February 16, 2010

Mount Elizabeth Hospital Singapore…sorry seems to be their hardest word

Filed under: medical Centres — Tags: , , , , — PEr @ 6:49 pm

Mount Elizabeth Hospital is a previous recipient of the Excellent Service Award (EXSA), a national award that recognises individuals who have delivered outstanding service.  I now understand why they haven’t won it since.

A simple gastroscopy of  the stomach by means of an instrument called a gastroscope turned into a Guantanamo Bay detention pow interrogation exercise. According to all the sites I’d googled the procedure is painless and is usually done under a light sedative as a day-case patient. In preparing for the administration of the sedative, the nurse attempted to attach a  small plastic tube  in a vein on the back of my hand. “Take a deep breath,” she said and pushed the needle into the vein. Then she retracted it and repeating the “take a deep breath” instruction again, she duly pushed the needle in again. This went on six wicked times. If I was a spy, I was almost ready to spit out the information the enemy want by now. I wondered how fun it would be for her if the roles were reversed and I was the one who said “take a deep breath” and poked that needle into her. After 1/2 a dozen times, she must have got bored of her game and called her colleague over. Taking one look, he said to me, “Your blood vessel’s burst. We have to try again on a different vein.”

It was difficult to tell that under the girlish exterior of this nurse beats the heart of a ruthless sadistic maniac. Elton John must have had her in mind when he wrote the song “Sorry seems to be the hardest word”. For an establishment of this status like Mount elizabeth where customer service is of pinnacle importance, you’d expect at least a verbal apology. But no such word could come from the mouth of the nurse from hell, could it?

I have now recovered from a Chinese New year with a swollen and bruised right hand. I have repeated my story to the many people I painfully shook hands with who took the trouble to notice and enquired about the brutal mark, and I am still telling the true truth saying it as it is…

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