're almost always going to be better off looking for alternatives if it isn't an emergency, such as telemedecine, family doctor, permanence médical.
I doubt there's any country in the world where it will be different.
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Old 29.04.2020, 10:32
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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Not all of them. Ours is great.
I think it very much depends on where you live.
My mother’s GP surgery was fabulous, my in-laws in another part of the country were diabolical.

Likewise for A&E departments, whether in the UK or Switzerland.
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Old 29.04.2020, 10:45
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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I don't think you'll find Emergency intake in Swiss hospitals much different from that in other countries. When you come in you'll be quickly evaluated, usually by a nurse (triage). If it's a real emergency, life-threatening, you'll put on top of the list. Most other things, you'll just have to take your turn. If you turn up on a Friday or Saturday evening, that means waiting in line with the drunks who've walked into a lamp-post or similar.
I had a colleague who walked into one of these traffic posts that come up to block traffic in Lyon. He was taken by the pompiers to a hospital and waited 6 hours to be dealt with. He simply wasn't sufficiently injured to be given a priority.
I went to the CMC Nyon last Monday after an accident and was seen immediately, indeed I think I was the only patient there when I arrived. Hospital ERs really ought to be limited to life-threatening emergencies. You're almost always going to be better off looking for alternatives if it isn't an emergency, such as telemedecine, family doctor, permanence médical.
I doubt there's any country in the world where it will be different.
This. Plus there is a number that can filter less urgent cases so they get an immediate assistance without having to wait in the ER for hours:

0848 133 133

Centrale Téléphonique des Médecins de Garde
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Old 29.04.2020, 10:51
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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This. Plus there is a number that can filter less urgent cases so they get an immediate assistance without having to wait in the ER for hours:

0848 133 133

Centrale Téléphonique des Médecins de Garde
Important: That one is for canton Vaud. Other cantons/communes other numbers.
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