A woman in severe pain was advised to masturbate in the shower and rub oil on her anus by a hotline nurse.
The patient called the 13 Health line, operated by Queensland Health, for advice while suffering from abdominal pain following a serious operation.
According to Gold Coast Bulletin, the woman called the hotline as a last resort late at night while writhing in pain.
Nurses are told to refer patients to hospitals rather than continuing to suffer at home and try home remedies.
Nurses are told to refer patients to hospitals rather than continuing to suffer at home and try home remedies (stock image)
Queensland Health has apologised to the woman, admitting the advice could have been catastrophic for her health.
About 100 calls per day are made to the hotline, but the number has dramatically increased since COVID-19.
The line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is run by 170 registered nurses.
Employees are required to have a minimum of two years’ experience.
The nurse in question had reportedly held the job for five years.
‘We apologise for any distress caused to the patient, which is why we took immediate action within 24 hours of the incident,’ a Queensland Health spokesman said.
They also said advice provided on the hotline is of a high standard, and reminded patients that a phone conversation does not replace a medical examination.
The incident is being investigated.