Recent Manitoba nursing graduate frustrated after first-hand experience as rural patient

A recent Manitoba nursing graduate has found herself on the the opposite end of her profession as a patient, and she calls the experience at nightmare.

“It’s been a whole new perspective, being on this end of things,” Carla Chrisp says while laying in her hospital bed.

Chrisp was at her graduation party with her fellow nursing students near Gimli when she heard her leg snap.

“I bent down to use a laptop that was sitting on a chair when a I heard a snap. I looked down and my ankle was just flopping around.”

The 30-year-old was taken to the Gimli hospital where she was told she broke her tibia and fibula. Four days later, she’s still waiting in the rural hospital to be transferred to Winnipeg for surgery.

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“Every day it’s been, ‘There’s no chance you’re going today,’ and every day I ask, ‘Is there any hope for tomorrow?’”

While she waits, she’s been given morphine every two hours for the pain and checks in with her family who live more than an hour away in Lundar.

She says the experience has opened her eyes to what she calls problems in Manitoba’s health-care system.

“I feel like I’m educated enough to know what I need to advocate for myself but I just feel so terrible for patients and people that aren’t involved in the health-care system.”

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The Interlake Eastern Health Authority says they do not track data on hospital transfer times.

“It just seems like our health-care system is failing us and I want better for our province,” Chrisp says.

Shared Health says, there has been a large volume of orthopedic trauma surgery in the province over the past four days, resulting in the need for patients to be prioritized by surgical teams based on medical need.

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“We appreciate how upsetting surgical postponements can be, particularly those suffering pain due to injury,” Shared Health said in a statement.

“All four sites within Winnipeg that are capable of dealing with this type of injury were busy triaging trauma cases this past weekend. The Grace Hospital in particular was very busy, completing nine orthopedic trauma cases. Another 15 cases were reviewed at the Grace on Monday morning, with the most medically urgent cases scheduled for today while others were set for Tuesday or later in the week.”

It says typically, the wait for these types of surgeries can be one to two weeks.

Meanwhile Chrisp’s extended stay in the hospital has forced her to reschedule her final nursing licence exam.

She says the experience has made her realize how important her profession is and will take it with her into her future workplace.

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