On her 36 bed medical ward one Tuesday morning there were only 2 nurses and 3 care assistants on a day shift. As usual they complained to management, wrote incident forms etc.
The first care assistant had to do a one to one with a patient who was licking the floors, hitting other patients, screaming the place down, arguing with a toilet and beating the staff. He could not be controlled. Psyche wouldn't see him and the doctors were hesitant to prescribe sedative type medication due to certain issues. The medics said his problems were psyche and the psychiatric people said that his problems were medical. No one was taking ownership. The ward nurses were left to manage him. RGN's are not RMN's. We are not trained to deal with this shit nor can we restrain people etc. This is a whole 'nother blog post right here.
The second care assistant had to escort a patient to a procedure off ward. The patient was confused and incontinant. The people in the procedures department will not deal with this and refused to carry out the said test unless patient was escorted by ward staff. This test was paramount. The nurse would have been in deep shit if she tried to keep the care assistant on the ward and patient missed the test. They were gone for 3 hours in the morning.
The third care assistant was trying to bed bath, toilet, and assist 36 patients herself. Most of these people cannot be cleaned or even get onto a bed pan or commode unless you have at least two staff lifting. It is physically impossible.
The 2 nurses each had 18 patients with more drugs, and orders that they could handle. The nurses alerted the powers that be to the fact that they needed help and they needed it now.
The 2 nurses flew through the drug round in an unsafe manner. They did a 10 second assessment of each patient to ensure that they were stable. Then they had to decide what to "ditch".
All the patients were stable and the most important meds/interventions were mostly caught up at this point. The next priority on the nurses' list was helping the lone care assistant. They grabbed pinnys and went off to bed bath and toilet and feed. Otherwise those patients would have been left for hours and hours and hours. Even with all 3 staff on board working like dogs those patients still would have been left for too long.
Yes, the nurses decided that once the patients were stable and the most important interventions were out of the way that they would make BASIC CARE the top priority. But something had to be "ditched" in order to pull this off.
They ditched the discharges (clogging up a&e as a result), all paperwork, phone calls, and doctors rounds and lots of other stuff. Discharging patients is very very time consuming these days. It keeps you away from your other patients for a long time. They had to ditch the discharges etc. Otherwise the other patients and their lone care assistant would have been fucked.
2PM rolls around. These nurses started their shift at 0700. By 2Pm they were finishing the bed baths. They had not had any kind of break, the ward was in pandemonium due to phone calls, doctors rounds, discharges and other jobs being ditched. Meals barely got out, and now lunchtime meds were late. These nurses were in big big trouble.
But the patients were safe and clean.
At 2:30 the 2 nurses were cleaning, dressing and changing the 5 day old dressings on their last patient. They were hungry and feeling faint. The awesome and hardworking lone care assistant was walking someone to the toilet. This patient walks so slowly that it takes a long time to get her to the toilets. So many call bells were ringing at this moment in time. Patients were crying for help.
It was at this time that a gaggle clipboard carrying fuckhead modern matron type "nurses" who are not ward based walked onto the ward and stopped just outside the curtain where our two hero nurses were busting their asses.
The gaggle (there was about 5 of them) commented about the fact that the paperwork was a mess on the ward and that the nurses needed to be "spoken to harshly".
They commented about the colour of the curtains and whether they matched the floor. This was the main topic of conversation.
They discussed the fact that there were no coloured magnets on the board to identify which patients could be moved so that targets could be met. Then they left. They just left.
What is the point of this very true anecdote?
Our 2 superhero ward nurses took a big risk and worked hard to make sure the patients had basic care. These two ward nurses are modern degree educated nurses. Both of them are about 28 years old.
The gaggle of clipboard carrying fuckhead matron type "nurses" who abandoned our heros and walked off the ward discussing curtains were all trained before 1985. Most of them trained in the 1970's. Yours truly is too young to even remember the 70's. The whole goddamn group of them were old school trained. They didn't talk to a patient or offer to help our two heroes. They all just walked away. They discussed curtains and punishing the nurses for not doing paperwork and then they walked away. Fucking whores. What the hell kind of fucking sociopathic sickos did these old time hospital based nursing schools churn out? These 5 people knew the situation on that ward with the staffing and the mental health patient. They absolutely did. They were the ones who told the ward nurses that no help was available.
Things may be far from perfect now but at least they have standards for people to qualify as nurses today. Jesus Christ.
The old school nurses who are still on the wards are fabulous.
The nasty evil horrible ones who hate nursing get given clipboards and big salaries. And we know which ones shag the managers.
These nutters are the ones who bleat on about "today's nurses". You won't often hear that shit coming from the old school nurses who are actually still on the wards. Those comments usually only comes from those who haven't done ward nursing since 1983.
I see this stuff all the time myself. That is why I believe it. This is why I will not tolerate this bullshit about degree educated nurses not caring about basic care and patient dignity. The vast majority of nurses are old school trained. The vast minority are degree trained. Those clipboard carrying worthless twits that you see walking around hospitals these days are OLD SCHOOL TRAINED.