Saturday, 27 September 2008

I'm back,

I've been on holiday, had a great time but start back to work next week. Ah well, it's like I've never been away.
Had an experience which made me think while I was away. I was taking a picture of a pretty village in England and happened to get a couple of kids (about 7 years old) in shot, thought nothing of it until my wife pointed out that it could look very suspicious a fat, bald, middle-aged man taking photos of children but I should be OK as she was with me!! This got me thinking that perhaps in this day and climate of child protection that she was right so I deleted the picture (the joys of digital cameras) and took another picture which had no children in it. But afterwards reflecting on it (see I did learn something at university - how to reflect) I thought back to my student days when I had to work on the paediatric wards. No police checks in those days, I was assumed to be safe with children as I was a nurse.
I recall one instance where I was allocated 3 children to look after in the morning, nothing unusual, happened every day. This day I decided to shower 2 of the kids and wash the other, have no idea of diagnosis and illnesses after all these years but the children were all independently mobile and were looking forward to a shower. My own kids at that time were about 10 and 12 so I was used to dealing with children. Anyway, one of the kids, a little girl of about 8 disappeared and I could not find her, she could not get out of the ward as the handle was too high for her so I was not too worried, but she was holding me up. Found the poor girl in the shower trying desperately to turn it on and shower herself for me, obviously in floods of tears and cold and naked. What did I do, the only thing I could do, I found a big warm towel and wrapped her up in it and gave her a big cuddle, I then washed her under the shower and we carried on with our day. No harm, everybody happy and I did not even think to put the incident in her notes. Would I do the same thing today? Not a chance, I have not changed (apart from getting older) but the world has changed. I could not put myself into a position where I would be alone with an 8 year old girl in a shower. To my mind the way it seems to work is that this would just be an informal way to resign my job. It is not just males, one of my colleagues used to do voluntary work with cubs and beavers but found that what they sometimes needed was a quick cuddle then on they go - she was not allowed to do that.
Nowadays I have an Enhanced Disclosure (Scotland) number and we have had people who came to us for jobs having to be unemployed for a couple of weeks as they had resigned from their last job and their disclosure form was not through.
One of the games I played with my own children and some of the patients at the time was to put your noses together and then you have to try to bite the other persons nose while all the time still touching noses, if the noses came apart you had to stop. Children of a certain age love it because it is totally stupid and impossible to actually bite anyone. But there is no way I could do something like this now.

Monday, 8 September 2008


Those of us who work in health related fields particularly nurses ambulance people and doctors have a rather strange bodily function which we all seem to develop. This is the ever expanding bladder. In my case I go to the toilet at 7:00pm and suddenly realise that the last time I was at the toilet was 6:30 am that morning. I really, really need to drink more water.

On a related subject, young guy came in to us complaining of passing blood, no pain but urine was red. OK asked the usual questions, being doing anything different, strenuous or kinky but no, nothing unusual. Checked vitals and put him in a cubicle. Got a specimen of urine and tested it - no blood, not even microscopic amounts. Asked again anything out of the ordinary? Oh yes, I was eating a load of beetroot yesterday.

My cold is better, and my wife still has not got it, but strangely enough all her workmates are starting to phone in sick with colds. I told you, 'Typhoid Mary'.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Baby Docs

Well we're into September now and the new doctors have been here a month and are settling in a bit. Because of the new training for doctors it is strange having a mixture of people who are very experienced and some who are inexperienced. Because all the doctors are new, we don't know who is who and can have an occasional mix up. One doctor was sitting in the department the first week not doing anything so one of the nurses gave him a patients card and pointed him in the direction of the patient. Rabbits and headlights immediately sprang to mind, with a whimper of fear he was out of his seat and in a quavering voice stammered that he was just the junior doctor and with that he ran off up the corridor. Poor guy was just qualified and had never seen a patient before as a doctor, we brought him back and reassured him and he seems to have settled in to the department and is doing jobs more in keeping with his experience. One thing that I have noticed with this bunch, and keeping the grumpy bit of my name going, is if I tell a doctor not to do something because it is not departmental procedure or protocol or because the consultants won't like it, why do they argue with me? Also some are self assured, some are a bit diffident and others are way overconfident and need very careful watching. I'm sure this is the same all over when new doctors start and as we get to know each other everything will settle down and we will work as a team again.