This incident happened in room 6416, at the General Campus.

At about 7:15, my mother rang the bell to ask for her pain medication because her pain was becoming unbearable. The nurse kept saying she was “on the way” until about 7:45 when the nurse finally arrived.

The nurse’s name is Lisa, and was the nurse for room 6416 on December 4th 2012.

When she finally arrived to take her vital signs, my mother told her she was in a lot of pain, and that in all honesty, she believed that contacting APS was a higher priority than taking her vital signs.

The nurse responded by saying that she was receiving more than adequate pain medication, that she had 6 other patients, and that she would not contact APS (giving herself the authority to determine the appropriate level of pain medication required).

My mother responded: “I beg your pardon?” in state of shock…

The nurse then answered: “Well, that’s just great, you’re just going to start my day”.

I tried to calmly tell the nurse at that point that we had been at the hospital several days in a row, when my mother was in much more severe pain, and that this was the first time a nurse answered back that way.

She tried to counter attack by telling us that visiting hours are over and that she would call security if we didn’t leave, then proceeded to telling her assistant that she would call security if we didn’t leave.

Remember: this is 7:45 pm. Visiting hours are not over yet.

We were able to contact the chief nurse named Marjorie, who recognized refusing to contact APS was inadequate. She proceeded to contacting APS and assisted my mother in finding another nurse.

I am filing this complaint because I believe that such unprofessional and childish behaviour should not be tolerated in any respectable establishment. While our aim is not to harm the nurse, we definitely hope the Ottawa Hospital will take the case seriously and have a serious talk with her about the way she talks to patients.

Clearly, patients are not always easy, particularly when they are suffering from post-operative pain, but that is part of what the nurse has to learn to deal with.