Saturday, 14 February 2009

IT (again)

Do IT people live in a different world to the rest of us?
I ask this because my and a lot of other people's e-mail has been down recently, we are completely locked out of the system. What is IT's response? They send an e-mail out asking people not to call them if they have a problem with their e-mail. What??? The only reason I found out about this is that someone whose e-mail was working showed it to me.

Why is it that after every upgrade to our IT system of whatever kind the system then goes down? Surely by now they should have computers which work.


My dictionary defines team as "in common action" and teamwork as "combined effort, cooperation". Yesterday I had a fine example of this although I did have to force it from those involved. I took a patient up to a ward and as usual the staff were all very busy and there was no one to help me move the patient on to a bed. I looked in the area used a small staff room and there were 4 or 5 doctors sitting there just chatting, some with their feet up and obviously not busy. Now in fairness this is not that common an occurrence as doctors are busy people too but I thought, "I have to get back to my department, there is no nurses available but I just need some people to help me move the patient". So I asked the doctors to help - I received a blank look bordering on ignoring me but I am made of sterner stuff so I again asked for help but this time I did not give them a choice I pointed out that they were not doing anything, I needed help and the patient needed help so come on guys bums off seats and get over here. I think they were more surprised that someone expected them to 'handle' a patient than any thing else but they gave me the help I needed. I thanked them very nicely and pointed out that if they come to work in A&E they will be expected to help and sometimes be a bit more hands on than they are used to.
A fine example of teamwork in action.

Sometimes I feel that I write too much about conflict in ward areas, but in the department I work there is a good working atmosphere between the nursing and medical staff that has been forged through long experience with each other and a willingness to respect each others professionalism. I am well aware that I cannot do my job without the willingness of the senior doctors to support me. When attending interviews, a favourite question is how would you ensure teamwork? I think it is sometimes worth remembering that the team is not just nursing staff but everyone in the department.

Sunday, 8 February 2009


One of my favourite bloggers has made a reappearance after being missing for some time and she has come out fighting.

Militant Medical Nurse is a staff nurse who works on a medical ward and she must have been reading some of the bad press nurses are getting recently as she has put in her experience of meal times on the ward here. Go read it, it is a long post but it is exactly as I remember it from my time on the wards and is one of the reasons I don't do wards now, soul destroying is the word that springs to my mind, especially when she follows it up with this. Now, I don't know if Dr. Crippen at NHS Blogdoc reads this or not (don't really care) but it would be nice to know that instead of carping on about nurses he would actually do something. Instead of saying that nurses are not allowed a career path and promotion to practitioner we should all stay on the wards and wash bums and clean floors and toilets and bedpans he tried to complain to the people who matter in hospitals - the managers. For some reason he assumes that nurses are able to control how many nurses are on a ward, this is decided by manpower planning and/or human resources. If I as a nurse practitioner was forced to move back onto a ward as a staff nurse then someone would need to be paid off to make way for me to keep staffing at the levels they are funded. I will ask a question, when GP's and Consultants were given their brand spanking new contracts did any of them say "wait a minute, what about more nursing staff on the wards?" No? I thought not. What you do get is,...... Well read the last few paragraphs about ward rounds and mealtimes in Militant Medical Nurse's post.

A while ago I wrote a post about a parent who attended our department and was upset about my questioning her behaviour in not giving her child the MMR vaccine. It was such an angry post that I deleted it very soon after writing it. It now appears that perhaps I should have left it in place as the anti-vaccine lobby has recently had a boost from a broadcaster on LBC radio. When the broadcaster was taken to task by the excellent Ben Goldacre at Bad Science her lawyers immediately attacked him threatening him with legal writs. The full story can be found here and a follow up can be found here.

I would recommend Dr. Crippen's take on this at NHS Blogdoc as he has put the whole story much better than I can. It is only when Dr. C starts going on about nurses and nursing that I think he is an uninformed moron, on most things I tend to agree with him.