Thursday, April 30, 2009

Attitudes Towards Nursing. Part2 : The British Media




Part one is the post just below this one.

Now let's look at the rubbish that comes from British journalists. This article was written by a woman named Jenni Russell. She is supporting Margaret Haywood and defending nurse whistleblowers. Great. I thank her for that. Jenni does not talk about why nursing care is so terrible. She lays into nurses. "We need more Margaret Haywoods to deal with these horrible nurses". Read the article. That is pretty much what she is saying. What we need is help. Margaret tried to help. She may have been the only nurse down there with a camera but I doubt she was the only one who cared.

As usual, a British journalist doesn't miss an opportunity to ignore the real issues behind terrible care and lays straight into nurses.. There is no talk about unsafe ratios, increasingly complexity, sicker patients, and stonewalling by management when the nurses try and resolve these issues. Jenni turned what could have been a decent article into an emotive piece against nurses. She displays the usual ignorance of the situation.

In Jenni's world, all patient suffering is caused my lazy, uncaring nurses. I have worked with about 2 lazy nurses out of hundreds and yet I have never seen anyone intentionally leave a patient in a bad way. Ever. Even a lazy nurse has to be on her toes more than your average person. There are a small number of bad nurses. They are not the number one problem. Excellent, hardworking nurses are failing every single shift due to a situation that is way out of their control. Jenni doesn't want to talk about that. It's more fun to be a lying shill, a government tool, and an ignorant bitch isn't it love?

Here is the article.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/28/nurse-exposing-cruelty-nhs

Look at this quote:

"Imagine that you are a frail, elderly person, perhaps in the last days or weeks of your life. You are so sick that you have been admitted to a hospital ward for care. But care is rarely what you get. Instead you have entered a nightmare world in which weakness is punished and misery ignored...............Jenni Russell.

Yes Jenni. We like to pick on weak and frail patients. That's why we went into nursing. You are so full of shit. Just go and crawl back under whatever rock you came out from.

You are lying in bed, gaunt and almost breathless, the bones in your pale face etched against the pillow. You are whispering because the pain is so acute. You tell the nurses - delicately, almost apologetically - that you are in agony. You do not know that it is because the drugs for your terminal cancer are being wrongly administered, and that you are suffering needlessly as you die. All you know is that no one cares....Jenni Russell

Of course they care, and they bust their arses to get there. One person having pain is not going to make everything else go away. If you don't understand how one patient could be harmed or even killed because the nurses are only focused on managing pain for another patient then you shouldn't be doing articles on health care. This is why too few nurses results in crap care. No amount of caring is going to make a nurse be 100 places simultaneously. Don't you dare accuse the nurses of not caring. They are the only ones that do. But caring is not enough, and caring and working hard is not going to solve this clusterfuck of a situation.


Oh, and if they were administering that kind of medication incorrectly the patient would probably be dead. You don't fuck with controlled drugs and at least 2 nurses always check. Always. If I am the lone nurse on a ward then I have to call a nurse from another ward to check that kind of medicine with me, and then we both walk to the patients bed with it and she observes me give it. The patient waits as long as it takes for the nurse from the other ward to get there. It is always done this way. Always at least 2 nurses for every step of the process with controlled drugs. Always. Jenni is ignorant..............Anne

Around you, you see other elderly patients, unable to walk alone, crying because nurses won't help them get to toilets on time. Old people are left to sit or lie in their own urine. One old woman is left in her soaking bed for almost nine hours because nurses won't fix her catheter. Some patients are too sick or shaky or confused to feed themselves. They go hungry, while some of the nurses eat the patients' food in the ward kitchens. Patients die alone and unnoticed...........Jenni Russell

I really cannot even respond to this. How could she even begin to say that these people are left like this because the nurses "won't" help them, or that we are leaving them like that on purpose.


Ah, the old nurse on the lunch break and the disconnected catheter story. Catheters disconnect. All the time. The ones used in the NHS are cheap crap. Re-attaching the thing is one of the only damn things that the carers can help with.


A nurse sits down for 5 minutes to grab a sandwich after 9 hours non stop. She has 5 more hours to go and then she will handover to the oncoming shift. Then she will stay on to document. She just got her critical patient transferred to ITU after 3 solid hours straight of having to one to one him to ensure his survival. She is behind with so much for her other patients. She has been 9 hours with a break and cannot think straight. She knows that if she doesn't stuff her face now, she won't get another chance today. The carer comes along and asks her to attach the catheter bag again. The nurse is perplexed. This is one of the things a carer can actually do to help. She knows that if she doesn't grab some food now she won't get another chance. She knows if she walks down that ward to deal with the bag, that a million different things will keep her there. She is hungry and she can't concentrate. She just needs 5 minutes to inhale this sandwich. The carer can attach the bag. The damn carers never have to go without breaks. They cannot help with most of the things that the nurse is overwhelmed with. This scenario is more likely than the edited garbage that you saw on panorama. I may have done the same thing as the nurse in the video. Sometimes I know that I have between 13:55 and 14:10 to grab a bite to eat and if I don't I won't get another chance at all until 11PM. A catheter bag that can be dealt with by an available carer wouldn't take that away from me. A crash or pain meds or, sudden change in condition might take it away from me but not a catheter bag, if there is a carer available.

Jenni is sounds a little bit retarded. The only time I have ever seen a member of staff take food from the trolley is after everyone has been fed and helped as much as possible and immediately before the food is about to be thrown away. We often work 12-14 hour shifts. We do not have a fridge for staff or a place to store our own food, there is a small overcrowded one for patients. This is a fact of life on my unit.


