Saturday, 21 February 2009

For the Docs (especially the junior docs: we like them better)

Just a few quick thoughts.

This blog was started so I could blow off steam. It is entirely nurse-centric. Nursing is all I really know.

I am always complaining about how tough nursing is right now. It's because I want things to get better. This does not mean that I do not understand how bad things are for other health care professionals. I am talking about the doctors mainly. Junior doctors especially. Consultants are just a mystery. I just try and avoid consultants 100%.

From what I can see it looks as if junior doctors are actually going through living hell. We do feel bad for them. We feel bad when we can't help them out. We feel bad when we have to keep bleeping them for stupid shit. But yeah, we have too. We feel bad when we find out something about a patient that needs a doctor review 8 hours into my shift rather than 2 hours ago when the doctor was actually on the ward. Now he/she has to come back here AGAIN when many other wards are trying to get him/her to see their patients. We haven't bleeped you 3 times an hour to be a bitch or make things harder for you. We are just constantly missing things because we have no time to read notes and assess people properly. It's bad. Honestly, we don't want to fuck up your orders or land you or ourselves in hot water.

We know that you had to be highly intelligent just to get into med school and that you have an extremely high IQ. We know this even if you just asked a silly question. We know that your hours are shit compared to ours. We know that you have more patients and are constantly dealing with acute stuff.

We actually worry about the junior docs...and take cash bets on which ones are going to keel over and die from stress before age 35. We get pissed off when we see consultants talking down to their juniors and yelling at them in front of everyone.

We think that it is a damn shame that you can't get anything done without that bleep going off. I would have thrown the fucking thing out the window. Obviously we respect the job you do. Even so, I am still going to run in the other direction and not make eye contact when you walk onto the ward. That's probably because I haven't yet been able to implement those orders you gave me over an hour ago. Yeah oops.

There is always going to be some nurses that hate doctors and give them a hard time. My experience is that the majority of us are not like this. The majority of us do not want to do your job either. No thanks. I really wanted to be a nurse, despite all the shit (literally and otherwise). I like the idea of nursing people, NOT spending my days diagnosing and prescribing. That doesn't sound like any fun to me. But that is just me. More power to those of you who choose to go down that road.

But the whole point of this blog is to explain things from the nurse's point of view, that's all.


Lucien said...

Anne, ta very much for the support! I've thrown my bleep at a wall before, and unfortunately it was nurse-provoked - I'd been getting hammered on my base ward (which was the acute medical unit). We also looked after the outliers on the surgical assessment unit, which was well-staffed - sister, 4 staff nurses and 3 HCAs for 18 patients. One of the nurses had been bleeping me for about 5 hours about a cannula in one of her patients - I kept apologising, explaining I had patients trying their best to die on me, and I'd be there when I could.

I eventually turned up at the first chance I could to find the nurse in question cannulating the patient herself. I threw my bleep at the wall and stormed back to AMU to finish the routine stuff on there. Went back and apologised afterwards, but still - aaargh!

Out of interest, do you think the predominantly female nursing staff's attitude to male and female juniors can differ at all? As a fairly cheeky (but able) male who hasn't been hit by the ugly stick too hard, I sometimes find the 'horrible' nurses I've been warned about by colleagues are actually quite lovely to me...

Nurse Anne said...

Jesus, don't you guys have clinical support to cannulate?

I used to be very good at cannulation and blood draws. But they brought in the support techs who just do that and I completely de-skilled.

If someone male or female talks to the nurses like shit than the nurses get pissed off.

Many nurses believe that female doctors are a lot nastier towards the nurses because they have a complex about being mistaken for nurses.

I seem to get on real well with them. I always try my best to do my best with a smile though. Some nurses are just so miserable. Some doctors too.

I think we are all just stressed out and miserable and taking it out on eachother.

I cannot imagine making an effort to be extra nice to a doctor because he is male or good looking, but then again I am happily married so I don't really notice.

edina monsoon said...

This ia a very nice entry:)I've always suspected the nurses did sympathise when things went wrong in my housemanship year...but reading it off the blog makes it more real somehow.Thank you.

Happy1 said...

I agree..
I support junior doctors coming into A&E 100%, as do my colleagues. Its a tough environment to begin with, and a friendly nursing team can make all the difference. Our docs are always gutted to leave us. I very rarely cannulate / take blood / request X-rays ...because Im a nurse...and I want to nurse people.
But when I see a harrassed, overwhelmed SHO struggling to manage the load on a nightshift, I'm straight there to offer help and support in any way I can. As do my nurse colleagues. I hate to hear of nurses bullying Junior docs...and i feel its a personality thing..not a nurse thing.

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