I’ve been a patient at a cancer center since April of 2016. Overall, I’ve been very happy with my doctors and most of the nurses are lovely. Today I felt compelled to write to the head of the organization regarding my concerns:
- Today, I arrived for my 1 PM appointment at 12:20 and I was called in an hour after my appointment time. A room was not ready for me, so I had to wait in the hallway. There were no dressing rooms (they also function as lockers) so I was told I had to undress laying supine under a blanket in the CT scan room.
- Because the CT and PET scans were late, I got out after my next appointment was scheduled to start (same center, different building). The nurse called over, but when I arrived I was told, “You were late. We can’t just hold your spot for you.” I pointed out that I was late because of the center. They claim to see patients in the order of their appointment time and not their arrival time. Why was it different today? I left without an MRI.
- The center has no respect for my time. I always wait anywhere from an hour to two hours after my appointment time to be seen – even when I am the first appointment of the day. This is not standard practice for cancer centers and hospitals that treat cancer.
- The last two times I’ve had a health issue and called my doctor’s office, my calls were not returned.
- The nurse I met with in last Monday said she would follow-up with a call on Tuesday. I’m still waiting for that call.
- After treatment started, I was informed I am positive for a type of cancer that they don’t currently treat. The treatment is about to be approved but is not yet available to the general public. I was told if the cancer comes back, they will treat it. I have friends who went to another center who were given the treatment. Why wasn’t I informed of any of this earlier?
- A social worker never followed up on something she was supposed to be working on for me, despite my faxing her the information she requested and leaving messages about it.
- I had a problem with a nurse (she dismissed some symptoms and I ended up hospitalized) and called patient rights who blew me off. The nurse confronted me about my complaint and was as inefficient, rude, and dismissive as ever.
- The bathrooms and changing rooms in their upstate facility are disgusting (I’ve seen dried fecal matter on toilets); I’m surprised more people don’t get sick.
At first, I was too sick to stand up for myself, and was made to believe that I had no choice but to grin and bear it. Now I feel like the issues need to be addressed. Cancer is difficult enough to deal with. My goal is to make it easier for those who have to go through a similar journey.
Am I being petty? Should I have let it go? If these things are not brought up, will they be ignored? Has anyone had similar experiences? Is this normal?