Sunday, 30 March 2008

Sex on the wards (again) and Angry nurses

Just when all the sensationalism was dying down and nursing was getting back to normal The Sun has got a front page article here about a male nurse having sex with a mentally ill patient. What is it with these people, they should know they are going to get caught, and they are just making life difficult for the 99.99% of us who behave. No one will remember that in over 25 years I and my colleagues have never abused anyone but this idiot, oh and the guy who was found guilty of killing patients a couple of weeks back are the ones that are remembered. When I came in to nursing it was very unusual to have male nurses but we worked at it and gained the trust and respect of patients and colleagues but there is always some clown will spoil it.

In another blog Disappearing John has written about nursing blogs that only seem to be about how bad peoples jobs are and how they hate their work and their patients and their colleagues. He suggests that perhaps if things are that bad they should move on and find another area of work. I had a look through some of my posts and there are one or two negative things but I think they are balanced by some other posts. In case they are not, let me put some perspective on my work; I love it, I would not do anything else and I have great colleagues. Last year when I was ill I was overwhelmed by the response from my colleagues and even last week when I was admitted over the weekend they were great. I would also like to say that my immediate management has been very supportive of me. However, I would like to say that I am lucky where I work as there are other areas that I would not work in for a pension. So in future I will try to remember that I think I am lucky but some more money would be good.

Saturday, 29 March 2008


She staggered in the ambulance entrance with an ambulance man on one side of her and a policeman on the other, "are their no fu***ng thin nurses in this hospital" she said to myself and my colleague. Charming, I thought, here we go again. "An overdose of unknown quantity of unknown tablets with alcohol" was the handover. There's a surprise. Then the policeman gave his side. "I don't have a lot of time for this nonsense usually but this is different". Turns out that this lady had been on a night out a couple of months ago and had left her children with a babysitter, unfortunately a fire had started in the house, no-ones fault it just happened, but her kids had died while she was out enjoying herself. Now all she wants to do is be with her kids. What do you say? What do you do? We can look after her physically but no matter how much psychiatric help we give her she still wants to be with her kids.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Retribution, divine or otherwise?

After my misbehaviour of Friday night and and my abject apologies of Saturday morning I thought I would be fine for the rest of the day. I was feeling well with only a minor hangover and looking forward to getting into work. However, as I went to my car I felt a slight chest pain - I should say that I had an MI and a CABG last year but felt I was making good progress. Pain resolved while driving but had another episode in work and working in an A&E unit everyone went into overdrive. Result? - seen by A&E consultant and admitted over the weekend. Everything was fine and I was allowed home Monday afternoon. So, many thanks to my colleagues and the staff in both wards I was in. Hmmm! I wonder if this had anything to do with Nurse k over at Crass pollination has she cursed me? I must have really pissed her off - nah I'm sure she's a nicer person than that.
Strange thing though, I have noticed that I seem to have acquired 2 pairs of pyjamas that are only for hospital use and my wife managed to fill my toilet bag only with what I needed and not with the crap that I usually put in it - has to be a girly thing. Oh and I really, really hate being on the other side - I do not make a good patient.
One good thing though, I managed to read Tom Reynolds book Blood, Sweat and Tea from his blog Random acts of reality I can thoroughly recommend it as it is a good read and is well written by someone who knows what he is talking about and more importantly seems to love what he does.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Oh dear! Here we go again.

Mr Grumpy likes a few sherbets on Friday night, this is a custom which has gone back years. People I work with all know this and almost all who live in the direction of the pub/club I frequent have been coerced into giving me a lift. I would like to point out that the maximum I have is 5 pints (10 units) and is usually only 4 pints. Although this is officially classed as binge drinking it is the only alcohol I have all week so I don't feel too bad about it. However, the point of this entry.
Last night I had the usual 4 pints but came home and had another 2 tins of cider (my wife was working night shift and was not there to keep me in check) and then I made the big mistake - I went onto the computer and looked at the blogs I have marked as favourites, . Oh dear! I apologize to anyone I have offended as I tend to get a bit bumptious with alcohol and tell people (online) what I think of their comments, the problem is that occasionally I have a sensible moment and delete my comments without publishing them but sometimes they get through uncensored. So to Nurse K at Crass-Pollination: An ER Blog and anyone else I have offended again I apologize.

I am now off to work to try to forget my little madnesses and hopefully fix other peoples.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Great to be back

Well I have survived, and I have only put on about 3-4 pounds (sorry 1.5kgs) and would like to thank the nice bars, restaurants and places of interest in the lovely city of York for keeping me and my other half amused and entertained. We had a great time and will be back. I seem to have missed an awful lot in blogland, blogosphere whatever the cyber world we inhabit is called. Trauma Queen has a couple of absolutely brilliant pieces here and Drs. Crippen and Rant with Mousethinks and I'm a medical student are all going on about the 4 hour targets in A&E. Now MrGrumpy knows a thing or two about this and thinks that properly organised they are the best thing for patients and staff but the emphasis has to be on "properly organised". I hear horror stories about patients being basically thrown out of A&E whether they are ready or not - this is not the way to do it. It has to be a collaborative system between A&E, GP's, Out of Hours, NHS direct, Physicians, Surgeons, Orthopods, Management and anyone else who is connected with patient care. It cannot be left as A&E's problem.

