At a time when things are all upon us, we are doing our management placements. In this time we do medicines management, loads of reading, learning, calculating and then double and even triple checking. And we are not even administering any drugs really at this stage, not without strict supervision.

Concurrently we are reading and writing about learning and teaching in the nursing profession. We are all both learners and teachers for the entirety of our careers. We must continue to learn and to also teach, colleagues, students and patients when we have knowledge to pass on.

Having a vague, but not really well thought through idea of this, I chose to go back to the ward I am currently on, in a major London Trauma centre. The mix of cases means a lot of exposure to complex nursing, although it is not critical care. With the mix goes the need to learn about the drugs. Of course, at the same time I have to manage my own patients.

Now in week five I have been yelled at, argued with, told I don’t know what I am saying, doubted when I report or say something, basically bossed and bullied to the extreme. I knew what I was letting myself in for. But there were about 6 very angry tears the other morning when accused of shirking my duties to the patient and my profession by walking away from a room where the floor was covered in faeces. In fact, the patient was in respiratory isolation and no one could go in without wearing a mask, in addition to the other protective clothing needed. There were no masks and I was making my way to the storeroom to get some so that nurses and cleaners alike could help. I ended up wiping everything up myself, disposing of the soiled clothing and then got an earful about the above failure to carry out my duties.

I know it toughens me up. It actually makes me more sure if and when I disagree because in order to do so, I MUST know my stuff.  But in week five I am secretly longing for it all to be over and there are 9 more weeks of this…..



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