Posted by: Bruce | January 8, 2012

A dose of Alfred Hitchcock at Wyong Hospital.

A week or two before Christmas I had occasion to spend a few hours at Wyong Hospital (public) on the Central Coast of NSW. As a parent I was there for one of my kids who arrived by ambulance from a friends place, at the Emergency Department.

I am writing not about my son, who was thankfully discharged into the land of the living around 11.30 a.m., nor of my numb bum which spent many hours on not so comfy seats from around 2.oo a.m.

My wordy purpose is to mention the hospital staff, the ebb and flow of patients, a couple of them memorable.

My visit was a reminder of hospital happenings all day, every day. Emergency treatment increasing and ceasing.  While most of us are asleep, dramas are occurring, patients demanding.

In the first area of the hospital (called Doctors Rooms funnily enough) I could hear, but not see, a woman calling out in the relative quiet, for pain killers. There were complaints about the staff, swearing and crying in a loud abrasive voice. This continued intermittently over the next hour or so and staff did what they could. From what I gathered, drugs were involved. I noticed when I left the room, she had a young boy sitting next to her, asleep, head in her lap. Perhaps not the first time? Who looks after him?

We were later moved to the Emergency Department proper with beds and staff and all kinds of things happening. Doctors, nurses and admin staff all doing their thing; patients with different demands all doing their thing. A busy night with all sorts of noises. The beds in a U-shape around a raised central admininistration, observation area. Perhaps a little Star Trek in origin.

Standing out in this busy-ness, one female patient who knew all the swear words and some extras I think. With a voice that pierced and dominated. If it wasn’t cursing and swearing, threatening and screaming, it was swearing and threatening some more. This continued, security staff called, extra nursing staff standing by.

After continuing for some time the treating Doctor announced for all to hear, that the patient, in his opinion, is suffering from a head injury, is unable to make an appropriate decision for herself and a sedative will be administered by injection to allow further treatment. This brought on further hysterics by the patient in question who informed the whole ward (and probably the rest of the hospital) that she was frightened of needles. She would sue, she would this and that…In the meantime, the business of looking after patients continued.

Shuffling staff indicated the time of injection was drawing nearer, most just wanted it done (including me). The moment of truth no secret. The tempo of curses, threats and screams increased, then a long, blood curdling, nails across blackboard, ear drum splitting, traffic stopping scream was unleashed. Suddenly, all was quiet, time and noise stood still. Even those sleep depriving monitors next to beds seemed to take notice……but only for a couple of heartbeats. Back to business as usual. The patient subsided fairly quickly and taken elsewhere for further treatment. A collective sigh of relief. The rhythm of the Emergency Dept. kicked in and the staff continued doing what they do. Hopefully the woman is fine.

So to the staff at Wyong Hospital (the reason for this post) and all other hospitals, thanks for being there at 2.00 a.m. while most of us are tucked up in bed oblivious to what goes on in the wee hours.

Word for today:    Witting – knowledge or awareness of something.

More to come;    same blog time, same blog channel.


  1. Hi,
    Nicely written. I to have seen all the chaos, and the wonderful job the staff do at all hours of the morning, not at Wyong, I live in Brisbane, but it sounds exactly the same as the hospitals here.
    Where would we be without these wonderful people.


    • Thanks for your thoughts Mags and I agree entirely. Sorry for the late (very late) reply; I’ve missed your comment somewhere along the way.


  2. You’re leaving me hanging with the ant, so I plan to work myh way through your other posts. What do you do when you aren’t writing? Do you have a life?


    • Hi Marymtf, hope you liked the ant. I have another post almost ready; a local affairs job. Thanks for the comment. Now back to my ordinary life. Bruce


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