4 hours to speak to a nurse via 811? Is this normal?

  1. 4 hours actually seems pretty good. Pre pandemic I called about something i was concerned with in my infant and by the time they called back I was on my way to the hospital (right decision it turned out).

  2. Doesn’t always take that long either. Makes me wonder if they triage the calls based on priority? I’ve had them call me back anywhere from 5 mins later (serious issue) vs 2 hours (not so serious)

  3. They definitely triage based on severity. Called once and the operator started talking about how it was a long wait and would take my details to get a nurse to call me later, but as I described my symptoms they had a nurse on the line immediately to go more in depth.

  4. This is absolutely true. When I call about one of my kids immediate needs, the longest I’ve had to wait was 30 mins, when I called about myself (non urgent) it was over an hour.

  5. Depending on the issue, a pharmacist may be able to help. Last week I called 811 because my 3 year old had a tick embedded in him. Telehealth got back to me 4 hours later. In that time, we went into town and met with our pharmacist who took a look at it and prescribed him antibiotics.

  6. I've called a few times and all they can really do is recommend you to go to a doctor/ER. If they think it's something not so serious, they'll recommend walk in clinic or family doctor and for more worrying symptoms they send you to ER.

  7. They have been helpful for me when in situations that I didn't feel it was severe enough to go to emerge, but that I wanted addressed faster than a walk in or my family doctor could do (or rather, not any faster than a walk in, but I can do other things with my time while waiting for the callback, and I don't feel like I'm taking up a spot at a walk in that someone else without an alternative could be using). It's nice to get the reassurance of a medical professional on whether or not it's advisable to wait and talk to my family doc, or go to the hospital. I can see that being kinda pointless if your options are only either the hospital or a walk in though.

  8. Anytime I've called, it was the same answer. Go to the hospital. I just skip the call and go straight to the hospital

  9. Yeah things are that bad. Call your MLA. Hold them accountable. Canvas and fundraise. Run yourself. Start a revolution. All reasonable options at this point.

  10. I've called them a few times and I'd say more often before the pandemic and even then I have almost always had to wait. Not usually super long though, maybe an hour or two.

  11. That's why I don't want to go to the ER unless I absolutely have to. I don't need to get another virus on top of the one I think I already have.

  12. 4 hours is sadly really good. I ended up in the ER for 12 hours with COVID weirdness because 811 had a 10 hour wait. And at 1am when you can’t breathe well and your hands are going numb… you don’t wait 10 hours.

  13. They usually give you an estimated time and often it is sooner than that. I called a few weeks ago and they said it was a 6 hour wait. I received a call back in 2 hours.

  14. The last time I called it was around 12-18 hours and they called in the middle of the night. I’d say 4 hours was pretty reasonable.

  15. I just called and they gave me a 1 hour estimate. But I have had times in the past where they have estimated 4 hours or more like 8. I suppose it depends on the day.

  16. That's pretty quick! Last time I called, they took my number and said they would call back in 12 hours (but actually called in like... 6 or 8, maybe?).

  17. Someone close to me works for 811. Since covid has hit 4 hours is actually considered on the lower end. They cannot keep the place staffed. They signed their new union contract right before covid hit and everyone there is miserable.

  18. I called and there was a four hour wait, but it seems like the initial call takers do some basic triage because she said, "That sounds like it could be serious, so I am going to have someone call you back right away."

  19. 811 is useless it's a human who follows an algorithm It's a complete waste of nursing positions in its current form

  20. Completely disagree. I am sure many people have had experiences where they are considering going to the emergency due to uncertainty, but 811 is able to provide advice (and therefore keep them away from ER). Yes, sometimes it may be simple advice, but when you are really in pain or really sick, sometimes you just can't think at your fullest capacity.

  21. Not an unreasonable timeframe for a non emergency health care info line if you think about it rationally. (Yes, I know the health care system sucks but hear me out). It’s certainly not the place to put more nurses during a nursing shortage.

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