Friday, 23 May 2008

Mistakes and fallout

The Mistake

Indeed, as the title suggests, I am not perfect. I could bore us with the details, but suffice to say I made a detail in collecting blood today. I followed a procedure I had been taught in the past, which it seemed was completely wrong. All's well that ends well, I always say, and so the sweet old dear who the blood was intended to got it, albeit at a comfortably warm temperature*

The mistake happened due to me being over zealous. I had been taught the correct procedure way back in November, but had recently been given some bad practice. I should've thought properly, but we were busy and it seemed like a rush job. People make mistakes, especially when they're learning. I sat around to get lectured by the blood bank staff and nodded like a good little boy before getting back into my stride. Having a three-day weekend ahead meant the shift dragged, even if I was let off early. Sorta.

On a side note, I'll miss the gentlemen I've been looking after. All of them should be discharged by Tuesday, and I wished them the best of luck before I left. It's funny how it's sad to see some patients recover and leave. But in a good way.


The day had started on an up. I would be working with DGN, albeit in a busy group of bays. DGN was handed the poisoned chalice of coordinating, though, which is when things went to pot. Admin and organisational duties put the brakes on morning meds and observations, which I scurried off to do to free up some time later.

My current ward - let's call it Ward Y1S3 [Year 1 Semester 3, of course] - has terrible staffing issues. There are a lot of permanant staff off with varying illnesses (and 'illnesses'). Therefore it relies on a lot of temporary staff, which can cause trouble. It also harms any sense of team spirit.

If one of the Charge Nurses (not Sisters. Not on my watch) is on duty in the morning, the night staff will have everything ready. Morning IV infusions, anti-biotics, stuff like that. If there are only staff nurses on duty in the mornings, the night staff can basically not be arsed. Adding to the workload.

This put DGN in an increasingly tetchy mood, which my mistake, as well as a barrel-load of other fuck ups didn't help. Support Assitants, for example, we're pretty much fucking around instead of getting on with needed work. They twice asked one patient if they wanted something to eat, when the patient's nil-by-mouth status had been handed over and displayed over their bed. And then, when they served up a wrong order and I chased them down about it, they told to tell the patient to 'stick it up [their] arse'. Jokes aside, they were hardly endearing themselves to the patients. DGN was pretty short with me, which was a bit annoying, but stress is stress. They later admitted they would soon be looking for work somewhere else. 'It shouldn't be this hard,' they commented, over a relatively simple day.

I can't help but agree.

* Cold blood zapping into a vein is not the nicest sensation, for the record, so warm = good.

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