This comment was placed on this blog under the Why don't nurses smile? post.
Nurse Nancy said...15 June 2009 06:21
I used to work in A&E in a very busy city
centre hospital. (I had 15 years experience of working in A&E.)There used to
be 2 hospitals with A&E depts but it was decided that the city really only
needed one. They therefore closed one down and now all the patients had to go to
one department. Same number of staff on duty though.
Who would have thought that waiting times would get longer, that patient
care would suffer, that the staff turnover would increase as people could not
cope and left and that the general level of violence towards staff (due to long
waits etc)would double. I particularly recall one shift where I was the nurse in
charge with 5 other staff nurses working with me. We had four critically
injurred patients from an RTA each requiring their own individaul nurse and Dr.
This meant that there was just me and another staff nurse and a HCA to care for
all of the walking wounded who now had an even longer wait because all of the
medical staff were tied up in resus with the RTA.
The two if us also had 17 other trolley patients to care for, all of who
were acutely ill or injured, as well as trying to carry out dressings etc for
the walking wounded who actually did get seen. On top of all this we had to try
to get patients to x-ray - some of who were unsafe to be left on their own - eg
patients with dementia who had fallen and fractured things and had no relative
or care home staff with them.
Whilst i was running round the department with a broom up my arse sweeping
the floors as well i was approached by a woman who was concerned that her son
who had been brought in by ambulance had still not been seen by a dr having been
there for 3 hours (he was drunk and agressive). I have to admit that she did not
think that i was taking her concerns very seriously decided that the best course
of action was to shout at me that I was a fucking blonde haired cunt and punched
me in the throat causing me to fall back through a curtained trolley bay onto
the lap of some poor old man. Her and her son decided not to hang around after
that so at least we were one patient down.
I remember standing in the middle of this heaving and chaotic department
and thinking would anyone notice if i just sat in the middle of the floor and
had a nervous breakdown. What happened to the nice lady who assaulted me? She
got a conditional discharge for 6 months (let off in other words) and had to pay
me £50 compensation at a rate of £2 a week. What happened to me. I now
work in the civilised realm of a primary care trust as an advanced nurse
pracitioner for the elderly - nice work if you can get it!!