Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Pink Arms

Yes, I am currently half-man half-lobster, it's fun. And at least a conversation starter.

Not a large post today. Two things to reflect on, really. Firstly: what a fucking chaotic day. You know one of those days in which you just plain don't get a chance to sit down to yourself? Well, I tell a lie. I grabbed my 15 minutes to eat my sandwiches far too late. What cause chaos? I'm still not sure, but I'll try to chronicle the main events:

* A&E needed to transfer a patient up to HCU
* HCU was full, so needed to transfer a patient to us
* We only had two male beds free, and the patient to be transferred was female
* Thus, we swapped two men from a four-bedded bay into a double room. The women who were in this room were then moved into the four-bedded bay, leaving space for the woman coming up.

That's the simple explanation. Beds and cabinets have to be moved, causing a sort of slow, painful ballet in the hallways. This was not helped by the fact that one of the men, a very peculiar chap, had covered his sheets in something that sounds like 'sheet' but I will call faeces for the technical term. The whole move was a bit of a clit ache. And it got me thinking about the framing situation. A Staff Nurse told me that when something like this had happened before and the bed wasn't freed up in quick time that A&E had placed a critical incident report in.

The balance issue annoys me. Simply put: because of one patient, four have their mornings put out of whack. Washes had to wait, medicines were delayed and there was general distress caused by the move. These patients didn't get a say in it, the bed manager did. Just seems a bit silly to me.

So yes, my personal bay is now a female bay. Which leaves us with only one male bay, which can cause problems. E.g. some male support assistants not wanting to wash female patients and vice versa. The new female bay is actually quite effort intensive. And the two women who were first moved in argue quite frequently. And not like Odd-Couple-Hilarious-Arguments. More bitchy ones.

The older of the two ladies wanted a shower and was happy for me to help her out, which was nice. Although very few women refuse to have male staff members assist with hygiene, I have received my fair share of grudging looks in my time. In fact, she was more worried I'd not want to look at her, which was sweet of her, really.

I still (in the nicest possible way) blag my way around washes, really, having been given no formal instruction. I just ask what the person wants to do and get on with it, insisting they shout at me if anything is not to their liking. This old dear hadn't had a wash in a week, I heard. And that's sad, but I'm not sure of her history in hospital, so can't really comment. And, for once, won't. She was very grateful to have some shampoo rubbed into her scalp, and we got on - despite the pouring water - like a house on fire. It was a nice moment in a crazy day were there was little time to do anything but run around doing favours for my recently returned mentor. Anyway, she's lovely. And it's good to actually look after some women primarily, for once. It's easy, as a male student nurse, to be farmed off to look after male patients, sadly.

No comments: