Unfortunately for Ethel Easter, her experience was the opposite.
Easter’s concern started when her doctor was rude to her when she questioned why she had wait two months to have hernia surgery to treat what she described as “stabbing pains every time she ate”.
“I was like, ‘I can’t wait for two months. I’m terribly ill’, and he said, ‘Listen’ — he got very abrupt. He said ‘Who do you think you are? You have to wait just like everybody else’,” the Texas resident told Fox 28 news.
Unable to change doctors due to her health insurance plan, Easter felt like she had no choice but to stick with the surgeon, despite feeling uncomfortable in his care.
“I was afraid that if I didn’t make it [through surgery] nobody would know why, and I wanted them to know it was because he didn’t care about me as a person,” she told Yahoo! Beauty.
Easter decided to take matters into her own hands and hid a small recording device in her hair extensions to record the surgeon and his team during her operation.
Listening back to their conversation afterwards, Easter was shocked to hear several disgusting comments made about her while she was under anesthetic.
“She’s a handful. She had some choice words for us in the clinic when we didn’t book her case in two weeks,” the surgeon is heard saying to another male in the room. “I’m going to call a lawyer and file a complaint,” he continues before laughing.
“That doesn’t seem like the thing to say to the person whose going to do your surgery,” the other male replies.
Staff can also be heard body shaming Easter and making offensive remarks about her appearance.
“Did you see her belly button?” says a female voice on the tape laughing, while another male staff member says to the anesthesiologist, “Precious, meet Precious.”
“It was ‘Precious, meet Precious’, as though I was this big fat black woman,” Easter said, referring to a character played by actress Gabourey Sidibe in the movie Precious.
Staff also said they “felt sorry” for her husband.
While she is not currently pursuing legal action against the hospital staff, Easter wants people to be aware of what’s going on while vulnerable people are in surgery.
“When you are lying there and these people have you uncovered and you trust them and they speak like this, it’s a bad situation. It’s given me self-esteem issues,” she told Yahoo.
Fox28 reports that Harris Health Systems said they could not comment because of confidentiality laws but a letter Easter received claimed the company had used the incident “as an opportunity to teach staff about being mindful.”
Have you ever had a bad experience with medical staff?