Friday, 7 January 2011

Memories

For some reason I woke up this morning thinking about something that happened years and years ago.

It was around the time I first went to a medical ward.  The nu-labour targets hadn't messed up everything yet.  And our staffing was pretty good.

I worked a late shift on a 25 bed ward and there was 4 of us staff nurses and 2 care assistants for the ward.

One of my patients started with maleena and massive amounts of coffee ground vomit.  She was only in  her 40's or 50's.  We swung into action.  She was becoming unresponsive.  This is a GI bleed and it is life threatening.

Two of us (staff nurses) focused on her.  The other two staff nurses managed the rest of the ward and deal with all the other patients. The medic was straight on the job and after he took one look at her the reg was there as well.   This happened right before visiting hours.  Her family arrived to see her in a hell of a state.  I briefly and gently explained to them what was happening.  One of the HCAs took the family down to the day room and made them tea,coffee and comfort food and stayed with them.

The doctors were throwing out orders left and right. And the other staff nurse and I dealt with it quickly and efficiently. Diagmostic tests, blood, IV's you name it we sorted it. And we managed to keep her clean and comfortable despite the fact that she had a massive gastrointestinal bleed that was causing bloody shit to poor out of her bottom and bloody puke to come out of her mouth constantly.

She survived. As a matter off fact she walked out of the hospital a week or so later.

I was so proud of the doctors, the nurses and how well everyone dealt with the situation.

I miss those days.

15 comments:

uknurse said...

Imagine if that happened today...and the 2 RNs did the same...worked as a team to ensure this lady survived.

Who would have looked after ALL of the other patients?!

No-one! So, one RN would have managed the emergency alone impossible if IVs and blood transfusion required)...and one RN would have looked after the other 28 patients (also impossible due to simple logistics!)

So, all in all, impossible all round!

One sick patient and everyone is in trouble!

ps I challenged your Anon moron to answer a few questions over at NT...

Nurse Anne said...

You are correct UKnurse.

The one Nurse might of busted her ass to save the critical patient's life but she sure would have had a lot of apologising to do to the other patients. LOL.

Nursing Student said...

I'm dissapointed that I won't qualify and be able to work in environments like this. It's heartbreaking, actually. I'm dissapointed as well that patients don't get this kind of care anymore, through no fault of the nurses or medics.

Sue said...

Anne, I'm gonna to derail your memories to say I've just seen this:

http://www2.skynews.com.au/health/article.aspx?id=559921&vId=

And that is awesome. Why can't our unions do something productive like that?

Nurse Anne said...

Great link.

As far as I am concerned the public of this country can do one of two things:

They can support Nurse to Patient ratio legislation.

OR

They can SHUT THE FUCK UP about waiting 3 hours for pain killers and not being able to use nurses as maidservants to fetch them snacks, etc.

If your nurse has too many patients she is barely going to be able to catch serious changes in condition and action doctors orders for all of you. She will make drug errors because she is rushing around.

You may think that she damn well better get you a cup of coffee if you ask for it because "your taxes are paying her wages".

But you can bet your ass that there is a coronor just around the corner waiting to shop her and criminalise her for not prioritizing properly when she didn't catch onto blood results promptly because she was fluffing someone's pillow.

Support safe ratios or die. Literally. Support safe ratios or stopping bitching about the Nurses.

That would be my RCN bulletin to the public.

JG said...

Hey Anne, any time you feel like you might be willing to defect to the US and get away from NHS, just let me know. Hell, I'd probably sponsor you myself if we could get you on my floor. We don't generally have mandated staff ratios, but they're never that bad. At least no where I've ever worked. Fancy working cardiac?

Nurse Anne said...

Thank you so much JG.

I might actually have a job lined up over there. The visas and sponsership are no problem. The problem we are having is the real estate market. People giving offers on the house and then pulling out at last minute etc. Buyers unable to get a mortgage etc.

I decided not to tell you all I am going going gone until I am over there and working. We have just met too many obstacles along the way (real estate). So many times I have said "okay I am out of here" only to be stopped in my tracks.

Dino-nurse said...

Hope things turn out ok this time Anne. We are also leaving the UK due to my husbands job (Canada). I've started applying for nursing exams etc but to be honest I'm not that bothered anymore. Sad to say the UK has nearly finished me off.
ICU has always had better nurse to patient raios but we still have situations arise because we all have a patient (or 2 if its HDU) and no one is free to be the runner. I also remember when medical wards had adequate staffing. Problem is that medical wards are black holes, literally sucking life and money. Surgery can make a profit so most foundation trusts are staffing surgery at medicines expense. The young and fit rarely have any reason to visit a hospital, it's only the chronically sick and the old that end up on medical wards and who cares about them? I've emailed my MP and the so-called chief nursing officer about ratios and to date have not received a reply...big fat suprise!

Nurse Anne said...

They replied to my emails by saying that I need to tell this to my line manager!! Duh, we have aleady done that 10000 times.

Kristina said...

uknurse is so right!!! our services and efficiency are greatly affected by the lack of staff!

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