Opinion: Hospital needs to provide better patient care

Years ago, I showed up to Yale New Haven Hospital’s ER with clear signs of congestive heart failure. The APRN who saw me in the ER, despite my symptoms, assumed it wasn’t heart failure and didn’t test for it. As a result, it delayed my heart condition from being discovered, yet I was admitted for observation. A few days later in the hospital, once it was discovered that I had heart failure, one of the doctors told me that “a mistake has been made” and that my condition was overlooked. The doctor (who informed me that a mistake had been made) told me that if the person who saw me in the ER ordered the proper diagnostic tests for someone with the symptoms I had, my heart condition would have been discovered immediately, and I would have been prescribed the heart medications I needed right away, rather than a few days later.

I gave my medical records to a lawyer, and he had other doctors look at it. They came to the same conclusion, that not ordering the proper diagnostic tests delayed my heart condition from being discovered and treated. I reported it to Yale’s patient relations, since they are the ones who deal with complaints/issues. They mailed me an “apology” that didn’t even apologize for any mistakes made. (Their letter was basically “sorry that you feel that way/sorry that you’re dissatisfied.”)

Since it was clear that they weren’t going to have the APRN who messed up on my treatment speak with me, I asked patient relations to put me on the phone with the APRN’s boss. When I spoke with the APRN’s boss, she was incredibly rude and unprofessional. When I told her that I was upset over what happened and how it was handled, she responded by telling me that she’s “not interested.” The conversation ended with her speaking over me, saying “I’m putting you back on the phone with Patient relations,” and she then handed the phone to patient relations before I could even finish what I was saying. When patient relations then spoke with me, the APRN’s boss (who I could hear in the background) was telling them to hang up the phone.

I’m sure a lot of Yale’s medical staff members are competent, despite the fact that one of their APRNs messed up. But regarding the APRN’s boss who gave me an attitude (which is insane, considering it was an employee of hers who messed up when treating me), she should look at herself in a mirror. If it were one of her family members who was in my situation, I doubt she would have acted that unethically. It was perfectly clear that she didn’t care how I felt, and I was shocked that I was treated that way at a hospital that promotes itself on providing quality patient care. It might be a good idea to retrain some staff members, including the boss of the APRNs, to behave in a more professional manner.

Connor Etter lives in Hamden.