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Cross check your bill

Cross check your bill
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Check your hospital bill against your clinical file (you may need to do this at the hospital concerned). If there are tests and scans on your bill that do not have a corresponding entry on your clinical file (check the dates as well as items), you can contest them.
Kate Ryder

Your care may be 'rationed'

Your care may be 'rationed'
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Under-resourcing means nurses often have to make difficult decisions about what care is critical for patient survival and what can be left undone. ‘Care rationing’ in New Zealand has left some nurses skipping vital recordings and ignoring call bells, with nurses in flat-out rescue mode, a recent investigation found. It reported that some nurses are so busy helping doctors, organising medications and filing paperwork that they get to spend only about three hours of their shift with patients.
press.co.nz, 2014

Violence is on the increase

Violence is on the increase
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There is more violence than ever before. Nurses have been attacked, bitten, spat on and choked. In fact, I’m aware of only a handful of nurses who haven’t been victims of some sort of verbal or physical attack. Staff are dealing with more intoxicated patients and people who are suffering methamphetamine-fuelled psychosis. There is an increasing acting out from patients and sometimes it’s relatives, too.
Susanne Trim, New Zealand Nurses Organisation

Discover everything you need to know about meth.

Mental health care is insufficient

Mental health care is insufficient
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For us the closest mental health unit is 45 minutes away (but they are always full), and the next and most frequently referred to is two hours away. We can wait over 24 hours for transport of a scheduled patient just to see a psychiatrist. This is obviously not safe, it blocks hospital beds [from physically ill patients] and is unacceptable. We have only one mental health room and at times have up to five patients needing acute care.
Regional hospital nurse

Dying patients make us uncomfortable

Dying patients make us uncomfortable
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Medical specialists are often uncomfortable with patients who are dying. … As patients become even more ill, they are often admitted to intensive care. Up to 70% of people now die in acute hospitals surrounded by well-meaning strangers inflicting all that medicine has to offer, often resulting in a painful, distressing and degrading end to life.
Vital Signs, by Professor Ken Hillman, University of NSW, Australia

Withdrawal symptoms are causing issues

Withdrawal symptoms are causing issues
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A lot of the problems with patients occur because they are withdrawing from drugs or alcohol while in hospital. If you know you are going in, then do some preparation – get nicotine patches or reduce the amount you drink.
Kate Ryder

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Nothing can shock us

Nothing can shock us
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We see crazy things. I’ve had a patient run stark naked into the ED waiting room. A patient asked me out while I was holding a basin, catching his vomit.
Emergency nurse

We haven't embraced all technology

We haven't embraced all technology
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Most of us hate electronic medical records systems. We don’t like that we have to click off boxes instead of focusing on the patient. The choices they give us to click on don’t give the doctors a real understanding of what we’re doing. A lot of things get missed.
Karen Higgins, nurse

While some technology is not being embraced, others are revolutionising health care. Check out how digital doctors are reshaping our future.

Our youth works against us

Our youth works against us
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As a junior hospital doctor, it was an almost daily occurrence that patients would mistake me for a nurse, student, or anything other than a doctor. You spend 45 minutes with a patient taking a history, performing an examination, taking bloods, explaining their diagnosis and management plan. Then they say “OK, when do I get to see the doctor?” Unfortunately, introducing yourself as a doctor, wearing an ID badge that says Doctor Such-and-Such, draping a stethoscope around your neck and wearing a uniform that has DOCTOR on it does not prevent these assumptions from occurring.
Rural locum doctor, Western Australia

You might get lost

You might get lost
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The signage in hospitals can be terrible – we have had reports of people not even being able to find their way out.
Associate Professor Michael Greco, patientopinion.org.au

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