Anyway enough of my chuntering, it is nice to be back and I return to work next week refreshed in mind and body prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century NHS, (Oh God! Now I need another holiday).

Friday, 7 March 2008


Mr and Mrs Grumpy are having a few days away together, we managed to get a really good deal for a short city break and hope to increase our cholestorol and alcohol levels by eating and drinking way too much and certainly more than is good for us. Who knows, there may even be a bit of marital rights thrown in. Leave on Sunday morning and wont be back until Friday.

The future

I liked this blog and agree with it so much that I have lifted it verbatim from "madness: tales of an emergency room nurse" and the original can be found here

I am one of the nurses you hear about that will be retiring in the next 10 years. I plan to retire in 5 years. I can retire early because it was negotiated into my union contract. The only thing that keeps me going to work at the hospital and not changing job is knowing that I am out of there in 5 years. If it wasn't for that I would have been gone long ago. There is no incentive to stay. Why should I keep breaking my back to do this job beyond five years from now? I could easily work for another 15 years at that place but I won't. Hospitals have no real interest in retaining nurses. They make piddly attempts like thinking magnet status is somehow going to attract and retain nurses. The average nurse doesn't give two shits about magnet status. You know what we want? We want more staff to be able to give the care the patients deserve. We want more money. We are worth way, way more money. Without us the health care system would crumble. But we won't get more staff. We will get our piddly 3-4% raise. We will continue to pay hundreds of dollars a month for health care even though we WORK in the health care system. The hospitals don't do more because they don't have to. Nurses haven't demanded in any nationally organized manner that they do more. The public hasn't demanded that they do more. They will. People don't realize the state of health care until they come into places like the emergency room and are shocked that they have to wait 5-6 hours for a bed. Its a wake up call. In fifteen years 5-6 hour waits will be a picnic. There will be many fewer nurses to take care of you, so plan on spending days in the ER waiting. Not only will there not be the numbers of nurses in the hospitals, but those who do go into nursing will not be working in hospitals long term. They are crazy if they do. Why would anyone in their right mind choose the degrading, stressful environment hospitals have become? If I were a new nurse I would run as far from the hospital setting as I could...So good luck to those who are now in their early fifties and up, because people like me won't be there to take care of you. The only way I would even consider it is if I made a lot more money then I make now. Otherwise in 5 years I'm out...


GrumpyRN says,

I am in my early 50's, I have a lot of colleagues who are in their early 50's and we are getting tired. None of us want to be humping patients about in our 60's but in our university they had to cancel a new intake of nursing students due to lack of students and the next one was only half full. Even though this was written from an American point of view I could not put it better. The nursing profession the world over is getting old, tired, demoralised and just fed up of the continuing increase in workload.
When Mr Grumpy started nursing part of his job was to talk to patients to reassure them, to explain things to them (I had an old fashioned ward sister who shouted on me one day but insisted that I finished talking to the patient first as that was more important). I knew every patient in the ward and what their diagnosis was and what their treatment was. I would have been bollocked severely for saying to a relative "that's not my patient" they were ALL my patients because I was on that ward. I was proud to be a nurse, and although this sounds like snobbery I was a bit above the rest of the hospital staff because I was a nurse. I will give an example, when I started nursing, smoking was allowed in the hospital concourse, however, nurses were not allowed to smoke there even though they were not in uniform as this was seen as too "common" and gave a bad impression but other staff (including doctors) were allowed to smoke. Now the porters and the cleaners (who all have important jobs to do) are rated higher than me by management. If a job comes up the almost automatic statement is - let the nurses do it. We have cleaners who won't clean human waste, so, who does that? Yes you're right the nurses. I am trained to degree level in nursing, they are trained in cleaning but hey I'll do it. I am not talking about cleaning patients, I have never, ever been "too posh to wash" that is a basic function of my job.
So what happened? When did there suddenly become not enough nurses to give good quality care? I took it as a personal insult if one of my patients was not fed or lying in dirty linen or not washed if they were soiled. I don't work on a ward now but I remember. When did we start not having enough time to care for patients and looking after their basic needs. This needs a post all of it's own.
So hopefully, there will be a change and we get some good nurses who are well trained, well rewarded and well motivated before I retire and become decrepit and need somone to look after me.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Sex on the wards

WHERE THE HELL IS MY SHARE!!! According to the Times nurses are getting it on with patients big time. I have to say that the patients Grumpy RN sees he would not touch with someone elses willy, never mind his own. I am sure that there are the occasional liasons between staff and patients but there are not that many outside "Carry On" and the "Confessions Of" films. Grumpy RN can only think of this happening once in 25 years and it was a long term relationship as the male was on dialysis and the couple ended up married - and still are. With the crap from Lord Mancroft this is all we need and the timing of the survey could have been just a tad better.


A lady came to the department today, 3 years older than me - I mention this as she said she was old and I took her to task about that in a nice way as I don't consider myself old. Anyway, she had turned round wet ground and she felt a crack in her ankle. That was all. She was unable to weightbear and some nice people had brought her to hospital. She had a history of breast cancer 2 years ago and was taking Tamoxifen. I had her x-rayed and this showed a nasty fracture to her ankle with a lot more damage than I expected with the mechanism of injury. I hope this is not the first signs of something really nasty and is just bad luck. Unfortunately I know better and it is probably the first sign of bony metasteses. I really really hope I'm wrong. Life can be a real bitch sometimes.