Saturday, 15 January 2011

Housekeeper hell

I recently posted a comment in the comments section on my Wow, Peter post about the housekeeper re arranging everything on the ward so that equipment was impossible to find in an emergency.   This was done because the previous set up was an inconvience to her.

Now I can top that story. Or just add to it really.

Another housekeeper who works about 5 hours a day 4 days a week recently insulted a medical doctor of ours.

He was preparing a tray to draw some bloods on a patient.  Just as he got it all together his pager beeped and a voice came through it : " CARDIAC ARREST WARD 15, CARDIAC ARREST WARD 15".  His patient on a ward 3 floors away had just stopped breathing.  He dropped the tray on the counter top and ran down there, as is his duty. He ran like an athelete to get down there and help his patient.

The housekeeper came into the treatment room a minute later, saw his phlebotomy tray, and went nuts because the doctor "didn't clean up after himself".  She went on and on about his "laziness" and "lack of consideration".  He did not leave any kind of mess, just a tray with a syringe and blood tubes and some gauze.  He would need that later when he came back from the emergency to draw bloods on my patient (a very difficult person to get bloods from).

She began to put all the equipment back.  I told her that he would need it all again in about an hour or so and to leave it.  She continued with the "lazy bastard" stuff.  I let her have it.  I couldn't help it.  This medic was probably going to be working a 12+ hour day and he should not be worried about tidying things up to make like easier for the housekeeper.  None of us should, I tried to explain to her that unlike her he has real responsibility and cannot delay treating a patient to make life easier for her.  But I didn't get through that thick skull of hers.  She was still pissing and moaning about it an hour later.

Shocking isn't it.  And it happens all the time.

If you want to read more about lack of respect for Nurses and Doctors from the supposed "support staff" go here:

We have a hell of a lot of lazy and crap staff in the NHS who need to be disciplined and fired.  But you won't find this amongst the professional nurses and doctors.  We have a registration to protect.  We take our jobs seriously.  It is the low paid crap that we depend on that let us down constantly and are never dealt with that is the problem.

At 6 in the morning I had a patient deteriorate and as I was dealing with him all the other patients were ringing and shouting for help.  Where was my health care assistant (the only other member of staff I had with me)?  In the kitchen washing jugs and setting up for breakfast because the domestics would give her a smackdown if they came into work at 7AM and stuff wasn't done for them.  She was actually afraid of them.  I told the HCA not to worry about those slags and to give me a hand on the ward instead.  The domestics came into to work and started on the HCA for not doing jobs for them and I told them off.  Then they complain that they are being "bullied".

These people are untouchable.  They are never disciplined or dealt with.  The trust wouldn't hesitate to get rid of a Nurse or Doctor if something goes wrong but it seems as if everyone that we depend on just fucks around.
I had a ward clerk sat on the computer telling me that it wasn't her problem if the phone was ringing and that the Nurse should answer it.


I could go on.


Nursing Student said...

To be fair alot of our housekeepers in my old trust and the trust I do placement in now are good, but I have seen a few come in where the usual housekeeper is sick and make a total mess of the place, which I suppose defeats the purpose of the role of the housekeeper.

Anne, get on the iPlayer and watch Hospital 24/7. It's a series being shown every weeknight on bbc wales this week documenting the heath hospital in cardiff. It will be available to everyone on the iplayer.

Now I am familiar with the heath for various reasons but not medical/surgical ward environments, just A&E. The episode I watched last night (episode 5) showed ward caterers and DIETETIC ASSISTANT that goes on the wards during meal times and helps patients get fed!!!

You heared it here first.

Watch me get a job when I graduate at the heath.

pj said...

It's just as you say, if you don't have any clinical responsibility or professional registration at stake why would you give a fuck?

I've had emails from HR going on about how it is the doctors' responsibility to make sure shifts are covered because it is a 'professional duty' and we might get reported to the GMC! Fuck them, it isn't like they have much else to do other than arrange locums, how about I sit around for months at a time, doing nothing and failing to try and fill an empty rota slot I've known about all year and then pressure the already overworked junior docs already on the rota to cover it on the day before the shift, and they can do some clinical work running around the hospital for 13hrs straight while people die around due due to massive staff shortages.

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