News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Bad experience in Hartselle emergency room

To The Daily: I just moved to Morgan County about nine months ago. And on Feb. 10, I went to Hartselle Medical Center for treatment. And I must admit my wait in the emergency room waiting room lasted about 30 minutes.

During my wait, I noticed a huge sign in the lobby of the ER, stating that if patients are unable to pay, they still have the right to be treated. And I suppose I was treated, if one can consider having their blood pressure and pulse taken being treated.

I now understand why Hartselle Medical Center is rated for treating patients the fastest in the nation. Itís pretty clear to me why they are the fastest: A patient is not in the ER long at all if the doctor on duty refuses to treat them because they cannot pay.

Donít get me wrong; the nurses, not the doctor, might I add, thoroughly explained it to me why I could not be treated until I paid ahead of time.

I was told that my condition was not a medical emergency. Then I was actually told by another nurse that it was nothing personal, that everyone goes through this, it was just that they did not have the capabilities to treat me.

I went to that ER with extremely swollen legs. My pain scale was a 10. Now I know I
am not a doctor, but I do know that a personís legs do not swell that badly for no reason. Swelling of that nature is consistent with congestive heart failure.

I think it is grossly sad that a hospital emergency room that actually made the local newspaper lacks the capabilities to treat something like that.

Hollie Reed

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