There is no fucking way we can leave the ward to walk all the way to the cafe on most days. No fucking way. No time for that. The canteen is often shut when we are working anyway. Sometimes the only way the nurse is going to get a morsel of food is to grab something that is going to be thrown away off of the trolley. This is a fact of life for us. They used to provide nurses with meals years ago, and provide time away from the ward uninterrupted to eat. Not now. I have never ever seen a member of staff eat anything that wasn't about to go in the bin. Ever. Ever. They might inhale something that is going to get thrown away anyway in their 5 minute break time. They are getting docked pay for taking a 30 minute meal break that they cannot take without harming their patients. Do you really want to crucify them for taking 5 minutes to eat waste that is getting thrown out..in between doing ten million different things? No one wants to eat that rubbish hospital food anyway. You have to be ravenous and desperate. This is a fact of life for hospital nurses. Our metabolisms are getting totally fucked up. The best we can hope for as far as healthy meals during work goes is constant handfuls of chocolate on the run. It's crap.


Seriously Jenni. Just fuck off with all your stereotypical ignorant bullshit about nurses. You want to know why patients suffer. Really? Read this blog. You probably cannot be bothered. Thanks for standing up for Ms. Haywood, but did you really need to sensationalise with your ignorant garbage in order to take a cheap shot in at nurses? If you feel so sorry for these patients why the hell don't you write about the real issues surrounding patient care in our hospitals? Yeah, that's what I thought. Hear that? That is the sound of silence.


This is why I am trying so hard to raise my children with integrity. The world doesn't need anymore journalists.



Attitudes towards Nursing. Part one: The American Media

I found this today and it made me very happy.

It is sensible. It is not ignorant, inflammatory or insulting. It is a straightforward feature article on about nursing. It is American. The author did not use it as a jibe against nurses. The author did his research and spoke to real live nurses who are currently working in frontline care.

My favourite quotes are below. My own thoughts are in purple.

California's 2004 patient-nurse ratio law has helped with the workload in hospitals. But the sick have gotten sicker.

"Fifteen years ago, with a six- or seven-patient assignment, probably four of them could get up and about. A typical patient [today] has totally restricted movement, so we have to keep turning them as much as possible [to prevent] blood clots.

At the same time, this person can require IV medications every six hours and can be taking three different antibiotics every two to three hours and pain medicine every two hours. We are monitoring all of their lab results, making sure any tests that have been ordered have been followed through, and prepping patients for tests.That's just one patient -- and I can have up to five

It would be a good day if I had one patient who could get up and walk around and get to the bathroom and take care of washing up [on their own]. More often than not, I have at least three that require total care, meaning that everything has to be done for them.It's pretty hefty -- a day with four patients is OK, five is pushing it. It only takes one extra person to push you over the edge in terms of trying to manage your day".

Yes things are changing and moving faster. Patients are sicker and more complex. Here in the UK a nurse would be happy to have 6 patients. 6 Patients is the least I have ever had and it happened twice. My normal load can be anywhere between 6 and 35. And I have to perform just as well whether I have 6 patients or 35 patients...........................Anne

"As a new nurse in the 1980s, my patient load was probably three to four patients, which is what it is currently in pediatrics, but the patients were not as sick as they are now. There's been a definite change over time to a higher acuity [sicker] patient, requiring more technology, more paperwork, more intensive monitoring. If you had a patient assignment in the past, you might have one sick patient and several patients on the mend. But that has changed

I [used to] go home and be falling asleep and would wake myself up thinking, "Oh my God! Did I do such and such? Did I tell the next nurse about this or that?" Because you're so rushed you would be continually questioning, "Did I get everything done, was everybody safe?"


It's scary as hell. Come to England and have no control over how many patients you have and end up with 12 or 17 or 35 people to look after. People who probably need a one to one to get the kind of care they imagine that hospitals provide. See how that fucks with your serenity................Anne

"There are all kinds of complicated procedures and technology that the nurse is responsible for monitoring that didn't exist 10 years ago. A lot of patients are on continuous dialysis with machines. A lot of labs and drugs have to be given on an hourly basis. There are very critical IV drips, and you're titrating the drugs up and down based on the patients' clinical picture, and there is constant bedside decision-making with each patient.We also have [many more] patients who are on isolation precautions [because of infectious diseases] than we used to, which means gowning and gloving every time you walk into their room. That's very time-consuming, but very, very necessary. There is a much greater risk factor for people who work in healthcare now and it makes the care more complicated. There are a lot of things that have changed over the years that make the delivery of care a lot more complicated."

This is also the case in the UK, and these prehistoric long retired dinosaurs refuse to understand this fact. We now have more untrained staff now in proportion to trained staff. That means that there are very few people on the ward who can actually deal with this very complicated stuff. They are overwhelmed with it all. The patient loads that the RN's are forced to take on are horrendous. The nurses may have no control but they are still liable. The total care elderly patients are mixed in with acutely unwell medical patients. One acutely ill medical patient can keep a nurse on her toes for hours, constantly. But she still has 10 other total care elderly patients. Patients such as this really do need one to one care to have their dignity maintained and remain clean, hydrated etc. They do. They need that.

I walk away from a 90 year old dementia patient for 5 minutes to check on my bleeding patient and the 90 year old ends up covered head to toe in feces, and falls out of bed trying to help himself. Multiply this scenario by 10 and that is my normal patient load. This is the indignity of old age. Nurses did not create and can not cure old age. The families of these patients and the hospital managers do not want to lend a hand or pay for more of us. No one cares either...............................Anne




Reading a straightforward feature article about nursing is like taking in a breath of fresh air. The author of this article talked to nurses who have been nursing a long time, and are currently nursing.



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