Seven former patients, employees and family members in the Moncton area gathered to talk about their experiences with Horizon Health on Sunday.
The public conversation is one of 11 forums hosted by Horizon Health in New Brunswick between Feb. 21 and March 20.
Horizon hopes to take the stories told by participants and create better practices within their health care practices.
Juanita Drayson shared her experiences at the two hour Moncton meeting. She spent time at the hospital in Sept. 2015 after suffering from chest pains.
"Never in my life before have I experienced chest pain. I went to emerg and the doctor said ... You're too young to have a heart attack."
Drayson, 43, spent the night at the hospital. There was nothing indicating that she had suffered from a heart attack. The next day she had completed a stress test and passed.
"I had a myoview… and did really well on that. The doctor called me in that day. He said don't get off your couch, don't go for walk, nothing."
Drayson had been told she had a 95 per cent blockage. But her experience went sour when she had to deal with the staff after discovering her condition.
"The nurse said 'I already looked her over, she's a repeat customer,'" said Drayson. "I was treated totally different... from that moment. Then the doctor and the nurse were laughing and pointing at me, thinking I was sleeping and couldn't hear the conversation."
Drayson said it was difficult to trust the people in charge of taking care of her after that experience.
"It's the number one killer of women and yet I was laughed and mocked at."
New implementation moving forward
Many of the stories from the Moncton session involved dealing with proper bedside care, extra-mural care and transparency between patients and doctors.
"We will be aligning the information into themes. We have heard from all of the stakeholders who came forward and we will further discuss at our customer service steering committee which is aligned with the patient and family care initiative."
Elizabeth Cormier, regional director for volunteers resources, auxiliary and alumnae explained the volunteer patient program through Dalhousie Medical School in Saint John. It aims to teach patient care to new medical students.
The program has been conducted in Saint John for five years.
"We invite patients to come in and volunteer so that new physicians can learn the art of examining new patients."
Drayson hopes that larger steps will be taken to bridge the gap between a patient and doctor so that experiences like hers don't happen to someone else.
"All I wanted was to meet with that doctor and nurse and have an educational session with them about what it looked like for me as a patient."