Monday, 2 June 2008

Back in the saddle

First day back after the weekend is always a toughie, it seems. But today wasn't so bad, for me, as a person. The day started terribly, with one Staff Nurse missing and no replacement, so my mentor was busy with 1 and a 1/2 a shift's worth of patients. I got on with the obs, and the old reliable 'basic patient care'. I do a lot of this anyway, but we were also down one Support Worker so there were tonnes of gaps to be filled. Patients were more worried about where their next cup of tea was coming from. Sweet, in a naive sorta way.

My main duties revolved around showering and shaving my blind gentleman patient. He's a dear, all in all, and it was good to spend some time with him, even if said time did involve me wet through my shoes. He actually got quite upset when he spoke about people dissing the NHS for getting such bad press when he thought all the staff he'd met, which was a tiny bit harrowing. But we survived, I got some valuable experience shaving someone else (which is *not* easy) and he was happy, in the end.

We have three student nurses, including myself, as of today. One is on their first ever placement, but is reasonably skilled, whilst the other is on their last ever placement and only started today so I have yet to get a bead on. She, as she is a she, is reasonably hot and I've been doing my best to show myself as the amazing human being I am. I could do with a date, just to keep myself in practice, to be honest. She asked me what the ward was like and, being an honest kinda chap, took her to one side and told her, quite simply, that we don't do anything exciting and it's full of bank staff. She was a bit frowny, but I reasoned it'd be pretty stress free and therefore allow her an easy end to the year. I'm an awesome diplomat.

Moving on, there was an issue linked to my previous issues about not forcing people to eat, today. That issue is... not starving people, too!

We had a situation, more down to low staffing levels and the YearOneSemesterOne student, in which a worried patient had refused to stay Nil-By-Mouth. This patient had something to eat, and then accidentally got sent down to the X-Ray they were being kept NBM for. For those not in the know, the X-Ray Department get pissy if people have had something to eat, and told the patient's nurse this down the phone. The patient's nurse wasn't really in on the loop, having been in handover, and it sounds like the X-Ray receptionist was being a fucking arsehead about the issue. The medics also seemed unamused.

These people are not nurses, clearly.

Just because someone - a doctor or an X-Ray operator, in this case - wants a patient to be Nil-By-Mouth for x-amount of time, it doesn't meant they have to be. You cannot, as a nurse, starve someone for 'their own good' without a bloody good reason. They're individual people, and can do what they like as long as they know it'll screw up their treatment. If, as in this case, a patient demanded food then you can't keep it from them. It goes against the code, to do no harm, for starters...

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