Almost mid afternoon and I am still in pjs….slob you cry, but it is completely justifiable on many levels. It is cold and wet and I worked a second night shift last night so have been dozing/sleeping/reading all morning.
I have even done some ………CROCHET…….oh the pleasure of that.
Storm Angus brought havoc to some, but not our part of the hospital. We had FOUR blue calls all night. It being my first night in resuscitation, (think 24 Hours in A&E and similar TV shows) I was prepared for chaos. Given the frenzy of the night before when all the staff were finding it demanding, it was such a surprise. One of the senior Drs said that foul weather can sway folk into thinking that their condition is actually not life threatening….which means that we get the really sick ones and not the ones that might have fancied a trip in an ambulance….Sadly there are many of those who arrive, have a barrage of tests which reveal nothing medically endangering and who complain bitterly that they are not given a bed on a ward.
I am not allowed to be critical of any patient that walks through the doors, but there is a direct correlation between those who have the least serious problems being the ones who shout and rant because they have waited for an hour, when in the bay beside them there is someone unable to breathe, in agony, fearful, confused and may be facing a life changing outcome, who may have been undergoing tests for hours and may wait longer for a bed and, who stoically bear it.
Cynical? Moi? The ones that get me are the family members….since when was it ok to have every relative in tow? They moan that there are no chairs, no coffee machines, it takes too long, they all have a view, they talk over the patient, they often reek of fags and keep popping out (along with the patient more often than not for a smoke). One mother asked me to get her some sugar for her tea while we were actually transferring her child to an observation bay. Hey lady, priorities??
I have had a man ask me to go and get him a spoon for their tea while I am emptying a reeking commode in the sluice….no boundaries at all. They are constantly asking us to go and find them a chair, frequently coming to the door of the bay and saying loudly ‘when is the doctor coming to see my …..'(insert relationship). Sometimes I think they confuse us with waiters and waitresses.
I secretly fancy the days when no one was allowed to sit on the bed, two visitors at a time were allowed, large group parties (no joke) around the bed were unheard of. People spoke quietly to allow those who need peace to rest.
But hey, that is the nature of the beast now. We work with it.
Although, in my youth I worked with a Maitre d’ in a restaurant who told me it was our job to educate the public —- I think we nurses can do a bit of that….