Saturday, 31 October 2009
A Comment That Says It All. Awesome.
I received this comment on the post below this one. WELL SAID ANONYMOUS!!
The UK's health care system is totally screwed! You should try to get out. I hate suggesting that because I know you care, but they are asking you to do the physically and humanly impossible. You should have a pharmacist in that hospital AT ALL TIMES. You should have a pneumatic tube system to tube your meds to a tube station on your ward. The overpaid pharmacist who has plenty of time to ass-sit and talk badly to the nurses should be calculating your damn dosages and mixing them. That's what he got all the damn education for, right? There should be a full-time staff of housekeepers to clean beds between patients and wash mattresses and empty trash. There should be a staff of dietary aides to distribute trays and snacks. You should be able to NURSE, and that's it. And you should have the staff to do it safely. Patients are sicker now. Your whole system is antiquated and dangerous to you and your patients.
Your entire profession should be up in arms and banging on your Prime Minister's door and demanding that someone get up off their ass, unstick their head from said ass, and totally wipe the slate clean and start over. That is how screwed up your system is. I would not work in an NHS hospital. I'd serve fries at a fast-food restaurant before I'd go face what you face every day. The powers that be in your organization do not want you. This blog is wonderful, but the people who are not nurses DO NOT CARE. It isn't happening to them, and they don't have to face that nightmare every day. And your nursing leadership DOES NOT CARE. They're not blind to what is happening, Anne. They are simply evil. They see just fine.
I am so thankful I am not a nurse living in the UK. I am so angry for all of you. I read your blog all the time, and I say this as someone who cares about your wellbeing. I am deeply concerned for you and all the nurses in your situation. I hope this does not make you mad. But I know you are not being listened to. Nurses are finally being treated half-decent here in the states (still a long way to go though). Nothing changed until there was mass exodus from the profession. And we are not out of danger yet over here. The powers that be will not listen until all of you make them listen.
I wrote a little bit below Anonymous's comment and I will post that here as well as add some more thoughts:
A pharmacist in hospital 24/7? HA HA HA HA. It would be a cold day in hell before anyone mixed our IV antibiotics for us. A cold and frigid day in hell.
I had several patients on IV Benzlpenicillin 2.4 grams, IV Flucloxacillin 1 gram, and IV metronidazole all at the same time. The Metronidazole comes bagged already (the only IV antibiotic that is ready to go) and was only 3 times a day. So we were lucky with that one. But yeah, holy massive amounts of antibiotics.
But the Benpen and the fluclox was 4 times a day and oh my god..... The benpen alone comes in little bottles of 600mg in powder form that you have to dilute with sterile water and mix and add to an IV bag of saline. It takes AGES and AGES. I feel like I spend most of my time mixing drugs.
Many doses get missed because the nurses can't always screw around mixing them when we have 20 patients all screaming "nurse".
Granted that giving the IV meds are priority because the patient is not getting their doctors' ordered treatment without it and therefore won't get better BUT try explaining that the all the screaming relatives that don't understand why we are not sat at the bedside changing mama's gown the second she spills a drop of juice on it. We get no back up from management with these
people complain. No one explains to them the reality of the situation.
And we don't have anyone to answer the phone either.
Not to long ago I was working on a shift with 2 RN's and 2 kids for over twenty patients. The phone rang non stop. We always tried to answer the phone when we could. Most of the calls are from relatives asking questions we cannot answer. Instead of accepting that they just get someone else in the family to try. They don't seem to get that giving any kind of info over the phone is illegal.
But the one phone is a long way away from the patients. If you think about the logistics of walking away from the patients every 2 minutes to answer the phone you will see what I mean. We already had a least 6 patients who required one to one care, one because he was acutely ill and the others were just extremely confused as well as very mobile. So just those 6 people outnumbered the staff already. One was so confused and mobile that he ended up leaving the ward and was wandering in the street nearby. Had to call the cops.
During all this we were only managing to answer the phone about a third of the time. It was ringing constantly. Lo and behold one caller got real pissed off that he couldn't get through and called management ranting and raving about the nurses not bothering to answer the phone. Management (the same fuckers who decided that we can't have a unit clerk anymore than half day weekdays) apologised profusely to the ignorant man and let us have it. The man (a relative of a stable long term patient) came up later during visiting hours sneering at us because "the chief promised that you girlies will be knocked into line if you don't bother answering the phone".
So yeah. That is how it is. You are right that it is all beyond the grasp of non nurses and that people do not care because they do not live it day after day. Striking isn't the answer because an ignorant public who does not understand the situation would not back us up...they would turn on us even more. They would be bored to tears with this blog and not read very far so a wake up call for them isn't happening in the foreseeable future.
This blog does have a purpose and an ending...I'm just not there yet.